Puglia has always been tempting the organization of the Via Flaminia. Now, after 13 years we go to this region, which is full of history, culture, cuisine and wonderful nature.
Puglia is in the south of Italy, the heel of Italy’s boot. The region is not one of Italy’s traditional tourist destinations, but it is becoming increasingly popular as travellers discover the area’s varied charms: baroque towns, white-washed trulli houses, olive groves and orchards, blue sea and beaches, plenty of sunshine and excellent cuisine.
We will have two separate rallies, which succeed each other, one from Verona to Puglia and one back. In the meantime a truck will come and do the exchange of cars; bringing the cars for the rally back north and picking up the cars that just finished the rally. In this way we save a lot of cost.
We strongly suggest that you add a few days to the rally to discover Puglia, just rent a small car and discover the many towns and regions we had to skip.
We also offer the possibility to go by motorail to Verona for the start of the first rally or back from Verona after the second rally.
After disembarking the motorail we meet those coming by own means at the Lamborghini museum. This is where the actual rally starts. The first night is in the hills above Bologna along the Mille Miglia route.
From here we drive into Tuscany and Umbria, we pass the ever so impressive Gran Sasso with planes reminiscent of Tibet. We stay in comfortable and characteristic hotels often in little towns.
Close to Puglia, in Basilicata, we stay in two “Palazzi” in the historic centre of Matera. The town is famous for its cave dwellings, the “sassi”. As the town expanded, new streets were often constructed on the rooftops of other houses and it is this ‘layering’ that has created the extraordinary images for which Matera has become famous.
In Puglia we stay two nights in the centre of Lecce. Lecce is a Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy. Sometimes described as the ‘Florence of the Baroque’ or the ‘Rome of the South’.
As always, the Via Flaminia is a layback rally where the competition serves the atmosphere, winning is not a goal on itself. Those who want to have a stop for a coffee can do so. No time constraint. The classification is done via navigation and the competition for the last place is sometimes fierce.
In order to attract younger participants we have devised a discount formula. For every year that the sum of the driver and navigator is smaller than 100; they get a discount of 1% (with a maximum of 20%). (NB: Only the year of birth counts in reference to the year 2018).
Moreover, for every two years that they are younger than 100, they can bring in a car that is one year younger than 1974. Of course this does not count for the pre-war edition.
The May rally, which will be held from May 19 – 26 will hold a Sport Class as well as a Tour Class.
The Sport Class drivers will get roads, which are slightly more difficult to find, which are not as well maintained and some more kilometres.
On both rallies there is availability for 30 classic cars up to 1974.
Those who have their car trucked to the airport of Bologna have a 25 km drive to the restaurant next to the Lamborghini museum. It is there that we meet those coming by own means. We start with our first delicious Italian lunch before visiting the museum. After the visit we are free to start our route to the first hotel perched high in the mountains above Bologna.
Palazzo Loup is beautifully set in the hills south of Bologna on the Mille Miglia route to the Futa pass. We have been a few times to this lovely hotel and each time the reception by the owner and his staff is exhilarating. Ladies, be aware, the owner might take you on a sight seeing tour.
We will not be taking the Futa pass since the Mille Miglia might be taking it. We take smaller and much nicer roads south. In the morning it is rallying as we are used to in the Via Flaminia; small undulating roads. In the afternoon we take the Via Flaminia around Perugia and quickly win some ground on the way south.
We have passed through Bettona many times with the Via Flaminia. It is only recently that I discovered that there is an excellent hotel right in the middle of this little Umbrian town.
We continue south on the Via Flaminia before going east towards the Abruzzi and the Gran Sasso.
The Gran Sasso was one of the reasons to start the Via Flaminia in Italy. Some compare it with Tibet, for others the high planes are more reminiscent of Scotland. Fact is that it is breath-taking, even after 14 years of Via Flaminia.
In the middle of the plains, between wild horses and mountains, we have a wonderful barbecue.
We leave the Gran Sasso via a large series of hairpins and find ourselves on fertile plains. For the last stretch to Sulmona we take the Superstrada, or SS as it is called in Italy.strada, or SS as the Italians like to call it. After a large series of hairpins we find ourselves on the high planes of the Gran Sasso.
Sulmona is a regional town with some claim as to be a tourist destination with tis Roman aqueduct. We stay in the centre of this typical town in several delightful hotels. The owner of the principal hotel is truly helpful and proud of his hotel and happy to make us feel welcome.
We leave the provincial town of Sulmona for the more desolated part of Italy, we are definitely going South. We make some long driving stretches along mountains, in national parks and along rivers. The region is getting more and more desolate, no industry whatsoever, only sheep and goat shepherds.
We enter Puglia to our destination for the night, one of the most beautiful towns of Italy, the Bovino castle only has 5 rooms but the little town acts as an “albergo diffuso” with many very good accomodations. This is Italy like we know it from the black and white movies.
|Castello di Bovino|
|Tel.: +39 0881 912 015
From Bovino we drive south-east. We will try to arrange a visit to the car factory in Melfi, one of the most modern and largest plants in the world where the Fiat 500X and the Jeep Renegade are assembled.
Our destination is the truly fascinating Matera, one of the most interesting, unusual and memorable destinations in Italy. Matera is famous for its extensive cave-dwelling districts, the sassi. Of course we will not be staying in caves. We stay in two very nice “Palazzi”.
|Piazza Duomo, 13|
|75100 Matera (MT)
|Tel.: +39 0835 334 358|
|Via S. Potito, 7|
|75100 Matera (MT)
|Tel.: +39 0835 330 699|
Driving into Puglia is as driving into another world, from the arid planes we seem to drive into Tuscany, the hills are pleasant and lush. The only giveaway may be the stone walls along the road which remind of Scotland.
A visit to Puglia would not be complete without a visit to the Trulli in Alberobello. The town has become quite touristy so we will not be staying there overnight. We will park our cars at the start of the main walking street and have lunch in a traditional restaurant.
We drive on east between stonewalled roads towards Lecce. After the massive tourism in Alberobello this gothic town is a relief. It has the atmosphere of a provincial Italian town. It shows all its passed grandeur in its buildings. We stay in a comfortable hotel in the centre of town.
We will be spending two nights here.
|Piazzetta Riccardi, 13|
|73100 Lecce (LE)
|Tel.: +39 0832 24 5111|
The last day navigation is essentially easy; we drive to the coast and there we keep on “left” where possible. The scent of the sea and the Mediterranean trees fills our nose. We feel free and on vacation.
We drive along beaches and through villages, all the southern Italian way, we pass the most southern point of Puglia and have lunch at the beach.
Tired and satisfied as we are we take the main road back to our hotel in Lecce for the price awarding ceremony.
|Piazzetta Riccardi, 13|
|73100 Lecce (LE)
|Tel.: +39 0832 24 5111|
While you are in Puglia we suggest you stay a few extra days.
A trailer will be getting your car at the Bari Airport 150 – mostly highway kilometres – from Lecce.
As of summer 2017 Transavia leaves there at 14:55 to Amsterdam but many other airlines serve Bari.
If we manage to get a trailer fully filled, then we will also offer Brindisi, only 35 km away from Lecce and served by Ryanair. The flight to Eindhoven leaves at 19:35 (summer 2017 schedule).
Marc Schuurkes (NL)
Ada de Jong (NL)
Henk van der Zwan (NL)
Annemiek Ras (NL)
Toon Mans (NL)
Katja Mans (NL)
Michiel Campagne (NL)
Karen Campagne (NL)
Frans van Maarschalkerwaart (NL)
Véronique Meuleman (NL)
Rob Rappange (NL)
Philippe Massaut (NL)
Roel van de Wiele (B)
Francisca Burgi (B)
Peter Driessen (NL)
Nina Driessen (NL)
Marc Verloo (B)
Anne Ghys (B)
Jeroen Hoep (NL)
Monique Hoep (NL)
Dick de Regt (NL)
Bas de Regt (NL)
Maarten Fiijan (NL)
Henny Fijan (NL)
Leen 't Hoog (NL)
Barry van Leeuwen (CND)
Wietse Groenink (NL)
Ineke Groenink (NL)
David John Twaites (CH)
Henriette Twaites-Baum (CH)
Freek Koopmans (NL)
Wilma Koopmans (NL)
Egbert Dijkstra (NL)
Liesbeth van Galen (NL)
Bert Spies (NL)
Joke Spies (NL)
Jan-Dirk Hageman (NL)
Martine Hageman (NL)
Eric Barenbrug (NL)
Lucienne Samuels (NL)
Paul Koeton (NL)
Linnet Cortlever (NL)
Herman Blaak (NL)
Peter Blaak (NL)
Ronald van Pelt (NL)
Johan Bosma (NL)
Frank van Min (NL)
Jacqueline van Min (NL)
Stan Lowette (B)
Mimi Thijs (B)
Johan Schoenmaker (NL)
Hille Ypma (NL)
Tony Stevens (B)
Emma van de Paer (B)
Niek van Helden (NL)
Marian van Helden (NL)
Bram van Rosmalen (NL)
Fenneke van Leijden (NL)
Anton van Burken (NL)
Inge van Burken (NL)
Start: Saturday May 19
Finish: Saturday May 26
Registration for the first 16 entries: € 2.850, –
Registration for the consecutive 8 entries: € 3.050, –
Registration from entry position 25 on: € 3.300, –
Discount: 1% for each year that the sum of the age of both participants is smaller than 100.
Trucking of your car from NL to Bologna:
One way to Bologna Airport: € 480
Trucking of your car to Holland:
One way from Bari: € 700, –
Total rally kilometers: 1650
From the disembarkation of the motorail to the start: 20 km
From the finish hotel to Bari Airport: 150 km