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Fascinating Puglia - Suggested Self Drive

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Fascinating Puglia

Puglia forms the heel of Italy’s “boot” and is known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries old farmland and stretching Mediterranean coastline. Discover the ribbons of golden sand, fishing ports and villages perched on steep coastal cliffs.
In Italy the freewheeling experience becomes more challenging with driving on the right hand side of the road. Don’t be put off, roads and autobahns are well surfaced and clearly signposted. Most major roads do have tolls so it is often cheaper and more scenic to stay on the secondary roads. 

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Bari
Stroll through the old part of town to see ladies on their front door kneading pasta. Wander by cloisters, churches, craft shops and bakeries.

Day 2: Bari – Molfetta – Giovinazzo – Bari (60km)
Drive north up the coast to Molfetta to explore the narrow streets of the medieval centre overlooked by churches and monuments. Stop in Giovinazzo, the small fortified town on a cliff overlooking the sea.

Day 3: Bari – Polignano A Mare – Monopoli – Conversano – Bari (135km)
Polignano A Mare is a medieval village perched on a high, jagged coastline with a succession of narrow streets and typical white houses and terraces. Get lost in the maze of Monopoli’s old town alleys. Venture inland through green almond and olive hills towards Conversano.

Day 4: Bari – Altamura – Matera (70km)
Enter the ancient walls of Altamura to discover the historical centre surrounded by palaces and churches. Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019, is a prehistoric troglodyte settlement which has developed over time but maintained a uniquely ancient feel.

Day 5: Matero – Alberobello – Taranto (106km)
Alberobello and the Itria Valley are home to UNESCO World Heritage Trulli style houses, the incredible stone huts with distinctive conical roofs.

Day 6: Taranto – Gallipoli – Lecce (155km)
Travel over the swing bridge to the old town of Taranto. Visit the small fishing village of Gallipoli with beautiful beaches. Enjoy the baroque architecture in Lecce and explore the spectacular Roman amphitheatre.

Day 7: Lecce – Brindisi – Ostuni – Bari (172km)
Travel to Ostuni via Brindisi then join the coastal route Monopoli to Bari.

Customise this itinerary to travel at your own pace.
Extend your stay in the peaceful Itria Valley. 

Highlights worth seeing along the way
Gioia del Colle – Famous for its burrata cheese and mozzarella, also “zampine” rolled sausages and the wine Primitivo Doc Gioia del Colle.
Stop in Polignano – See the houses built right out to the cliff edge overlooking the azure waters of the Mediterranean.
Relax at a beach bar in Capitolo – Enjoy the sand dunes then sit back and savour the “pugliese sushi” shrimps and sea urchins.
Explore Castellana Caves – Three kilometres of winding paths in the tunnel network at a depth of 60 metres and filled with amazing stalactites and stalagmites.
Festival of Cherries – Visit Conversano in June to make the most of the cherry season.
Marvel at the lines of vines – Rutigliano is a land full of cultivated vineyards whose grapes are known as “Vittoria”.
Taste the wares of Puglia – Bread “DOP”, dating back to medieval times and still cooked in a wooded oven in Altamura, wines of Salento, cheeses of Caciocavallo Podolico and the salamis of the Matera area.
Be transported back to biblical times – As you walk the streets and explore the caves of Matera.
Whitewashed town of Ostuni – Walk through the narrow alleyways and discover flower filled old balconies, lots of historical buildings and a castle within the 16th century circular walls.

Our favourite places to stay:
• Hotel Mejesty, Bari
• La Teresina holiday Homes, Matera
• Hotel Akropolis Museum Hotel, Taranto
• Torre del Parco 1419 Dimora Storica, Leece

Choosing your Rental Car
Take into consideration the size of the vehicle you require. We strongly recommend a compact size car for two adults. If the vehicle is to be used for day touring from a central base and not for transporting your luggage, a smaller vehicle may be adequate. We suggest you book your car before leaving home as this will save money and ensure you get the car of your choice.

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