Puglia next May without car?

Old Jul 5th, 2024, 08:58 AM
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Puglia next May without car?

Bought a business class fare for May 1-21 round trip to Linate. I will fly from there to Bari i I think. Would prefer to train/bus it but if it makes the most sense we can rent a car. We need an automatic which is $$ and I also dont like driving at night and have been lucky enough to avoid speeding tickets and ZTL violations this far so don't want to push my luck.

Seems I can visit Bari, Lecce, Gallipoli, Otranto, Brindis,i Ostuni, Alberobello, Matera, Monopoli and Polignano by train. Longest train ride is from Bari to Lecce at under 2 hours.

What would I be missing with train travel only?

Does this make sense and is it accurate? Do trains run on Sundays? I believe that is an issue in Sicily.
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Old Jul 5th, 2024, 10:19 AM
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Bari, Lecce, Brindisi, Monopoli and Polignano are all on the main train line - Trenitalia. There are fewer services on Sundays but trains still run.
Ostuni is on the main line too, except you need to take a bus up from the station (times coincide and buy the bus ticket included when you get the train ticket)
If you have time, I'd add Trani:
https://slowtravelitalyspain.blogspo...ove-trani.html
Travelling between all these places is as fast if not faster and more convenient than by car.


Alberobello by train from bari or there's a bus but if you have a car you could explore other places in Valle d'Itria like Cisternino, Locorotondo, Martina Franca, possible also by public transport but much more complicated

Better to base in Lecce to visit Gallipoli (train) and Otranto (bus), but once again a car would save you a lot of time
Same for Matera really, doable by train (change at Altamura) but a great drive through the countryside by car

I'd base along the main train line in a couple of different places and then rent a car just to 'fill in the gaps', get out and see the countryside and be independent. The days are long in May, so no need to be driving in the dark if you go back to your 'base' for dinner. ZTL in smaller towns is just the historical centre which you are unlikely to want to access by car


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Old Jul 5th, 2024, 11:16 AM
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I like tina's idea of having a car for part of your trip (the interior), but in addition to train/bus, take a look at studenttobe's report from 2023. She booked private drivers occasionally to maximize her (short) time in the region:

Trip Report-Puglia and Matera (8 nights)-last minute trip-mid to late March 2023
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Old Jul 5th, 2024, 01:47 PM
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most helpful. thanks!
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Old Jul 5th, 2024, 01:55 PM
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great information. thanks so much. the only complication for a car rental is that we need an automatic which can be tough to find in smaller markets. a private driver sounds like a great idea. thakns
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Old Jul 7th, 2024, 07:33 PM
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I am doing Southern Italy in November. S, F, 70+, only public transportation, and use booking.com for almost 100% apartment rental. Other cities besides the ones you mentioned I am going to are Monopoli, Maratea, Tropea, Amalfi and Napl.es Put me down as being a little OCD about travel, so a year before my trip in the same time as I Intend to travel I "book" my transpo options figuring that the bus/train schedule will more than likely remain the same. This way I know I can get to and from a place and know the schedule. I make sure there are schedules that work even if I take a bus to and a train from wherever. I travel to europe in April and November so off season so I feel I have to be very specific in my transpo arrangements at least knowing the before and after my preferred exact bus or train.

Sitasud is the bus company in the south. Places I intend to visit when I do are scheduled to work out very well. Right now since you are going in May that would more than likely be the schedule now operating.
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Old Jul 8th, 2024, 03:05 AM
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We’re headed to Puglia next week (for the first time) and are visiting Polignano, Santa Maria di Leuca and Lecce before heading to Matera and points west. After a lot of consideration, I decided to rent a car for 3 days. We’ll take the train from Polignano to Lecce and then drive to Leuca. It shaved some time off the travel between our destinations and also gives us the opportunity to explore a bit more in an area that doesn’t seem incredibly connected via public transit. I’ll likely post a trip report when we’re back last month and will address the transportation aspect then.
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Old Jul 8th, 2024, 05:31 AM
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Been to Puglia twice. First time, no car was perfect. Second time (getting married) we had one for 24 hours. Waste of time energy etc. Italian drivers are brilliant, taxi work in Italy is not recent émigrée work but sensible professional middle class work.

The trains and long distance buses are very good.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 08:07 AM
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Plambers, I had no issue in Puglia last spring w/o a car. I contacted each lodging spot that I was booked in and they arranged a driver for each of my transfers. It was easy and very comfortable. Since it was a relatively short trip, I just didn’t feel like having to take bus or train schedules into account in planning my transfer days (and then getting from the train/bus station to my lodging). I also hired a guide (who, in turn, had a driver) to take me on two long day trips to see a number of towns and particular sites that I couldn’t easily see on my own w/o a car. It was a different experience for me, and I really liked the ease of it all.
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Old Jul 11th, 2024, 04:53 AM
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Following, for my own trip.
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Old Jul 11th, 2024, 07:22 AM
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i read your trip report and it was really helpful so thanks. I don't want to rent a car so think we can do this, especially since we won't be going to beaches to swim.
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