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Adriatic Coast worth the trip?

Thinking of starting in Naples area and going to the Adriatic coast - Bari, Lecce, Gargano National Park. I don't see much about these areas in any tourist info about Italy. We are relatively new travelers. Should we start with something more traveled? Is there a reason we should not go there? Is it too difficult to get there/get around when there? Should we rent a car or is that crazy to do? Any info helpful.

Posted by
7209 posts

I think exploring areas that aren’t overloaded with tourists is a great idea. We did that in Germany 1 year and had a really good time spending the night in several castles along the way in areas where we were definitely the only Americans around. Go for it!

Posted by
11368 posts

You are referring to Puglia which is a very hot destination right now. We were there last October and loved it, history, architecture, nature ad fabulous food and wine. The Adriatic Coast is beautiful, Polignano a Mate and Monopoli are lovely seaside towns. Lecce is stunning! Matera in nearby Badcilata is a UNECSO historic site. And Alberobeloo with it’s Trulli houses should not be missed.
We flew into Bari from Rome. Later flew Bari to Palermo, Sicily.

Posted by
4105 posts

This is a fantastic area of Italy, for more info, read this, she has some very helpful information.

For ease of travel a car makes the most sense, but there are bus and train and train connection available. The problem with these is the time involved in getting from one location to another if you want to visit more than one place a day.

If you're contemplating renting a car read this and download their e book.

Paying attention to signage and speed limits.

Posted by
27406 posts

Puglia can be hot in more ways than one. I love it, but it's stifling in the heat of summer.

I agree that a car would be really handy. I didn't rent one, so I based in Lecce and took advantage of the van trips (not really tours) to nearby small towns organized by the tourist office. They allowed me to see several small towns in a day, rather than struggling with train and bus schedules and probably seeing only two.

Posted by
15471 posts

I wouldn’t consider the Adriatic Coast, especially Puglia, an area that is not traveled or off the beaten path. It may not be known much by North American travelers, but it is a major tourist destination for Italians and Europeans in general.

The Naples area can be visited easily using public transportation. Puglia is more efficiently visited with a rental car. Public transport exists but outside of the main cities I find having a car a better option.

Posted by
4645 posts

I did not go to Puglia, or drive, until my 4th and 5th trips (both to Puglia), but there is no reason not to go there first, and the driving was really easy. The Lonely Planet Guide to Southern Italy covers this area. Puglia is hardly off the beaten path, but the public transport is less convenient. Naples and the Amalfi coast have excellent, if sometimes crowded, public transport. You should pick up the car when leaving the area, at NAP airport or in Salerno. How much time do you have?