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Need help refining Puglia trip - itinerary and dining

Old May 7th, 2017, 08:42 AM
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Need help refining Puglia trip - itinerary and dining

I'm trying to shape itinerary details and reserve/identify some restaurants before we head to Rome/Puglia in two weeks. I need help with the Puglia part. I've read many great trip reports and restaurant reviews, but some are outdated or have mixed reviews or logistically don't work. We will be renting a car in Puglia and are comfortable driving in Italy, but we are notorious for getting lost and would prefer not to drive more than 20 minutes for dinner. I would appreciate any and all suggestions, especially on current dining experiences.

This is what I have so far:

4 nights Rome - all worked out
Morning flight to Bari and car rental

Part 1
4 nights Masseria Cervarola (near Ostuni)
Thurs - Arrive in Bari in morning - Polignano di Mare for lunch, visit Monopoli.
Dinner at our Masseria.
Fri - Spend day exploring Ostuni - lunch - Piazetta Cathedrale?
Dinner?
Sat - Alberobello (quick visit), Locorotundo, Cisternino
Lunch - Trattoria Terra Madre?
Dinner - Masseria Il Frantoio
Sun - Day 4 - Masseria Brancati - olive oil tour - morning
Should we drive to Salvettri for lunch? Too far? Or explore Martina Franca and small villages?
Big lunch in countryside? Dinner?

Is driving into Ostuni for dinner difficult as far as parking and walking up hill at night? if so, I'm perfectly happy to dine at other Masserias or small towns.

Are the butcher/roasted meat restaurants not to miss?

Part II
4 nights - Maglie - Corte dei Granai - has private parking
It appears to be a lovely town equi-distant to the many areas we want to visit as day trips (Otranto, Lecce, Gallipoli, Leuca, etc.)
Monday - Thursday
Anyone ever dine in Maglie?

Part III
2 nights - Matera - Corte San Pietro
Fri -
Sat - tour with Nadia Garlatti

Part IV
3 nights - near Andria - Lama di Luna
Sun - stop in Altamura - hope bakeries are open
dinner at Lama di Luna
Mon - Castel del Monte
Lunch at Antichi Sapori
Tues - Trani
Dinner - Masseria Barbera

This is not written in stone. We love to meander by foot in villages or driving on small country roads.

Wed late afternoon - flight to FCO
Thurs noon - flight to NY

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old May 7th, 2017, 03:52 PM
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I will try to come back with more but for now, while in Maglie, see if you can manage a drive ofo 20 minutes to the tiny town of Ruffano to eat at Farmacia dei Sani. I was so sorry they were closed during my stay in the area third trip, no trip report) but you might have the pleasure; it sounds excellent and I heard many good things from locals. Very little written in English, but here:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/osteriaf...=page_internal
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Old May 7th, 2017, 05:57 PM
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A 3rd trip to Puglia? I completely understand not writing a TR, but what a loss for this community Anything that you recall is appreciated. A lot of my trip is based on your journeys, eks!
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Old May 7th, 2017, 11:21 PM
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ostuni parking can get tough in high summer, but in two weeks you'll be fine
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Old May 8th, 2017, 12:52 AM
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In Matera, we dined well at Soul Kitchen.

http://www.ristorantesoulkitchen.it/
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Old May 8th, 2017, 04:42 PM
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Peter - I will look at Soul Kitchen. Thank you.

bilboburger - even if it isn't too crowded, is it tough to drive in and out of Ostuni? Same question for Lecce? Do they have parking areas like Montepulciano that you can see on a map?
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Old May 9th, 2017, 01:54 AM
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no driving into Ostuni is ok, Lecce is a little different.

Lecce has a pretty large "centro storico" around which is a modern city and then a two lane inner ring road (slowish moving etc), the centre of town is then bifurcated by another such road that separates the old from the new. You can park along a lot of this road, and on a fair bit of the ring road, but there has to be a space and the centro storico is also the municipal centre of a large region so you get all the local offices etc. Despite all this I've never found getting a park difficult out of high season, you just need the non-driver keeping their eyes open and spotting for you. There is no ZTL. From a pratical point of view do not end up driving in the semi pedestrian road area off the obvious modern 19th centuary roads, they were not designed for cars and even a Fiat 550 will bounce off the walls as you try (I know I was the driver)

(Montepulciano is on a big hill so parking has another bunch of issues to do with still standing city walls, gates etc so the town is basically a ped area with parking at the bottom and at the top of the hill) Lecce had most of its walls down to make the ring road in the 19th cent.. Though the Porta Napoli is still standing and very pretty too.

Hopefully of this is obvious from google maps which are worth reviewing before you try and drive in.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 01:58 AM
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Lecce restaurants; follow my name back 3 or 4 years and the story of our getting married here gives good advice on what to expect. Generally we found the people of Lecce warm hearted but not offering NA service standards, for which I'm normally pleased, but in this case reaches a level of pure comedy or on at least one occassion amazing competence.

It's Puglia, "going with the flow" should be their motto
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Old May 9th, 2017, 06:57 PM
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Well, I just read your report, bilbo.
Wow. Wow. Quite interesting to say the least!
I'm not usually a 'go with the flow' kind of person, but it would be in everybody's best interest if I try to adapt.

Thanks so much for the description of Lecce roads. Having never been there, this type of information is extremely useful.

>

Any suggestions on how to avoid the above? Serious question!
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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:15 PM
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Drive on the modern roads, the old roads generally look like alleyways to you, so easy to avoid. Google maps and "street view" work in Italy so 5 minutes investment will let you see. I have no idea what GPS does over this.


Car size; in a lot of countries getting upgraded by the car hire company is often a good thing. In my experience, in Italy, you want a small car and an upgrade gives you a bigger one. Over the years I've never accepted an upgrade, but this year my sister excepted one. We ended up stuck twice in narrow streets.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 12:57 PM
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I agree about car size and had a bit of trouble once in the Loire Valley, but I'm always concerned about having a trunk large enough to hold everything. I never leave anything visible in a car - anywhere!
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Old May 10th, 2017, 01:09 PM
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I am not sure about bakeries in Altamura on Sundays but do not fret cause the bread of Matera is equally famous and fabulous. I brought quite a bit home with me; amazing how long the big loaf lasted. Just look for a place that cooks with wood; this one was great:


www.paneepace.it/it/contatti/


This restaurant in Taviano is well known in the region. I thought it was fantastic. Not at all fancy. http://www.acasatumartinu.com/ristorante/
Worth the 40 minute drive from Maglie. Book ahead.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 05:01 PM
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Thanks eks - great suggestions!
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