As of recent, a lot of travellers have been posting about visiting Puglia in Italy, but where is Puglia and is it worth the visit and adding it on to your bucket list? Stay tuned because I’m about to show you why.
If you look at a map of Italy, you’ll notice it’s in the shape of a boot, Puglia is 1 of 20 regions in Italy and is known as the ‘heel’ region. Unlike other popular coastal regions, Puglia is on the Adriatic Coast which is known for its crystal-clear waters.
My trip here began in the small city of Otranto, which is 2 hours south of the region’s capital Bari. I flew into Puglia via Brindisi which is a lot closer, there is limited flight options in and out of Brindisi so it’s best to research routes before considering.
Once we arrived in town at the Hotel Vittoria I instantly knew not many overseas travellers visit here. It had a unique feel and culture to other places I’ve travelled to thought out Italy, each region of Italy is different and this town was one many Italian’s come to spend the summer holidays. Once we said our hellos to everyone, I took a walk into town to explore, the beautiful ocean fronts and the old castello. It took me by surprised! There were so many delicious restaurants and gelatarias I was looking forward to trying as many as I could. The first restaurant we visited was ‘Profumo di Mare’, a craving pizza was needed as well as a beer to cool down, the night ended with a delicious gelato.
The first full day we headed down the coast to Spiaggia Dei Alimini where there is a numerous selection of beach clubs with sunbeds to hire for the day. Lido Riva del Sole was the one that caught our eyes, it had enough beds to accommodate our group. We spend the whole day here basking in the sun and drinking heaps of Aperol Spritz, the local café had a heap of selections of home-made Panini’s (Sandwiches) and different Italian cuisines. The beach club is family friendly and has heaps of water sports to keep you entertained, the beach water here is among the warmest I’ve been in on the Italian coastline. A long day in the sun I was hungry for some more Italian food, we headed to a seafood restaurant inside the old towns wall called ‘La Pignata’ they had a seafood platter with seabass, king prawns and calamari that was absolutely delicious the whole thing was eaten.
Gallipoli was the next town we visited, but before that we detoured to a famous water hole called ‘Grotta Della Poesia’ (The Poetry Caves). The caves are situated in the commune of Roca Vecchia and its a must visit when touring area the region. Once we reached the city of Gallipoli we headed straight to the beach, There wasn’t much else to do here besides sitting by the beach or visiting the inner city. After returning back to Otranto myself and our group booked a house restaurant that serves traditional Pugliese meals called ‘Scirocco’. These types of home restaurants are very popular in Italy catering for all your needs and giving you a taste of all the local produce.
We had another day exploring the beautiful region of Puglia, we drove 1 hour and 30 minutes to Ostuni which is known as The White City (In Italian La Città Bianca) for its white walls and its typically white-painted buildings. Alberobello was the next town we were recommended to see; this town is famous for its Trulli Houses which are made of stone that are unique to this region. Many people still live out of these homes but most are used now for stores and cafes. Our final stop was in the town of Polignano a Mare, a famous beach with swimmable caves and even a restaurant that’s built into a cave called ‘Grotta Palazese’.
My visit to Puglia couldn’t have ended any better than celebrating my father’s 50th birthday, my mum had booked a little restaurant within the old town walls called ‘ArboVitae’ where we had our own seating area. Our meals were on a set menu and included some antipasto platters, seafood, pasta and steak. It was such a fun night and we even saw some fireworks! What better way to end our trip.
Lots of thanks to EasyJet, Hotel Vittoria Resort Otranto and all my beautiful family/friends for helping make my time in Puglia the highlight of my Europe Trip.
Ready to book your trip to Italy’s Puglia Region and need further questions? Feel free to contact me would love to help out.