Puglia Trip - June 2016


Mar 29th, 2016, 06:00 AM
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Puglia Trip - June 2016

I am arranging an 11 night trip to Puglia and would be grateful for some advice. The flights are booked and accommodation is provisionally booked for the beginning and end of the trip but I am after some advice for the mid section.

I have looked at nearly every forum post on Puglia for ideas and places to visit.

We are visiting in mid June and staying for 5 nights just outside of Ostuni, we then have 2 days which are unaccounted for, and then 4 nights in the southern tip, San Cassiano.

In those two days, we could stay in Matera but it is the opposite way of the southern section or we could stay in Lecce and then not have to drive there from San Cassiano and spend our time visiting the southern towns.

What to people advise?

Thanks for any help!

JoeGd is offline  
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Mar 29th, 2016, 06:02 AM
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Matera is not all that far and though I have not yet been I hear frequently that being inmatera at night is wonderful.
jubilada is online now  
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Mar 29th, 2016, 05:55 PM
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Lecce is, IMO, well worth seeing. I admit that I am not a fan of the Baroque, and so I was surprised at how delightful I found that city, with it's incredibly playful and humorous buildings, all in a gorgeous shade of light tan stone that is wonderfully warm in the daylight and glorious by moonlight. And it isn't just Baroque -- there are some Greek and Roman ruins, etc.

Matera is, IMO, quite amazing and also well worth seeing ... but you can't see everything on this one trip. If I'm understanding your plan correctly, Lecce is convenient for this trip. Can you envision another trip when Lecce would fit so nicely into your itinerary? In contrast, you can visit Matera on a trip that includes other parts of Italy. Just something to consider!

No bad choices, just difficult ones....
kja is offline  
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Mar 29th, 2016, 07:04 PM
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Without a doubt do not miss is so unique...and you should stay in the sassi in a cave hotel. If you are this close just do it. For me Lecce was more just another city..some charm but nothing even close to Matera.
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Mar 29th, 2016, 07:54 PM
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As already noted, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Matera. I also wholeheartedly recommend visiting it. That said, I’ll take a bit of a contrarian stance in saying that I do not consider it unique. There are many cave churches, homes, and hotels in Cappadocia. And there are cave homes in northern China, for example, in and around Pingyao. In contrast, the only place I know of that even begins to approximate the frothy exuberance of Barocco Leccese is in Noto, and I'm not sure that's really a fair comparison. JMO.

Again, though, you won't go wrong with either choice.
kja is offline  
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Mar 30th, 2016, 01:29 AM
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They are really very very different places, and I much prefer Matera in Basilicata to Lecce in Puglia.

If having easy travel logistics is important to the enjoyment of your trip overall, that's a valid choice. It is not particularly fun to spend long hours driving in Puglia.
sandralist is offline  
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Mar 30th, 2016, 02:00 AM
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Cave dwelling all over Europe.

Lecce's stone is a really good example of soft when cut from the ground but air hardening which allows for some very fine details (which are now hard to repair for the obvious reason).

In fact if you like holes in the ground you might like Gravina where they built their churches into the side of a gorge to hide from the Scarecen pirates. Much of the painting is still there and you can get tours from TI.

I'd choose Lecce, mainly because of the itin logistics. I think Basilicata is lovely but it needs at least a week on its own. I got married in Lecce which makes me favour it, but the golden buildings, the various squares and the Roman bits are pretty good.

Like a lot of the south you will find that everything closes up from 12ish to 4ish so plan accordingly. The other issue you will get in Puglia is an odd mix of customer service. In some ways you will find locals will almost do too much for you as they are very friendly, however they are a bit disorganised and the number of times restaurant orders get confused or the dishes are badly prepared can amaze, the best thing is to switch off your northern European/American mind set for the period of the stay and roll with the punches good or bad. I've watched Germans (who can suffer from not being able to switch off) get very upset in a lovely setting with good company and great weather. Relax, you are on holiday.

I dragged my sister down to Puglia once and left her on her own for a night with some friends none of whom spoke any italian. They all still talk about that night as the restaurant they chose took them in, chose all the dishes for them, fed them wine and sent them singing into the night. You'll have a blast.

The one place I've never been let down in is the mother is a great cook and the disabled daughter not only speaks excellent English but is a great organiser. We walked in one time with 18 people, she didn't bat an eyelid.
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