Puglia in September- What to Expect?

Old Jan 22nd, 2024, 08:21 AM
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Puglia in September- What to Expect?

I've been having to rethink my itinerary a bit for this year, changing travel dates as well as potentially reducing the time. Still formulating what will all work best with this, so do not yet have a clear idea of how long the total trip would be. I'm kind of thinking about my original plan to ferry from Corfu or Sarrande, Albania (yes, I am aware of the limitations here) and spend some time in Puglia before heading to Amalfi and Naples.

How is this region? Is it wall-to-wall tourists like Amalfi? Cruise ship madness like Croatia?

I'd probably be getting in at Brindisi and looking at spending at least four nights. I'd like to see Polignano a Mare and Lecce. I'd like to include Taranto as well, but cognizant that something would have to be cut. Is there a good base?

Any good guidebooks for this area people have utilized? My current is a bit sparse on this region.

Lastly, I'd likely not have a car so will be reliant on punlic transport. I'd imagine bus might have more connections than train, depending on the town. Any bus resources I should look into?

Many thanks!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2024, 08:57 AM
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September is low level tourism, even Lecce is pretty quiet. You'll find you still need to book rooms but it is not wall to wall and as you get further into September it gets easier.

Taranto, well apart from the ancient central island which is gritty to say the least, the city is not that interesting.

Trains are good and the local pullman buses are pretty good. Airport to bus stations and airports etc are good.

The Blue Guide South Italy is pretty good
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Old Jan 23rd, 2024, 03:22 AM
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Hi We usually visit Puglia, our favourite place in mainland Italy between mid-September and mid-October. By mid-September most places are quiet and pleasant. The busiest tourist destinations are Lecce, Polignano a Mare, Monopoli, Gallipoli and Alberobello for the trulli but these places are never as crowded as Amalfi coast.
For anywhere on the east coast (Lecce and Polignano a Mare/Monopoli, Bar, Brindisi, Lecce) there's an excellent train service
Taranto is not the best of Puglia, I would remove it form your list.
If you decide to base four nights in Brinidisi I would choos Lecce and Polignano a Mare/Monopoli by train, Ostuni is also easy by public transport from Brindisi. You could consider a one-day car rent to visit the Valle d'Itria so alberobello, Locorotondo, Martina Franca etc
https://slowtravelitalyspain.blogspo...berobello.html
Matera just over the border in Basilicata is unique!
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 07:18 PM
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Thank you both for your input. You have given me a lot to think about. And it looks like I am going to have to be choosy as the more I research, the more I want to see!

I will not have the ability to rent a car, even for one day, as I will be traveling solo and do not want the stress or hassle of driving and worrying about parking, ZTL, etc. This does definitely limit me, I know, but I am also realistic and know I cannot hit "everything!"

Matera is definitely intriguing but in order to make it work, I may have to do a one-night stay there on the way to Amalfi, if I can make that work. Not quite sure yet but something to research. The distance to Amalfi from the Puglian coast is a long one, so it might not be a bad idea to break up the travel a bit rather than have one long travel day.

Thanks again!
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 08:14 PM
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One thing I will add here: We were in Basilicata and Puglia last September. We were only in the north of Puglia this time, Gargano and near Minervino.
BUT: When we were in Matera we met a couple who were staying at our hotel. They had just come from Polignano and told me that that town was so crowded that they were really turned off..could not even get a spot on that gorgeous beach between the cliffs because it was so jammed. Just thought I'd mention that. The places were went were not at all crowded, like Vieste. So maybe in September you should avoid the more touristed towns if you want to avoid crowds. Go to the Gargano!! (halfway kidding here, but its an idea, although you have so little time it probably would not work)

Certainly skip Taranto..I've only been on the outskirts where there are those factories and plants. But from what I've read, the city is no great shakes. Who knows, though.,.,people used to say that about Bari!
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 10:35 PM
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There are two zones in Taranto that are interesting, travelling from the station east you come across the origins of Taranto, it starts with the navel HQ then the very entrance to the little sea (the natural harbour where the navy sometimes sits) then ancient appartment blocks, ruined roman fountains etc with a certain amount of gentrification working its way through and finally as you leave the small island you enter the posh shopping area. That is it.

Use the train to get from Taranto to Naples and you can get off at a station near Matera (catch a taxi). Take care in searching this as Matera station is not on the main line from T to N but another is.
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Old Jan 25th, 2024, 10:53 PM
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I was driving, so different circumstances, but the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto (MaRTA) is fantastic!

https://museotaranto.cultura.gov.it/en/
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 06:18 AM
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Good to learn..I take back my earlier comments.!!
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 12:03 PM
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Thanks again. I have eliminated Taranto from this plan, sorry I did not mention that in my reply. I may end up going through it depending on transit to the West but no plans to linger at this time.

Thanks for the impression on Polignano, eks. I had a feeling that might be one of the busier spots. I'd still like to keep it on the short list if I can.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 12:16 PM
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How many nights exactly do you have? I preferred Monopoli to Polignano a Mare, but if it's just an overnight or two, probably doesn't make much difference. I was there in May last year, and PaM was noticeably more crowded with tourists than Monopoli, but in any case, not nearly as mobbed as Positano, Amalfi, etc.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 12:50 PM
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I follow @eminchilli on Instagram, who does food tours in Puglia. She has some lovely photos on her IG account, particularly if you look at her Highlights and scroll way over to Monopoli, Alberobello, Altamura, Ostuni, Lecce...I get my Italy fix here when we are not travelling there. I think Monopoli would give you a more authentic experience than PaM. Our first visit there, there was hardly a tourist in sight, but alas that has changed.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 12:40 AM
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I used https://www.facebook.com/yltourdmc ylania some years ago and she knows everyone and everything in the area. Never very expensive she might well be useful to you if you want to see the real Puglia
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 08:55 PM
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Hi TN,
We were just in the AC and can say with confidence that generally, Puglia is not as crowded.
Also just be aware that Fodorites are viewed with some reservation in Puglia and sometimes get the 'evil eye/devil horns' hand gesture shown at them. That is because a certain Brit once got married in Lecce then refused to pay the presiding pastor. Something about 'speaking too quickly'.
You might also gain some insights to the area from our TR below.

I am done. the deeply madly trulli
Bella Puglia (also Basilicata and Rome)
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 10:20 PM
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TN, meant to type 'as you know...we were just in the AC' but forgot.
I am done. the correction
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by zebec
Hi TN,
We were just in the AC and can say with confidence that generally, Puglia is not as crowded.
Also just be aware that Fodorites are viewed with some reservation in Puglia and sometimes get the 'evil eye/devil horns' hand gesture shown at them. That is because a certain Brit once got married in Lecce then refused to pay the presiding pastor. Something about 'speaking too quickly'.
You might also gain some insights to the area from our TR below.

I am done. the deeply madly trulli
Bella Puglia (also Basilicata and Rome)
bilboburgler is offline  
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