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Nov 8th, 2012, 09:07 PM
  #1
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Question about 4 nights in Puglia area

We have 4 or 5 nights before we meet friends on Ligurian coast and I would love to fly into Rome and go to Puglia area. Ever since I read one of Ekscrunchy TR on visiting Matera I have really wanted to visit. We are also interested in towns of Locorotondo and Ostuni and surrounding region. My question is if we should move hotels after two nights or would it be possible to stay in one location and drive to both areas. Also anyone ever stayed in La Sommita Relais in Ostuni? Thanks!
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Nov 8th, 2012, 10:52 PM
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We stayed in one area and drove to both. The drive to matera was about two hours each way but worth it! We also loved lecce and martina Franca!
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Nov 9th, 2012, 12:07 AM
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Macdog, will you have a car?
It took us about 5 hours to drive from Locorotondo area to Rome, or in reverse, in your case.
You could stay 3 nights, explore the area, then drive to Matera, stay overnight, and continue on to the Ligurian coast.
Four nights gives you enough time to explore the surrounding area, and maybe a day trip to Lecce, but you will be driving a lot.
We just spent 4 nights in Puglia, and one in Matera, on our way to Amalfi, and it did feel quite rushed. We really loved Lecce,and also stayed in Polignano a Mare.
We stayed in Martina Franca on our first visit, and found it to be a nice town, and central to the area you want to visit.
Haha, not 'in reverse', should have said or THE reverse, in your case.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 03:32 AM
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You can do these places on a daytrip, but I would advise at least one overnight in Matera. You can do this en route or on the return.

I visited, but did not stay at, La Sommita. The style is stark minimalist, but more important, staying there means that you have to negotiate in and out of the winding, narrow streets of Ostuni's hilltop historic center for your daytrips. If you are confident behind the wheel, this will not matter.

Locorotondo is gorgeous and quite small, so you will not "need" to spend more than a couple of hours to see the town. Try to avoid Friday market day for your visit, as the town is congested and parking scarce.

If you ahve any other hotels on your short list, let us know and we will offer opinions!
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Nov 9th, 2012, 05:19 AM
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yes, Locorotondo lovely but quite small. If you go to Polignano , go to visit Abbazia di San Vito , 3 km from Polignano. I've just come back from Puglia... wonderful...
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Nov 9th, 2012, 06:54 AM
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I agree with another on this thread. I really liked Lecce. The old town section is beautiful with this almost golden brown color stone. It also is larger so there's more to do and see. We also really enjoyed Martina Franca, Ostuni and Alberobello--but keep in mind that these towns, while beautiful, are small and can be seen in an hour or two.

It's probably obvious but you must try the fava beans, orecchiete con broccoli and the wonderful primitivo wine.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 11:27 PM
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Thanks everyone for their responses. Eks, do you have any suggestions about a good central place to stay? I know you have a place that you love in the countryside. If we go to Matera last is there a train to get back to Rome?
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Nov 10th, 2012, 12:19 AM
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Oops, macdogmom, I must have been tired last night, somehow got the Ligurian coast mixed up with the Amalfi Coast. ?? Sorry about that.
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Nov 10th, 2012, 03:32 AM
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Macdogmom: The place we return to is on the coast, near Fasano, so not central enough for you this trip. I have stayed at this trulli hotel and found it lovely, and well located for touring--it is just outside Cisternino and very close to Martina and Ostuni. But it is just one of many options, as that area is filled with lovely looking hotels.

http://www.villacenci.it/

You are spoiled for choice in this region, as there are dozens upon dozens of properties that sound appealing. One thing I would caution is to take the TripAdvisor listings with a grain of salt as far as location. Many, many hotels are listed under the wrong locations, so you have to search all the nearby towns to find all the options, and search "Brindisi" as well, since they have confused the province of Brindisi with Brindisi city. (I wrote to them to try to correct this, but nothing changed). For easy access, you might want to stay in the flat lands, or the actual plateau, ionstead of int he towns. Ostuni and Martina are large-ish towns so present the challenges of driving in and out. Cisternino, Locorotondo, Alberobello are much smaller so that is not so much of an issue.

See if you can put together a list of possibles and then we can offer opinions as far as location....remember, too, that the Google maps are often wrong in this area.



MATERA TO ROME (to the best of my knowledge, please check)

There is a shuttle bus link to the Ferrandina Scalo station from Matera. (YOu could also take a taxi from Matera; it is about 35 km) .
From Ferrandina Scalo, on the Taranto line, there is a train to Rome. (Ferrandina would be an interesting place to stay, as it is close to some points of interest in the region, including Senise and the Albanian towns of the Pollino)

http://www.fsitaliane.it/



You can also travel by train from Bari to Rome. From Matera to Bari can be done by shuttle, bus, or FAL train.

http://www.fal-srl.it/en/index.html

http://pugliairbus.aeroportidipuglia.it/default.aspx


http://www.shuttlematera.com/english.html




Finally, Marozzi runs a bus from Matera to Rome Tiburtina station, three times a day, or so it appears:


http://www.marozzivt.it/script/bigli...pobigl=marozzi

Again, please double check the transport info.
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Nov 11th, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Eks, thank you so much for all the travel information. I am continuing to read about the area and getting excited about going. Sounds like we could also possibly stay in one town (Ostuni) and visit other towns close by using public transportation. Or may have to bite the bullet and rent a car. I am also exploring the idea of doing some bike riding one of the days we are there.

I ran across this place when I was reading someone's trip report-
http://www.masseriailfrantoio.it/
If anyone has stayed, I would love feedback.

Definitely will stay in Matera one night, Eks, the place you stayed sounded great. I am thinking we should go there first from Rome, 3 nights around Otruni and then try to fly from Bari or Brindisi to Genoa and train to Ligurian coast. It's hectic but hopefully we can return again. I did reserve our apt in Paris for the second week of our trip, so that part is all taken care of!
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Nov 11th, 2012, 10:57 PM
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Let me try again, macdogmom.
I would recommend the Locanda di San Martino in Matera. One bonus, they have screens on the windows, quite remarkable!
They also have a wonderful thermae, think steam room, hot pool, swimming pool, all carved from a cave under the hotel. It is just so relaxing and refreshing when on a whirlwind trip.

See it here:
http://www.locandadisanmartino.it/en...t-our-locanda/

We enjoyed it very much. Mind the hours though.
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Nov 12th, 2012, 03:19 AM
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>>Also anyone ever stayed in La Sommita Relais in Ostuni?<<

Yes, it's gorgeous – and weirdly, the nicest smelling hotel I've ever stayed in, as it's owned by a smellies company. It's very contemporary, which may or may not be your thing, but I thought it was lovely - huge great bedrooms with the bed in the middle of the room. Right at the top of the old town, so if you don't have much luggage, I would suggest parking in the tourist parking area just outside and walking up. Driving up is a hair-raising experience, negotiating very tight corners and lots of walking tourists. I'm a very confident driver and nearly had heart failure.

Being in the heart of town also means it's great for going out to restaurants.

>>I ran across this place when I was reading someone's trip report-
http://www.masseriailfrantoio.it/
If anyone has stayed, I would love feedback.<<

A foodie paradise, their tasting menu is legendary, and it's o the tick list of many visitors to the area. It's a lovely setting but the rooms are rather rustic for my tastes - the bathrooms could do with a refit. However, it's worth it for the food. Run by a right pair of hippies!
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Nov 12th, 2012, 04:42 AM
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We went to http://www.masseriailfrantoio.it/ and had their 10 course tasing menu one evening. It was really good and the grounds are lovely. Cant comment on the rooms though.
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Nov 12th, 2012, 05:37 AM
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Yes, I liked the Locanda San Martino in Matera. Here again, the bar appears to be very high and there are many appealing sounding places to stay, that being just one of them. Keep inmind that the hours for their pool are very limited, and there is an extra charge to swim.


I did not stay at Il Frantoio, but from what I read, their draw is the elaborate dinner. Their location is very good.

Look at the map and draw a band from Locorotondo, Cisternino, Ostuni, Carovigno. I would stay within that band, more or less. You will have easy access to all the towns of interest, and the restaurants of both the high plateau, where most of the towns are, and the coastal strip, for seafood restaurants. It is easy to get stymied by the sheer number of good looking hotels--trulli, masserie, and everything in between, but the bar appears to be so high that I do not think you can go too far wrong in this area. Again, I would think twice about staying within the historic districts of large towns like Ostuni and Martina, just due to the annoyance of driving in and out. But that leaves literally what looks like hundreds of choices!

I know nothing about public transport, but would guess that it will be much better to have a car at your disposal, even if just for a few days.


How important is the food part of the trip? If you will have certain restaurants picked out, you might want to choose a hotel that gives easy access so as to limit nighttime driving.

Second question: How important is having a pool?
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Nov 13th, 2012, 04:06 PM
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Thanks again for all the responses and great information.

Sundriedpachino, thanks for your input and I do like the look of Locanda San Martino in Matera. Where did you stay in Puglia?

jamikins, thanks for feedback on restaurant and tasting menu. Where did you stay in Puglia?

Kate, I do like the look of La Sommita Relais and being able to walk to restaurants at night. Just worried about getting in and out of city to explore other areas.

Eks, food is very important and am a little worried about staying somewhere for 3 or 4 nights and not wanting to drive at night after consumption of vino. Pool is not necessary. My husband paddle boards in Santa Barbara, where we live, but neither of us are swimmers.
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Nov 14th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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Macdogmom, we stayed in Polignano a Mare at Malu bed and breakfast. It is a little out of the way for Locorotondo and Ostuni area, the rooms are small but new, but we had a nice view over the beach and cliff area, and a little balcony.

http://www.bebmalu.it/eng/index.htm#home

I personally like being in town, and close to the sea. There are some beautiful Masserias a little further south close to the sea, but they were above my budget.

We then went to Lecce and spent a few days at Palazzo Persone, very nice if a little difficult to find, but way out of your area.

We had seafood in Polignano and cucina povera in Lecce. Didn't get to any of the great restaurants that ekscrunchy reported on, unfortunately.
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Nov 16th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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These are two hotels I found that look interesting. Has anyone stayed in either?

http://www.i-escape.com/masseria-fumarola/overview

http://www.masseriacervarolo.it/

We will have a car and will probably explore the area for 3-4 days and then go to Matera.
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Nov 17th, 2012, 05:22 AM
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I don't know either one, but both locations are very good.
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Nov 17th, 2012, 09:40 AM
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We too were inspired by eks great TRs and spent 3 weeks in the area this past Fall. We loved Matera and I agree that staying a night is well worth it. An alternative to the Locanda San Martino is Residence San Giorgio. We had a great room with a small kitchenette that we used to make coffee. Its about a 5 minute walk from the Locanda San Martino and I believe was less expensive.

If you are interested in food, don't miss Antichi Sapori - truly wonderful food. We picked a place to stay near there and Masseria Barbera so we could eat at the two places. We were concerned about the driving after eating dinner, but it really wasn't a problem. The roads are not crowded and fairly easy to navigate.

I dont know either places you mention above and agree with eks on the location. You can c where we stayed in our TR.

Have wonderful time - it is a fabulous area.
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