Puglia is an emerging region, so first some information about it. Puglia is located in south-east Italy with Bari as its capital. The area consists of 6 provinces: Bari, Barletta-Andria-Trani, Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce and Tarente. We flew to Bari by plane and had a house a few kilometres away where we stayed. From here we drove around by car and saw several places. The following year we went back to Puglia and had a house in a different area but with the same idea to visit different places from there.
The nice thing about being in a house is that it has a lot more of a holiday feeling. You have a swimming pool in the garden and no neighbours to bother you (and the other way around). Especially in the morning and evening there is extra piece and quiet on your own terrace and no one saying that they are closing or not open yet. In the period that we were there it was peak season, normally it is around 30 degrees. However, we were sitting there in a heatwave which caused the temperature to rise to 40 degrees. It is then too hot to do anything during the day, so it was ideal that we were in a house. At the end of the afternoon/beginning of the evening we drove to a place to discover it and have a bite to eat. Also, in the middle of the day there is not much to do, at the end of the afternoon everything gets going again and it is nice to mix in.
Because we were attached to a location we have only been in the provinces of Bari, Barletta-Andria-Trani, Brindisi and Tarente. If you want to see the whole area at once rent a car and drive from Bari down via Brindisi to Lecce then via Taranto, Barletta-Andria-Trani and Foggia back to Bari. In this way you can plan your route in advance with places you would like to see and see a lot of the beautiful landscape and coastline. In September the weather is more pleasant if you can’t stand the heat very well. It is still nice weather but not too hot. Perfect weather for a road trip. This also applies to spring, as of April it is above 20 degrees Celsius.
Although most people immediately think of France when they think of wine, Italy together with France, has the largest wine production in the world. The area in Puglia is 400 kilometres long without mountains. This half flat, half mountainous area is ideal for agriculture. Although Puglia is not very well known yet, together with Sicily it is the largest wine producer. This applies mainly to red wines.
Besides wines, Puglia also has one of the best olive oils in the world. In 2018 2 producers got a place in the top 10 best producers in the world with their olive oils. Olive oils from this region are so tasty because of the warm climate and the ancient traditions of olive growing.
With many products from this region, it is certainly worth to immerse yourself in them and taste them. Several all-inclusive trips are offered to make a culinary journey through Puglia. You can enjoy the local products and wine, tastings, cooking classes such as making mozzarella but also a visit to a vineyard and the beach. The perfect change for a good holiday!
If you want to know more about these all-inclusive trips please visit this website.
Although most people think of Italy is pizzas and pastas, there is much more than that. Because Puglia is on the coast, you cannot escape seafood. This is delicious with pasta or risotto because it is directly from the sea on your plate. It doesn’t get any fresher than this. Also, better known is burrata that originates from this region. When you see stracciattella on the menu don’t think of the ice cream taste, but this is the inside of the burrata. Is that what you like best? Then order stracciattella.
Some more unknown products and dishes are for example: Puccia, which looks like a pita sandwich, but is made of pizza dough. It’s a filled sandwich that originated in Lecce with different ingredients that you can usually put together yourself. Panzerotto, originated with the idea that there is always something tasty to be made with remaining dough and standard ingredients such as olive oil and tomatoes (which Italians always have in house). Taralli, comes from Alberobello and is a small loaf of bread that you usually get on the table with a piece of bread before dinner, but these taralli are also often served when you are having a drink. Ottimini, looks the same as Taralli but this is a sweet variety. Tasty for breakfast but can also be served in between meals. Orecchiette, a local type of pasta which means ears.
Interested in more dishes? Then take a look at this blog.
If you fly to Puglia, you have to fly to Bari. Bari is a large port city where the St. Nicholas basilica is located where St. Nicholas is buried. Furthermore, Bari is a lively historical city with many churches, castles and old squares. On these squares there are also nice restaurants where you can have a nice diner before or after your flight.
For the Trulli’s you have to go to Alberobello, this city is known for this and is full of Trulli’s. Alberobello is built on 2 hills, on one hill lies the old centre and on the other the new part of the city. In the old centre it is nice to walk around because people still live in these Trulli’s. On top of this hill there is a pizzeria where you can eat nice and cheap food. During dinner you have a fantastic view over the city.
Polignano A Mare
If you want a really special and romantic dinner, Grotta Palazzese is the place to be. This restaurant is built in a cave by the sea in Polignano a Mare. From the town itself it is not possible to look inside the cave, only by boat from the sea. Reservations are a must here; they work in 2 shifts for which you can sign up. The view from the restaurant is breath-taking. It is on the expensive side so for a special occasion this restaurant would be suitable.
Funny fact for the girls: Nikkie Tutorials is engaged here.
The old centre in Monopoli is nice to walk through. Especially in the evening the city blossoms. It is very funny to see that everywhere you go the city only comes to life around 6/7. Italians really live outside and that is noticeable then. The city is pleasantly busy and there are plenty of nice tents to eat. In the old town there are a lot of nice squares where you can have a nice and cheap diner. But if you want to eat out a bit chicer, Don Ferrante is a good tip. This restaurant is situated on the wall on the outskirts of town with a sea view. When you eat here you can hear the sea when you sit at the table, which gives a nice atmosphere. The restaurant itself looks cosy and the food is delicious. The price is a bit higher than at the other restaurants on the square, but this restaurant is worth it.
Altamura is a nice fishing village to have a bite to eat in the evening and stroll through. In the fishing villages in Puglia the fish is sold directly from the boat. There are stalls in front of the boat that sell the fish that was caught a few hours before. This makes it possible to eat delicious fish at the restaurants. Because of this, the restaurants that are situated at the harbour are mainly fish restaurants. A tip to eat here is the pasta or risotto fruits de mer. There are several types of fish in your dish such as vongole, squid, prawns, mussels and langoustine.
In Cisternino there is a great restaurant called Osteria Bell’Italia. The terrace outside is not very big but looks very cosy. It stands in a narrow street, but the ceiling is covered with lights and flowers. The price-quality of the restaurant is comparatively good. They are more luxurious products that you can order there so the price-quality ratio is fine. Furthermore, there is a point in Cisternino where you have a beautiful panoramic view, this is well signposted in the city not to be missed. Walking through this city is a must, almost all the houses are white, and the balconies decorated with flowers. Especially in the evening you can see the people who live there having a nice dinner or taking an evening walk.
For a whole day there is not enough to do in Cisternino. From about 6 o’clock it starts to come back to life to have a drink, a bite to eat or make a lovely evening walk.
Ostuni is also called the white city and is a household name in Puglia. Because the city is built on a hill you have a beautiful view from the city over the sea and landscape. You have to be careful not to get lost because the city is kind of a maze of alleys and stairs. But it is worthwhile to walk through it.
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