I’ve shared my trip with you guys on Instagram, but I don’t feel like it justified just how amazing Puglia, South-East region of Italy was. You absolutely have to add it on your bucket list, and here is why:
1. You can stay in the Trullo – cone-shaped house unique to the region
We stayed in one just outside Ostuni – Trullo Dipinto. I’ve never stayed in a place like that before, but can certainly say: when in Puglia, stay in a trullo!Here’s what it looked like inside:
2. You can visit Alberobello to see UNESCO protected Trulli
Alberobello is a small town, unusual for its district of trulli, which has an interesting history: its design was to fool the authorities and fiddle taxes. To wriggle around laws , it was important that Alberobello didn’t class as an inhabited settlement, and until 1797, when Alberobello was finally given ‘town’ status, the people had to live in trulli, which could be dismantled in a hurry when necessary.When visiting, make sure to visit a roof terrace – many cafes are offering these, as the view is absolutely breath-taking!
3. You can see the beautiful cliffs of Polignano a Mare, where Red Bull cliff-diving is hosted
There are loads of gorgeous viewing spots, where you can truly enjoy the beauty of the region.And the streets are absolutely gorgeous: beautiful and clean, each house having its own character, but fitting in together so well!
4. Affordable drinks
Puglia is still undiscovered for mainstream tourism, meaning that the prices aren’t as inflated as they are in other tourist destinations. Aperol Spritzer would usually cost around 6€ (vs 12€ in Rome a couple of years back), and if you find a supermarket, don’t be scared of the low price tags on wine – the wine is cheap, and it’s really really good.You can also get a ‘fresher’ Peroni, unpasteurised as its local – and tastes delicious.
5. Visit Ostuni – The White City
You will see Ostuni miles before you get there: white-washed walls and clusters of white-washed houses on the top of the hill, surrounded by fields full of olive trees is a must-see view.Inhabited since Stone Age, the town was destroyed by Hannibal during the Punic Wars, but then re-built by the Greeks. Ostuni – Astu néon – means “new town”.When the Roman Empire fell, the Normans arrived and built medieval town – which you can experience for yourself, walking through the little passages, multiple flights of steps and narrow back streets.
6. Historic town of Lecce
As we were in Puglia, Game of Thrones was still going, and some of the places really reminded me of King’s Landing! 🙂 And just look – no crowds of tourists around – or queues for tickets – absolute bliss!
Right in the centre, there is beautifully preserved Roman amphitheatre.You can also visit Castello di Lecce – or the Castle of Charles V – The Holy Roman Emperor. He was the nephew of Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon – the one he divorced – I’ve told you about the new series about her (sorry History geek in me always find the connections!)
The castle has so much potential! Currently there isn’t any information in English – but with that, there is also lack of tourists, and zero crowds. For now, anyway.
7. Delicious local food, which is affordable
In the average restaurant, you can get a pizza for 5€ – so many sure you visit one of the top restaurants at least once! We went to Dish in Ostuni – and I can’t recommend it enough! Waiting staff are knowledgeable and speak very good English – fantastic service. You can also see the kitchen – I always feel like the food will come out better if you can see it being cooked – have you ever felt that? 😀
8. Beautiful nature
If you’re a fan of olive trees, and bright wild flowers, Puglia is the place for you. There are also so many fruit plants, that we’ve spent days trying to figure out what they are were! 🙂
9. Amazing weather
Huge bonus – you can go off-season, because it’s nice and warm there – but just because the breeze is cool, doesn’t mean that sun screen is not important. Another top tip – choose bikini with less coverage to not be a zebra 😀
10. Easy to get to
You can get a flight to Bari Airport from Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports. We hired a car: Ostuni, where we stayed was only 40 mins drive. The whole trip was very easy and smooth.
BONUS REASON: Many Happy Cats
I’ve been to the countries where there are a lot of homeless cats, but in Puglia they can’t possibly be homeless – they are fat and happy cats 🙂
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Lots of Love,