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.
You will be finding your car at the airport of Bari (or Brindisi). It is only a short trip to the hotel in Lecce where the rally will start the next morning. We will be staying two nights in this comfortable grand hotel in the centre of the historic town. Lecce is a Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy. Sometimes described as the ‘Florence of the Baroque’ or the ‘Rome of the South’.
The second day we leave 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.
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.
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 second rally, which will be held from May 27 – June 2 will only hold a Tour Class.
On both rallies there is availability for 30 classic cars up to 1974.
We start with an easy day; 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. We have the evening off and discover this beautifull city with its many restaurants.
|Piazzetta Riccardi, 13|
|73100 Lecce (LE) |
|Tel.: +39 0832 24 5111|
We continue our road to Matera over roads with stonewalls on both side, just as in Wales and Scotland. For the rest Puglia is reminiscent of Tuscany with hills and a lot of olive trees.
A visit to Puglia would not be complete without visiting the Truli in Alberobello. The town has become quite touristy, the reason we will not be staying there. We park our cars across the municipality and walk a small distance to the restaurant for a traditional lunch.
Our destination is the fascinating town of Matera, one of the most fascinating destinations of Italy. Matera is known for its rock-dwellings, the sassi. Of course, we do not stay in cave, we stay in two beautiful “palazzi” in the centre of town.
|Piazza Duomo, 13|
|75100 Matera (MT) |
|Tel.: +39 0835 334 358|
|Via S. Potito, 7|
|75100 Matera (MT) |
|Tel.: +39 0835 330 699|
From Matera we drive north-west. We leave the lush valley, which reminds us, so much of Tuscany for the more arid planes. 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.
Again 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 accommodations.
|Castello di Bovino|
|Tel.: +39 0881912015 |
We are definitely south, the roads are long, no industry just the occasional shepherd. We make some long driving stretches along mountains, in national parks and along rivers. We drive towards Sulmona.
Sulmona is a regional town with some claim as to be a tourist destination with its 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 Sulmona via the Superstrada, 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.
The Gran Sasso plains where one of the two inspirations to start the Via Flaminia series of rallies in Italy. Some compare its vastness to Tibet, some compare its plains to Scotland. Fact is that it remains 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 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.
Our last day brings us to hotel Palazzo Loup, beautifully set in the hills south of Bologna on the Mille Miglia route over 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.
Around Perugia we take the Via Flaminia to make some quick ground, in the afternoon it is rallying as we are used to; small undulating roads. We will not be taking the Futa pass to our hotel. We leave it to the Mille Miglia with its hundreds of participants, we take smaller and much nicer roads north.
It is only 175 km from Palazzo Loup to the motorail. The train will be loading in the afternoon, so you have time to visit one of the many car museums in the region.
The motorail will bring you back to Düsseldorf. From there it is a relatively short drive to the ferry or chunnel to England.
Rene van der Putten (NL)
Marcel de Ridder (NL)
Joost Krugers (B)
Vieta Bons (B)
Bart van der Kloet (B)
Miriam van der Kloet (B)
Joop Stolze (NL)
Neeltje Stolze (NL)
Jos Hessels (NL)
David Hessels (NL)
Wim Vermeer (NL)
Mirjam Vermeer (NL)
Paul Kok (NL)
Lindy Margadant (NL)
Nico Trap (NL)
Hanneke Trap (NL)
Jaap Roodenburg (NL)
Hannie Roodenburg (NL)
Robert van Grinsven (NL)
Hennie Van Grinsven (NL)
Tim Heath (UK)
Sarah Heath (UK)
Walter vd Berg (NL)
Dorine vd Berg (NL)
Niels van Wijk (NL)
Linda van Wijk (NL)
Ton Tuijten (NL)
Ilmar Hotsma (NL)
Peter Aarts (NL)
Nanette Aarts (NL)
Nico Cortlever (NL)
Letty Cortlever (NL)
Bram van Rosmalen (NL)
Fenneke van Leijden (NL)
Erik van Welzen (NL)
Ineke van Welzen (NL)
Start: Sunday May 27
Finish: Saturday June 2
Registration for a crew of two (first 24 entries): € 2.950, –
Registration from entry position 25 on: € 3.200, –
Discount: 1% for each year that the sum of the age of both participants is smaller than 100.
Trucking of your car:
One way to Bari: € 700, –
One way to Brindisi: € 780, – (only for 7 or 8 cars)
To Düsseldorf by motorail:
Starting at € 570, – (car and 2 passengers,)
Total rally kilometers: 1600
From Bari Airport to the first hotel (start): 150 km
From Brindisi Airport to the first hotel (start): 35 km
From the finish hotel to the motorail in Verona: 175 km
Saturday June 2: