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Puglia, Matera, and Surrounds in February and March

Puglia, Matera, and Surrounds in February and March

Dec 1st, 2019, 03:57 PM
  #1  
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Puglia, Matera, and Surrounds in February and March

My wife and I will be spending 4 weeks in Puglia, Matera, and surrounding areas in February and March and would love some help figuring out where to go.
We plan to travel as much as possible with public transport, trains and busses, but will rent a car when necessary. We love the outdoors, food, wine, history, and art. We particularly like finding local places where we can start to get the feel for how life is for the locals. We will probably stay in 4 or 5 towns for several days, Matera, Lecce and others.

We would love to have any and all suggestions and would be quite appreciative.
travelon98 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2019, 06:27 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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Matera and Lecce are great choices. I'm not an expert, but think Puglia is rather quiet at that time of year, so would suggest that you might want to look at some of the larger cities, perhaps Trani and / or Bari. I wish I could be more help and hope that my comment tops your thread and brings some other attention to your question.
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Dec 3rd, 2019, 06:46 AM
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The big "German" castles and the caves of Castellana as well as all museums can be visited all the year round. HIkes to the Trulli in the Alberobello area are possible too. Scenic hill cities like Cisternino, Martina Franca, Matera, etc. are never "closed", because local people live there.The province of Bari is full of almond trees which are blooming in February.
The ferrries to the Tremiti Islands will run only twice daily and only from Termoli, a nice small fortified city with it's famous trabucchi.
Taranto is a (much bigger) fortified old city too, but some parts of it are considered as rather unsafe for foreign tourists.
The 4 railway companies
Ferrovie Apulo Lucane
Ferrovie del Sud Est
Ferrovie del Gargano
Trenitalia
run all the year round.
So do SitaSud and the many smaller bus companies.
neckervd is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2019, 07:05 AM
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Matera was my favourite place, beautiful and incredibly interesting. I would suggest a walking tour to find out more about the history. I would also look at staying in Bari, it's a good base. There's a free walking tour of Bari. You can also get the train to Polignano a Mare, only 25 mins. Alberobello and Trulli city is definitely worth a visit either for a day trip or an overnight stay. Ostuni is also worth a visit. I wrote about my travels with lots of photos, hints and transport links.
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lynnstephenson1288 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2019, 03:16 PM
  #5  
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Thank you all. We will definitely be adding some larger towns as well. All of this is very useful and will help us start to make some plans.
Areas with particularly good restaurants are coveted by us, anything well prepared and enjoyed by the locals. Good plentiful wine never hurts.
Looking forwards to getting more from anyone willing to share their experiences.
travelon98 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2019, 07:04 PM
  #6  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by travelon98 View Post
Areas with particularly good restaurants are coveted by us, anything well prepared and enjoyed by the locals. Good plentiful wine never hurts.
You'll be in Puglia and Matera. No worries on those fronts!
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Dec 4th, 2019, 12:03 AM
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Unfortunately I had only a couple of hours in beautiful Trani, but I heard it has a great food scene, being one of the slow food cities(Citta Slow) of Italy.

https://gastroranking.it/ristoranti/...a-trani/trani/

Check out this great travel blog:

https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/wh...-eat-in-italy/

Last edited by BDKR; Dec 4th, 2019 at 12:06 AM.
BDKR is offline  
Dec 4th, 2019, 05:06 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by BDKR View Post
Unfortunately I had only a couple of hours in beautiful Trani, but I heard it has a great food scene, being one of the slow food cities(Citta Slow) of Italy.

https://gastroranking.it/ristoranti/...a-trani/trani/

Check out this great travel blog:

https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/wh...-eat-in-italy/
Great links! Thank you. Good info for me to add to my planning. We're going in February and first two weeks of March so will take the good with the bad which that entails.
travelon98 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2019, 05:06 AM
  #9  
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Getting excited!
travelon98 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2019, 05:16 AM
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Of the places that have not already been mentioned, consider Castel del Monte which is a beautiful and unique castle atop a desolate and windswept hill. Also, most people do not think of the Gargano Peninsula and national park when they think of Puglia but this is a very beautiful place well off the tourist track. Vieste at the tip of the peninsula is a very nice town as well.
zzlangerhans is offline  
Dec 7th, 2019, 09:14 PM
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We don't normally compare small towns for food, but for us, Matera beat Trani hands-down. We had the best meals of our Puglia-Matera-Rome trip in Matera. Its enotecas, delis and cafes were not only more atmospheric, but they offered very good food/wine at reasonable prices as well. The sole exception would be gelato--Polignano slays other nearby locations for that!
Btw, seems the new James Bond flik was shot partly in Matera.
I am done. The end.
zebec is online now  
Dec 8th, 2019, 04:06 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by zzlangerhans View Post
Of the places that have not already been mentioned, consider Castel del Monte which is a beautiful and unique castle atop a desolate and windswept hill. Also, most people do not think of the Gargano Peninsula and national park when they think of Puglia but this is a very beautiful place well off the tourist track. Vieste at the tip of the peninsula is a very nice town as well.
We plan to visit the Gargano Pennisula as we love to be outdoors and are avid hikers/walkers. Did you stay in Vieste? I believe it is a quite small town and could be fun for a couple of days, if it doesn’t close down during the winter months.
travelon98 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2019, 04:09 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by zebec View Post
We don't normally compare small towns for food, but for us, Matera beat Trani hands-down. We had the best meals of our Puglia-Matera-Rome trip in Matera. Its enotecas, delis and cafes were not only more atmospheric, but they offered very good food/wine at reasonable prices as well. The sole exception would be gelato--Polignano slays other nearby locations for that!
Btw, seems the new James Bond flik was shot partly in Matera.
I am done. The end.
Good to know as Trani has a very good food reputation. Food aside though, how did you find Trani? Worth staying a couple of days? We prefer to find bases we are happy with and if possible use public transport for day trips, or if necessary rent a car for a couple of days. We expect Matera and Trani to be two towns we will stay In several days.
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Dec 8th, 2019, 04:33 AM
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Foodic issues aside, we enjoyed Trani. The marina fish market is as authentic as it gets. Its portside walk is relaxing, night and day. Its cathedral is incontestably the most impressive in Puglia.
If interested, we did a TR here a couple years ago titled 'Bella Puglia'. It is both long and detailed. Maybe some ideas in there for your trip?
I am done. The end.
zebec is online now  
Dec 8th, 2019, 11:30 AM
  #15  
kja
 
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I only spent one night in Trani, but I had an excellent meal there! 12 years later, and my mouth still waters when I think of that calamari.
As zebec says, the cathedral is wonderful, as is its harbor.
And it's on at least one train line, so it can be a good base for the area.
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