Puglia Road Trip: The Best 7 Day Itinerary + Map & Tips

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The beautiful region of Puglia in southern Italy is the perfect place for a road trip. With rolling countryside, miles of gorgeous beaches, vibrant towns, and delicious local produce, this laid-back and unspoiled part of Italy is an awesome road trip destination.

Whether you’re a sun worshipper, culture vulture, or foodie, Puglia will tick all those boxes and more. From gorgeous sun-soaked beaches and Roman ruins to whitewashed villages and historic cities, Puglia epitomizes the best of Italy but without the crowds.

We spent a month exploring the region and in our Puglia travel guide, we’ll share the best destinations along with a map and route, plus ideas about things to see and do along the way, and recommendations for great hotels. Come with us and plan an epic Puglia road trip!

Puglia road trip

Where is Puglia?

Apulia, also known by its Italian name Puglia, pronounced Pu•lia, is a region of Italy located in the southern peninsular of the country, often known as the ‘heel of Italy’.

Puglia borders the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Strait of Otranto and the Ionian Sea to the southeast and the Gulf of Taranto to the south. Its capital city is Bari.

Getting to Puglia

Whether you’re taking a Puglia roadtrip in a car, motorcycle, campervan, or motorhome, self-driving is absolutely the best way to explore the spectacular heel of Italy’s boot.

You can stop whenever you want, try new activities, visit tourist destinations along the route, and have the freedom to change plans at the last minute.

You can take public transport to get around Puglia but we wouldn’t advise this due to limited destinations and connections, especially if you don’t have much time for your trip.

RELATED POST: Driving to Italy from UK – Routes & Tips

Fly into the international airports of Bari or Brindisi to start your roadtrip in Puglia. Bari Airport has excellent connections from North America, the Middle East and China, whilst the Brindisi Airport is a smaller regional hub offering great value on flights from the rest of Europe. We recommend booking through Skyscanner for live deals and the best prices.

Are you planning to rent a car in Puglia? As one of the largest aggregator rental companies in the world, we recommend Rentalcars.com because they have massive purchasing power which enables them to secure the best car rental prices, which benefits you when you’re planning a roadtrip in Puglia.

For a real adventure, hire a motorhome or campervan in Puglia. We recommend Motorhome Republic, an aggregate booking site who pull together all the best deals from a number of rental agencies, to offer you a wide choice of options alongside an excellent English speaking expert motorhome Concierge Team.

Find and book the best campsites in Italy with Eurocampings to find campsites to stay along the route, and park for the night by a flower filled meadow or with a glorious view of the sea.

Best Time to Visit Puglia

The best time for a trip to Puglia is during the spring, early summer, and fall.

In July and August, the temperatures can reach 35°c | 95°f inland making it hot and uncomfortable for exploring. It will be busy too, with high prices and high demand, so you’ll need to book well in advance if you decide to go in the height of summer.

May, June, and September are beautiful months, with temperatures in the twenties, making it the perfect time to plan a Puglia trip.

RELATED POST: Southern Italy: Discover the Best 33 Places To Visit

Is this your first time visiting Italy? Get all the information you need in our Italy Travel Guide, including what to pack, the best time of year to go, getting there, and practical tips to help you have the best trip!

Puglia Road Trip Map & Itinerary

  • Get the Travel Guides
  • 7 Day Puglia Road Trip Itinerary

Bari – Taranto – Gallipoli – Santa Maria de Leuca – Lecce – Ostuni – Alberobello – Castel del Monte

  • Distance: 580km
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Drive Time: 8 hours

How to use this map – Use your fingers (or computer mouse) to zoom in and out. Click or touch the icons to get more info about a place, and click the arrow in the box top left to open the index. To add to your own Google Maps account, click the star next to the title of the map.

Puglia Road Trip Itinerary

This one week Puglia road trip starts in the coastal city of Taranto, a 90 minute drive from Bari across typical Puglia countryside, and ends at the fascinating Castel del Monte in Andria.

Our Puglia Italy itinerary and travel guide will take you to all the best places to see and stay and provide handy tips and facts so you get the most from your Southern Italy road trip.

Bari

Pick up your rental car at Bari airport and head east to your first stop in Taranto. Bari does have a gorgeous centro storico, or old town, and some pretty good beaches close by, so if you have time you could stop and spend your first day in Puglia here, especially if you’re recovering from a long flight.  

If you do stay, make sure to check out Bari’s local street food scene, distinctive and quite different from standard Italian fare.

  • Where to Stay in Bari

Upmarket: VIS Urban Suites & Spa – Booking.com | Agoda

Mid-Range: Residence Hotel Moderno – Booking.com | Agoda

Budget: Zodiacus Residence – Booking.com | Agoda

Make sure you have travel insurance you can trust when visiting Italy. We highly recommend True Traveller for their 5-star TrustPilot reviews, variety of cover options, best activities cover as standard, great prices, and excellent service.

Matera Side Trip

Although not in the Puglia region, Matera in Basilicata is well worth visiting as you head across Puglia from Bari to Taranto. A unique and unforgettable destination, Matera is known for its extensive cave dwellings, called the Sassi di Matera.

The caves of Matera have been inhabited for centuries, but were abandoned in the 1950s. By the 1980s, the caves of Matera began to be renovated and in 1993, Matera was made one of Italy’s newest UNESCO World Heritage sites for being ‘the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, perfectly adapted to its terrain and ecosystem’.

Since then, Matera has become increasingly popular as an off-the-beaten-track tourist destination. More and more old cave houses are being converted into comfortable modern dwellings, hotels, B&Bs, and restaurants, and visitors can take guided tours of the sassi and visit historic reconstructions of cave life.

cave houses in an Italian city
The cave houses of Matera

Taranto

Taranto is the capital city of Salento, also known as Terra d’Otranto, a cultural, historical, and geographic region at the southern end of the administrative region of Puglia.

Known as the ‘City of Two Seas’, the picturesque Città Vecchia of Taranto is an island dividing the Mare Grande (Big Sea) from the Mare Piccolo (Little Sea) and was the site of the Roman citadel, Tarentum. The old town today is still laid out as it was in 967 CE.

Taranto is also the home of the Tarantella, Italy’s lively and graceful folk dance. It was alleged that victims of the tarantula’s bite could cure themselves by frenzied dancing which sweated out the poison.

The dance is characterized by light, quick steps, and a teasing flirt and only takes place privately in Taranto at 6am on 29th June, every year to celebrate the Feast of St Peter and St Paul.  It is the only known place where the dance has survived.

There are now less than 1,000 local people living in the old part of the city, once home to some 200,000 residents. The Duomo, founded in 1071, has been the object of much subsequent rebuilding and includes a catacomb-like crypt with sarcophagi and painted frescoes.

Behind the Duomo is the 11th century San Domenico Maggiore with its high, double-approach Baroque staircase.

Castello Aragonese, the huge castle built by Frederick of Aragon in the 15th century, dominates the eastern corner of Città Vecchia. This is an impressive castle, steeped in local history, and currently in the middle of a large-scale restoration project.

The only way you can visit the castle is to have a guided tour, only in Italian. It is worth doing the tour to see the views from the battlements and the interesting restoration work. The tour is free of charge, you can find out more here.

Wander the streets, soak up the atmosphere and people-watch to your heart’s content, then head for the lively fish market for lunch. Held in a magnificent Art Deco building,  you can buy and eat the fabulous and abundant shellfish, for which Taranto is famous.

As you head south to your next stop at Gallipoli, stop at Punta Prosciutto Beach for a quick dip in the crystal clear water that stays shallow for about 100 feet | 30 meters offshore. 

  • Where to Stay in Taranto

Upmarket: Histò San Pietro Sul Mar Piccolo – Booking.com | Agoda

Mid-Range: Salina Hotel – Booking.com | Agoda

Budget: Isola Blu – Booking.com | Agoda

Castle of Aragon In Taranto

Gallipoli

Gallipoli is one of the best towns in Puglia, a charming small port town on the west coast of the heel and well worth a full day of your time.

Walk across Ponte Papa Giovanni II by Gallipoli Castle and you’ll find a vibrant and busy tangle of streets and alleys that make up Gallipoli’s historic center. There is an old-world feel on the peninsula and you can easily imagine what it must have been like 50 years ago.

Head off the main arteries and into the mass of houses, churches, and small family-run restaurants to experience the real Gallipoli. Whitewashed walls, covered in bougainvillea and wisteria, and with the plaster chipping off,  just add to the charm.

There are numerous small churches and chapels, all with extraordinary doors, often carved from one piece of wood. Gallipoli is a photographer’s dream, every alley has an angle, every corner a surprise. You could wander for a weekend in Gallipoli and never get lost – just keep going and eventually, you’ll get to the sea!

Head for the Basilica Cattedrale di Sant’Agata. The cathedral sits on the highest point of the island and has an incredibly ornate exterior.  The interior is also ornate but where the outside is softened by the color of the stone and natural light, the inside is dark and feels a little forbidding, but the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into such buildings never fail to impress.

The Spiaggia della Purita or Purity Beach is a small patch of sand on the west coast of the old town’s island, much photographed and busy in summer, but a good spot for an afternoon of beach time if you want to relax.

  • Where to Stay in Gallipoli

Upmarket: Palazzo del Corso – Booking.com | Agoda

Mid-Range: Palazzo Presta- Booking.com | Agoda

Budget: Isola Blu – Booking.com | Agoda

Gallipoli second stop on a Puglia itinerary 7 days road trip
The small harbor and Castello di Gallipoli

Maldives of Salento Side Trip

The Ionian Sea coast to the south of Gallipoli is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. If you want to stretch your Puglia road trip to 10 days, why not take some time to enjoy the best of Puglia’s beaches on your road trip?

Known as the ‘Maldives of Salento’, this stretch of coast is home to Instagrammable rocky coves and long stretches of sandy beaches, the best known of which is Baia Verde Beach. Check out this Puglia best beaches blog post, which tells you all you need to know!

Punta della Suina Beach

Santa Maria di Leuca

Santa Maria di Leuca, often referred to as simply Leuca is at the southernmost point of the heel and sits on a promontory between the Ionian and Adriatic seas.

The ancient Greeks called this place Leukos, meaning ‘brilliant sun’, little knowing it would come to have some of the best Puglia beaches and become a must-see place on any Puglia itinerary.

Leuca was a simple local fishing village until the end of the 19th century when tourists started to visit, attracted by the crystal clear waters and beautiful scenery.

Many wealthy southern Italians made Leuca their summer residence and they built large and ornate villas which still decorate the seafront. Today, Leuca is a popular resort that has maintained an upscale feel.  

Head up to the lighthouse, which is the second most important in Italy after Genova. Next to the lighthouse sits the simple yet beautiful Basilica Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae (end of the land), built to commemorate the passage of St. Peter here during his journey to Italy.

The views from here are stunning and sunsets draw a big crowd, so go early and wait it out with a beer if you want the best views!

Evenings on the seafront are family-orientated and busy. There are lots of food vans selling crepe, gelato, and pizza along the promenade, as well as several restaurants and bars.

There is a great atmosphere with families out together to enjoy the evening sun and there are usually a few surfers in the water if the waves are right. It’s a great place for an evening stroll before dinner or to enjoy an Aperol Spritz overlooking the water.

Look out for the saltwater pool, when the surf is up, the waves crashing against it are mesmerizing.  

Just above the port is the Cascata Monumentale Di Leuca, the last point of the Apulia Aqueduct, a project that was started in 1868 and was not finished until 1941.  

The Cascata, which is 300 steps high, is not operated often and there is no set timetable, but you may be lucky during the summer months and even luckier to see a night operation where it is spectacularly lit. Check at the local Tourist Office for information.

One of the best things to do in Lueca is visit the sea caves to the east which can only be explored by boat. All along the sea-front you will see signs for boat trips. Take an early morning boat ride if you can, when the caves will be quieter and the sun in the best place for taking images.

You can visit Grotta Della Poesia, the Cave of Poetry, by car from Leuca or Lecce. This gorgeous and dramatic swimming hole is located in Roca Vecchia and is well worth a detour with your towel and swimmers in the boot!

  • Where to Stay in Santa Maria di Leuca

Upmarket: Masseria Le Mandorle – Booking.com | Agoda

Mid-Range: Montiro Hotel- Booking.com | Agoda

Budget: Hotel Rizieri – Booking.com | Agoda

Golden Hour in Santa Maria di Leuca

Italy Road Trip Ideas

Lecce

Lecce is often called the Florence of the south, due to the beautifully carved stone Pietra di Lecce, used in much of the 17th century Lecce Baroque style buildings. This ancient town is another must-see destination on your road trip of Puglia and a real hidden gem of Italy.

Head for the old town, to the west of the castle and within the ancient defensive walls. Coming from the castle, you will arrive in the Piazza Sant’Oronzo, complete with a partially visible Roman amphitheater and a pretty dodgy 1970s clock tower which rather spoils the effect.

A central square is a great place for lunch, spending an hour or so with a tasty pizza and a glass of local wine means you can absorb the beauty of the pale Pietra di Leccastone at your leisure.  

Continue west along the main street of Via Vittorio Emanuele to enjoy the shops, gelaterias, and cafés along the route before turning into the magnificent Piazza Duomo to see, you guessed it, the Duomo.

The piazza not only houses the Duomo but the Palazzo Vescovile, a 70m campanile and a seminary, built by Giuseppe Zimbalo in the 1600s. Known as Lo Zingarello, or Tiny Gypsy, he was one of the most prominent artists in the Baroque architecture of Lecce, his home town.

You will have to pay €5 to visit the Duomo…sometimes you can see too many churches, but the medieval crypt in this one is worth the entry fee. Studded with over 100 columns in serried ranks, the crypt is beautifully simple, the columns carved intricately and so differently to the fussy Baroque style in the cathedral above.   

Further along Via Vittorio Emanuele, you will find paper-mâché workshops, Lecce’s other claim to fame.

Other must-sees in Lecce are;

  • Porta Rudie, the 18th century city gate through which every one who entered the city in ancient times would have passed.   
  • Santa Croce, the church built between 1549-1679 has a stunning rose window by Lo Zingarello.
  • Chiesa del Rosario that is said to be Lo Zingarello’s finest work, with an ornate and detailed exterior.
  • The 16th century Castello that has one floor open to the public.
  • Take a day trip from Lecce to the beach at Torre dell Orso, a beautiful long stretch of sandy beach with clear turquoise water.

If you’ve had enough of churches and religious buildings, wander the back streets of the old town not forgetting to look up at the fabulous architecture.  

Often you will catch a glimpse of everyday life which helps give the beautiful city context; washing hanging out to dry; residents enjoying a coffee and watching the world go by from their balcony; exotic plants grown in pots on rooftop terraces.  

  • Where to Stay in Lecce

Upmarket: La Fiermontina Luxury Home Hotel – Booking.com | Agoda

Mid-Range: Patria Palace – Booking.com | Agoda

Budget: Hotel Aloisi – Booking.com | Agoda

The beautiful old town of Lecce

Ceglie Messapica Side Trip

A charming historic town near Brindisi, Ceglie Messapica one of the oldest towns in Puglia, dating back to the 15th century, with an incredibly well-preserved historic center. This makes it worth the small detour as you travel between Lecce and Ostuni.

Ceglie Messapica has a Moorish style with plenty of intriguing narrow streets, whitewashed architecture, Baraque palazzi and ancient churches to explore, along with the 13th century Ducal Castle that dominates the skyline and the 18th century Church of San Giovanni Battista.

Make sure to the the famous biscotto cegliese, a delicious cookie that is made without any flour. Its ingredients include almonds, honey, lemon liqueur, lemon zest, cherry jam, and eggs. The recipe has been handed down from generation to generation, and all the ingredients are produced in Ceglie.

The narrow alleys of Ceglie Messapica

Ostuni

Built atop a hill, you will see the small town of Ostuni in the distance as you drive through the lush Valle d’Itria. The so-called La Citta Bianca or ‘The White City’ is a maze of alleys, stairs, dead ends, and glimpses of the sparkling Adriatic Sea.

Head for the old town, the citadel at the top of the hill is still fortified by the ancient walls. This is where you will see the white walls and white-painted buildings which give the white town its name.

Ostuni is one of the best places in Puglia for meandering, it’s a town just begging to be wandered! Make sure you wander in the morning or late afternoon after the long lunch break, this is when the town is at its most vibrant and lively.

Consider taking a walking tour here, because of the maze-like nature of the citadel, it is easy to miss the best sights. Stop often for gelato and coffee to soak up the atmosphere.

Head up to the 15th century cathedral at the top of the citadel and then on to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II to take in the sunset over the Adriatic coast, one of the best we’ve seen.

  • Where to Stay in Ostuni

Upmarket: Masseria Cervarolo – Booking.com | Agoda

Mid-Range: Hotel Monte Sarago – Booking.com | Agoda

Budget: Città Bianca Country Resort – Booking.com | Agoda

The white-washed town of Ostuni

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Polignano al Mare

From Ostuni the itinerary takes you inland to Alberobello, but if you have enough time, head to beautiful Polignano al Mare, a 40 min drive away.

Hit the chic and incredibly picturesque Lama Monachile beach and chill for the day or visit one of the craftsmen and artists who work in the town.

Lecce, a week in Puglia stop over
Lama Monchile beach, Polignono al Mare

Don’t forget your road trip essentials! Our free road trip checklists help you remember everything, including road trip snacks, podcasts, and road trip songs for the journey!

Alberobello

From Lecce, head inland towards Alberobello, one of the top things to do in Puglia, passing the pretty town of Martina Franca on the way, well worth a stop if you’re not in a hurry. 

The approach to Alberobello through the Itria Valley is one of the best scenic drives in Puglia. The surrounding area is one of rolling countryside full of perfectly planted rows of olive trees and vines and fields full of wildflowers begging to be photographed.

Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of the famous Alberobello Trulli houses; a distinctive circular building with a conical roof. Trulli are built from local limestone stacked without using mortar.

The walls and openings are generally whitewashed and the stone roof tiles often have religious, pagan or magical symbols painted on them. The origins of the Trulli are obscure although the name is also applied to ancient ground tombs found in the Roman countryside.

We found the Trulli site a little Disneyesque and much preferred the rural Trulli houses found in the Murge dei Trulli; they somehow seemed to sit better in the natural surroundings.

A walking tour is a good way of understanding the history, local culture, and architecture of the Trulli houses and seeing some of the off-the-beaten-track highlights. 

Just a short distance from the Trulli houses is Vino & Amore, a fabulous deli with a tasting room outzide of the Trulli zone. The owner is passionate and enthusiastic about the local produce and will give you spot-on suggestions and descriptions for your lunch. Go there and have a great time eating lots of fabulous local produce and drinking a glass of local wine… you won’t regret it.

  • Where to Stay in Alberobello

Upmarket: Hotel Don Ferrante, Monopoli – Booking.com | Agoda

Mid-Range: Le Alcove Boutique Hotel – Booking.com | Agoda

Budget: Grandi Trulli Bed & Breakfast – Booking.com | Agoda

Discovering the back alleys of Alberobello

Puglia’s Olive Trees

As you roadtrip Puglia, admiring the beautiful scenery and perfectly laid out vineyards and olive groves, spare a thought for the farmers, families and communities which are being decimated by a disease that is currently rampant in Salento and killing olive trees in their millions.

Xylella fastidiosa is considered one of the most dangerous plant bacteria in the world by the European Commission. It’s carried from tree to tree by a little bug. Olive oil from an infected tree is still safe to consume, but the tree soon dries up and is no longer able to produce olives.

Everywhere we went in Salento we saw olive grove upon olive grove of dead or dying olive trees. Where you would expect to look across a carpet of silver-green leaves, now all you see are brown twigs. Many trees have been cut down and burnt to try and prevent the spread.

It is a tragic sight, knowing how generations of farmers have loved their trees like children, and that their loss will be life-changing.

You can read more about this devastating disease and its impact here.

Want to plan your own road trip? Get our step-by-step road trip planning guide to help you organize the perfect trip, or check out or favorite European road trips for inspiration.

Grotte di Castellana

On route to Castel del Monte, make a stop at Grotte di Castellana located near the town of Castellana Grotte. The Castellana Caves began to form about 90 million years ago and today, the site is a complex of underground karst caves that extends 11,000 feet | 3,348 meters and reaches a depth of 400 feet | 122 meters from the surface.

The beauty of the Castellana Caves attracts tourists from all over the world. The excellent guided tour takes in the fascinating scenery of stalactites, stalagmites, concretions, fossils, canyons and caves that nature has shaped over hundreds of millions of years.

The dramatic caves of Castellana

Castel del Monte

Castel de Monte is the last stop on this Puglia road trip, but by no means the least. Located remotely in the endless plains near Ruvo de Puglia, getting to Castel del Monte takes you on a spectacular cross-country drive, fitting for your last day in Puglia.

This remarkable castle, built by Frederick II in the mid-13th century, outclasses all his other castles. It is one of the most sophisticated secular buildings of the Middle Ages.

Frederick II had broad intellectual interests and used this castle as a hunting lodge, where he was able to retire from court life with his falcons and books.   

Inside there are two floors, each with rib-vaulted rooms, some still lined with marble. The building is geometrical and octagonal in shape with a central courtyard and rooms arranged around the outside.  

It is not known why such precise planning was required for the castle but it certainly makes it interesting to visit.

The walk to the castle from the car park at the bottom of the hill takes about 20 minutes. The first eight to ten minutes is on a tarmac footpath, the remainder through the tranquil woods.

Arriving in this way gives a sense of what it would have been like when in use, surrounded by woodlands with enticing glimpses of the very pale stone of the castle through the lush green trees. The 360° views of the surrounding countryside and distant Abruzzo mountains make it clear why Frederick II chose to build here.

  • Where to Stay in Castel del Monte

Upmarket: Edward Rooms – Booking.com | Agoda

Mid-Range: Castello di Fagnano -Albergo Diffuso & SPA – Booking.com | Agoda

Budget: Hotel Miramonti – Booking.com | Agoda

The impressive Castel del Monte

Puglia Road Trip FAQs

How many days is enough for Puglia?

We think seven days is enought to see the main attractions and grab a little bit of beach time. If you can spare ten days, or even tw weeks, you’ll be able to include all our side trips and a couple of days on the beach or taking a boat trip.

Is it difficult to drive around Puglia?

Driving in Italy for the first time can be unnserving until you get used to the way the locals drive and the road systems. Take it slowly, follow our driving in Italy tips and you’ll be relaxed behind the wheel in no time.

Which is better Sicily or Puglia?

Ohh, that’s a tough question! Sicily has an eclectic mix of ancient ruins, beautiful beaches and UNESCO sites. Puglia has lots of cute smaller towns with Baroque architecture, gorgeous rolling countryside and cuisine to die for.

Is it better to stay in Lecce or Bari?

Lecce is an initimate city and makes a good option for visiting the southern half of Puglia, and also has plenty of its own attractions. Bari is a large port city on the Adriatic Sea at the northern end of Puglia, making it a good start point for a trip, but not a great base due to traveling times to get to the best parts of Puglia.

What is the best time to visit Puglia?

The best time to visit Puglia is during the spring, early summer, and autumn.

May, June, and September are the best months, with warm temperatures and long days filled with sunshine, making it the perfect time to road trip Puglia.

The wildflowers of spring amongst the olice trees of Puglia

Driving in Puglia

Driving in any foreign country for the first time can be daunting, and different from driving back home, and Italy is no exception. Follow our driving tips to stay safe on the road when traveling Italy by car, and check out our complete guide to driving in Italy to have you stay safe on the road.

  • Remember to drive on the right during your Italian road trip!
  • An Eu or UK license allows you to drive in Italy. Drivers from all other countries will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) which serves as a language translation guide for the global recognition of driving licenses.
  • Stick to the speed limits in Italy, which are strictly enforced. Unless you see a sign indicating otherwise, the speed limits in Italy are 130km/h on highways like the autostrada (motorway) and range from 50km/h to 110km/h on other roads.  
  • If your vehicle is over 3.5t, the limits are reduced to 100km/h and 80km/h respectively.
  • Mobile phones can only be used through a hands-free device.
  • You must not carry or use a radar detector and if caught could be fined and the device can be confiscated.
  • Driving in a bike lane or bus lane is illegal.
  • Children under age 12 aren’t allowed to ride in the front seat of cars and children up to age four must be harnessed in appropriate child safety seats.
  • Reflective vests are required and must be carried in the car so they can be put on before you exit the vehicle.  
  • You must carry a spare tire (or a spare wheel and the tools to change a wheel or a tire repair kit) and a warning triangle. A reflective jacket is not mandatory to carry but you can be fined for not wearing one if you’re outside your vehicle on the hard shoulder!
  • Headlights or daytime running lights must be turned on at all times. 

Italian Toll Roads

Generally, it is easier and quicker to take the toll roads, and the extra cost definitely outweighs the sometimes poor construction of regional and local roads. Most highways, know as autostrada, are toll roads, and you will see signage alerting you.

Italian toll roads and are pay-as-you-go and can be paid by cash or card. Alternatively use a Viacard, or Telepass device to allow you to pass without using the non-barrier lanes and pay via a credit card.

There is one toll road in Puglia: the A14 (E55) which connects Bologna in the north to Bari and Taranto in Puglia. But it’s easy to drive from Bari to Taranto using the superstrada dual carriageway SS100, which is free to use.

Limited Traffic Zones

In many historical centres and towns in Puglia, traffic is restricted from entering areas known as Zone a Traffico Limitato or ZTL’s. You can expect to receive a fine by post if you drive your car into a signed ZTL as only residents are permitted to use these roads, so it’s a good idea to not go there!

Italy also has many different low emission zones with differing standards, time periods and enforcement methods, but the good news is that there are none in Puglia!

Fuel in Puglia

Many Puglian garages have two fuel prices; one for fuel served to you by a forecourt attendant and one you serve yourself. Look for the signs when you enter a garage; servizio for service and self for self-service. 

Unscrupulous forecourt attendants may try and direct you to the wrong pump and sometimes when you are parked at the self-service pump they will try and serve you.

The difference in price is usually €0.15 more on what is already some of the most expensive fuel in Europe, so it’s worth parking in the right place and filling the tank yourself.

Parking in Puglia

In Italy, parking spaces are indicated by a blue sign with the white letter P or the word ‘parcheggio’.

  • Blue lines on the roadside mean you can park, but you have to buy a ticket. Ticket machines are easy to find and easy to use, but often only take coins.
  • At popular beaches and old towns there are often private parking lots with attendants offering a ‘tutto il giorno’ or all day rate which will be cheaper than using an official roadside parking space.
  • White lines mean you can park and don’t have to pay.
  • Yellow lines are for disabled badge holders or for residents only.

When looking for parking, bear in mind that popular tourist spots get really busy, and whilst you may find roadside parking if you arrive early, private car parks are probably the best option. The closer to the beach or a city center you are, the less likely you are to find any free parking.

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Grand Tour of Switzerland

Grand Tour of Switzerland: The Best Road Trip in Europe?

Driving the Grand Tour of Switzerland is like stepping into a living postcard. The country beckons travelers with its pristine Alpine landscapes, charming villages, and cultural experiences. Join us as we explore the Grand Tour of Switzerland and share the ultimate itinerary, a driving route that promises breathtaking landscapes, gourmet delights, and unforgettable adventures at every turn.
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road trip from London

Road Trips from London: The 6 Best Routes to Explore

London, a city steeped in history and bustling with modern energy, is an ideal starting point for exploring beyond its urban confines. Beyond the iconic landmarks and vibrant streets lies a realm of natural wonders, charming villages, picturesque landscapes and cultural treasures waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply craving the freedom of the open road, these road trips from London promise a unique glimpse into the diverse…
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things to do in Belgium

Road Trip Belgium: Fall In Love With Europe’s Hidden Gem

Belgium is a fantastic destination for a road trip, offering plenty of historic, culinary, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re interested in exploring medieval cities, savoring delicious food, or visiting ancient castles, Belgium has something for everyone. Our Belgium road trip guide has info on top destinations and activities, plus a few hidden gems too. Plan your perfect Belgium road trip itinerary and fall in love with this small country that has so much to see and do!
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Stelvio Pass

Stelvio Pass: The Best Mountain Road in Italy?

A truly iconic Italian road, the Stelvio Pass is a bucket list drive. High in the Ortler Alps, the pass is the stuff of legends, with hairpin bends, tunnels and of course spectacular views, along the 47 kilometer route. In our Stelvio Pass guide we’ll share all you need to know about driving this incredible mountain route between Bormio and Stilfs. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the Stelvio Pass, one of…
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road trips in Spain

Spain Road Trip: 8 Amazing Routes for an Epic Trip

Amongst the beautiful landscapes of Spain, in the mountainous interior and along the gorgeous coasts, you’ll find fascinating history, vibrant culture, and incredible cuisine. One of the best ways to experience Spain is by taking a road trip. We base ourselves in Spain when not traveling and have explored much of the country on four wheels and two! Whether you want historic cities, gorgeous landscapes, beaches and sun, or something a bit different, our detailed…
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Croatia road trips

Croatia Road Trips: Five Incredible Routes

One of the best ways to explore the beautiful country of Croatia is by taking a road trip, where you can drive along winding coastal roads, visit charming towns and villages, and discover off-the-beaten-path hidden gems. In this Croatia road trip guide, we’ll share some of our favorite road trip routes and destinations in Croatia, along with tips for planning your own adventure on the open road. Get ready for an unforgettable journey through one…
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