Puglia/Matera area

Old Jan 11th, 2020, 02:25 PM
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Puglia/Matera area

We are planning a trip to southern Italy this April. Where should we stay in the Puglia/Matera area if we are there 5-7 days. I would ideally like to stay in 2 different cities - one if possible. We will have a car.
Thank you for your thoughts.
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Old Jan 11th, 2020, 06:30 PM
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I would definitely stay in Matera for one if your two cities. Once I visited Matera as a day trip from Conversano where our agriturismo was and it was a very long day. It is a unique experience to stay in Matera in one of the cave hotels (I think we stayed in Locanda San Martino) on a different trip.
Its hard to have a central base in Puglia because it covers a wide area. Maybe figure out what you are interested in seeing most. North half: Castel Del monte, Trani, polignano or Monopoli, Bari, alberobello, ostuni or southern: Lecce, Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca.
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Old Jan 11th, 2020, 08:10 PM
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I agree that Matera is worth seeing and that you should stay there if you want to see it. I also stayed at the Locanda San Martino and highly recommend it.

If you are considering just one other place to stay, I agree with palatino82 that it really depends on what you most want to see. That said, you might want to look at Lecce in particular.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 07:23 AM
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I loved Lecce,. I used public transportation and a guide with a car to visit other towns. I agree Matera is a must. If you have more time and want to see a town not visited by too many tourists , I suggest Altamura. I stayed 3 days and absolutely loved it. Supposedly the best bread in Italy is made here and I visited a very ancient bakery with the original oven still in use. The bread is fabulous. The people in the town are wonderful and it is one of my best memories of Italy.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 08:34 AM
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Thank you your reply is very helpful.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 08:42 AM
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Another vote for a night (or two) in Matera.We stayed at Antico Convicino Rooms & Suites.
My favourite city in Puglia was Lecce, but my preference is colored by the weather. We had awful weather most of the time, except in Lecce (18 days in Sept. 2016).
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 09:47 AM
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I'd try and stay in a Masseria (fortified farm) in the country and an old Palazzo B&B in Lecce. There are a fair few, in the old town of Lecce, of these things and you get to meet the owners, get their advice and live a sort of Leccesian lifestyle for a few days.

Culturally Puglia is seen as one of the most laid-back areas of Italy and the rest of Puglia look up to the people of Lecce as the go-ahead types. Probably best to switch off any Northern Europe/North America protestant work ethic cultural norms while visiting the area as you will enjoy it more.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 09:22 AM
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I can't wait to return to Puglia- After a quick overnight in my ancestral town of Giovinazzo, we drove to Ostuni and based there for five nights at La Sommita. https://www.lasommita.it/en/index.ht...xoCTVgQAvD_BwE From there we did day trips to Monopoli, Locorotondo, Polignano a Mare, and Alberobello. Had a driver take us to Masseria Il Frantoio https://www.masseriailfrantoio.it/en/ one evening for their special dinner and enjoyed that very much. We also hired a driver one day and took in Lecce and Gallipoli, then back to Ostuni for the night. Ran out of time before seeing Martina Franca, Cisternino and Altamura from our base in Ostuni, so plan to return soon. We left Ostuni for two nights in amazing Matera- it's a must-see. I wish we had stayed there three nights, but we had two lovely nights at Sextantio in La Grotte Civita https://www.sextantio.it/en/legrottedellacivita/matera/ before moving on to our next ancestral town in Basilicata. Celebrating a special occasion, we were upgraded to beautiful suites at both stays. The new Bond movie was filmed in Matera and you can see some spectacular views in trailers for the movie.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2021, 02:57 AM
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Ciao a tutti! I enjoyed reading all your comments. Due to the Covid cancellation, I'm able to re-think my itinerary of the Puglia/Basilicata area. When I was planning the original trip in 2019, someone said stopping for lunch in Matera en route Salerno to Polignare a Mare would not do it justice and suggested staying overnight (at least). I can't find that post now to ask that person. Anyway, I have read that the best vantage point to appreciate the cityscape is from the Parco della Murgia and a guided tour is recommended. How important is it to incorporate this into an overnight stay in Matera. I assume we would arrive in the early afternoon and have to leave by early afternoon the next day. The tours are about 2.5 hours so early the next morning after we arrive might work. Grazie!
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Old Sep 11th, 2021, 03:09 PM
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bookmarking. We are planning a trip to this area next fall.
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Old Sep 28th, 2021, 10:34 PM
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Hi all. I haven't received any replies to my post about Parco della Murgia while visiting Matera. Put simply, as we will have a car, is it feasible to stop on the way to, or out of Matera, if you are staying only one night in Matera itself?

From what I've read, it is a very difficult hike and trainers won't do the job, hiking boots recommended. There is an outstanding view back to Matera, which I don't want to miss. TIA
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Old Sep 29th, 2021, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Redlandsneen View Post
Hi all. I haven't received any replies to my post about Parco della Murgia while visiting Matera. Put simply, as we will have a car, is it feasible to stop on the way to, or out of Matera, if you are staying only one night in Matera itself?
From what I've read, it is a very difficult hike and trainers won't do the job, hiking boots recommended. There is an outstanding view back to Matera, which I don't want to miss. TIA
Are you talking about hiking to the park from Matera? That is possible, and trainers would be fine, but sometimes the pedestrian bridge over the stream gets washed out, and regardless it is unnecessary, as you can simply drive to the park (it's about a 15-20 minute drive if memory serves). The caves in the park are inaccessible without a guide, but you can peek through the bars. The paintings in the cave churches in the sassi are much more impressive, so if you are going to only do one tour, do one in town. We used Matera Tour Guides and the tour was excellent. Matera Tour Guideguide turistiche materaAbout - Matera Tour Guide
I highly recommend the park headquarters for lunch--really! They show films of the sassi and sell books and foods from the area.
Parco della Murgia Materana

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Old Sep 30th, 2021, 04:43 AM
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Oh thank you! No I don't want to hike to the park. I'd prefer to take a tour of the city so will check out your recommendation. I just wondered if another tour of the park was necessary or whether we could just drive around to the great vantage point for the view. One tour I noticed takes you there in time for sunset but since we will only be there one night, where is it better to be for sunset - in the park or in the sassi?
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Old Sep 30th, 2021, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Redlandsneen View Post
Oh thank you! No I don't want to hike to the park. I'd prefer to take a tour of the city so will check out your recommendation. I just wondered if another tour of the park was necessary or whether we could just drive around to the great vantage point for the view. One tour I noticed takes you there in time for sunset but since we will only be there one night, where is it better to be for sunset - in the park or in the sassi?
I'm not sure which location would be better, either would be good I think. There are overlooks in the sassi where you can enjoy the views. We were usually at our hotel for the sunset--it has a marvelous view of the gorge and sassi: https://www.torrettasassi.it/
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