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Puglia - looking for recommendations for a nice home base for a week

reajackson

10+ Posts
Howdy:
So...I come here trolling for information - I am in the midst of planning a four leg trip to Europe late summer 2023.
Puglia is the first leg with my relatives.
I have read a couple of good articles here on Slow Travel and I see that Lecce is a must see.
What I am looking for is a good home base for 6 nights to work out of to go to Bari, Alberobello, Antinori winery I think southwest of Bari, Matera and a sea side town like say Gallipoli -
What would be a good central town to work out of that has simple and good accommodations, good food and a good vibe to relax in after a day of car travel each day? I am not one to drive point to point, hotel to hotel but work from a base and go out.

We are not averse to agritourism and actually prefer smaller family owned places to stay.

Any thoughts out there travelers?
Rea J.
Denver Colorado
 
This doesn't meet stated criteria for being family owned, but we loved the Risorgimento Resort in the heart of Lecce. We did our day trip circuit from there and really enjoyed the access to restaurants and sights within walking distance of the hotel (one very good restaurant immediately next door) when back in town from our daily outings. They had valet parking and it was a very easy exit from the city to get on the road each day. The hotel was a little on the older side, but very comfortable and hospitable.
 
I'll throw in Trani as an option for a coastal location (near Bari) that's got lots of charm, including venetian architecture.

Although we didn't stay there, I reckon Locorotondo fits the bill of convenience for other places, plus has a good vibe to it, such that you should look forward to returning there. Martina Franca also worth a look, albeit it felt a bit busier / bigger and a little more challenging to park.

Other wineries I'd recommend (more so than an outpost of a massive producer like Antinori) would be Rivera (castel del monte), Leone di Castris (salice salentino), Taurino (Guagnano). Plenty of other interesting smaller wineries as well, but the above have long track records in this region.
 
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That's an awful lot of driving. When we were in Puglia, we spent 5 days in the lovely Itria Valley, with a base outside of Cisternino, from which we explored Alberobello, Locorotondo, Ostuni, Ceglie Messapica, and Martina Franca. Then we moved on to three days in Lecce and another three in Matera, just over the line into Basilicata. I think you're going to want more than one base for exploring Puglia. I would consider flying into Bari, staying a couple days in the old city with a day trip to either Polignano al Mare or Monopoli, and then moving to a new base in either the Itria Valley or Lecce.
 
I would base in the Valle d'Itria and see those beautiful towns (Ostuni, Martina Franca, Alberobello, Locorotondo etc) and seaside towns like Polignano a Mare or Monopoli. Conversano could also be a good base in that area. If you are wanting to delve into the Saleno (Lecco, Otranto, Gallipoli) I'd stay down that way rather than driving so much. Split it up or choose one area over the other, IMO.
 
I second the suggestion of Trani.... we spent a week there and really enjoyed the town. Great passeggiata and many good seafood dining options. Another suggestion for a base in the Salento would be Castro.... small seaside town with some lovely beaches and easy reach of Otranto and coastline down to Santa Maria di Leuca
 
Howdy:
So...I come here trolling for information - I am in the midst of planning a four leg trip to Europe late summer 2023.
Puglia is the first leg with my relatives.
I have read a couple of good articles here on Slow Travel and I see that Lecce is a must see.
What I am looking for is a good home base for 6 nights to work out of to go to Bari, Alberobello, Antinori winery I think southwest of Bari, Matera and a sea side town like say Gallipoli -
What would be a good central town to work out of that has simple and good accommodations, good food and a good vibe to relax in after a day of car travel each day? I am not one to drive point to point, hotel to hotel but work from a base and go out.

We are not averse to agritourism and actually prefer smaller family owned places to stay.

Any thoughts out there travelers?
Rea J.
Denver Colorado
We did a trip to Puglia in 2016. Our favorite was Polignano a Mare. And our hosts laughed at us for driving to the other seaside towns. We ended up taking their suggestion and catching the local train to Monopoli and other places. So easy. We just found a B&B using Booking.com on my iphone. Lecce is beautiful and bustling. Matera is amazing. Puglia is a great place to visit.
 
Some great suggestions here already. I would give serious consideration to Bari, mainly because it is so well connected by public transport (trains particularly) and also such an interesting place itself. It's a while since we stayed there (2015) but had a fantastic time. As well as seeing the charming port area with its famous Basilica dedicated to San Nicola/Santa Claus, we also went to Alberobello by train and you can also see many of the famous trulli en route, as well as in the town.
Next time we want to go by (again, direct) train to Matera in Basilicata, and get the mainline train further south to Lecce and Brindisi.
 
We stayed near Noce and saw all the villages, Alberobello, Locorotondo, Ostuni, Ceglie Messapica, and Martina Franca. in the area. Then moved down to Lecce for a couple of days. Were quite disappointed with Galipoli. Last 3 days were in Matera.... absolutely a must. One day we did a half day tour there with a great young guy called Antonio. His grandparents had lived in the Sassi (cave dwellings) His phone number is +393287666621.
 
Were quite disappointed with Galipoli.
As were some friends who visited. That said, part of their disappointment, their history / geography wasn't strong enough to have worked out that it wasn't the Gallipoli of WW1 infamy, which is what they expected it to be :woot::D
 
As were some friends who visited. That said, part of their disappointment, their history / geography wasn't strong enough to have worked out that it wasn't the Gallipoli of WW1 infamy, which is what they expected it to be :woot::D
We knew it wasn't the WW1 Galipoli which is in Turkey. But didn't feel it was worth the kind of longish drive from Lecce.
 
We loved Gallipoli and the old town area and the seaside walk around the castle. Had a fantastic seafood dinner there. Do agree that it is a hike from Lecce and one of the reasons we should have had two bases for our time in Puglia. We were in Lecce the whole trip and could have made life easier on ourselves if we had a second base further to the west.
 
This thread is very helpful and, from it, we are thinking of basing in Lecce for half our visit in November and half somewhere else further north. We will be flying into Bari and renting a car. On the basis of central location, Ostuni (or nearby) looks ideal. But in November is it likely to be pleasant as a base? Monopoli is not as central but looks to be larger than Ostuni, and perhaps more feasible as a base for that reason. Any thoughts? Bear in mind that this would be in November and we are not beach people in any event.
 
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Hi Noah welcome. We visited Ostuni one day in November and loved it. Chilly first thing but splendid when the sun came out, few people around.
When we returned May last year it was packed and we didn't like it half as much!
As for other bases, Trani is our favourite....
 
This thread is very helpful and, from it, we are thinking of basing in Lecce for half our visit in November and half somewhere else further north. We will be flying into Bari and renting a car. On the basis of central location, Ostuni (or nearby) looks ideal. But in November is it likely to be pleasant as a base? Monopoli is not as central but looks to be larger than Ostuni, and perhaps more feasible as a base for that reason. Any thoughts? Bear in mind that this would be in November and we are not beach people in any event.
Living here geographically Ostuni is great. Close to the Trullo villages. Beautiful in itself. If you havent booked? Change dates to include a week AFTER the first weekend in December, Christmas decorations throughout Valle d Itria are spectacular.
 

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We are thinking of Monopoli and Lecce as our two bases in Puglia. Was tempted by beautiful accommodations in Locorotundo but we were advised on a Puglia board that it might be too quiet for 5 nights. Wanted to base in Martina Franco but couldn’t find accommodations there…at this age we are looking for ground level to save the knees! Also a level based town is appealing..hoping we get some more advice on this topic.
 
May be a bit late to help, but from our trip in 2019:

a. You can look at many trulli, or you can sleep in one:

Masseria Aprile
SC 31 C.da Grofoleo, 25, 70010, Locorotondo,
Tel: +39 080 237 128

We didn't set foot in Alberobello and didn't feel deprived. Trulli are everywhere.

b. We really liked Lecce, had only 2 nights. Parked rental car just outside ZTL and used B&B's "red card" to let us leave it in an otherwise restricted area. Great lodgings and really helpful staff, not just for Lecce but also environs south:

Centro Storico B&B ASTORE PALACE-4*
Via Andrea Vignes, 2/B, Lecce,
Tel: +39 0832 242727

Buon viaggio!
 
Thanks and trip report.

Your advice was very helpful; thanks! In a nutshell: (a) early November is absolutely viable for a trip as long as you are not into beaches; and (b) Ostuni environs and Lecce are viable if you want to have two bases in Puglia.

In the event it is helpful, see attached. It begins with four nights in W Sicily.
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