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Please Help with Le Marche and Puglia 2 Week Itinerary in June

Please Help with Le Marche and Puglia 2 Week Itinerary in June

Jan 25th, 2012, 05:34 AM
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Please Help with Le Marche and Puglia 2 Week Itinerary in June

Hello dear Fodorites!

Warning: VERY long post below!!

Bikerscott and I are planning a 2 week return to Bella Italia in June 2012. This trip will focus on FOOD (just to be different) and wine of course! I’d like your take on our plans and any suggestions for great places to eat, shop for food, or sites to see! We are heading out mid-June for two weeks. My questions are in caps so they stand out in this overly long post (sorry!), but I am not shouting

The plan so far is below. Any and all comments are welcome:


Fly into Bologna from London and pick up a car (we have to pick it up now and keep it overnight as no rental agencies open on Sunday in town and we don’t want to get back out to the airport)

Antica Residenza d'Azeglio
Via Massimo d'Azeglio 64 - 40124 BOLOGNA
Tel.+39 051 644 73 89 - Fax +39 051 33 93 354
€110 for a classic room with parking spot – we know NOT to drive into centre and have very detailed directions from the hotel!

We plan to do a walking tour and eat! Lunch is potentially at:

Ristorante Da Cesari
Via de' Carbonesi 8

Shop at http://tamburini.com/ for pasta supplies for apartment in Le Marche.

P.IVA e C.Fisc. 00322200379
via Caprarie, 1 - 40124 Bologna

Dinner at:

dal Biassanot Trattoria
Via Peilla, 16/a www.dalbiassanot.it

OR the following (including the reviews I have read)

Biagi alla Grada - via della Grada 6. An award winning restaurant. Their food is awesome. Unlike a lot of Italian restaurants, Biagi feels large and open, but the lights are kept nice and low. Not very well known by tourists. 051-553025.

Trattoria da Pietro - via Falegnami 18. Nice little traditional hole-in-the-wall style place, but upscale for its size. Really good service, unknown by tourists, but always full. The food is why. Family owned and operated, award-winning chef. 051-230644.


Drive to agriturismo in Le Marche via Ravenna to see the mosaics. We will have lunch and then go to see at least the following 3 places:


An aside – is it pronounced RA-VEENA?

The Galla Placidia Mausoleum is situated in Via Fiandrini, Ravenna (+39 0544 541688). It is open from 9am to 7pm between April and September. Tickets cost €9.50 and allow entry both to the Mausoleum and the Church of San Vitale.

The Arian Baptistery is situated in Vicolo degli Ariani, Ravenna (0039 0544 543711). It is open from 8.30am to 7.30pm, and entry is free.

The Church of San Vitale is situated in Via Fiandrini, Ravenna (+39 0544 541688). It is open from 9.30am to 5pm, from November to February, from 9am to 5.30pm in March and October, and from 9am to 7pm between April and September. Tickets cost €9.50 and allow entry both to the Church and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia.

Agriturismo Ca’Camone
Via Candigliano
61046 Piobbico (PU)
tel. +39 331.525.2753
€550 a week
4 course meal at agritourismo - €30 each


Market day in Fossombrone, viala della Repubblica and Piazzale Giovanni XXIII

Fermignano, Urbania and Mercatello sul Metauro are apparently close by – are any worth stopping at or going to for the nice drive?

Also heard Sant'Arcangelo in Vado is a nice place to go?


Cooking Class and day at the agritourismo


Trip to the coast for a seafood lunch – ANY LUNCH RECOMMENDATIONS?


San Leo or Ascoli Piceno

Pizza night at the agritourismo




Urbino for Market day

Dinner at:

Antica Osteria da la Stella
Via Santa Margherita, 1
61029 - URBINO (PU)
Tel. e Fax 0722 320228

Restaurants in Le Marche – are these any good?
Via Marconi, 4, Fermignano, Italy

Ca' Maddalena
Localita Ca' Maddalena, 61033 Urbino, Italy


We thought about taking the train but can’t find a place to return the car on a Sunday so we are fine with driving the coastal autostrada hahaha! We wanted to stay in one place for the whole week and then do day trips and likely return to the masseria for dinners (we will test out how good they are the first night!). But we do plan to eat lunch out.


Drive 7 hours to S.P. 44 Acquaro
San Vito Scalo - Mesagne, Km 4,5
72100 - BRINDISI (Br)
€110 a night


Gallipoli and the Ionian Sea

Masseria Gattamora by Otranto for dinner?


Lecce and Otranto

Lunch here: http://www.lezie.it/


Monopoli and Polignano a Mare (maybe kayaking on the ocean)

Lunch here http://www.grottardito.it/default.htm OR http://www.donnagina.it/fotogallery.php

Thursday 28 June

Drive to Ostuni and the ruined city of Egnazia (00 39 080 482 9056; £2.40), near Fasano, flourished in 5BC; its walls, forum, Roman amphitheatre and temples are photogenically weathered, and the setting is splendid, framed by olive groves and wildflowers, with the sea glittering beyond. The on-site museum houses some well-preserved mosaics and earthenware: well worth a wander.

Dinner at http://www.masseriaparcodicastro.it/...GGIUNGERCI.htm in Fasano
€35 for tasting menu


Mattera (LONG DRIVE – about 2 hours each way - BUT WORTH IT?)

Dinner: Antico Borgo in Cisternino, www.rosticceria-lanticoborgo.it – we heard that this is the place to have a fornello


Head out to Martina Franca, Locorotondo (go here last and at dusk if possible) and Alberobello

Lunch at Il Ritrovo degli Amici, a SlowFood restaurant in Martina Franca
Corso Messapia, 8
74015 Martina Franca Taranto, Italy
080 483 9249


Piazzetta Garibaldi in Martina Franca, no website, Piazza Garibaldi 17, tel. 080-4304900


Trattoria Centro Storico at Via Eroi di Dogali 6; Tel : 080-4315473; www.ilcentrostorico.biz

Good options: www.masseriabarbera.it Barbera, and at Antichi Sapori


Fly home from Brindisi

PHEW! Thank you so much for any and all your comments. I promise we will repay with an on the road trip report with photos and lots of food and wine descriptions!

jamikins is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 06:30 AM
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First of all, if you are buying dried pasta in Bologna, don't go to Tamburini. Walk a few doors down at buy it at Paolo Atti & Figli (7 via Caprarie). Always remember to ask how long you should cook the pasta.

Tamburini is fine for salumi (felino) and cheeses (scamorza and parmagiano are good), and also for a sweet strudel-like pastry roll they make called "pinza", which you can buy by the slice). Skip all their pricey "with truffle" meats and cheeses.

I've not eaten at any of the Bolognese restaurants you are considering, but after 30-some meals in Bologna, I recommend:

For stuffed pasta: Trattoria Anna Maria on the via delle Belli Arte

For tagliatelle al ragu: Caminetto d'Oro, Via de' Falegnami 4 It's comparable in price to Da Cesari and a bit upscale.

Near your hotel for a trattoria experience with bolognese classics and charm: Giampi e Ciccio, Via Farini 31B

For nice pastas, grilled mortadella secondo, desserts and charm: Da Gianni (via Claveture)

For outdoors on a nice day: Bistrot 18, via Claveture (gramigna al salsiccia is a good pasta)

In Bologna, take a look at the old anatomical theatre and the church of Santa Maria della Vita (only open before noon).

For Ravenna (RAH-vain-nah), park near the train station, and for lunch, I'll recommend SaporidiVini, but you have to check if they are open for Sunday lunch:


Get your hands on a guidebook for Ravenna so you are sure you don't miss any mosaic sites. Go into the church of San Francesco with a euro coin and take a look under the altar.

Le Marche:

Sant'Arcangelo in Vado is an extremely nice place to go. Try looking for lunch there.

I think it is too far to drive to Ascoli Piceno for you to include it in this trip.

I like the restaurant NeNe just 3km south of Urbino, but for this trip, you really should be packing a copy of Fred Plotkin's Italy for the Gourmet Traveler, which will give you solid restaurant choices for Emilia-Romagna, Le Marche and Puglia, plus tell you what the regional specialties are and where the exceptional markets are.
zeppole is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 06:41 AM
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Zeppole - thank you so much for all your insights - I am transfering them to my file and looking up the book you mention now!

So excited!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 06:58 AM
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For your files;



By the way, your hotel is quite close to the Majani chocolate shop if you like chocolate. It's a very pretty old shop just to look at. via de'Carbonesi, 5. (Actually, it is pretty much across the street from Da Cesari as I recall, so you can stop by and look at the menu there as well.)

Another high-end chocolatier in Bologna is Roccati, which is right in the historic market area, via Claveture 17.
zeppole is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 07:01 AM
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Chocolate is my main food group!! Thank you
jamikins is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 07:02 AM
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I also now see I gave an imcomplete address for Da Gianni in Bolgona -- via Claveture 8 -- and misspelled via delle Belli Arti
zeppole is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Topping for more feedback
jamikins is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 03:57 PM
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On our last trip to Italy, in 2009, we visited Le Marche for a week. We enjoyed our time there, and are glad we went, though I think we prefer other regions of Italy (except for one place - see below). Be prepared for a lot of driving - beautiful - but lots of driving on small, winding roads.

In Bologna, there is (or was, at least) a wine bar run by Tambourini, just to the left (as you face it) of the main entrance. Nice but not lengthy selection of antipasti. When we were last there, I was admiring the pasta, and noticed the FILLED gnocchi. As we didn't have an apartment, I didn't get to try them.

We've had lunch twice at Drogheria della Rosa, on separate trips. Not gourmet food, but a lot of fun. I think the owner enjoys acting the stereotypical Italian restaurant-owner for (American?) tourists. The last time we ate there, he joined us at the table, we discussed food for a while, then he admonished our 10yo DD, who was cutting her food with her fork, "you have a knife, and you have a fork." It's a family phrase now.

A great gelateria in Bologna: Gelateria Gianni. Very rich, though.

Leave plenty of time for Ravenna - the mosaics are marvelous. We had lunch at some no-name place, chosen largely because we wanted to eat outside, DH wanted pizza, and I wanted to try the local specialty, piadine, the local version of pita bread. Not many restaurants seemed to combine all 3 of those requirements.

We spent three nights in Urbino, which I loved. A beautiful little non-touristy city. Raphael's house is interesting, more as an example of a typical upper-middle-class resident than as his home. And the main focus of our stay in Urbino, for me, was the Ducal Palace, and the Duke's studiolo. DH and DD had to drag me away.

In Urbino, our dinners were, generally, good but not great. One night, l'Angelo Davino, where we received pathetic service for good food, but not good enough to make up for the rest of the meal. Long story, but the menu out front is not what is served. And when the owner (?) recited the menu (in Italian), she only told us some of the items, and I had to prompt her (in Italian) for the rest of the items (which I saw other guests eating). Another night, dinner at Ristorante Vecchia Urbino, where we received fabulous service and very good food at an almost-empty restaurant. The third night, on about the 8th night of a 16-night trip, our daughter wanted less of a production for dinner, so we asked the hotel for a good pizza place. I received a well-meant lecture that pizza is not Umbrian food (I knew that). Nevertheless, we had good pizza at Pizzeria degli Artisti, where we were the only non-local customers.

We had lunch one day in Urbino at Il Giarrosto, on via Raffaello. Beautiful little pizza. I tried the local specialty of crescia sfogliate; similar to a filled puff pastry. Good for a light-ish lunch.

The main piazza in Urbino is great for sitting a people-watching; we rotated between each of the 4 or 5 cafes there.

Two good gelaterias in Urbino: Gelateria Romana, which is the teen hangout, and Caffeteria, just up the street.

South of Urbino, we visited the Furlo Gorge. The road through the Gorge includes a tunnel made by the Romans. The Furlo Gorge road is narrow, then narrows to a one-way-at-a-time road, with a traffic signal at each end. The Roman tunnel was very short, which makes sense given the excavation materials used during Roman times.

Urbania we found somewhat interesting. It was full of locals out on a Sunday afternoon to stare at the tourists (it was late September, so we appeared to be the only tourists there). The town contained an old Montefeltro palace, a Chiesa dei Morti, or Church of the Dead, with 18 naturally mummified corpses on display (we stepped into the church, but did not pay to see the natural mummies) and some other stuff.

San Leo is beautiful. We had a great lunch there, sitting outside at Il Bettolino, Via Montefeltro, 4. In between San Leo and Urbino, we also stopped in Macerata Feltria, which was a much more "average" town with some nice old buildings; and Sassocovaro, with a few more fine old buildings and a lopped-off eliptoidal tower by Martini.

We loved Pennabilli, which was fantastical up the mountain, located as advertised between two crags with old castle ruins on the tops of each of Penna and Billi (though now they’re called Riccione and Rupa); the Dalai Lama has visited there, too.

On the coast, Senigallia is a truly foodie town. We had a fantastic casual lunch at Osteria del Teatro. Some day, we will make a foodie visit to Senigallia and spend several days here eating. (Google for info on the town's Michelin-rated restaurants.) There are some interesting castles in towns north of Senigallia.

We then spent three days further south, just outside Macerata. One of those days, we headed over to the coast and had lunch at Dario, in Porto Recanati. I'd also like to spend more time here. (We tried to eat at Il Voce del Mare, but they were closed at lunchtime for the season.)

I'm happy to provide more details, if you'd like.
Lexma90 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 12:37 AM
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wow that info is fantastic!!!!! Thank you so much! I will absorb all this and come back with any questions!!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 04:24 AM
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Jami this sounds like a wonderful adventure!

My notes say that Masseria Gattamora is closed on Monday; you might want to double check this.

When you are in that area, you might want to check out the prehistoric menhirs scattered about--there is one in the town of Giudignano:



I'll return with further thoughts..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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eks - I was so hoping you would chime in! I have moved dinner at Gattamora to Tues as we will be in the Otranto area anyways!

Anymore thoughts would be very welcome!!!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Ahhh... Bologna, one of my favorite Italian cities, actually, it just might be my favorite now I'm thinking more about it!

I was there for a week in Nov. 2010 and did a trip a report, but off the top of my head I'll mention a few things.

We had dinner our first or second night in Bologna at Da Cesari and it was good, but after a full week there it was not our favorite. I agree with zeppole's recommendation of Da Gianni (via Claveture) we loved it there. And I did have the grilled mortadella drizzled with balsamic..yum! We also had dinner at dal Biassanot Trattoria twice and enjoyed both times very much.

For apperitivo we really enjoyed Bar Calice, on via Claveture, as I recall, just a few steps from Da Gianni. We probably went there 5 of our 8 nights in Bologna, the nibbles they gave with our prosecco where always plentiful. We sat in their outside area, which was at that time across from the actual bar entrance.

If you were going to be in Bologna longer I'd recommend doing the Italian Days food tour with Alessandro...he is terrific and it is an all day "event" 7:30am pick up and we went to a Parmigianno factory, proscuitto factory, and balsamic vinegar producer then a huge lunch at a lovely agritourismo. I found Alessandro through trip advisor and it was so worth it, one of the best days on any of my Italy vacations. Maybe you could rearrange your days and spend one more day in Bologna?

I also had a delicious lunch in Ravenna, but now the name of the spot escapes me. I'll have to check my trip report and get you the name.

I wish I had some information for you on Le Marche, but unfortunately, for me, I haven't been there yet, so I will have to depend on your stellar trip reporting skills to bring that area of Italy to life for me in my mind!
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Shamelessly topping for more replies
jamikins is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 02:15 PM
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J: I had great food at Caminetto d'Oro, Da Gianni, AND Da Cesari. In fact, this thread is making me very hungry and it might have even made me gain a few pounds!

I'm torn about recommending M. Parco di Castro near Ostuni. I had one excellent dinner there and one (about 10 months later) that was less good.

The fishing hamlet of Savelletri is closer to the ruins of Egnazia than Speziale, the location of Parco di Castro. How do you feel about seafood?

I want to respond in more detail when I get more time..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 02:29 PM
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Jamikins, We stayed at Agriturismo Ca'Camone 2 years ago and really loved it. the food that Jason serves is so delicious. Sure that you will like it.
cornelius01 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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Love the feedback - and we love seafood!! Any other comments would be great!!!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 08:56 AM
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jamikins, since you asked me for my two cents: here they are. I need not comment on Bologna since you've already got definitive advice from this forum's Bologna expert, zeppole.
As far as Ravenna (the E in Ravenna is precisely pronounced as the EA in "health"), one of the very best churches is missing from your list, S. Apollinare in Classe. You don't want to miss that.
S. Leo or Ascoli Piceno? Both are well worth a visit. I think I like Ascoli even better, but agree that for reasons of distance and practicability, S. Leo is preferable for you.
The coastal autostrada is indeed excellent, so no need to worry about that drive, you'll be fine.

As far as Puglia and Matera, you'll probably be interested in my trip/food report on Puglia and Basilicata: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-revisited.cfm
You'll notice that I strongly advise against the two Masserie Gattamora and Parco di Castro - life is too short to have mediocre wanna-be gourmet food, particularly in a region where excellent restaurants are as easily available as in Puglia. But there's a very simple, unassuming place in Mesagne, i.e. near your agriturismo, that I rank far higher than those two masserie (see trip/food report for details). I'm also not a huge fan of Le Zie; that place is fine for people who are not yet familiar with that type of old-fashioned Italian trattorie, but for those who already know that kind of dining, Le Zie are hardly above average. I wholeheartedly recommend Antico Borgo, though; and definitely go to Piazzetta Garibaldi, you'll remember those two meals for the rest of your life. Masseria Barbera is another place you won't stop dreaming of. By the way, if you love seafood, and drive to Gallipoli, it would be more than weird to dine at Masseria Gattamora (even if it were a good restaurant) - Gallipoli is famous for seafood, and you should absolutely dine there on that day.

Matera is definitely worth visiting, but definitely not as a daytrip from Mesagne, particularly if you want to be in Martina Franca for dinner - not just because the drive would exhaust you, but above all because you wouldn't have time enough for visiting Matera. So if you decide to go, stay at least until after dark, which gives you more time for the town and the possibility of eating either at famous and a bit uber-stylish (also a bit expensive for the region) Le Botteghe, or at non-touristy but at least as good I due sassi (refer to my trip/food report, once more, for details). Personally, though, rather than doing the drive to and from Matera on one day, I'd visit Brindisi (much much nearer to where you stay), which is ugly on the one hand, but has two or three absolutely exceptional churches on the other hand.
franco is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 09:20 AM
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Franco thank you so much!!!! I will incorporate all your feedback and come back with a revised plan! CANNOT WAIT TO GET THERE!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Of course I am reading along and just want to link the Mesagne restaurant here:


I think you should heed Franco's advice and give Parco di Castro a miss. Since you like seafood, there are 2 good options in nearby Savelletri and several locals raved to me about the simple seafood restaurants near or on the beach in Torre Canne, just south of Savelletri. One of these is La Rotonda.

See if this is any help:

ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 12:54 PM
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You guys are awesome!!!

Unfortunately Masseria Barbera looks to be 2.5 hours from our masseria, Bikerscott wont want to drive that far home afterwards.

I know its not the best thing, but I think we will try to get an early start and visit Matera even though its 2 hours each way. We wont be able to stay until after dark in June likely, but we are thinking about hiring a guide for a few hours in the afternoon and having lunch. It is a lot of driving, but I cant imagine not going and we arent likely to be back to Puglia anytime soon (I know, I know...newbie error hahahaha)
jamikins is offline  

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