This will get me in trouble again... but I feel I owe it to people to comment ... watch yourself in South of Italy, especially round Bari and Brindisi, preferably embark from the North... not personally but belongings, no matter how small or large... there, no tales of personal experience just a qualified opinion.
Message posted by nuffstrong on 23 February 2010 at 12:02am - IP Logged
I have been told by truck drivers that Brindisi Port can be unsafe but have never used it myself so this only hearsay. However The Sacra Corona Unita is headquartered in Brindisi, located in the southeastern region of Puglia.
The Sacra Corona Unita consists of about 50 clans with approximately 2,000 members and specializes in smuggling cigarettes, drugs, arms, and people. It is also involved in money laundering, extortion, and political corruption. The organization collects payoffs from other criminal groups for landing rights on the southeast coast of Italy, a natural gateway for smuggling to and from post-Communist countries like Croatia, Yugoslavia, and Albania. Brindisi
I would consider informed opinion before making your decision.
Message posted by janmanessi on 23 February 2010 at 12:12am - IP Logged
I have used Brindisi many times, both with and without cars.
Then old port was a nightmare as you had to go upstairs and fight your way through a scrum to get your passport stamped, and then take your car to a backyard where you waited for boarding. However some years ago a new port was opened and all has changed. No problems whatsoever, cafeterias, smooth service- you are outside the town itself which is an advantage in one way, but you miss the lovely little tavernas and bars hidden in the old town.
if you have time go south, but only if you have time to do some sightseeing in Puglia, a fascinating part of Italy (and certainly not as lawless, at least to a visitor, as the previous post implies). I have plugged the delights of Lecce (fantastic Baroque architecture as if the sculptor has been given free rein to act out all his fantasies)- Ostuni- up on a hill, rather like Corfu Town if a planeload of whitewash had been dropped on it- Alburobello, the most prefectly preserved Trulli village- and further away Matera, where the local people still use the caves which have been inhabited for thousands of years.
Brindisi itself was the start of the Appian Way leasing to Rome and is a much more atractive place to visit than many people think.
Message posted by Graham T-A on 23 February 2010 at 12:30am - IP Logged
Jan, I don't think you have quite got the problem with the south of Italy. It's not the port that is the problem, it's the south in general. I have to agree with you that it's a beautifull place but the crime rate in the south is horrific and has got much worse in the last ten years or so. Most people would want to fill up with petrol and drive directly to the port without stopping. I know several people who have been robbed in the south but I have dont know anyone who got robbed in the north.
Just ask Ecotrials, he tried this route more than once and he got robbed most of the time.
Message posted by ecotrails on 23 February 2010 at 12:33am - IP Logged
Lucky, Janmanessi, you arived there with a passport to get stamped,some of us, on more than one occasion were not so fortunate...
I imagine, as you say, there are delights to be experienced as a tourist in this region but you would not get me returning there if you offered me free accommodation for six (OK 1 year might swing it) months with pool and waiting maidens... by myself yes, with no visible, stealable accompaniments but not as unsuspecting sightseer... just my own opinion again...
Message posted by nuffstrong on 23 February 2010 at 1:14am - IP Logged
AS I said Gail & Joe "I would consider informed opinion before making your decision" for example The British Consulate
The British School
Via de' Terribile 9
I-72100 Brindisi BR
Tel: + (39) 0831 568340
Fax: + (39) 0831 561063
Fighting my way through a scrum to get my passport stamped wouldn't worry me at all nor would taking my car to a back yard to wait for boarding. However when an increasing number of people talk of getting robbed I take more notice.
Message posted by janmanessi on 23 February 2010 at 12:33pm - IP Logged
I've happily gone to that part of Italy for a long weekend, and elderly friends from UK holiday there regularly as it is their favourite part of Italy.
I would avoid the other route round Naples, but Puglia has always seemed pretty calm and very friendly if you take the precautions one should always take when in an area where there is poverty.
There is a fabulous place there called Masseria Impisi restored by an English couple who do art holidays there- it was featured on "Grand Designs" on television- their business is flourishing and their 2010 programme looks great.
Obviously someone travelling in a loaded 4 X 4 or lorry is much more vulnerable than someone inconspicuous in a Fiat, but it is a shame to miss out on this fascinating part of the country.
The only thing my family have had stolen in Italy was my husband's wallet and passport when on a train from Milan to Paris. I know we have been lucky, but crime is everywhere. A friend of ours left his briefcase in Rimini on the bonnet of a parked lorry (passport money etc inside), got to Brindisi and realised and drove back- to find the briefcase still sitting on the lorry!
There used to be many more burglaries than there are now, but I began going through Brindisi in 1969 and have seen a huge improvement in the whole area.
Corfu's Rotary Club goes over often to spend time with their Italian counterparts, and have come back with glowing reports also.
Message posted by gail+joe on 24 February 2010 at 3:33am - IP Logged
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