I still could not believe what a journey I experienced recently! In my wildest dreams I wouldn’t have imagined, that I will make such a trip in my early 20’s! South Italy has always been a top destination for me and everything was even better than I have imagined it! All the little Trulli houses of Alberobello, breathtaking coast of Amalfi, Napoli’s pizza, the beautiful island of Capri… everything was just perfect! My trip took place in the beginning of September, which I think is the best timing for travelling Europe – the weather is still great, but you won’t have a heart attack from the degrees, which are typical especially for Italy during the summer. We prepared just a month earlier – booking, planning, etc., so it was not so difficult 🙂 We managed to see everything we wanted just for 8 days! So if you also don’t have a month to explore these places, I will write down the timetable we had, AirBnb places we chose in Napoli and Bari, and of course – Ferry tickets, because we traveled by car.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SOUTH ITALY
First suggesiton is to travel from March to June, or during the beginning of Fall – September to mid October. It won’t be melting hot, you will be able to find parking spaces and rooms to rent. During the high season – July and August you won’t like all the hustle and bustle from the crazy cities like Napoli, for example.
As we traveled by car from Sofia, Bulgaria, we realised it will be smarter to take a Ferry from Greece to Italy – it takes 8-9 hours and usually it is during the night, so you will be sleeping. It was a great experience and the best thing to travel with your car, instead of booking a flight, is that you have the opportunity to make whatever you want and go wherever you want. For those who want to take a looot of luggage is also a great advantage 🙂
Here are the directions we took:
Igoumenitsa, Greece – Brindisi (8 hours with Grimaldi Lines)
Bari – Igoumenitsa (14 hours with Ventouris Ferries)
Both tickets were booked through Ferries Travel (http://ferriestravel.bg)
I always prefer to sleep in an AirBnb apartment, instead of booking a luxurious hotel. It is so magical to sleep in a house, which is soo out of your comfort zone! The one we booked in Bari, Italy for example was made from stone and hidden in the old centre of the city – how cool is that? You get to sleep, live and eat like the locals – isn’t that the point of travelling?
Here are the places we chose to sleep during the trip. We stayed 3 nights in Napoli and 3 nights in Bari. It is not necessary to sleep every day in a different place – you will be exhausted and you won’t be able to feel the places! Instead you can travel everyday for 40-50 minutes to the nearest landmarks and go back to your AirBnb.
Airbnb – Il petalo rosa – https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12876728 – 121 bgn/night
This place is magnificent! Napoli is a crazy city with all the hustle and bustle in it, all the dirt, scary people… but here we felt safe everytime we went “home”. The apartment is clean, renovated, big and with a great view!
Airbnb – Corte Trecantaia – https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/7804293 – 162 bgn/night
This is the stone house I have mentioned upwards. It has 5 floors, but it just sounds very big. It was an interesting experience, the neighborhood is very safe, as well the people there are very friendly and they start talking to you the minute you step out of the house. Whole families stay out at least till midnight, children play on the streets and is very cool to see young people living like that – spending their time with friends, loved ones, instead of lying on the couch with a computer every single day.
2nd September (Saturday) – 10th September (Sunday)
Day 1 (02.09): Sofia – Igoumenitsa (617 km/7 h) – ferryboat Igoumenitsa – Brindisi (8 hours)
September 2nd/23:59 – September 3rd/08:30
Day 2 (03.09 – Sunday): Brindisi – Napoli (380 km/4 h) – the road through Taranto, Salerno, Pompeii to Napoli (10 mins longer but better for seaside views, etc.)
Check in from 14:00 onwards
- On the way stop by in Taranto for a coffee
- Walk around Napoli – downtown area Quartieri Spagnoli – Teatro di San Carlo, Castel Nuovo, Piazza del Plebiscito, etc.
Day 3 (04.09 – Monday): Napoli Beverello – Capri ferry (10:10) – Napoli (19:10 going back)
- Spending the whole day at the Capri island
- Going back to Napoli and having dinner in the area around Castel Nuovo and Teatro di San Carlo
Day 4 (05.09 – Tuesday): Napoli + Amalfi Coast
- Waking up around 08:00 & breakfast
- Visiting Pompeii archeological area – from 09:00 around 2-3 hours for Pompeii
- Napoli – Amalfi Coast driving (around 1 hour and 30 mins) – departing around 12:00-13:00 from Pompeii
- Visit – Amalfi
- Return from Amalfi Coast to Napoli
Day 5 (06.09 – Wednesday): Napoli (check out) – Bari (around 3 hours driving) – the road through Avellino, Andria, Bitonto to Bari (better for going back to Bari from Napoli)
- Visit Positano before departing to Bari in the afternoon
- Rent a boat in Positano – around 40 euro for 1 hour
- Arrive late at night in Bari
Day 6 (07.09 – Thursday): Bari
- Walk around the old city
- Lunch/dinner at Osteria Le Arpie – typical restaurant with local food from Puglia region
- Walk around the port and Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the surrounding streets for shopping
Day 7 (08.09 – Friday): Bari – Alberobello (55 km/1 hour with car)
- Visit Alberobello (the typical old stone houses with conus/triangle rooftops, also known as Trulli houses)
- Instead of driving from Bari to Alberobello directly with the car, we decided to stop by in Monopoli (which is close to Bari on the seaside) and we rented a Vespa from Way To Move. We drove with the Vespa from Monopoli to Alberobello (around 30 km each way) and came back in the afternoon. The rent costs around 40 Euros for a whole day.
- When we returned the Vespa, we visited the old town of Monopoli and had a dinner there. Definitely worth visiting for an hour or two! Had a dinner at Pizzeria La Dolce Vita – Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi (enormous choice of pizza and fresh seafood).
Day 8 (09.09 – Saturday): Bari – Igoumenitsa (ferryboat 9th September 18:00-10th September 08:45)
Day 9 (10.09 – Sunday): Igoumenitsa (08:45) – Sofia – 617 km/7 hours
This post is meant to help you with organizing the whole trip. In the next ones, I will show you the best things to do in every place! I found myself overwhelmed with the all beautiful villages terraced into hillsides, beautiful flowers all over the cities, turquoise waters of Capri island and all the pastel-colored houses of Amalfi coast. You get to see breathtaking views through the routes, eat the best pizza and pasta in the whole world and get the best experience in your life! South Italy is just love!