We have visited Italy many times but never south of Amalfi coast. Now we would like to see Puglia but also Sicily and wondered if we could combine them ( with a bit of Basilicata/Catania thrown in) if we have 3 weeks available to travel in later September and October this year flying in and using car hire.
Our interests are scenery, history and nice food!
Firstly is approx 10 days in each area reasonable,or will we be likely to regret rushing everywhere. Ideally we would like to have at least one day in each week to just relax - on the coast or with a pool. Would trying to add an extra day or two make a significant difference.
Will it be feasible to hire a car from, say, Bari and return it in Sicily to link to arriving and departing flights or would it be better to get between the two areas by rail or air and hire a car in each area instead.
From looking at organised itineraries it seems that a base on the coast south of Bari and a night or two in Lecce would enable us to see most places in Puglia without changing base too often.
Similarly, I'm not sure how many separate bases we need to use in Sicily.
Are we likely to find any areas shutting down by mid October?
Sorry this is a long list of questions but I'm not sure how to begin building a plan. Thank you for any suggestions of how to begin to narrow this down.