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Puglia (mostly) Itinerary Sketch and Thanks

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Mar 25th, 2012, 09:46 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Puglia (mostly) Itinerary Sketch and Thanks

Thanks to all those who have posted. I have lurked and pestered and admired all of you who help the rest of us. Hope to return favor with a report on our return. any thoughts on the itinerary are welcome!

so how it's stacking up...

3 nights London layover.
have tix to see 'matilda' and am hoping for something more serious as well. will do the usual museums and a bike tour if it's sunny.

4 nights Rome - Town House Spagna
have been a couple of times before and seen major sights. timing is problematic because we arrive late saturday....sunday much is closed....and tuesday is may 1 labor day with most everything closed.(?? from what i hear.) did find out that the free walking tours are running on may 1... and we are signed up to take Andrea Consoli's cooking class. looking for some evening cultural activities like opera or dance but haven't found anything yet.

train to Lecce -
3 nights Lecce at B&B Centro Storico
first day will not have a car-- will just relax wander.
2nd day will rent a car and explore nearby towns. so many restaurants to try (special thanks for all the posts on that!)

3 nights in Santa Cesare Terme
or
a masseria farther south.
torn on this one-- know we want to soak at the terme-- would like to stay by the water's edge-- but also would like to take this time to stay at a southern masseria.

3 nights Ceglie Messapica at an airbnb - Trullo a Casedd
so many restaurants and places to visit when in this area! can't wait.
will take a cooking class at Masseria il Frantoio, which will be much of the afternoon and all evening.

2 nights Matera. - airbnb - Appartamento nei Sassi
Hope to visit the thermal pool at Locanda di San Martino. Will have a tour with recommended guide Nadia G.

drive to the Gargano Peninsula and stop for lunch (have reservation-- thanks for advice to call, rather than email) at Masseria Barbera.

4 nights in Peschici - undecided on hotel but want to stay on the water. Will meet a birding guide and spend one of the days birding in the forest. Hope to take a boat along the coast and perhaps out to an island.

Drive to Termoli and take the train to Bologna.

3 nights Bologna - airbnb converted convent private residence in center -- this is the one place we will be just rooming in someone's home. will visit my hubbie's teacher from his Koine Italian class last summer as well as the family he stayed with for that week. maybe some birding in the hills around for him. shopping/eating for me!
train

2 nights Padova - just enough time to wander and hit 2 of the nearby thermal spas. (if you get a 'padova' card, they are free-- and one even includes a 1/2 hour massage!! d.h. did this last summer and loved it.)
train

2 nights Milan --unsure of the hotel in the center near duomo. (waiting/hoping for rates to fall...) just a quick stop to wander and shop before we fly home.

any input welcome. we are still flexible on much of this. can't wait-- and will post upon return. thanks again for all the info from all of you!
kawh
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Mar 26th, 2012, 03:48 AM
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Join Date: May 2005
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I've not much to add except to say that I, too, wish I was coming with you.

The lodging near Santa Cesarea Terme is a puzzle to me, too. I never did find anything (in online search) in that area that called my name, so to speak, and I will be very interested in your final choice.

The plan sounds wonderful as you are giving yourself plenty of time in the various "bases."

Il Fornello in Ceglie is another restaurant that you might want to book ahead of departure.

Be sure to check the hours at the thermal pool in the Matera Hotel San Martino.

Be sure to have explicit directions for reaching your hotel in Matera. Remember that there are several entrances to the town of Matera and you need the one marked "sassi." (I came from the Altamura/Bari road and had to bypass several road exits for Matera before finding the sassi exit; the sign is on the small side) You will be coming from the Martina road, though.

Once you take that turn, and enter the town itself, you may find guides on motorcycles waiting to escort confused tourists into the depths of the sassi districts. If you choose, you can follow them to your hotel and give them a couple of euro.
But if you have those specific directions, you can look for a sign for your hotel, or use a GPS or detailed map, and proceed on your own along the sharp descent. Ask the hotel about parking; there may be a charge.
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Mar 26th, 2012, 05:53 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Seems there are a bunch of us going to Puglia this year! We are going in late June, please be sure to write a report when you return! (when are you going?)
jamikins is online now  
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Mar 29th, 2012, 02:16 PM
  #4
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ek-- thanks for the input. i followed your advice and contacted il fornello but, sadly, they are closed the first 2 evenings we will be there-- and doing a catering event on our last available night there!

also took your advice on directions to our place in matera. i was rereading them and noticed that the first direction was to 'follow the sign to matera' which you advise is more complicated than it sounds. the owner of the aparement/sassi did a really great map and explanation for us, and i don't want to curse us by saying 'we can't miss it' but am glad to have the additional information!

jamikins-- yes-- i will try to be timely in our report back here on fodor's . hope to have a good find or two to share.
for us-- this will be mostly about relaxing and good food. can't wait.
kawh
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