Touchdown in southern Italy, and pick up your rental car at Brindisi Salento Airport, just 6km north of Brindisi. Once a Roman settlement, Brindisi has a fine natural harbour and is a major departure point for Greece. Hire a car from Avis and head out to explore the beautiful region of Puglia with its long coastline, baroque architecture and rich, earthy cuisine.
From Brindisi Airport, it’s just an 11-minute drive to the heart of Brindisi with its busy Adriatic port operating regular ferry services to Greece. Brindisi is a great departure point for touring Puglia and the heel of Italy. Driving is the best way to explore the wild countryside, sun-baked vineyards, Gothic and Baroque churches and 13th-century castles that populate this region of Italy.
In Brindisi, don't miss the Castello Aragonese, (also known as the Red Castle), named for the unusual red stones that were used to build this fortress in 1492. Also in Brindisi centre, Castello Svevo, (the Swabian Castle), an impressive fortress with origins dating back to 1227 which was used as a prison in the eighteenth century. The tiny, intricately-designed Church of San Giovanni al Sepolcro dates back to the 1100s and its chief claim to fame was a relic probably brought back by crusaders, that claimed to be a fragment of Christ's tomb.
Food, as always, is at the heart of Italian living. If you try one thing, make it a dish made with the region’s local pasta: orecchiette. For a more hands-on approach, visit Brindisi’s daily food market in the Piazza Mercato.
Brindisi is mainly known for its thriving port. If you are feeling energetic, walk up the steps in the 54 metre high Italian Sailor Monument for a fantastic panoramic view of the city and harbour. Later relax in one of the many cafes, bars, and restaurants and sample fine local wine and panzarotti or fresh seafood. Start your trip in vibrant Brindisi before heading off on your road trip around the Puglia region.
Roadtrips from Brindisi
Much of Puglia (also known as Apulia) can only be reached by car. With its hilltop villages, extensive coastline, stunning architecture and intriguing Trulli, it's a great destination for a touring holiday. Pick up your hire car at Brindisi Airport and head off for an adventure in southern Italy.
Ostuni Head north from Brindisi on SS379, and you’ll hit Ostuni in less than 40 minutes. Known as the ‘white city’, this whitewashed old town is a maze of cobblestoned streets and narrow alleyways. If you’re visiting at the end of August, you’ll experience the annual Cavalcata di Sant’Oronzo festival, in honour of the town’s patron saint.
Lecce From Brindisi, Lecce is just a 30-minute drive via the Strada Statale 613/SS613. Known as the ‘Florence of the South’, Lecce is a renowned Baroque city on the Salento peninsular. Don't miss the excavated Roman amphitheatre and the over-the-top Basilica di Santa Croce, its facade adorned with fantastical beasts and countless cherubs. Lecce is a a riot of Baroque architecture, check out the Piazza del Duomo and the facade of the Santa Maria di Costantinopoli.
Alberobello If it’s a truly unique experience you’re after, travel to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Its claim to fame is its unique and somewhat strange, limestone homes with conical rooftops, called Trulli. Alberobello is just an hour by car from Brindisi, via route SS379.
Italian driving rules
Which side of the road? In Italy, please drive on the right side of the road.
Country driving laws
Mobile phones may only be used with a hands-free device
Dipped headlights must be used in poor daylight visibility when driving on motorways, dual carriageways, and rural roads
Use the outside lane to overtake on motorways and dual carriageways
Do not use the horn in a built up area unless in danger
There are historical areas in which you cannot drive. Look out for “Zona traffico limitato”
All speed signs will be in km/h.
For a standard Avis rental vehicle with no trailers:
Urban roads: 50 km/h (31 mph)
Urban highways: 70 km/h (44 mph)
Secondary extra-urban roads: 90 km/h (56 mph)
Main extra-urban roads (Expressways): 110 km/h (68 mph)
Motorways: 130 km/h (80mph)
Unless indicated by road signs.
Be aware of changes to speed limits displayed on road signs due to adverse weather conditions.
Child safety / Seatbelt laws
It is compulsory for the driver and all passengers to wear a seatbelt
Children aged under 12 and less than 150cm tall must be seated in an appropriate child restraint for their size
Children weighing up to 9kg must be seated in a rear-facing child restraint, in the back of the car only.
Please note - It is the child’s parent / guardian or vehicle renter’s responsibility to fit the child seat.
This road rules information is for provided for general guidance only. We endeavour to keep the information up to date and accurate, but any reliance you place on this information is at your own risk.