Southern Italy Itinerary

Old May 17th, 2019, 05:12 PM
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Southern Italy Itinerary

We have found so much great information by going through this forum and gleaning info from so many travelers. What a wonderful resource and such a collection of people. My wife and I will be flying to Naples the first week in June-total trip time including flights is 16 days. We plan on exploring the towns we will be staying in and driving to nearby places of interest. Any thoughts on this itinerary would be greatly appreciated.
  • Arrive in Naples, train to Salerno
  • Salerno (3 nights) explore what we can of the AC
  • Fly from Naples to Bari rent car
  • Polignano A Mare (2 nights)
  • Lecce (2 nights)
  • Matera (3nights)
  • Tropea (3 nights)
  • Drive from Tropea to Naples
  • 2 nights/1 day in Naples then depart for home

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Old May 17th, 2019, 08:06 PM
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Is there any reason why you couldn’t train to Bari on your first day and then visit Salerno and the Amalfi Coast after Tropea? That would cut down on travel and the drive from Bari to Polignano A Mare is quick and easy.

-Annie
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Old May 18th, 2019, 02:33 AM
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Train from Naples to Puglia is a pretty route up in the mountains. If you take the train you could hire a car from any number of places along the line which might make a better use of time.
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Old May 18th, 2019, 07:13 AM
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I just completed a similar trip, got back Thursday. Flew into Bari, out of Napoli.

I didn’t take the trains and did a 3.5 hour drive between the two areas, mainly because I added time in Vieste.

I spent 4 nights in Lecce and daytripped to Otranto, Gallipoli, etc.

then 2 nights in Ostuni to see the Valley of Itria. Then day tripped to Polignano, Monopoli and Matera our of Bari.

For the AC I’d take ferries instead of the bus to visit Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Probably not enough time for Capri.

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Old May 19th, 2019, 04:00 AM
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As above: Salerno - Bari is a little more than 4 hrs by train (1 change at Caserta). You will need more or less the same time (door to door) if you take the plane.
If you plan to visit Gargano Peninsula or Tremiti Islands, the train ride is definitely shorter (3 hrs up to Foggia).
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Old May 19th, 2019, 12:20 PM
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So wished we could have taken the train! We love riding the trains and watching the countryside. kind of kicking myself now that we didn't (we had already purchased airfare)...oh well, a reason to return and do it next time. Our reason for visiting Salerno first was due to some of our accommodations (Air BnB's) being unavailable on the different dates. Our hope is that the trip is balanced and has a good flow to it.

Last edited by chopslot; May 19th, 2019 at 12:30 PM.
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Old May 19th, 2019, 12:43 PM
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One less night in Matera and an extra night in Lecce.
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Old Jun 7th, 2019, 08:10 PM
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Chiming in late (sorry), but I think your plan is ambitious – perhaps overly so.

For example, with 3 nights in Salerno, you can’t begin to see the highlights of the Amalfi Coast – things are too far and in different directions. So you could see Paestum and Salerno, or Salerno and Capri, or Capri and Pompeii, etc.

Depending on your interests in Puglia and Matera, your times there could work – but seem disproportionate in comparison to your times for Naples and the Amalfi Coast.

Dropping Tropea would give you at least a bit of time for Naples and the Amalfi Coast.

JMO.
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Old Jun 8th, 2019, 05:15 PM
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Yes consider trains for part - www.trenitalia.com is the official site of Italian trains- www.seat61.com has lots about booking your own discounted tickets; general info www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Jun 8th, 2019, 07:55 PM
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Does seat 61 have better prices than trenitalia.com?
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Old Jun 9th, 2019, 03:06 AM
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Seat61 isn't a ticket seller. It's a comprehensive blog on how to use trains all over Europe.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2021, 06:38 PM
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Gargano peninsula

Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
I just completed a similar trip, got back Thursday. Flew into Bari, out of Napoli.
I didnít take the trains and did a 3.5 hour drive between the two areas, mainly because I added time in Vieste.
Hello from Australia. Well, your post is from 2019, but since we've all lost a couple of years of travel, it could be considered pretty recent, eh?

Before Covid, I was organising an itinerary with a friend from the US who had limited time. The first part of the trip was in Calabria/Basilicata/Puglia: she arrives Roma, train to Salerno 1 night, pick up car, head to Matera 1 night, then to Polignare a Mare for 2 nights (day trip to Alberobello). Head up toward Vasto for lunch on a trabucco and then inland toward the Gran Sasso Park. I'm thankful that Covid hit because I feel I rushed through too much of what I wanted to do in the South to accommodate her timeframe.

So now, instead of meeting up on the Med coast, prior to her arrival, I'd be coming from Sicily and Naples, and I'm thinking of taking a bus or drive share? to Lecce and then getting to Bari Airport to hire a car and meet her there. From there, we will do our 2 nights in P.a.M. with a day trip to Alberobello as originally planned. The downside of this plan is we now have to zig-zag inland to see Matera. I still want to go back to the coast for the trabucco lunch which I want to be leisurely, but if we leave Matera by 8am and drive straight through to Vasto, it will take 4.5 hours. After lunch, I wanted to drive to Sulmona, probably about 2 hours. I think we need to make a stop somewhere, and I was initially interested in the Gargano but think it might be too ambitious. I wouldn't dream of trying to circumnavigate the peninsula. I thought maybe going only as far as Mattinata and then heading across SS272 to Vasto. Am I crazy?

Thanks for any input you might have - or anyone else reading this - thanks.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2021, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Redlandsneen View Post
Hello from Australia. Well, your post is from 2019, but since we've all lost a couple of years of travel, it could be considered pretty recent, eh?

Before Covid, I was organising an itinerary with a friend from the US who had limited time. The first part of the trip was in Calabria/Basilicata/Puglia: she arrives Roma, train to Salerno 1 night, pick up car, head to Matera 1 night, then to Polignare a Mare for 2 nights (day trip to Alberobello). Head up toward Vasto for lunch on a trabucco and then inland toward the Gran Sasso Park. I'm thankful that Covid hit because I feel I rushed through too much of what I wanted to do in the South to accommodate her timeframe.

So now, instead of meeting up on the Med coast, prior to her arrival, I'd be coming from Sicily and Naples, and I'm thinking of taking a bus or drive share? to Lecce and then getting to Bari Airport to hire a car and meet her there. From there, we will do our 2 nights in P.a.M. with a day trip to Alberobello as originally planned. The downside of this plan is we now have to zig-zag inland to see Matera. I still want to go back to the coast for the trabucco lunch which I want to be leisurely, but if we leave Matera by 8am and drive straight through to Vasto, it will take 4.5 hours. After lunch, I wanted to drive to Sulmona, probably about 2 hours. I think we need to make a stop somewhere, and I was initially interested in the Gargano but think it might be too ambitious. I wouldn't dream of trying to circumnavigate the peninsula. I thought maybe going only as far as Mattinata and then heading across SS272 to Vasto. Am I crazy?

Thanks for any input you might have - or anyone else reading this - thanks.
Hi, your routing is different than mine so I'm not familiar with Sulmona or Vasto.

Not that my routing was optimal either. I kind of tacked on Vieste to my first visit to Puglia. Then I did a day trip to Matera and then at the end, I went from Vieste to Salerno, which was about a 3.5 hour drive.

So it was Amalfi Coast and Puglia with detours to Vieste and Matera.

Vieste is the only place I stayed on the Gargano peninsula and it was a pretty long and winding drive from Foggia to Vieste or even Manfredonia to Vieste. I did plan to do day trips to other parts of the peninsula and I did do some but the weather didn't cooperate so I visited Peschici, another gem of a coastal town, during a downpour.

Unfortunately I didn't see Mattinata so I couldn't tell you if it's worth the trip. My attraction to Vieste were the white cliffs over the aquamarine water. Would have done a boat tour if there were more days of sun.

It does sound like a lot of driving, especially a 4.5 hour stretch. I would love to visit Matera again, to stay at least overnight, because I would imagine it's pretty magical at night. Also only did Polignano a Mare as a day trip so it's another place deserving of another visit.

Good luck in your planning and trip!

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Old Aug 24th, 2021, 02:09 AM
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Thank you! I guess I'm just wondering if it is worth spending a night anywhere between Matera (or P.a.M. if we leave from there), and Vasto, even skimming the inland part of Gargano. I'm not interested in spending the night on the coast - it's not that nice, compared to the other side. According to Google, it's just over 3.0 hours from P.a.M. to Francavilla al Mare, the area of the trabuccos. I'm thinking it might just be better to push through and add an extra night to Firenze, and stay 3 instead of 2. I've been before, but my friend hasn't.
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Old Aug 24th, 2021, 10:16 PM
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Yeah one night stays aren't that great.

But you have to feel comfortable for driving longer on a given day.

If you arrive at a location say after 8 PM, maybe you have enough time to grab something to eat but not much else. Of course it depends on time of year. In the summer, you woulld have some sunlight to 10 PM so a place like Florence in the summer is lively late into the night, though with the pandemic, that may not necessarily be the case. I think during the worst times, restaurants were closing at 6 PM.
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