My husband and I are thinking about taking a self-guided biking trip in this region through a Scottish company (hookedoncycleing.co.uk) in October. My concern however is that I don't personally know anyone who has ever been to this area, and most guide books ignore it, particularly Rick Steves. Anyone have any first hand experiences they could share? Is it worthy of a week long trip, Also, any comments on the guide company would be appreciated.
We just finished 8 days in Puglia, and had a great time. 5 in the North, and 3 in the South. We explored by rental car.
Trani is an excellent base in the North. It is on the water, has great restaurants, reasonable accomodations, and made a good base for day trips to the other seaside towns, interior towns like Matera
( a must!), Martina Franca, Alberrobello, (OK) , the Grotto Castellana (fantastic) and possibly the Castel del Monte (OK).
Lecce (in the S.) is like Sienna; except it has a better "Passegiata", has great shopping, has fantasic! cheap restaurants that serve great local food and wine, and was a good base for a trip to Otranto, down the Eastern seaboard to the tip at Santa Maria de Leuca, and trips to Gallopoli.
I am attaching an article by Frank Bruni, the food critic at the NY Times: http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/travel/06Puglia.html?
Get the Lonely Planet guidebook......Go to Trip Advisor and contact "Vicki2005" for info about the weather.
We are also thinking about a few days in Puglia and can't decide if it's worth the time. Have a car-based in Sorrento. I can't find much that draws me to the area but it may be the best kept secret around. I'm looking forward to thecomments you receive.
Diana, it is the "best kept secret"! Read Frank Bruni's article.
How about a part of Italy where you don't see ANY other people like us (tourists!), a place in Italy where you can go to fantastic restaurants, serving mouth watering meals with 8 course appetizers, primi's, insalda mista's, all the wine you can drink, and you and your partner waddling out of the place after only spending $50E!
Or shoe stores with well made Italian shoes, (that would sell in Rome for $150 - 200E) for only $79E....my wife "went nuts" in Lecce buying shoes.
But don't tell anyone about this unspolied gem!