Puglia and Matera

Old Jul 29th, 2015, 05:14 AM
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Puglia and Matera

My husband and I just booked our flights for next year and now to where to stay. We are in and out of Brindisi and are thinking 3 nights in Lecce with day trips including coast and 2 or 3 nights in Matera, followed by 3 or 4 nights at a place not far from Ostuni. Question is do we need 2 or 3 nights in Matera or are we better off adding the 4th night to the area near Ostuni at Masseria Cervarolo, which sounds amazing. I'm inclined to do the 4 nights at the end so we can really explore and relax but any feedback on Matea is most welcome. We will have a car. Thank you!
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 05:32 AM
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We are better off adding the 4th night to the area near Ostuni at Masseria Cervarolo, tick
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 05:46 AM
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We stayed at Masseria Cervarolo last October and I can vouch for it being fantastic. I would add a 4th night there. We did Matera as a day trip from there but I'd say two nights in Matera would be good.

I can highly recommend Five Rooms B&B in Lecce as well.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 05:48 AM
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This May we did 3 nights in Matera after 3 in Lecce and 4 based at Masseria Torre Maizza near Fasano. So our trip was somewhat like yours.
I think 2 nights in Matera might be enough, particularly if you get there reasonably early on day 1. I suppose it depends on how many sites in Matera you want to see. In retrospect I would have done another day in Lecce, which we loved, and which is a good base for visiting coastal towns (and places like Galatina for the frescoes). There is a great selection of restaurants in Lecce as well - better than Matera I would say.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 06:03 AM
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I would recommend 2 nights for Matera but mainly so that you are sure to have time to incude the Crypt of the Original Sin. It is one of the more memorable sights of the entire region, about 15 kms out of town. You will need to follow a guide to get there, but they make it easy. You can look up the website online.

Just to show how different people are, I thought the food and wine of Matera/Basilicata far outshone anything I ate in Puglia, in particular for wine and with the exception of high quality fish on the coast (and not all is high quality). I couldn't wait to get out of Lecce -- but sometimes I just have strong reactions to places! Some people probaby can't want to get out of Matera.

Still, I stick by recommendation for at least 2 nights in Matera if you are interested in history/urban civilisation/Italy.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 06:43 AM
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Wines;

Puglia offers some great wines at silly prices and even tatty little restaurants will have large wine lists. Negroamaro is special here and one or too areas are off the scale in terms of small DOC of very high quality. Manduria, Giocia (various DOC) stand out, Salice Salentino can be cheap and cheerful but hold out for the expensive stuff. I have a soft spot for Squinzano (and 4 days of solid drinking), and while not complex is a good region for very fairly priced wines.

Basilicata has Aglianico del Vulture (remember to swallow the "gl") which, though available from elsewhere is a star in Basilicata.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 07:06 AM
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We enjoyed the wines in Puglia; Masseria Cervarolo offered a wine tasting night which was really informative. Mikster, if you get a chance to do it I recommend it, it was free and a lot of fun.

We ate very well in Puglia and were only in Matera for lunch but it was delicious also.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 10:20 AM
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We were in Matera for 3 nights and ate remarkably well. I remember each meal, somewhat in detail. Some of the best food I've ever had.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 04:54 PM
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"do we need 2 or 3 nights in Matera"

For my needs, 2 nights worked well -- I spent 1.5 days in Matera and saw what I wanted to see in that time. YMMV.


Another Lecce-lover here -- absolutely delightful IMO!

I ate (and drank) extremely well in Matera and in Puglia.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 05:37 PM
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We tend to travel slowly and we enjoyed our 3 nights in Matera. Food and wine was reasonably priced and fabulous in both Matera and Puglia.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 05:37 PM
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Forgot...while we didn't stay in Lecce we visited it twice and thought it a very nice town. It was the only place we went on that trip that was fairly crowded.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 10:41 PM
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I agree with the chorus, two nights in Matera should work well. As I remember it we ate very well in Matera too and overall very much enjoyed the stop.

I agree with Sandralist the Crypt of the Original Sin is a fantastic site and well worth arranging the visit. It seems to be overlooked by a lot of people. The murals are quite extraordinary. I'm not sure my photos does it justice but in case you're interested I covered it on my blog. There's a link to a 360 degree view and where to book the tickets.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2012/...in-matera.html

Here's a link to food in Puglia
http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2012/....html?q=puglia

And finally a link to the page on Matera with the contact details of the guide we used (and liked) who was recommended by other Fodorites...
http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2012/....html?q=puglia

Have a great time!
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 01:50 AM
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Sorry to hijack....
out of interest, why does Bari not get recommended? I recently watched a travel show and it looked interesting, so checked out the forums on it and it seems to be a gateway, not a destination, yet photos online left me with the impression of a vibrant port town with a well preserved historic core. Just curious.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 02:00 AM
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Just so many more alternatives with historic cores, certainly once you get up on the Murge almost every town has a lovely historic core. Even somewhere like Gravina, that despite the amazing buildings down in the gorge is almost unvisited also has an ancient core with cracked church, stone alleyways etc.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 02:29 AM
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Thanks for that. An interesting part of Italy.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 04:44 AM
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We also used Nadia as a guide in Matera and she was excellent.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 06:39 AM
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It just depends on what you want to do and see in Matera. Is just a peek at the sassi enough for you, or do you have an interest is seeing the cave churches in the park, etc.? I spent two nights in Matera and could have spent a week, but I also felt my three nights in Lecce could have been extended (forever even) with absolutely no regrets.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 08:27 AM
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All great info...thank you so much...we have pretty much decided on 3 nights Lecce, 2 nights Matera and 4 nights at Masseria Cervarolo near Ostuni, assuming we can get our reservations. Thanks again.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 02:56 PM
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Adelaidean - we passed through Bari a few years ago and put it on our list as somewhere to stay next time round. I really liked it. It's a larger town and my impression was that while it attracted a number of groups to the cathedral there are far fewer people who say overnight. It had a very real, lived in feel and it is definitely somewhere I'd like to go back to.
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Old Jul 31st, 2015, 02:15 AM
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Oh good, you'll get there before me, no doubt so you can tell me more about it then.
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