All of this is much easier than it sounds. Nearly everyone flies into Rome, stays the night and then comes to Lecce by train the next day. This works brilliantly as it helps with jetlag, any potentially lost luggage and any short-term cultural shock. It’s how we would arrive.
Lecce is the last stop on the national system (so even if you fall asleep a board it won’t be a problem). Bring a book. Pick up picnic supplies while in Roma. Bring a bottle of wine. Make an afternoon of it.
If you’re short on time and arriving from Northern Europe, you can fly into Brindisi and then take the shuttle to Lecce (6.50 Euro). Or a cab, which is around 60 Euro. It’s half an hour away.
Arrival to and Departure from Lecce, Italy.
For starters, print this page and bring it with you. It will ease any worries you may have. Write the name of your b & b on this sheet as well: have it handy to show the cab driver.
Folks have been coming to see us in Lecce for years and we have not lost one yet.
When to arrive
If coming to a Lecce week arrive on Saturday or Sunday, being certain to be in the main piazza under the column and statue of Sant Oronzo at 7 pm Monday evening. This is the city’s most obvious point and you can’t miss it (in twelve years no one ever has).
If arriving for a week al castello everything is the same, just that we meet at noon on Monday at Porta Napoli. Bring your luggage with you. We’ve set it up so that you can check out of your hotel and then come right to the city’s gate.
By Car (for Lecce)
Lecce has several car hire (rental) companies, the most famous and easiest to drop off and pick up from is Hertz, Via Grassi. (NB Europcar is NOT in Lecce). Car hire (rental) isn’t for everyone. In general, you can get from city to city without a car, pretty easily in Italy. If you plan to travel a lot in the south, however, cars are ideal. Plan to park on the outskirts of the historical centres and then walk in.
If I were you, here is how I’d do it:
1) Book online.
2) Pick up the car.
3) See Puglia, from my suggestions.
4)Arrive in Lecce on Friday afternoon.
5) Drop of the car before 19:30 (7:30 pm). If you miss it, you have Saturday am (most are closed Sat pm and all day Sunday). If you miss this, you may have to rent the car for another full week.
6) Ask the rental company to call you a cab to take you to your b & b. Or walk it, it’s probably not far if you don’t have a lot of luggage.
7)Spend Saturday and Sunday in Lecce. Meet us on Monday at 7pm.
The High Speed Train (http://www.italiarail.com/frecciargento) that travels between Rome and Lecce takes about 6 hours and cost approximately €70 one way for a second class seat and about €100 one way for a first class seat. You can buy your ticket online in advance or at the train station.
Another option (http://www.trenitalia.com) to consider is the overnight train from Rome, which departs at about 23:30 and arrives about 8 1/2 hours later. This train is cheaper, costing about €45 for a standard sleeper seat.
The Lecce train station is less half a kilometer outside of the city centre. If you intend to take a taxi from the train station to the city center, expect to pay about €15. Or if you don’t have much luggage, the walk is very nice as well. (with light luggage, you can walk across the historic centre of Lecce in less than 10 minutes).
This implies that you’re flying into Brindisi (Bari is too far for a taxi).
Here is how I’d do it.
1) Fly into Brindisi.
2) Take a cab from those parked out front. Give them the name of your B & B in Lecce.
3) Expect to pay around 60 Euro to Lecce. I know, they are expensive in Italy. Alternatively you can take the shuttle bus for 6.50.
Ferries arrive in Brindisi from several non-Italian cities, most famously Split, Dubrovnik and Corfu. Arrive in Brindisi and then follow the By Cab instructions or head for the train station and arrive in Lecce by train.
IMPORTANT ARRIVAL INFORMATION
Please use the phone only for emergencies, as we’re often away at the castle. Email is preferred all the other times, as usually the person that can best help you is Desirèe, who answers all of the emails but not Silvestro’s phone. You can also write us through Facebook, Silvestro Silvestori.
When in the country, the school’s phone is (39) 083 224 4073.
School’s cell is (39)334 767 6970.
School’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Early arrival. Paying for extra nights
Nearly everyone changes plans several times before arriving and so we ask that you soberly consider this before asking to book the extra nights at your B & B. Any arrangements you make are your own but any refunds for extra-nights-booked-but-later-unwanted, are few and far between in this part of the world. Keep in mind that these are small, family owned businesses.
If you ask for extra nights, you will be expected to pay for them, whether or not your plans change.
On Wednesday, we will discuss your departure with you, pulling out the maps, calling ahead for you and helping in any way we can. You can use our computer, our wireless, phone and resource books. If you need us to call and confirm ANYTHING, we would be delighted to help. Most folks have their future travel plans already mapped out but if we can help in anyway, Wednesday is the best day for it.
Your class technically ends on Saturday night, after dinner, but on Sunday morning we’ll have arranged your departure. Most aim to take the Lecce-Roma Termini train to Roma and in fact we’ll arrange transportation (on us) to take you to train station with plenty of time to secure your ticket (you can also buy it in advance, online, when arriving in Italy or even while in Lecce, as the station is only 5 walk outside the historic centre (see map).
If you are one to worry, consider buying all train tickets online in advance. Italian train tickets are for specific trains and not transferable, nor refundable. Look for a car number and a two-digit seat number. All non-Freccia train tickets need to be validated in the yellow boxes. When in doubt, validate all tickets before boarding.
Check out our FAQ page. You will save yourself some time.