Renting a car in Puglia

Apr 21st, 2014, 02:20 PM
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Renting a car in Puglia

We are flying from CDG to Bari on May 24 and spending a week in Puglia. We will be staying in Matera the first two nights, then 3 nights at Masseria Iazzo Scagno near Martina Franca and our last 2 nights in Ostuni. My original plan was to pick up a car at airport and drive to Matera and then return it on Thursday when we go to Ostuni. My issue is that it will just sit in a parking lot or garage in Matera until Monday, so perhaps we should go to train station in Matera from airport, take the train and then train back to Bari on Monday and pickup rental car. I am making this too complicated? Is parking in Matera easy? We are staying at Locanda di San Martino in Matera. Thank you!!!
macdogmom is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:47 PM
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I can't answer your question but I'm posting to say that I hope you'll write a trip report when you get back.

We're going in July and doing a very similar itinerary to yours. We're renting our car in Sorrento where we will have been the week before so we'll have the car the whole time. We specifically picked a hotel in Matera that had parking and looked easy to drive to, even though it wouldn't have been our first choice of hotels otherwise.

Actually just this week I did the car rental and used Kemwell - it was HUNDREDS less than AutoEurope or the individual car rental companies sites. I found a similar savings last year in France. Previously I'd always used AutoEurope but when I called to ask why they were so much more (given that AutoEurope and Kemwell are 'sister' companies) the rep said it had to do with the type of contracts they had in certain locations (or something like that). Anyway, look at Kemwell if you haven't already.
isabel is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for the Kemwell suggestion. I think we used Autoeurope in the past. We still need to get international DL, seems like Italy is more particular about that. We didn't need them in France. We are staying in the Stassi in Matera, so I think if we drive we will have to park on outskirts of town. I'll post about trip when we get back. I also use Chowhound a lot for these trips and need to be better about trip reports.
macdogmom is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 09:01 PM
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I believe there is a direct bus from Bari airport to Matera and there is a Hertz rental car office in Matera and probably others as well. There is also probably transportation from Matera to Martina Franca and car rental offices there. This is the kind of detail you can usually nail down on Tripadvisor message forums.

You should contact your hotel in Matera about parking because there is some parking in the sassi (not "stassi") area of the city.

Italian law is particular about requiring you to carry a certified translation of your driver's license, which is known as an international driver's permit.
sandralist is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 10:05 PM
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There should be an airport shuttle to/from Matera a few times per day, and this is probably your best choice. Matera is the only province in Italy not to be serviced by Trenitalia but by a local railway company, FAL (ferrovie appulo lucane), that run a narrow gauge network; the station in Bari is on elevated tracks on the west of the main railway station. FAL trains are quite slow and have only local services, sometimes with a change in Altamura.
asps is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 10:11 PM
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Taking the train between Bari and Matera was quite easy when I was there in 2007. Although I didn't try it, I don't believe that parking would be a breeze in Matera, but I don't think it would be impossible -- for example, as I recall, there was a large lot by the train/bus station. The Locando di San Martin is wonderful and I'm sure they can give you very helpful information.

BTW, when I have rented a car in Europe, I've always used to make my reservation. I've been very well satisfied with them.
kja is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:45 AM
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Thank you everyone for the extremely helpful advice. The airport bus to Matera sounds perfect. Bilboburgler, thanks much for the link. sandralist, thanks and I am going to check about renting the car in Matera. Sorry about misspelling of Sassi, I think I was confusing with Cold War East German secret police . kja, I will also check out for car rental.
macdogmom is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2014, 08:32 AM
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I caught the Brindisi one last year, I had to ask TI in the airport where it was and she directed me to the local tabac in the airport to buy the tickets, the bus had a sign in it and since the driver was away I stuck my stuff in the bus under looker and waited for him to come back, very friendly and easy. Used by all kind of locals as well as tourists. I think the same will be in Bari
bilboburgler is offline  
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