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Puglia on the road:

from the Trulli of Alberobello

to the Sassi of Matera

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Blinding white houses, endless expanses of olive oil trees and authentic flavors: the Italian Summer was invented here. Between narrow alleys and colorful ceramics, under the sun umbrella on the beach in front of a crystal clear sea, in the morning at the coffee shop while having breakfast with a pasticciotto.

A trip through the heart of Salento region with a last stop in Matera, the so-called City of Sassi, a unique place in the world. Once again in our wonderful Country, Italy.

WHEN

TO GO

January

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December

The Stops

POLIGNANO A MARE: the steep rocky cliffs and poems written on the walls of

white houses have made this village quite popular all over the world. One of the most instagrammed restaurants is here, Grotta Palazzese, set in a dreamy

location.

 

what to see: from Domenico Modugno statue take the steps and go down to Pietra Piatta to have a nice point of view on Cala Porto (or Lama Monachile).

where to eat: Focacceria di Marco delle Noci for a delicious Apulian focaccia or Pescaria for a seafood sandwich.

VIDEO

MONOPOLI: a glimpse of the old port and the bright colors of the boats in a hot summer day. Monopoli is an Italian postcard, where time has stopped. 

 

what to see: the Old Port, Palazzo Martinelli, the Cathedral

where to eat: coffee & pasticciotto break at Bar Pasticceria Michelangelo located in the main square of the town.

ALBEROBELLO: sleeping in a trullo house? Done. There is no other place where you can walk among these iconic houses in a magical atmosphere, you can't miss this stop. 

 

what to see: from Trullo Sovrano take Via del Gesù down to the church Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano; Belvedere Balconata & Rione Monti

where to eat: Trullo Del Conte

LOCOROTONDO & CISTERNINO: only 15 minutes far from Alberobello, it'll take less than one hour to visit the historical centers of these two little villages where you'll love the flowered balconies and colorful pumi made of ceramics.

MARTINA FRANCA: this 14th century town is located in the heart of Valle D'Itria and it is famous for baroque architecture and a typical cold cut called capocollo.

what to see: Chiesa di San Domenico, Chiesa del Carmine, Palazzo Ducale.

where to eat: Caseificio Gentile

OSTUNI: the White City, with its blue iconic doors - the most popular one in Via Brancasi. A perched gem, a maze of alleys up and down with lovely shops and restaurants where you'll have the chance to eat tons of orecchiette.

 

where to eat: Il Posto Affianco

Puglia Ostuni Il Posto Affianco

SAN FOCA: golden beaches, a well equipped port and the perfect stop to explore the surroundings. 

 

what to see: Faraglioni di S. Andrea, Grotta della Poesia, Marine di Melendugno

OTRANTO: enjoy the sky colors change at sunset from the top of the castle and have an evening walk in this historical town after a long day spent at the beach.

 

what to see: Castello Aragonese, Laghi Elimini, Baia dei Turchi

Puglia Otranto

LECCE: the so-called“Florence of the South” just left us speechless with the beauty of its squares, baroque buildings and churches. 

 

what to see: Basilica S. Croce, Piazza S. Oronzo, Castelo Carlo V, Teatro Romano

where to eat: Il Rifugio della Buona Stella (we highly recommend to have parmigiana alla leccese and maritati sugo e polpette pasta)

Puglia Lecce

GALATINA: Forbes has mentioned it on the list of not-to-miss Italian cities, where the pasticciotto was born and where you'll find the astonishing Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria with amazing paintings compared to the Basilica di San Francesco D’Assisi ones for the beauty.

The white baroque buildings at night will shine bright under the moonlight and the result will just make you feel in an openair museum. 

 

where to eat: La Campina de Don Paulu, if you want to taste Puglia traditional dishes at a fixed convenient price; at least 15 different starters and some handmade pasta stuffed with pistachio pesto, Norcia sausage and caramelized tomatoes you should really try (the name in Italian: quadrotti di burrata con pesto di pistacchi, salsiccia di Norcia e pomodorino confit).

S. MARIA DI LEUCA: the Italian heel's southern point with a rocky coast where to have lovely walks at sunset by the sea. 

 

what to see: Santuario Santa Maria De Finibus Terrae, Cascata Monumentale, Grotte

where to eat: Lido Azzurro,  for a seafood dinner by the sea; Osteria del Macellaio @ Castrignano where you can have delicious bombette (stuffed meat rolls)

NARDO’: Piazza Salandra is really worth a visit. The view of its baroque buildings at night is a rare beauty show. 

 

where to eat: Antica Macelleria FAI, and then a gelato at Caffè Parisi

MATERA: our on the road trip ends here, moving from Puglia to Basilicata region on our way back to Naples. Matera is an amazing place: like a movie set, a living nativity, a magical town that becomes surreal at sunset. Hard not to add it on the Unesco world heritage sites list, because while walking up and down the Sassi on those stone steps you just realize to be in a place like no other. And that's exactly the feeling that you'll bring with you, the privilege to have been in a unique place.

 

what to see: Sasso Caveoso & Sasso Barisano, viewpoint @ Chiesa Madonna de Idris, Chiesa rupestre di S. Pietro Caveoso, Piazza Duomo for a lovely view on Sasso Barisano

where to eat: Ristorante Francesca (we recommend the figs stuffed with ricotta cheese and orange zest as starter, the tripla maritata or cavatelli pasta with peperone crusco and burrata cheese as main dish)

Basilicata Matera Sassi

Where to Stay

CHARMING TRULLI, Trullo Olmo @Piazza Sacramento, 8 - Alberobello

PALAZZO TRE CARDI @Via S. Maria, 10 - Salve

MASSERIA PAPPO @Via Esterna Casole - Copertino

B&B ALLA DIMORA DI CHIARA @Via S. Gennaro, 3 - Matera

Puglia Salve "Palazzo Tre Cardi" where to sleep

...& Pugliesità: curiosities ad typical products

Trullo | traditional Apulian dry stone house with a conical roof.

Masseria | fortified farmhouse typically built in the 16th century and now often used as B&B and luxury hotels.

Salento olive oil trees | Unesco world heritage, growing up in the perfect natural habitat to produce one of the best olive oils in the world.

Pumo | popular symbol of good luck, handmade in ceramics, its name means flower bud. The bud is round, with a slightly pointed end, it's easy to find them on balconies.

Pasticciotto | type of filled Italian pastry with egg custard and black cherries.

Burrata | cow milk cheese similar to mozzarella cheese and probably one of the best things you'll eat during this trip. 

Pittule | small traditional fried Apulian starters.

Bombette | stuffed meat rolls prepared in a hundreds different ways.

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Image by Dario Crisafulli

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