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8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

Leesburg, VA
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8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

Help. We (hubby and I) know we want to go to Puglia in early October. In fact, we already have our flights in and out of Rome, arriving Friday, Oct. 4, leaving Monday, Oct. 14.

We love wine, which is why we settled on Puglia (in addition, this will be our 6th trip to Italy), but I have no idea where to go, what to see and where to stay!

What would you recommend as must see towns/places/sites, given that we will have 8 nights in Puglia (we figure we will stay in Naples the first night, and Rome the last night...trip is a total of 10 nights). We will be picking up a car at FCO. In addition to wine, I'd love to relax on a beach for a day (I do realize that the water may be chilly at this time), and am highly interested in seeing some Truilli.

Thanks in advance,

Jennifer

1. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

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Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

We did 8 days in Pulgia this past year split between two locations. We picked up a car at FCO and drove across the Italian Penninsula to Peschici on the Gargano Penninsula. We really enjoyed Peschici. The drive took about 4 hours or so. Peschici is a seaside village situated on a steep crag that rises out of the Adriatic. 3/4 of the old town is protected by the high cliffs. The other 1/4 is protected by the castle wall. The old town is essentally traffic free. There were certainly sufficient number of restauarnts. Not as many tourists type shops, but several. Found few people who spoke english. A much more "authentic" vacation then many of the tourist areas of Italy. We stayed in a B&B, Gli Orti di Malva. I recommend it highly. The owners also operate the restaurant Porto di Basso. I free welcome dinner comes with staying at the B&B, at least when we stayed. We did some day trips around the Gargano Penninsula to Vieste and inland to Monte San Angelo....where the Archangel Michael is supposed to have consecrated.

We then drove south through Pulgia, stopping at Alberobello to check out the Trulli. Interesting for a couple of hours, but way too "commercialized". We then stayed outside Lecce for 4 day. We stayed at the Hilton hotel Resort in the area, only because we had points. Certainly comfortable...but not very charming. From there it was easy to access Lecce as well as drive down the coast to Otranto and then down to the tip of the heel, up the instep to Galiopili. The Hilton was near a very small town of Acaya. There were 3 restaurants in town. All served local traditional Pulgia/Salento dishes. Again, no english. In fact, we were there in May, and didn't hear anyone speaking english. It was early for the tourism season...so for the most part for every meal we were often the only people dinning. Often the owners turned on the lights when we opened the door. Loved Puglia simply because it was so "non-touristy".

We then drove to Calabria (Tropea) for another 5 days.

Hobart, Australia
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3. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

We stayed in Polignano a Mare for 7 days last October and enjoyed the old town very much - very central for day trips to the southern part of Puglia.

There is a good rail service from the town and I would suggest using this to go to Lecce for a day trip. We also dropped off our hire car in Bari and caught the train back to Rome for departure from here.

Stayed at http://www.casamarebeb.com and can highly recommend this town house/apartment. The owners were also able to offer a lockable garage for overnight car parking at a nearby location.

Must see the caves, the trulli, as well as as a visit to gallipoli which is a lovely town. We also drove the coast road around the heel after leaving Gallipoli and that was very enjoyable as well

San Marcos...
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4. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

We will be there a few weeks before you, and are flying into Bari to pick up our car. We will stay 5 nights in Ostuni, doing day trips, and generally recuperating from our jet lag. Then we will go to Matera for 2 night, before heading north for Umbria.

Beaudesert...
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5. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

We are staying 7 nights in Tropea in April this year, before driving to Ostuni, Puglia for another week. Would love to hear what you did around Tropea!

Cheers

Finella

Pittsburgh...
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6. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

Tropea in April will be too early for beach/swimming. The town itself is rather charming with a nice, tight old town with many restaurants and shops.

We did some day trips up and down the coast....to the town of Pizzo. The town has a castle overlooking the harbor. There was a "church" on the beach carved into the stone with stone carvings inside. Interesting.

Other trips to Capo Vaticano. We had some cold and rainy days...this was in May...so it did hamper some of our movements. But we enjoyed the area, the food, the wine.

You can take boat tours over to Stromboli to see the volcano. They leave in teh afternoon and return late at night so that you are near Stomboli to see the lava and eruptions. I think they stop for some period of time on Stomboli to allow you to explore. Not sure if there are other ferries to Lipari?

Beaudesert...
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7. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

Thanks so much for the information. We aren't really interested in swimming or beaches so that won't phase us. I think we will do some day trips out and about, as you did.

Once again, thanks for the ideas.

Finella

San Vito dei...
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8. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

Ciao Jennifer, having been in-out of Italy for the past 25 years, I think you're heading to the right destination. Puglia is fantastic & even in October its still warm enough for the beaches without the crowds. I recommend San Vtio dei Normanni which is a self-contained town with lots of speciality shops (local wines, pasta, bread, ice cream) as well as a large open-air market on Monday & smaller ones on Sat & Wed. I suggest SV for a few reasons: 1) it's centrally located between Bari & Leece (Brindisi & Ostuni) with easy access to public transportation or access highways yet only 8km from some of the best beaches in Puglia (Blu Flags too). 2) There are numerous original style villas to stay at for reasonable prices close enough to town to walk, dine, or take-in a live band at one of many bars (including outdoor cafes). 3) Italians love Americans in general, but SVitese really love-miss Americas since the US base closure in 1994 so you really get special treatment here (me too since Im fm TN--met my Italian husband here in 88 & moved back after retiring fm USAF). There are numerous English speaking merchants & a few of us vacation villa owners but its not touristy like Alberobello & even Ostuni to an extent (I pay the same amount for a coffee here as an Italian would). 4) You love wine, and again, you're close enough to some of the finest makers in the region where you can buy direct from the cantinas for a discounted price or from one of the 3 enotecas which sale 'fusso' (gas pump style out a large tank) with less preservatives or locally produced bottled wine. Which you've probably read a bit about how Puglia has been one of the main grape producers in Italy (Europe) but has only began featuring its own wines for like the last 10 years and is now winning several awards (IWSC) for its Negroamaro & Primitivo (doesn't have to come from Manduria to be good but Manduria is only about 45minutes away if you want to try for yourself).

As for where to go, what to see, SV is less than an hour from Alberobello Trulli capital (worth a half day trip) with a nice coastal drive & seafood lunch on the way back at Cozze or Poligiano del mare. The Castellana caves now offer day & night tours if you're into the natural crystallite wonders, a day trip to the Baroque city of Leece or Martina Franca is always a nice drive & you might stumble upon an antique market or pizzica dancing as well. SV now holds one of the area's largest indoor-outdoor antique markets every 1st Sunday of the month. Ostuni is a great nighttime visit with lots of local shops open & seeing the White City lit up at night is breath-taking. Brindisi isn't as pretty as some of the other cities but it has a nice boat castle tour which may still be available in Oct plus a great port walk & archelogical musuem. It has one of the area's largest open-air markets to shop at on Thursday mornings. Some of the smaller cities nearby are also nice & hold patron day celebrations so you just have to see whose up in Oct.

as for places to stay, there is a large selection of vacation villas which give a feel of the countryside living but with modern amenities. I recommend Villa Donna with fellow American owners in a traditional countryside setting with antique star-vaulted ceilings on a large almond farm (it will be the beginning of the harvest so you can pick-eat all you want along with any other fruits or vegatables still in season).

Having spent 3 years in Naples, I admire your courage to stay a night in Naples & highly recommend it followed by an Amalfi coast drive to Puglia via Salerno to Taranto then over. I would suggest you ensure your stay has secure parking & as any big city, stay alert & careful with your belongings & credit card transactions. As you visit anywhere in Italy, don't bring your family heirlooms to show off or something you can't live without.

just food for thought..have a great trip & let us know how it went!

Saint Simons Island...
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9. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

We are spending the last two weeks of May driving from Naples, to Lucera (1 night), to Peschici (1 night), to Ostuni (3 nights), to Gallipoli (2 nights), to Matera (2 nights), to Paestum (1 night), to Ravello (1 night) to Positano (2 nights), to near Naples (1 night) for flight home.

We've used every article we could locate, several guide books, many map sites, plus, of course, TA for our trip plans. If you'd like to follow along to see how things go for four non-Italian speaking Americans trying to drive, you are welcome to read our blog - http://pgalland.blogspot.com . We leave May 19th.

Our Positano hotel is a repeat but everything else will be brand new. Wish us luck and join the fun!

San Vito dei...
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10. Re: 8 nights in Puglia in early October 2013

Paula, you should be able to get a TIM SIM card in ANY Italian city, especially in Naples. Maybe not at the airport but nearby. I am traveling to the airport next week (I live in Puglia) & will locate the nearest store for you. $109 is ridiculous since that is whay TIM charges for their 1yr plans. A SIM card with some minutes can be as low as 5euro/$6.50. When are you beginning your trip? I could even mail you a re-chargable SIM card if you wanted. Just let me know, exactly what you need (internet, phone or txt limits & when & I will try to help?