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Your thoughts on Sardegna, Molise, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria?

Your thoughts on Sardegna, Molise, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria?

Old Jul 16th, 2009, 06:16 AM
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Your thoughts on Sardegna, Molise, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria?

We've been to all the other regions of Italy and are planning a trip to uncharted territory for us. I would very much appreciate any thoughts on what you enjoyed about Sardegna, Molise, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria. Thanks very much in advance.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 11:41 AM
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My husband and I went to Sardegna about a year ago and we really enjoyed it. We visited Cala Gonone, Alghero and Castelsardo. We had dinner and lunch at a few agriturismos which we both really enjoyed and one day we followed a sign that had the word "Olio" on it up to a place that made their own olive oil. We rang the bell outside (the side said "sognare") and a man came out and had us try the differnet oils. He then filled up a liter bottle for us for 7 euro we had a great bottle of olive oil. On another day we followed a sign on the side of the road that read "formaggio"...we found a few farmers on their tractors who got off when we arrived and took us into a shed and sold us some cheese. The cheese was very fresh and I was laughing about that because you could hear the goats and sheep in the background. It doesn't get any fresher than that! My sense was that not many Americans visit Sardegna (aside from maybe the emerald coast where the celebs go) and they were very friendly to us everywhere we went. One night we were walking to dinner and we saw a man making wine in his garage. We stopped to chat with him using the little bit of Italian that we knew and between the English that he knew, we had a great conversation. He told us that he learned English when he was in the war and he hand't spoken it in 15 years. We loved the beautiful water in Sardenga...we went on a boat trip one day from cala gonone and it was absolutely gorgeous. Very rocky beaches and a bit hard on the feet, but really magnificent. Castelsardo was one of my favorites, but you have to actually walk up to the area up top which is enclosed like a fort and inside it just a magical area filled with restaurants and little shops. We were actually not looking forward to Castelsardo as we had met some people in Alghero who said they were very disappointed in it. When we first arrived I thought the same thing...but I think that those folks might not have ventured up inside the walled area...and to have missed that was a real shame. In Alghero we were scheduled to take a sail trip on the Andrea Jensen which gets rave reviews but unfortunately for us there was a horrible storm the night before we were to sail and consequently the boat's sails were all torn up from it while they were out that day and so we missed out on that. Based on what we heard though we highly recommend it. We ate, we drank wine, we loved Sardegna.

This past Spring we took an impromptu trip to Calabria...we weren't there for as long as I would have liked but we absolutely loved Calabria...the lemon trees, the organge tree, the clean air, the mediterranean. I am going back for sure. My grandparents are from there and so it really was special for me. I guess you could say it's like a rustic Tuscany...unmanicured and wild...which is what I like. I spent some time in Tropea, Capo Vaticano and then Scalea. We didn't have enough time to wander and be as adventurous as we would have like so I will go back to explore...in fact we liked what we saw so much that we are contemplating buying something there but at this point this is a dream. I don't know if this is at all helpful or if I just rambled but rambling about Italy is one of my favorite things to do!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 02:25 PM
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I just want to comment that ASAIAC it's worth going to
Basilicata just to visit the amazing, hauntingly beautiful
town of Matera.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 03:23 PM
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Hello Pugsly, we spent a beautiful and relaxing week on Sardegna one year. It was like a vacation within a vacation as we were in Italy for two months and my husband needed a break from driving. A good friend in Italy suggested Sardegna. We flew from MXP on Alitalia. Our friend made reservations at a new resort that had never had an American stay with them. That was fun! Very friendly and interesting people, beautiful water, good food (fish and seafood were fabulous and wine. A perfect week (well except for the mosquitoes that loved to bite my husband). Molise is a very special region for me. My dear friend who is like a sister came from Molise when we were both 14 years old. All of her family still lives there. The city of Isernia and Campobasso are fun and interesting and if you have a car the small villages are a delight to visit. Non touristy with kind people and lots of homemade food and wine. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful, scenery.

I have never been further south then Bari. We so enjoyed Bari, the people, the fish restaurants etc. It has a bad reputation due to crime but we never had a problem. But our hotel advised us where not to go to. Fun experience in that the hotel suggested a fish restaurant on the beach further north of Bari. We argreed and they called a taxi for us. The hotel clerk talked to the taxi driver. We ended up going through some uncomfortable and lonely areas (rather industrial) in the dark. I sort of wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. We got to what looked from the outside a sort of shabby restaurant which was right on the beach. Our taxi driver escorted us in and we were greeted with aplause not only by the restaurant staff but all the customers. It turned out we were the first Americans to every visit their restaurant! Talk about an evening I will never forget. The taxi driver sat down at a table with some fellows he knew and drove us back to Bari hours later. It was an evening and an experience I will never forget. My husband had a hard time paying for anything as all the Italians kept insisting they were treating us to this or that, especially the wine. Good thing my husband didn't have to drive, lol. Absolutely love Pescara. We always stayed at the Hotel Columbia and always had a room overlooking the beach and the Adriatic Sea. A very gentle city to be in and very walkable. More good fish restaurants!

I am glad you are interested in seeing more of Italy! I will look forward to your trip report. Have fun planning your time in Italy.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 03:37 PM
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Pugsly,

I love the question you have asked. The responses so far have been terrific! I wish I could add some insight but I have never traveled to these regions. But I plan to do so someday so I will be following this thread for all of the responses.
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Old Feb 21st, 2010, 01:20 PM
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How fun! . . . We will be traveling to Lamezia Terme in Calabria for a family wedding with our 3 children (ages 12, 10 and 8). We have never been to the area and are interested in accomodations, etc. We are not opposed to staying within a 30 min drive. We would love an inn/b&b/albergo recommendation with suite for our family. And most importantly our own bath with shower.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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We stayed at La Bussola www.albergolabussola.com i Capo Vaticano..but I'm not quite sure of the distance to Lamezia. It's a nice, family run place with a swimming pool. I think it's a very good choice for a family.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 03:36 PM
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We did a bike ride through Puglia and Basilicata. great ruins (greek, Roman, norman) lovely white towns, some very good wines and interesting pasta based on brass pattern tools.

Historically one of the poorest parts of Italy but felt vry safe. Did notice that Tourist Information offices were never where the signs said and city maps (in brass) were next to useless
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 08:50 PM
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Matera is one of the best trips of my life. I loved it, even though my husband lost his driver's license and we had to beg for our freedom.

I just loved the beauty of the town, the cave churches, the people, setting, the food. I would happily go back again.

We met more interesting and friendly people there than anywhere in Italy that we have visited. I may have been a little more open than usual, because my family are Materese, but the people there were so interesting... perhaps it is the unusual setting.

Matera had the best food of any small town I've been to. Everything was utterly delicious, and prices were good.

Don't break the speed limit.
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Old Mar 27th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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I was part of a 4 guy 1-wk trip touring Sardegna two yrs ago. We stayed in two different Agritourismos and had a wonderful time--I'd be happy to send you the day by day write up I did. Last Oct. my wife, son and I spent a week in Puglia--renting a house in Oria and touring the region, liked that a lot too--can send you that write up as well. Let me know if you'd like them and we can figure out how to exchange email addresses.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 06:57 PM
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We're planning our trip again - we never made it to Italy last year. Plans are to visit Matera. Thought of heading to Lecce but I think we would still rather stay on the western side. Any thoughts on where to stay and what to see?
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 01:51 AM
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Hi Michele,

We were in Puglia and Matera in 2009 and loved it.
You can check out our trip on our web page. Here's the URL:

http://www.travel.stv77.com/puglia/puglia.htm

Regarding where to spend your time, there is no "western side", as you put it. Matera is inland just south of the border with Puglia, and Puglia runs more west to east than north and south. The coast of Puglia is more northerly and faces the Adriatic Sea. We really enjoyed Puglia and Lecce was great fun. As I said, check out my web page.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 02:27 PM
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Hello sssteve,
My bust I picture the country to be a standing boot, not leaning sideways. I enjoyed your web page. How fun to stop in all those interesting places. Do you have any information on the Tropea/Capo Vaticano, Calabria, Sila areas? We are torn on which way to go with the kiddos - happily - as well.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 08:39 AM
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I had a wonderful week in Ostuni in 2008, staying in Palazzo Auris. I wrote a review on slowtrav and tripadvisor recently as I wondered why no one had done so. Both sites will probably take a few days longer to show the review. The town is a great opportunity to see the baroque style but without crowds of tourists. There are many music festivals and religious processions which seem to satisfy the youth and the devout, and you can relax into an italian town without feeling an object of curiosity yourself. Or perhaps the mutual lack of a common language isolated us.
The apartment was a major part of our delight as we were living in a district with excelent little shops, we could cook and eat the fantastic fruit and vegetables, enjoy the olive oil and wine of the region. I love Rome, but I have never eaten as well as when we cooked for ourselves in Puglia.
The apartment is delightful. If the review does not appear and anyone is interested I will comment on the apartment here.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationR...ni_Puglia.html
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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Michele:

...Tropea/Capo Vaticano, Calabria, Sila areas?

There aren't many places in Italy we haven't been, but the ones you mentioned above are among them.

As for the boot, everybody thinks it is just north and south, but the heel of the boot (Puglia) is pretty far west from the rest of the country.
When do you plan on going?
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 10:52 AM
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We will be there at the end of March. Our plan so far is to visit with family in Nusco, visit Matera, then the unknown - either Calabria or Lecce areas - back to Nusco, to Rome and home. From Nusco we will do day trips to Pompeii, Rotondo San Giovanni and Tomb of St Michael the Archangel, and Capri (hopefully). Maybe I will start a Calabria/Tropea discussion . . . Thanks for all of your information on the Lecce areas. My husband is still leaning that way. We'll see who wins
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