I should have done a little more research before jumping into this trip. My partner and I have a three night stay at a resort in Leeche,on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of the month. We fly into Rome on the 11th, so we have a couple days to get from Rome to Leeche. However we fly out of Rome at 6:45pm on the 17th, the same day we check out of the resort in Leeche. What is the best way to travel between Rome and Leeche, and should we consider changing our flight out of Rome for the next day?
Allan, do you mean Lecce? If so, it is less than an hour's drive from Lecce to Brindisi (if you're driving) and there are almost hourly trains and buses (if you're using public transportation). Then, there are several flights a day between Brindisi and Rome. You should easily be able to arrange to be back in Rome in time for your 6:45 pm flight, assuming you can get a mid-day flight from Brindisi. Be aware that some of those flights from Brindisi are on Ryan Air, which flies to Ciampino Airport. I'm guessing your flight home is out of FCO, so if you chose Ryan Air you would need to allow time to transfer to FCO. Also be aware of the luggage restrictions if flying on Ryan Air. So check on the Brindisi-Rome flight options first. Then verify with your resort that you can get to Brindisi in time for that flight.
Yes, Leece. Thanks for the information Charlene. This helps. I was looking at trains but that seems to take a long time.
I think the train is about 6 hours, but by the time you leave your hotel, catch the bus to Brindisi airport, wait for your flight, fly to Rome, pick up your bags ... you've probably spent 4 hours. Where is your resort in Lecce? Are you in town, or on the outskirts?
Wow, thanks for all the suggestions Charlene. Everything you mentioned is appealing to us. We still have a couple nights before checking into the resort and have not yet decided whether to spend that time in Rome or somewhere in route to Leece. I've been to Rome before so I'm leaning towards the later. If you have any suggestions on this I would appreciate it. I keep reading that July and August is the tourist season in the Puglia region, and that off season is pretty quite. We will actually be there in September and hoping it's a good time to visit...not too crowded, yet not too boring.
The resort is Risorgimento Resort in Lecce, Puglia, Italy: Via Imperatore Augusto, 19 I believe this is right in the center of town, but I'm still trying to get my bearings. I've never traveled this part of Italy, so I;m not familar with the area.
You will be right in the heart of the old town, which is a great location. It's maybe a 10 minute walk from the train station; ask your hotel for walking directions, or use Google maps. We stayed in a B&B near your hotel for a week last October, so here are some suggestions. With just three nights, you'll likely spend what's left of your arrival day, plus your second day, exploring Lecce. I hope you like churches! :) Seriously. There are 99 churches in Lecce, each more baroque and extravagent than the next. Your third day you might take a train trip to Gallipoli or Otranto. We did both, preferring Gallipoli. Caution: when you purchase tickets at the train station, get round trip (return) tickets and verify what time the train will return. When we were there (late October) both train stations were unmanned and there were no schedules posted. We were using online train schedules. In Gallipoli, we returned to the station about 30 minutes early, which was lucky, as our train pulled up as we arrived! Don't let this deter you, just be aware. Gallipoli was gorgeous. Amazing fresh seafood; you can have a wonderful lunch there by the water. Another day-trip option, which we thoroughly enjoyed, is a private wine tasting tour. We used a company called Experience-Path. For 160 euros, we were picked up in Lecce by a driver and sommelier, and driven to two wineries in Salento where we had tours and samples, with abundant snacks. It was a really fun day. If this sounds appealing, you might want to contact them in advance to book this. Another favorite experience in Lecce was a cooking class and fabulous dinner at a restaurant called Piccolo Casa (starting at 5:30 pm). Check Trip Advisor reviews, and reserve this ahead as well.
A few more thoughts: Be aware that Lecce truly closes down between about 2 and 5 pm, and restaurants don't reopen until 8 pm. You might want to have some snacks in your room, in case you get hungry! And finally, for your return to Rome, if you decide to take the train, you can just walk back to the train station. If you decide to fly from Brindisi, you can take the train to Brindisi and then will need to find a taxi or shuttle from the Brindisi train station to the airport. Or you can take the Pugliair bus from Lecce directly to the Brindisi airport. This bus leaves Lecce from a location just outside the old town, which is a bit of a long walk, so you may need to arrange a taxi ... or perhaps your hotel will give you a ride to the bus pick-up point. I know it was difficult for us to find information about Lecce. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.
You have lots of options for what to do between Rome and Lecce. If you want to see something really unusual, you could visit Matera. Here's a good informative page. We spent 2 nights here and really enjoyed the hotel they recommended (Locanda di San Martino, with a wonderful underground spa ... check it out on Trip Advisor). Not sure if you can get to Matera directly from Rome (they mention a bus company called Marrozi, but this page appears to be about 5 years old). You could train from Rome to Bari (about 4 hours) then train or bus to Matera (about 1 1/2 hours). We took the train. PUGLIAIR BUS: between Bari>Matera, Lecce>Brindisi, etc. FAL TRAIN: Bari-Matera From Matera, you could take a bus to Taranto and then a train to Lecce. Here's a website with some schedules for small towns in southern Puglia not covered by Trenitalia. If you'd rather spend your days by the sea, you could take a train from Rome>Bari and then pick a small town along the coast. Polignano al Mare is beautiful and maybe 45 minutes from Bari. Or you could go a little further south along the coast to Monopoli. Check out both, and other places as well, on Google and Trip Advisor. Then make your way to Lecce. Once you are certain of your schedule, if you have any long train rides (Rome>Bari, Bari>Lecce), try to book in advance on the Trenitalia web and get 9 euro super economy tickets. They are not refundable or changeable but can save you a lot. This should be enough to get you started! If you have further questions, you might post them on the "To The Boot" section, where more Italy travelers will see them. Ciao!
Thanks again, Charlene!