Puglia is arid and generous at the same time. A land that welcomes every traveller by wrapping him with his scents of the sea and olive trees, with its rhythmic music, and its colours that he will hardly forget. The chromatic contrast of the blue of the sea and the white of its “masserie” will accompany you on a journey that is a constant exercise of beauty for the eyes and the spirit. Expanses of olive trees and small abandoned “trulli” follow one after another along the roads from the north of the region to the south giving the view to small villages of Magna Graecia.
From Bari to Salento the grandmothers prepare the “orecchiette” sitting “al fresco” while the men talk sitting in a circle in front of a small bar. I fell in love with Puglia slowly, discovering something special trip after trip while the bond gradually became stronger. So strong that now half of my family lives there.
Each city has a well-defined personality, history and architecture. The “trulli” of Alberobello, the postcard view of the sea of Polignano, the white and perched Ostuni. My favourite is Lecce, the baroque lady of Salento, elegant and enthralling at sunset, she will give you plays of light on buildings and churches that will leave you breathless.In the south, immense Caribbean beaches alternate with rocks on glimpses of crystalline sea and caves “da poesia.”
Everywhere the sea is so beautiful that you will be spoiled by choice.
If in doubt, let yourself be advised by the wind.
Polignano a Mare
WHERE TO STAY:
If you want to live an authentic, quiet and relaxing experience I suggest to stay in a “masseria.” There are many and all very beautiful, from the most traditional to the most modern. My favorite is Borgo San Marco in Fasano. From its terraces you can enjoy breathtaking sunsets and expanses of olive trees that reach the sea.
In the morning for breakfast, forget the croissants and enjoy fioroni and cheese. Each room is different and very particular. Here tradition and hospitality are the undisputed protagonists.
Masseria Potenti in Manduria, Chiara and her whole family will make you feel at home. They take care of every detail. The flowers on the tables are collected every morning, the tablecloths are ancient (in a good way), the vegetables are picked in the garden and then expertly cooked. You will leave with a smile on your heart.
WHERE TO EAT:
Masseria Moroseta, you must try Giorgia Eugenia Goggi’s creative cuisine under the pergola at sunset overlooking the olive grove. The “Masseria” is a small design jewel curated by the architect Andrew Trotter.
Roots, a typical trattoria is the younger brother of Bros the renowned restaurant in Lecce, located in Scorrano in Salento, and is born from the idea of Floriano Pellegrino and Isabella Poti to take the root reinventing the local flavors by only using km0 farms and small producers.
Taverna del Porto, a must if you want to eat fresh fish overlooking the sea in an informal setting.
“Pasticciotto” for breakfast at the Andrea Ascalone pastry shop in Galatina. It is Salento’s typical dessert, a shortcrust pastry filled with custard, in summer to be served with “caffè leccese” (espresso coffee with ice and almond milk).
I Faraglioni di Sant’Andrea | Otranto
Grotta della Poesia | Roca
Portuligno | Roca
Cala dell’Acquaviva | Marittima
Porto Badisco | Otranto
Bagno Marino Archi | Santa Cesarea Terme
Ceramiche Fasano, located in Grottaglie, a small town in Puglia which is the heart of ceramics in Italy. In this hand made pottery workshop each piece is unique and different from each other.
Tulsi Shop, Marittima di Diso is a little boutique where you can admire and buy handmade clothing, refined kaftans, tribal jewels, and beautiful bags.
BEST NATURE EXPERIENCES:
Punta Palascia is the easternmost place in Italy. If there is no mist, you can see Albania and your phone will signal you that you are abroad. You can go on the top of one of the oldest and original Italian lighthouses and enjoy a spectacular view at the point where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet.
La Cutura is a botanical garden within an ancient country estate, which dates back to the 1800s, in Giuggianello, a small town in Salento. Today the garden extends for 35 hectares and houses one of the richest collections of rare, succulents and tropical plants. In this place beauty and nature come together in perfect harmony, in a triumph of scents and colours. Cutura comes from the word “Cute” which means stone in the local dialect.
Origano – Cantine Menhir is a hospitality format that combines the authenticity of food and good wine. All the ingredients used come directly from the farm.
Quanto Basta Lecce, this small place in the baroque city is a mixology paradise. You can enjoy the best cocktails in the city.