Puglia Region

Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:00 AM
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Puglia Region

I am thinking of traveling to the Puglia region, and wondered if anyone had any tips..
Organised trips seemed to stop only a day at one place..But I don't want to hire a car and do it ourselves..( my last holiday to Croatia with my husband driving almost ended in divorce)
I truly know nothing about this region and have no idea why its in my head, but I want to go..
I have looked at a company called Arrivedercipuglia.com and they can do up an itinerary with a car /driver and a guide..This sounds nice , but I'm not sure about having people with us the whole time..
I'm looking at the spring or Autumn time.. for a week or two.
Any idea's suggestions...
Many thanks Karen..
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 05:42 AM
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Well the 'best' way to see Puglia is by hiring a car and doing it yourself. What was the problem in Croatia? We did not drive when we were in Croatia so I'm not familiar with the driving situation there, but in Puglia it was very easy. Driving, parking, signs, etc was about the easiest trip we have ever driven. I purposely booked hotels just outside of historic centers (with parking lots) so that driving and parking would be easier and they all worked out fine (meant a ten minute walk to go to/from the hotel, no big deal, easier than driving in limited traffic zones). The towns are all pretty small and between them very rural so much of the usual driving problems were not a problem (we didn't go to Bari or Brindisi). I did a trip report and I talk about where we drove, parked, stayed. (http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ast-puglia.cfm ). We had gps on the phone but didn't use it much. Only time we got at all lost wasn't even in Puglia, but at the start of the driving trip, back near Salerno.

Having said all that, I know at least one person posted a detailed trip report about doing Puglia by public transportation. The problem with that is that it takes a lot longer than driving. Buses, etc are just not that frequent or convenient for a tourist.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 06:43 AM
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I agree that driving is the way to go and that the roads in Puglia are not crowded and not a problem to navigate.

You might want to take a look at the various trip reports on this board that describe their time in Puglia. As mentnioned above there were one or 2 done by posters who did use public transportation. Our TR is here
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...a-short-tr.cfm
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 07:02 AM
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Have a look at this post with a link to information about Puglia.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...a-444036-2.cfm
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 10:42 AM
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There are a number of places one can see in Puglia by bus or by train and if that's your preference and you plan accordingly, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to enjoy time on your own without car and / or driver.

FWIW, I spent only a few days in Puglia, but was without a car: I took a train from Matera to Bari and then immediately to Trani; train to Alberobello and on to Lecce; train to Polgnano a Mare; train to Bari for a flight out.

Hope that helps!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 09:56 PM
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Thanks for your feedback..
Isabel, there's nothing wrong about Croatia.. It was the driver.. two wheels on the road and two on the guttering as he couldn't get used to driving on the other side of the road..roundabouts entered the wrong way, bumping things, flat tyre etc..OMG
We took the car back early..
I shall do some research in the info that you have all supplied..
Thanks again..
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 12:51 PM
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Ah, you must drive on the left side of the road which does complicate the driving in Italy.
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 01:39 PM
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karen 214, We do NOT rent cars in Europe. We did twice in France a decade or more ago, and my husband put his foot down: Never, never, never.

SO...
When we did Puglia, we were joining a bike group for the middle few days. Before and after the trip, though, we did all travel by public transport.

We are not alone.

On this thread by poster dai:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...a-any-tips.cfm

there are comments by another poster, tdk320n. Scroll down until you get to that poster's name and you will end up with a wealth of information.

We loved our weather in autumn in Puglia. It was quite dry. Hot days; cool nights. We toured it at the tail end of their summer season, so traffic was down but places were still open.

Good luck with your planning,
AZ
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 02:41 PM
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I can certainly see having trouble driving on the opposite side of the road. I had never rented a car in Europe until visiting Puglia, so the arguments for it were convincing to me, but it definitely can be done without--depending on your travel style and amount of time (to me, much more than a week would make that a better option). There is a current thread on trip advisor in which someone recounts their trip to Puglia using trains only. I strongly recommend also using buses, which can be just as good--that poster just has an aversion to them.
So, track down the train and bus schedules and plan to spend a lot of time cross-referencing them with your ideal places to visit, it just takes some careful planning and being able to go with the flow (or lack thereof).
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 03:17 PM
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You don't drive on the left side of the road in Italy!
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 03:58 PM
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Exactly, TVIVA, that's why if you come from a country that does drive on the left side of the road, it makes it more difficult to drive in Italy which drives on the right side of the road.
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Old Aug 26th, 2015, 04:34 AM
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We loved Puglia. We spent 10 days there in 2009, and we did have a car.

Here is my web page about that trip. Perhaps it will help you in your planning:

http://www.travel.stv77.com/puglia/puglia.htm
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Old Aug 26th, 2015, 06:22 AM
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We've a bunch of times and find that a car is ok but the public transport and the use of bikes makes for a great time.

Buses radiate from both Brindisi and Bari airport that get you to the main places, while trains join up many of the larger towns. Bikes can be hired and taken on trains.

To give you a start. http://ferrovieappulolucane.it/en/the-company/about-us/ is a narrow gauge railway based in the area, lots of fun riding through the countryside.

and an airport bus http://pugliairbus.aeroportidipuglia.it/default.aspx

My BIL travelled all the way to Lecce from the UK by train to meet us and loved the process.

you may also find Rome2Rio site useful

You may get a local guide from Ylenia at http://www.yltourpr.com/ a really helpful person with great ideas.
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