More Puglia Advice Please

Aug 12th, 2013, 08:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 27
More Puglia Advice Please

We are heading to Puglia/Bascilicata the first week October. I have been reading the wonderful Fodors trip reports on this area for months to get information. We are really excited about visiting this area for its history, food, culture, and friendly people.

Here are our present lodgings:
Peschici(2 nights)
Polignano(2 nights)
Lecce(3 nights)
Matera(2 nights)
2 nights are unplanned before we leave at noon from Rome.

These are some towns we are interested in visiting:
Alberobello - short visit,
Martina Franca,

Can you advise us on how to organize these visits? How much time would you allocate to them? With our available time, would cut any? We are staying at some lovely towns and we want to experience them without driving all the time, so all the others may not be practical.

Also, I would appreciate any recommendations for a Masseria in the area for a lunch or dinner. Thanks to all of you. We couldn't really do this trip without your knowledge!
RoamFree is offline  
Aug 12th, 2013, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 493
"We are staying at some lovely towns and we want to experience them without driving all the time"

That statement is contrary to your planned itinerary. In travel, less is always more. The less you move the more you see/do IN places.

You plan to move almost every second day. That's not spending time IN places 'experiencing them'. You then also list anohter half dozen places you want to 'experience' as well.

I suggest you pick TWO places to stay and do ONE day trip from each.
Improviser is offline  
Aug 12th, 2013, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,304
You can reasonably visit two places that are close together a day....assuming you get an early start! The towns literally close up tight for most of the 12:30 - 4:30/5:00 every afternoon so plan a long lunch for that time then travel to your next location and aim to be there in the late afternoon.

I will post the link to our trip report, it also includes our photos.
jamikins is offline  
Aug 12th, 2013, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,304
Here you go
jamikins is offline  
Aug 12th, 2013, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,304
Don't forget Ostuni...sorry to add more to your list! We enjoyed it much more than Otranto....
jamikins is offline  
Aug 12th, 2013, 11:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 27
Improviser - Thanks for your input. I know I am packing in too much. I've just had a hard time our locations. Everything seems so appealing. From your comment, if you have experience in this part of Italy, which towns would you choose to stay in and side trip to? I had hoped to visit some at least on the way to our next lodging, even though I have too many of those, I know!

Jamikins - thanks, I will re-read your trip report now that we are closer and our planning is in ernest.
RoamFree is offline  
Aug 13th, 2013, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 493
I'd spend the entire time based in Lecce and do a couple of day trips from there. Probably rent a small apartment like this: (just an example, I haven't stayed at that property)

I'm a proponent of 'slow travel'.

The idea that you can 'visit' "two places that are close together a day" simply makes no sense to me. While I understand someone can drive to a village, walk around for an hour and then drive to another village and repeat the process, to me you have not visited either village. To visit the village you have to spend at least a week living there.

For example, if you stay in a village for a week, you will find a place to have your coffee each morning and watch the activities going on around you. By the third morning, the waitress/proprieter will be greeting you with a familiar and heartfelt 'bonjourno'.

When you stop in to the bakery to pick up a loaf of bread to take back to your apartment/studio and make lunch, the baker will be asking, 'the same as yesterday or would you like to try this dark loaf I baked this morning?'

After you make lunch you may decide to take a drive into the city to see the Basilica. You CAN 'visit' that in half a day, unlike a whole village/town.

Returning to your apartment you have to decide whether to eat at 'home' or go out for dinner. Somewhere nearby or into town?

Tomorrow, you plan to go to the nearby beach and laze the morning away. Maybe, you'll take a drive a few miles into the contryside just to see what you see in the afernoon. Maybe you'll just take a siesta.
Improviser is offline  
Aug 13th, 2013, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,227
I'd make time to go to Martina but then stay south of there as there is plenty of places to visit in just this heel. Manduria is worth a drop by, Taranto is a bit industrial and has half the Italian navy in town.
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