Car itinerary in the Apulia region?
Apulia is a very large region, if we calculate the more than 400 km in length, it is natural that the trip is a little long and exploring the entire region in a week is almost impossible. So it is necessary to leave some things behind. This itinerary was designed for a seven-day travel period and, to make the route more agile, we will do it by car. Let’s go to our post of the day: Car itinerary in the Apulia region? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
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This trip allows us to discover one of the most fascinating regions, the region of monumental trulli, underground caves, medieval Frederican castles, corals dipped in the Adriatic Sea and the delicate golden beaches that flow into the Ionian Sea. Finally, unveil from the exaggerated Baroque of Lecce to the simple Byzantine crypts.
This itinerary is dedicated to those who are not satisfied in an area just in Apulia, but would like a more global experience. The minimum time to dedicate to this itinerary, to enjoy every corner, is one week – enough to go through the various destinations we suggest, to visit the monuments in general terms, to enjoy the view and have lunch in typical restaurants – with all due respect that Apulian gastronomy deserves. After all, what are we waiting for? Let’s start with our car tour in Apulia.
1) Itinerary in the Apulia region? DAY 1: BARI
First day: arrival at Bari airport, car rental and visit to the city of Bari – Caves of Castellana and Alberobello. Our itinerary departs from Bari, among all the simplest, as we will rent a car at the city’s airport. On the first day, the itinerary foresees a tour that goes from Bari to Alberobello, for 75 kilometers, stopping in Bari in the morning. The city of Bari deserves a visit mainly for its historic center that, in recent years, has been revitalized. You also can’t miss the ladies who make the “orecchiette” pasta on the streets of the city, in addition to admiring the Basilica of Saint Nicholas and eating focaccia under the castle.
Sunset in Alberobello
The trip continues to Alberobello, walking slowly along the long avenue of the beach and, around 12:30 pm, it is possible to have a snack in the alleys of Monopoli, under the cool blue shade that comes from the old lime-lined houses. Later, we head to Castellana in time to descend to the depths of the caves. To watch the sunset, we chose Alberobello, from the viewpoint of Aia Piccola, arriving in time to watch the spectacle of the sun that ignites the sky behind the gray domes of the trulli over the hills of Monti. Then we will have dinner and overnight.
(Source: DK Video)
2) Itinerary in the Apulia region? DAY 2: ALBEROBELLO
Second day: Alberobello and visit to Valle dell’Itria – The second stop will be made in the morning, in order to escape the scorching heat of the afternoon. We will travel 46 kilometers from Alberobello and then return in time for lunch. It will be a tour in the trulli region, where we will see from the white trulli to the very colorful ones, from the simple ones to the housing developments. Alberobello is a true “postcard” city, most of the trulli have been restored, their stones are clean and white.
The path to follow is what takes us to Selva di Fasano and then to Fasano – a beautiful terrace in Murgia with a view of the Adriatic sea. Afterwards, we head towards Locorotondo and Martina Franca, a baroque town from the 18th century, and then go up to Alberobello again through the charming Valle d’ltria.
Valle d’ltria is located in the heart of Apulia, it is a fertile valley that extends to the north of the municipality of Bari, between Brindisi and Taranto (more precisely from Putignano to Ostuni). It is characterized by flowery vegetation, contains a large number of olive groves, from which one of the most prestigious Italian oils is obtained. Other attributes of Valle d’Itria are the trulli, the countless and welcoming farms and the vineyards from which we obtain the most renowned white wines.
(Source: Paolo Bucci)
3) Itinerary in the Apulia region? DAY 3: OSTUNI AND LECCE
Third day: departure from Alberobello to Ostuni and Lecce. Now the route is 108 kilometers. On this third day, we left Alberobello, of course, to Ostuni – one of the most characteristic Apulian cities, immersed between the cleanliness of its streets and its white walls.
Called the “white city”, Ostuni is one of the most beautiful villages in Apulia, it is located on top of a hill overlooking the sea – it is really a dream! So beautiful that if we analyzed it well, it would deserve a little more time. It would be advisable to leave the car in the central square and go up on foot, during the coolest hours of the morning, towards the old and highest part of the residential area, until reaching the Cathedral. Ostuni is thirty-three kilometers from Brindisi. From Brindisi to Lecce it is only 40 kilometers, almost all straight, which can be covered in half an hour.
(Source: Christian CANDITA)
We will stop in Lecce, in the so-called “Florence of the South”. This incredible and charming city is one of the places to visit in Apulia, at least once in your life. Boasting several examples of architecture and works of art from the Baroque period, Lecce can also be defined par excellence as the “Baroque city”. It has a wonderful historic center, numerous churches and squares such as Santa Maria della Provvidenza (St Mary of Providenc), the admirable Piazzetta dell’Addolorata (Addolorata Square) and the Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross).
One of the peculiarities of Lecce is its typical stone, exactly: its stone, used for centuries to build most of the buildings in the historic center. In addition, Lecce is an indisputable destination for lovers of good food, savoring delicious typical dishes, such as the “rustic leccese”. After having enjoyed a great dinner, we can rest to be recharged for the next morning, and ready to leave for the fourth stage of our tour.
4) Itinerary in the Apulia region? DAY 4: SANTA MARIA DI LEUCA
The fourth day: we will go from Lecce to Santa Maria di Leuca. We will cross the Adriatic coast, a long cliff with small and pleasant seascapes. The panorama provides a beautiful view of the sea, but it can also be very narrow and congested. After visiting Santa Maria di Leuca we can continue our tour visiting another place that is super worthwhile: Otranto. visiting the castle and the cathedral of Otranto, and also taking a break in Porto Badisco (where, according to legend, Eneas would have landed), we proceeded around noon to the Zinzulusa cave, just before Castro Marina.
Otranto, a beautiful town on the Adriatic coast of Salento, is known for its charming old village. The town’s urban structure, in fact, is original. It is interspersed with trails, a labyrinth of alleys, curves and dead-end streets. At the extreme tip of Italy, there is a sanctuary which, according to the popular belief, if you don’t visit yet alive, you need to return when dead, to then deserve paradise. It is the sanctuary that recalls the passage of Saint Peter, who would have stopped there when he came from Galilee.
(Source: Paolo Bucci)
5) Itinerary in the Apulia region? DAY 5: TARANTO, GALLIPOLI, NARDÒ AND MANDURIA
Fifth day: departure from Santa Maria di Leuca to Gallipoli, arrival in Taranto. The fifth part is also the longest, as we must cover 150 kilometers. We will leave Santa Maria di Leuca to Taranto, where a break is planned in Gallipoli (which is unmissable, especially the old part of the city). Gallipoli, lovely town in the municipality of Lecce, always winning tourists and visitors from all over the world.
It is not by chance that its name, of Greek origin, means “beautiful city” and also not by chance, during the centuries it was defined as the “pearl of the Ionian”. In the tortuous paths and labyrinths you can hear the sounds and voices of everyday life – which is very slow, compared to the Mediterranean rhythm. There is something surprising in every corner: a small house, testimonies of popular religiosity, a hidden door, an unexpected little window and a small church.
Nardò and Manduria
Here we will make a bigger stop, not only for the beauty, but also for the quality and freshness of the fish that can be tasted. After Gallipoli, we will travel along a stretch of coast between Nardò and Manduria (a city that is already a jewel itself, unfortunately forgotten) in southern Italy. Then we return along the coast for the last 40 kilometers, until we reach Taranto, where we will have dinner and then go to sleep.
(Source: Cities and Monuments)
6) Itinerary in the Apulia region? DAY 6: TARANTO
Sixth day: visit to the city of Taranto. For the sixth phase of our trip, we suggest the interior of the city of Taranto – going on foot to visit the Archaeological Museum (of great interest is the Greek jewelery wing) and also a walk through the labyrinth of alleys in the old part of the city – from via Cariati (typical crustacean market) to the cathedral. In the late afternoon, if you want, you can even take a car ride along the Piccolo Sea (or else go to the tip of San Vito, south of Taranto), for the spectacular sunset on the Cheradi Islands.
7) Itinerary in the Apulia region? DAY 7: TARANTO AND BARI
Seventh day: departure from Taranto to return to Bari. The seventh and final stage takes us from Taranto to Bari. There are 90 kilometers of good road, but with heavy traffic, because it is through this route that the utilities that link the industries of Taranto and Bari circulate (and it is this road that gives access to the new highway to Canosa). Therefore, we recommend a lot of attention, especially when passing Massafra. In Massafra we will take a break to visit the Byzantine crypts open on the sides of the “gravino” during the 10th and 16th centuries, which make the town the most important concentration of Apulian caves.
We could also make another stop in Gioia del Colle to visit the beautiful castle, built (as well as all those in southern Italy) by Emperor Frederick II. After that, our tour ends and we return to the airport. We left the car at the rental store and returned to everyday life, but without a doubt with a new enthusiasm, with positive energies and pleasant memories.
Good to know
- Apulia, especially when traveling by car, can seem endless – after all, it is the longest region in Italy. Sunny and full of life and ancient traditions (but not only), this is Apulia. Suggestive land, where the virgin nature of the Tremite Islands meets the spirituality of San Giovanni Rotondo, and the Baroque charm of the historic center of Lecce intersperses with the mysterious symbol of the Castel del Monte. Not to mention the Alberobello trulli and the view of the Salento coastline.
Map with Car itinerary in the Apulia region
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Traveling by car in Italy
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Car itinerary in the Apulia region? A trip in synergy with fun and culture, in the heart of an amazing and dynamic region. What is the key to success? In addition to the long Apulian coast with its beaches and slopes, urban art, the archaeological collection of the people who used to live there, the attractiveness of food products and business tourism (due to the Fiera del Levante di Bari and the numerous specialized fairs that take place during the year).
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