Puglia Question

Old Jun 25th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Puglia Question

In reading reviews of some of the hotels and b and b's I'veseem been interested in visiting in Puglia on Tripadvisor I've noticed mentioned, more than once, the area spoken of as "grim".
I know this is one of the poorer regions of the country.
Is there any other reason for this comment?
welch is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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I would not agree. There are of course some areas which are suffering but the Puglia is not considered as poor as Basilicata, Calabria, Molise and some parts of Campania.

It is a region with a rich history and some wonderful towns. I am particularly enamoured by the Salento i.e from Lecce down to the very tip of the heel of Italy's boot.

The towns and cities are not as sophisticated as those of the north of Italy but the people have a warmth and positive attitude to life which is not always understood by a passing tourist.

Perhaps the comments relate to a poor choice of hotels but I have stayed in some masserie (fortified farms) which have been an absolute delight. What's more the fruit, vegetables and fish are second to none. Oh and before I forget I have never tasted morzarrella and buratta as I have there.
nochblad is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Thank you for replying so quickly!
Lecce is a town we're very interested in, as is Matera (naturally). It's been discouraging to read these comments so I'm glad to hear they are generally unfounded.
Any other information about the area is greatly appreciated!
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 01:17 PM
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Oh my goodness!!! You have received terrible information!!!!
Puglia is wonderful! We have been there twice; the first time was a quick survey trip and we could not wait to return. Ótranto is a wonderful base for the tip of the heel; we drove to the point, around to Gallípoli and back for a nice day trip. Once we just drove to Santa Maria di Léuca and back for a day trip. All the villages between are delightful and the drive is gorgeous along the water. One can take the train into Lecce from Ótranto and avoid the traffic mess. Easy walk to the center. Food is fabulous--pizza in Ótranto at Pizzeria Idrusa is the best, but plan to share one pizza with someone as they are huge! It is easy to see the first timers there as their eyes pop out when their pizza is delivered. We rented an apartment on our second visit - easy in and out, parking and we could walk all over the town center easily. www.http: www.ownersdirect.co.uk/italy/IT1584.htm
Alberobello is a wonder to see and one must stay in a trullo. We have rented from the same person there both times and I would recommend them--www.trullisanleonardo.it--
Then there is Matera--Been there 3 times and you MUST go. It is so unique and special. Good place to stay, again, easy in easy out, parking, and one can walk to the Sassi--www.hotelridolamatera.it Also, in the main piazza, go the the Casa di Pane for cornetti (crossaints) they are absolutely the best in the entire world!
There are so many beautiful cities along the Adriatic between Bari and Bríndisi; especially Polignano a Mare and Monópoli. Then there are the small cities around Alberobello, Locorotondo and Martina Franca for instance.....
I hope I have said enough to convince you. We have been to Italy 12 times, but had skipped Puglia thinking it would be not very interesting. Then a person who has been to Puglia often, told us we must go....he was so right! Oh, their bread is the best in all of Italy, although you will get arguments about that from the other regions!! Good luck.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 01:52 PM
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I forgot to mention....if you go to Matera (it is in Basilicata) take a drive into the Dolimiti of the South mountains to the 2 villages, Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano. Both are very special little places with incredible views. They can be a day trip from Matera, or for a rare experience, spend the night in one of the few hotels. Another good small town is Irsina. Check the website www.aptbasilicata.it for a ton of information on Basilicata.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Very much not Grim, however historically it suffered under the Normans 1100AD and forward by limited expenditure. Still suffering under various yokes but very much a great place to holiday (its where Italians go) with lots of Roman sites, great food, wine and scenery.

There are far worse places to visit in italy
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jun 25th, 2010, 05:00 PM
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Now I'm curious about the "far worse places"!
All subjective I realize, but it could lead to a rather interesting few days...
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Old Jun 26th, 2010, 01:16 AM
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Agree that it's not grim at all! A fascinating area, great food, friendly people, lovely beaches and unique towns - what more could you ask for?
hanl is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2010, 02:07 AM
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It is often forgotten but Puglia was once an extremely important region of the Roman Empire. It is of course the part of Italy closest to Greece and you cannot overstate this link. All great cultures have learnt from and appropriated the best ideas and traditions from prior cultures.

The famous Via Appia which sets off south from Rome crosses the Appenines and reaches its conclusion at Brindisi - then the principal port for Greece. Otranto was another important port.

However, the ports were not used exclusively for commerce. The Roman Empire brought in books, scrolls etc from Greece and beyond and around the principal ports there were many places (which subsequently became monasteries) where these works were translated into Latin.

The Greek connection remains especially around Lecce and Otranto as many small villages have Greek names and the local dialect has a strong Greek influence.
nochblad is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2010, 04:04 AM
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worse places, well the beatles had a song which ended "i'll show you places that will make you change your mind"

some back streets can be depressing, Ira never lets me be rude about Naples but honestly there are some tenemants.
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Old Jun 26th, 2010, 04:55 AM
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Mati: Would you be kind enough to share your other recommendations for eating places in or near Otranto? We will stay there for two nights in September before moving on to Lecce and then to a masseria further north, near Fasano. (Not planning to visit Matera on this trip)

I have already booked a dinner here on the basis of a few online comments; let me know your thoughts please:

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Old Jun 26th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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The menu at Gattamora looks wonderful; but we have not eaten there but found Uggiano la Chiesa an interesting little place. We did not find any really wonderful places to eat in Ótranto, except for the Idrusa. However, if you go to Gallípoli, we would recommend Scoglio delle Sirene (www.scogliodellesirene.com) for a good meal with locals. When you are in Lecce, we recommend Vineria Joyce near Chiesa Santa Croce. Excellent and another locals place. Since you will be in Fasano and will probably go to Alberobello, the best place to eat there is La Cantina, but you should make reservations as it is very small; you have full view of the kitchen and the food is outstanding! Photos here: (http://www.ilristorantelacantina.it/ilvideo.asp) Also Locorotondo has a very good place called Ai Tre Santi (http://valleditria.valliditalia.it/aitresanti.asp).
Good luck!
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