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Tour Guide Matera and Driver Monopoli area

Greetings - We are staying in the Monopoli area in May and hope to hire a private driver to transport us to Matera for one day and return. Someone mentioned Giampiero Lentini as a private driver in the Monopoli area. Does anyone have any info about him or another driver? We will be renting a car for the week but just wanted one day of leaving the driving to someone else.

In addition, we are looking to hire a private walking tour guide in the Matera sassi for 2-3 hours that same day. I tried to reach English speaking tour guide Amy Weideman but got no reply (twice). Michele Zasa, from what appears to be the same guide company, did reply and is available. I've seen mention of Gaetano from Guida Turistica Matera. Does anyone have any info about him or another guide? We thought it would be better to hire a local Matera tour guide rather than a driver / guide from somewhere else.

I thank you in advance for any assistance. Take care.

Posted by
62 posts

To follow up: I did finally hear back from tour guide Amy Weideman. Their office email was not working. We have now hired her to be our tour guide for Matera. We still do not have a driver to and back from Matera if anyone has any suggestions. Thank you.

Posted by
3996 posts

I know you wanted to leave the driving to someone else that day, but hear me out. You already have a car, and it's only about an hour. Once you get off the highway along the coast, the driving is super easy. Or, there is an inland route that is only about 15 minutes longer. May is bustling but not crowded like summer, and there are parking lots all around Matera. You would also be able to make stops also--without having luggage in the car to worry about.
We often hear from people who just can't or won't drive, but you'll already have the car--I would definitely drive so you can head over to the park across the gorge--that alone would make it worth it! They have a cafe that serves delicious food if you do not eat lunch in Matera. Just my 2cents after two visits to the area.

Posted by
218 posts

While staying in Lecce we used "PlacenPeople." Website www.placenpeople.it and phone +39 347 549 1674. They do speak English. We were very pleased with the service. They picked us up in Lecce than drove to Alberobello. After couple of hours walking around Alberobello they drove us to Matera. Picked us up in Matera a couple days later and drove us to Salerno. Highly recommend.

Glad you were able to contact Amy Weideman. We did the tour with her and enjoyed it very much.

Posted by
83 posts

valadelphia and Semper Italia I have been emailing with Antonio (thanks for the suggestion!) He is offereing a 2 hour 15 minute tour and a 3 1/2 hour tour. Did you do one of those tours in Matera? Also how many people were in your tour group? Thanks!

Posted by
3996 posts

I can't recall how long our tour was--probably more like two hours. It was just me and my husband--we usually just read before visiting anywhere and don't often take advantage of tours, but felt this was really worthwhile. Some people just have a natural skill for communicating and we both felt Antonio had that. (I also did a tour in Craco with a guide that was excellent.)
If I were to go back a third time, I'd love to do one of the hiking plans where you enter the cave churches.

Posted by
62 posts

Thanks for all posts. Yes, we will have a car (a necessary luxury it seems in Puglia) and we will drive ourselves on small trips every other day of our trip from 2 home bases. We thought it might be nice to hire a driver for just one day. Given the very high prices we've been quoted, though, we just might drive ourselves that day too. I suspect the high prices are in part due to the price of gas.

Thanks for the suggestion of the view of Matera from across the gorge (belvedere). That caught our eye most definitely as a must-see. Now I'm after a place for lunch in Matera after our walking tour with Amy W. Onward and upward! Take care everyone.