One of the questions people ask us is how do we get to Otranto?
After all these years of travel back and forth we pretty much have a routine. Often we make our plans early so that we can take advantage of our United miles. Our flight is typically from San Francisco to Frankfurt, Germany and then from Frankfurt to Rome. Once we arrive in Rome we take a local taxi to the nearby town of Fiumicino (10 minutes away) where we stay in one of the 5 modest upstairs rooms of the Ristorante La Perla (Via della Torre Clementina). The room in the front faces the street and the canal where fishing boats are docked. At night you can hear the waves slapping against the rocking boats and early in the morning, before light, the boats chug out to sea. It's a great place to walk along the canal and the pier that juts out into the sea, breathing the fresh air after so many hours cooped up in an airplane. Italians from Rome visit Fiumicino for fish dinners; there is often a holiday feel to the place.
The next day we take a taxi back to the airport and take a one hour local flight to Brindisi, just south of Bari, on the Adriatic Sea. At the small and friendly Brindisi Airport we walk outside to the rental car agency and pick up our previously reserved car. In past years, we have taken the train from the airport into Rome and then taken the train from Rome to Lecce, a six hour ride. Car rental agencies are located just outside the city.
Once we have our car, we drive to Otranto, about an hour and a half. It helps to have good directions; Google Maps works great so make sure you have a working phone (this is something you can take care of at the airport or in the town of Fiumicino.) Of course, the best part is arriving to Otranto and having that first glance of the sea. It still takes my breath away. Yes, Otranto is far away and it takes some time to get there, which is why you want to make sure you stay longer than a week so you can rest up from the travel, explore and enjoy!
If you have any questions about all this...feel free to comment below and we will do our best to answer.