Talk to me about Prindisi Italy

Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:13 PM
  #1  
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Talk to me about Prindisi Italy

Has anyone been to the area of the heal and just above in Italy? I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk about this area so it must not be hugely tourist over ridden.

Does anyone know much about this area?
Timlin is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:15 PM
  #2  
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GAH I hate when I misspell on this forum because I cannot do corrections.

Please make my request have to do with the "Heel" of Italy!!!
Timlin is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:21 PM
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As far as I know, the last place one would want to spend time in is Brindisi, but the region of Puglia is definitely becoming better known.

Put the names of a few towns like Ostuni, Alberobello and Lecce in the Search box, or Gargano (a peninsula and national park).
Eloise is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Try Brindisi just soth east of Bari on the Adriatic It was a familiar town/area to Marine and Navy helo pilots when I was stationed aboard ship in the Med 30 years ago. It is also the port for the ferry to get to Corfu/Greece as I recall. There are great Roman ruins to see south of there in Lecce.
socal is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Hi Timlin, is there any chance you mean Brindisi?? I see others have suggested Brindisi also. Out of curiosity I went onto Google, there was one website that mentioned Prindisi. My Italian Auto Club map doesn't show a place by that name. Best wishes.
LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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Hi Timlin, if you mean 'Brindisi', then I may be able to help - I have a home about 20 mins drive north of there on the way to Ostuni. It's a fabulous area, very popular as a summer retreat for northern italians but, it's true, not many foerign visitors, although it is getting a lot of press in the UK as the 'next big thing'. What would you like to know?
Kate is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 06:28 AM
  #7  
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Sorry everyone.....iether I just looked at the name wrong or it's a typo. I'm not familiar enough with the area to be sure which happened.

Thank you for the info. I just never hear of anyone going into that area of Italy and I had read about caves or something of the sort that sounded so interesting so I wanted to know if it's easily accessable and how easy it would be to move around on that coast. Would one need a car?

I think it was on a google search that I found the info about the caves (if I'm remembering it correctly as having been caves.)
Timlin is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 01:13 AM
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Hi Timlin.

A car is really essential. The train stations always seem to be about 5 miles outside the towns, for some reason, and the buses are sparse.

Puglia feels very different from most people's stereotypical image of Italy. It's mostly flatter, with white washed houses and palm trees (very like parts of Greece, in fact). It's known as the 'Garden of Italy' as the furtile red soil and glorious weather means it grows the vast majority of Italy's olives, durum wheat for pasta, as well as vineyards, tomatoes, chillis, you name it really. You can drive for miles seeing nothing but olive groves.

Pulgia is famous for its 'trullis' - conical shaped tiny houses that look like something a hobbit from Lord of the Rings would live in. These are mostly locaqted in the 'Itria Valley' that stretches from Ostuni towards Bari, and is centred on "Alberobella" - the only town where there are streets and streets of trullis (mostly they're in the countryside). Here's where a car comes in handy, as the drive from Martina Franca to Alberobella takes you through the Trulli heartland, and is a beautiful journey.

Whilst you aren't going to be falling over famous artistic sites like you would be in, say, Tuscany, there's still plenty to see.

Another distinct building style in the area is the 'Masseria'. Traditionally, these were rather grand farmhouses owned by the landowning classes, and many have now been turned into gorgeous country hotels. Google "Masseria" and you will get a wealth of choice for great accomodation.

Just south of Brindisi is Lecce, a baroque town known as the 'Florence of the South'. Well worth a visit. Just south of here is also Otranto, a very pocturesue seaside town well known for its beaches and food.

Scattered throughout the countryside between Bari and Brindisi are a number of caves decorated with ancient religious frescoes. These were created as underground chapels somewhere between the 10th and 16th centuries - not so much because they were 'secret', but more to do with the fact that burrowing into the ground is cheaper than building, and much cooler in the scorching heat of summer.

A great base is Ostuni, known as the white city - it's a whitewashed, ancient hilltop town about 5 miles inland from the adriatic. the views alone towards the crystal clear blue sea are amazing. Ostuni old town is a warren of tiny ancient streets housing smart private apartments, boutique hotels, trendy bars and lovely restaurants - that's why it's a great base.

Puglia is a mecca for northern Italians who flock here in July and August to take advantage of the beautiful, soft sand beaches. I'd avoid this time if I were you - it's crowded and very very hot. April-June and Sept/Oct are the best months. In winter, the towns are dead, with coastal towns shutting down completely.

The lifestyle here is very mediterranean - everything shuts for 4 hours for lunch (even many of the restaurants - the italians eat lunch with Mama). Shops stay open until 8 or 9 in the evening, and restaurants don't get started until 9pm.

The local food is simply marvellous - the antipasta is more like tapas (you just ask for antipasta and they bring you about 10 different courses - and that's just for startes!) Puglia is famous for its bread (much tastier than further north) and its cheeses.

Puglian wine is also building a great reputation - mostly red, the famous grapes are Primitivo di Manduria and Negroamaro.

But the absolutely best thing about the area is the people. Foreign tourists are still a novelty so they welcome you with fascination and open arms. You get none of the jaded cynicism you might find on the more beaten paths of foreign tourisim. Just don't expect many people to speak italian, even in restaurants and hotels. If you don't speak any Italian, just smile and wave you arms around like the locals. They are endlessly patient with my poor attempts at the language.

Please ask if you'd like more firm advice on accomdations etc.
Kate is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 01:17 AM
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"Just don't expect many people to speak italian"

Clearly, I meant to say that they don't really speak english!
Kate is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 04:26 AM
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We were in Brindisi in October. It's a pleasant town with virtually no tourist attractions. It does, however, have a great old hotel on the harbor Grande Albergo Internationale run by Accor. The only people we found who didn't speak English were the rude people employed by Europcar at the airport.

You will definitely need a car (just rent from somebody else) a taxi ride to the airport was €50. The train station is not outside town but you probably will not find nice accomodations within reasonable walking distance.

Brindisi is a great base for visiting the area. When we told our Italian teacher we were staying in Brindisi, she went nuts shrieking (literally)"Brindisi, Brindisi, why do you want to go to Brindisi?". I'm glad we did.
Hal8999 is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 06:30 AM
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If you are looking for a city as a base to travel in the southern part of the region, and including the middle to the bottom part of the heel, then Lecce is your best bet. From here you can drive towards the Gulf of Taranto coast to the city of Gallipoli, or to the opposite coast to the beaches of Otranto. Or about an-hour-and-a-half north to the whitewashed towns of Ostuni and Martina Franca or to see the trulli houses at Alberobello and Locorotondo.

The baroque city of Lecce made of light-salmon softstone is a sight that you won't find anywhere else in Italy. The city is also bustling enough to be able to find something to do at night - yes, locals hang out and walk around until late during the night.

The pretty whitewashed towns of Ostuni and Martin Franca are also good to use as a base. These towns almost look and feel like a seaside town in Greece.

If you need an overview of Puglian cuisine, here's a previous post on restaurants in Puglia:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2
bill_boy is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 06:32 AM
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Here's a better link to the restaurant thread:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34710675
bill_boy is offline  
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