We are coming from Zurich, Switzerland and would like to visit Padre Pio shrine at San Giovanni Rotondo, stay at hotel for 2 nights and then return to Zurich. What is the best way to get there and back to Zurich? We would like to leave Zurich on 19 Sept 09 and return 21 Sept 09 or 22 Sept 09. We want to fly but do not know what airport to fly to and economy hotel to stay in.
The closest airport to San Giovanni Rotondo is the Bari airport. You can fly there from Zurich via Milan Malpensa (MXP), Roma Fiumicino (FCO) or Venice Marco Polo (VCE). For the timetable, check www.zurich-airport.com.
A useful website to find and book your hotel is www.booking.com. It often offers low price solutions.
I have just found this site: http://www.alberghisangiovannirotondo.com/eng/index.php where you can look for accomodation in the hotels, apartments and B&B in San Giovanni Rotondo.
I think your best option would be to fly to Rome, although Naples would be feasible if you take the train/bus combination mentioned below.
From either city you can take the train to Foggia (the nearest station) and then the bus (about an hour) to SGR. There is a direct daily bus to SGR from Rome itself. There are buses to Foggia from Naples and Rome.
Train times and fares in English here:
Bus from Rome info and online ticket purchase (in Italian):
Buses leave Rome (by Tiburtina atation) at 06.15 and 1700 daily, journey takes around 5h 20m.
For accommodation, look at www.venere.com which is a reliable site with honest guest reviews.
There is a Sita bus from Bari to SGR, leaving at 0600. Journey time is around 2 hours.
You can fly from Milano Malpensa to Foggia Airport with the Swiss carrier Darwin Airlins. From there a bus connected the airport to San Giovanni Rotondo.
Probably the fly from Zurich to Milan is a code share with Swiss.
That's an excellent potential solution, especially as the OP has only a couple of days.
But if that does not suit, then perhaps renting a car from Bari (or Rome) might be better than train/bus. Takes about 2 hours from Bari, 3 from Naples, 4 from Rome according to www.viamichelin.com It would be good to find a hotel with parking if you take that option.
So there are a number of travel choices. Which is the 'best' will depend on your own preferences and budget, of course.
Viale Aldo Moro, 125, San Giovanni Rotondo
Via Tratturo delle Corse 14, San Giovanni Rotondo
Viale Cappuccini 108, San Giovanni Rotondo
Viale Kennedy 19, San Giovanni Rotondo