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Visiting Puglia without a car.

Edinburgh, United...
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Visiting Puglia without a car.

We are a couple with our 70th. birthdays behind us but youthful in attitude, we hope! We plan to visit Puglia this autumn in late Sept. October for 2 weeks. We got inspired by an interest in Magna Graecia and are interested in seeing historical sites e.g.. the cathedrals in the Bari area but also wandering the centres of old towns. We are reluctant to hire a car because we have read of the difficulties of parking in and around historical towns and have experienced this for ourselves in the past. We have also read that there is a good system of public transport but we are experiencing difficulty in finding timetables in English or even good maps of rail and bus routes on line.

At present the rough plan is to arrive in Bari, perhaps use it as a base for 2/3 days, or would Trani be better? Then, we would like to visit Gravina in Puglia for a couple of days, because it is off the tourist track and interesting. We are wondering if we could get to Matera from there and should we stay a night? We would then like to explore the south, Lecce and Otranto and even Taranto for the museum - I believe it has reopened and is very good. Is this too much? We are aware we have left out the Trulli area - should we try and include that ? Any advice will be appreciated.

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Melbourne, Australia
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21. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

We are presently staying in Cisternino for 5 weeks. If the only reason you are not wanting to hire a car or drive is because of parking issues, I would think again. All the towns are car free in the historic centres, and there are parking areas just outside the centres. Also Bari has a park and Ride system. We found that we put the centre of each town into the GPS and when we got there just looked for a park. The only town that is a nightmare is Ostuni. FYI the Tourist Info centre at Bari airport is excellent. Hope this helps

Dublin, Ireland
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22. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

Thank you so much for your very helpful reply. Yes, certainly, a major consideration for us was the possible difficulties with parking in towns. We will reconsider our options in the light of your experience.

I was just wondering if you would suggest basing ourselves in 1 or 2 locations in the region or would it be better just to travel from A to B to C etc staying overnight in each of them?

Thanks again MadamJosephine.

UK
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23. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

We are going to Puglia in September and would really like to get a taxi from Bari airport to Cisternino rather than hire a car immediately we land. However we would need a car for a few days once in Cisternino. Does anyone know if its possible to hire a car fro Cisternino or is it just too small? I cant find anything in any of the major car companies. Thanks

Here & There
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24. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

Back to Puglia Harribones?!

Cisternino is too small for internationally known companies, so either hire from a larger town after arriving on a day trip, or hire from a local company.

ciccimarraefigli.it/servizi/noleggio-auto-bu…

noleggioauto24.eu/autonoleggi/…1885

Enjoy!

Vagabonda

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25. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

Hi Vagabonda!

Yes! It was Matera last time (wonderful). Thank you for your reply. As far as car rentals are concerned It's as I thought that Cisternino is too small for large rental companies. I think Bari or Brindisi would be the nearest but we really want to avoid driving in large towns. Any idea how we could find a local hire company in Cisternino?

Liverpool, England
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26. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

I've looked at the website for Ferrovie Sud-Est which appears to run a reasonable (if not that frequent) train service, in particular from Lecce to Martina Franca and (with a change) to Alberobello. Being a bit of a train freak and not particularly wanting to drive, this would suit us. But would it be worth the hassle of going all the way to Alberobello just to see some trulli? Are there any in Martina Franca, or would we be able to see any from the train between Lecce and MF? Or are they all that worth seeing anyway?

Melbourne, Australia
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27. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

Sorry for not replying sooner I have just seen your post.

Re Puglia, there is a lot to see and distances are quite large. If you don't mind changing towns and staying in hotels then would advise moving around rather than staying in one place, as we did.

Lucca is a must - 1 day to see the sights, so stay 2 days.

The coast south of Lucca is lovely so use Lucca as a base or stay on the coast.

Same with Bari, a very interesting town in a beautiful location by the sea.

Brindisi give it a miss.

The Garagano Peninsula is lovely for a 2 night stay too.

I would spend 2 days in Matina Franca, the sights can be seen in a day but its a lovely town.

Alberobello is worth seeing but do this in the car from MF or another close town as you can see it an 2 hours or so, 3-4 if you include lunch.

Similarly Cisternino is charming but only needs a few hours.

Cegie Messapica is another small town with a different feel, so do this as a day trip - 2 hours and you have seen the town.

The other alternative is to stay 5 days to a week (one week holiday rental would be perfect) and situate yourself in the rectangle bounded by Cisternino, Ceglie, Martina Franca and Alberobello, and do day trips from your base. This is what I would do, then have a few days in the south, Lucca and beyond, and a few days in the North, on the Gargano Peninsula, especially if you like beaches.

Also Matera is a definite must, but its in Basilicata, not Puglia, so you won't find it written up in the Puglia Books. Say 2 nights, to allow a days full sighseeing of the town.

Hope this helps if I'm not too late with the reply.

Melbourne, Australia
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28. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

Bari Airport is small and charming, so rent a car from there if you can."

Very good tourist office in the arrivals lounge

We were surprised that Brindisi Airport is much bigger and more chaotic than Baris' despite Bari being "The Capital"of Puglia.

Melbourne, Australia
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29. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

In my opinion, Alberobello is unique and un-missable, but I'm not doing it by train/bus etc.

Its touristy, but unlike any where else in the world - that's why its UNESCO listed.

You only need to spend 2 or 3 hours there, and make sure you go into the modern town, just up the steps from the Trulli area to see the Cathedral and a 2 storey Trulli behind the Cathedral.

Melbourne, Australia
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30. Re: Visiting Puglia without a car.

Bari to Cisternino is around an hours drive outside of peak hour, so it would be a long and expensive taxi ride.

Hire a car from Bari and save yourself issues trying to find something in Cisternino - we stayed there for 5 weeks and I never saw a car rental company, but that doesn't mean that there isn't one.

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