Altamura is a small town of the south of Italy, dependent of Apulia and located in the Province of Bari. Altamura can be found in the hill of Murge, very close to the city of Bari. There are many ancient locations that have inhabited the area throughout history. There is a legend that says that the city of Altamura was first founded in the 13th century under the name of Altilia, which comes from Alter Ilium, “the other Troy”. There is also another legend that considers Athena to be the founder of the city. Nevertheless, there is no consensus about the origin of the name of the city. What to see in Altamura? Altamura has a wide variety of things to do and monuments to visit, some of which even date from the ancient times, something which is not that uncommon in Italy.
The Altamura Cathedral was built in the 13th century, between the years 1232 and 1242 by the king Frederick II of Swabia. Located in the center of the city, it was devoted to the virgin.
The façade is featured with a portal from the 14th century, guarded by the two main towers, one on each side. It is decorated with carved scenes from the Bible, in particular, from the New Testament.
The mixture of styles is something that stands out in this 13th-century cathedral, which serves as an evidence of the different phases it was built, and later remodeling. For example, the rose window that coronates the façade dates from the 16th century, while visitors can also appreciate a Gothic portal which probably dates from the beginning of the 15th century.
Going to the inside, a beautiful stone pulpit can be appreciated in the center of the church, and also a 16th-century choir, built by Altobello Persio.
It is a must for the lovers of religious architecture.
The Altamura Municipal Museum is a stunning, must-visit archeological museum which showcases artifacts found in the region. The oldest ones date back up to 2500 years.
The museum is divided into five sections, each one of which covers a different historical period: Hellenistic Ages, classical, archaic, prehistoric and paleolithic. This is a great opportunity to travel in time throughout the city’s history. There is no better way to get to know the nature of a city than by its ruins.
You would normally have to pay for the Museum ticket, but if you are traveling in a tight budget, there are also some parts open to the public for free, like the Prehistory of food exhibition, open in the Exhibition Hall.
The Lamalunga Cave.
The Lamalunga cave is one of the most interesting paleolithic discoveries in the whole of Europe. Located in the proximities of the city of Altamura, is home to one of the most incredible archeological remains of the region, the Man of Altamura.
The Man of Altamura (Uomo di Altamura in Italian) are the rests of a male adult, with mixed features of the Neanderthal population and the Homo erectus. One of the evidence that there were mixed races in the history of humanity.
The Bread of Altamura.
Altamura is widely known as the “city of bread” for centuries. The quality of the bread in Altamura is so high that international chains have no chance in competing with the local foods.
Altamura’s bread is made from whole grain wheat flour and baked in wood-burning ovens, as they have been made traditionally. These wood-burning ovens give the bread that special taste and texture.
Bread is the most knowledgeable food attraction of the city, but Altamura has a rich and varied culinary tradition that’s worth trying during your stay.
Where to Eat in Altamura
As we have already said, Altamura has a rich and varied culinary tradition. Traditional dishes can be found in almost every local restaurant. But among all the different restaurants to choose from this beautiful city offers to tourists and locals, there is one that’s worth highlighting: Santa Lucia Bakery
Santa Lucia Bakery is the favorite among the five best bakeries of the town, chosen by the visitors. It is located in Piazza Mercadante, 7. This is the best place to get your bread, baked daily of the wood-burning ovens of the old bakery. Moreover, you can try the different bakery products.
There are no bakery goods better than the ones you can try in Santa Lucia Bakery.
Taking your vacation in Apulia Italy will leave you with an everlasting impression of a perfect beach holiday. Your experience here will definitely get etched in your memory in many years to come.
That said, we shall let you have a virtual feeling of the best beaches in Apulia. Therefore, what will be left of you is to pack your swimsuit and embark on a journey to explore the beauty and marvels of nature that Italian Beaches offer.
However, after traversing up and down numerous beaches in Italy, we settled on a few beaches that we felt are ideal holiday destinations for you.
These holiday spots will help you to escape from the wrath of chilly winters as you spend a few days basking and diving in crystal clear waters in the Ionian Sea. Here is our complete guide on beaches in Puglia, Italy.
Apulia is a paradise in the making. Its diversification is a result of its uniqueness attributed to the stunning seafront and the glowing, clean Mediterranean sands.
As such, this southern location is famed for its gorgeous warm weather across the year, making it accessible by footpath or by car.
However, you will have to pay for parking, but whichever way you choose to access the beach; you will never get disappointed with what is in store for you.
In addition to that, there are sandy beaches along the sea bordering one of the finest white sands and crystal clear waters that you won’t expect them anywhere else if not at Punta Della Suina.
Punta Della Suina has become one of the sought after tourist attraction in Apulia due to its magnificent scenery dotted with pinewood that exposes you to a fragrance and colors of this heavenly corner.
The blue sea and the scrubs of the Mediterranean with their mosaic of blossoming flowers make you have an extraordinary affection for these Italian beaches.
Along the beach, you will find a stretch of sand complete with beach umbrellas and low rocks, ideal for enjoying sunbathing on comfortable sunbeds.
Besides, the beach provides parasols at an affordable fee to shield you from the glaring sunlight while enjoying a cool breeze from the sea.
On the other hand, you don’t have to get bored and thirsty while basking on the sands of Punta Della Suina.
There is an outdoor bar that provides you with a panoramic view of the entire bay as you sip your favorite drink. On top of that, you can listen and dance to your favorite music, thanks to the DJ services available at your disposal.
That is not enough; from the north to south, there is Gallipoli, Isola di Sant’Andrea (which is known for its historic lighthouse).
There is also Torre Del Pizzo where you can spend your evening while enjoying the picturesque view of the sunset as you usher in a night full of entertainment. Punta Della Suina is a place to be when taking your vacation.
This is the place you are likely to come across some of the best beaches in mainland Italy. Located in southern parts of the historic towns such as Avetrana and Manduria, Punta Prosciutto is the most attractive place for tourists.
Better still, these seaside villages are a unique spot with pristine sandy strands and the famous Primitivo wine to quench your adventurous desires.
As a matter of fact, there are white sands which add glamour to the translucent warm sea water that soothes your body as you swim along.
The beach is accessible through a path but you can arrive there by car because parking is free of charge so you won’t worry about spending an extra coin on that.
For this reason, the beach can get overcrowded hence the need to bring your own parasol.
As a popular spot for tourists, Punta Prosciutto has world-class bars and restaurants where you can pop in for a bite or a drink.
Also, there is a meeting point for various families coming to enjoy their time at the beach from the nearby seaside villages of Lecce, Taranto, and Bari.
You too can take your mat and drape it on the beach to have your evening dinner as you watch the crimson rays of the sun disappearing lazily on the horizon. Besides, you can pat with a few coins and rent a sun lounger under the ombrellone.
Crystal clear and blue sea is the right description that anyone who has been at Dune di Campomarino can recount for you. This is an Italian beach with unconventional natural beach surrounded by the Mediterranean shrub land.
Located at Maruggio, Dune di Campomarino is an exotic location accessible via a footpath or a car due to ample and free parking space available.
The scenic landscape with its unique flora comprising of the thymus, rosemary among other flowers add an aspect of beauty to the entire surrounding.
Clearly, this feature combined with an enrichment of sand dunes and nicely scented wild lilies give a sight to behold at the heart of the Mediterranean region.
Besides, you can immerse yourself into the realms of the past by paying a visit to the nearby museum which boasts of a beautiful but ancient collection of Greek jewels among other antiquities.
On top of that, the mouth-watering Italian cuisine is something you cannot afford to overlook as far as your vacation is concerned.
On our list is Porto Selvaggio. This is known as the unsung beach holiday destination in Europe and perhaps all over the world.
Situated in southern parts of Puglia in Italy, this secret seaside is a place of ancient traditions that have stood a taste of time.
Apart from rich history, Porto Selvaggio is covered with ancient, gnarled olives that make a secretive seaside location perfect to take your vacation.
In fact, the name, Porto Selvaggio is loosely translated as “Wild Harbor” to suit this description and this coastal enclave has always enjoyed protected-area status ever since 1980.
Just like other beaches, Porto Selvaggio has a wonderful landscape with beautiful sceneries of pine forest opening out to the Ionian Sea.
The blue skies and the dark green pine trees compliment the blue sea in the most amazing but contrasting way to your eyes.
A shoreline is a place you will find appealing and ideal for sunbathing after a vigorous swimming exercise in the overlooking crystal clear sea water.
Additionally, you will have an experience of the sea water meeting sources of fresh water at this beach.
The place is accessible by a footpath or by car due to the availability of the parking space at the beach. Besides, there are picnic benches that you can use as you take your meal with friends or family members while on holiday.
Also, there are food and drinks at affordable rates with facilities such as toilets and free parking space for your convenience.
Therefore, you can take your vacation in Italy and explore those beaches to satisfy your curiosity as you discover that part of the Mediterranean Region. Italian beaches in Puglia should be the first choice of your holiday destination.
Bari is the main city in the Italian region of Apulia, which is full to the brim of interesting things to do and places to visit. Along the region you can find beautiful landscapes, cities and towns with a relevant history ready to be discovered, a stunning coastline with beaches and seaside locations to enjoy, and incredible local foods and products that you just can’t miss. The good news is that even if you’re visiting just the city of Bari, you’ll still have a chance to experience all of these things. Bari has a lot to offer, and there’s something for everyone – whether you are an adventurous traveller, a relaxed tourist or a foodie looking to try every single local dish! Bari comes to life through its historical landmarks and churches and there’s a whole world to explore. Follow these suggestions and pointers and feel free to look around to experience Bari (and Apulia) to the fullest, in every way possible.
Discover the History of the City
Bari features many historical buildings and places of interest that can be visited. If you’re so inclined, you can take a tour through Bari that will bring you to the most famous landmarks, and with this type of itinerary you’ll be able to learn more about the history, culture and traditions that have shaped the city across the centuries. If you’re not too keen on discovering these types of things, the incredible sights you’ll see are reason enough to still tour the most important churches and other buildings that make up Bari. You can visit Barivecchia, Old Bari, with its two main squares and a network of small streets and passageways that make it a picturesque sight. Nearby is the Swabian Castle, a massive fortress built in 1132 and rebuilt again in 1233 after being destroyed. It houses art exhibitions and you can tour it to learn about its long, complex history.
The two main churches located at the heart of Bari are the famous Basilica di San Nicola, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, and the Bari Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Sabinus of Canosa. Both are majestic structures with a rich historical and artistic relevance dating to the 11th century, and each has its own unique architectural style and features. In Bari you will come across many historical sites, museums and landmarks that tell the city’s incredible history. Visiting the sights in the city will feel like an educational time travel, enriching and breath-taking at the same time.
Discover Traditions and Local Foods
Without a doubt, you can choose to stop by a local restaurant or eatery while you hop from place to place, and sample local specialties on the go; but with such a varied and rich culinary tradition, it could be worth it if you dedicated your time (or at least lunch, dinner and snack breaks) to the discovery of local dishes, foods and other products typical of Bari and the surrounding area. If you wish to discover the production process of local wines, cheeses and olive oil, you will find wineries, dairies, olive groves and vineyards outside the city that offer tours and tastings – but you can taste many mouth-watering dishes while you’re in the city proper as well. Do try the local orecchiette alle cime di rapa (a type of pasta with a special sauce), baked goods such as tarallini and focaccia, and deep-fried panzerotti and sgagliozze. Don’t forget the classic “riso, patate e cozze” (rice, potatoes and mussels) a traditional dish of Apulia!
Explore Interesting, Unique Locations
One of the many towns and small cities that fall under the metropolitan area of Bari (each and every one of them is worth a visit) is Gioia del Colle. This town, 360 meter above sea level on the Murge plateau, is an interesting place to visit because it features a cave system, a wooded natural preserve, creeks and waterways and a majestic 12th century castle. It’s the perfect place if you love photography and nature and are looking for a small getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Only 5 kilometers away from Gioia del Colle is also the Parco Archeologico di Monte Sannace, an archeological site with ruins dating back to the 4th-5th century, full of history and interesting landscapes. Located atop of a hill, it’s definitely a sight to behold, and will remind you just how ancient the roots of Apulia go.
There are many other gems and little treasures to discover around Bari, so don’t hesitate to be adventurous and look around – you’ll be sure to find something interesting to do or see. And if you’re staying in Bari, there are plenty of cities and towns nearby that you can visit in a day and your holiday to Apulia will surely be intense and full of incredible memories.
Day Trips from Bari
Bari is a remarkable sparkling resort town featuring a beautiful historic center. Nestled deep in Italy’s boot heel is Bari, a landmark yet forward-looking town comprising a significant percentage of migrants and young individuals lending its vigor. While Bari may not be the most prominent spot for Italian tourism, therein lies its distinct charm. It has an assortment of allures to offer, wherein eluding the crowded summer days of larger Italian hotspots. Bari supports an opera house, a significant university, as well as public structures which shout confidence.
Outside of this remarkable town, however, is an array of day-trips await. Among the best places to visit on your Bari day trip include:
#1 POLIGNANO A MARE
An ancient medieval town in Italy’s Southern region, not any far from Bari, Polignano A Mare is the types of city comprising houses build into bold limestone cliffs as well as caves overlooking the deep sky blue Adriatic Sea waters.
The foundation of this delightful place dates far back (4th century BC) when the Greek settlers established the Neapolis city. It thrived under the Roman reign and was essential for Emperor Trajan to steer through his Via Traiana established through this town (108-110 AD). And while most of these structures have faded away, Polignano a Mare remains a deep-rooted town packed with narrow streets, stacked with several ancient well-maintained squares, churches, as well as houses with the getaway to from the street.
You will be amazed at the fact that even now, persons sit their doors open, with merely a curtain separating their sitting rooms away from the streets. You only hear them chat, but you usually don’t see them.
Aside from the remarkably old structures and architecture, you will also delight in its spectacular walls, urban panoramas, and whitewashed houses falling vertically into the sea
How to get there:
Polignano a Mare is quite close to Bari with the distance at just 33 km. On your trip, you can take a car, and it will only take you approximately half an hour, or the train which also takes about the same time.
Also located in the Southern Italy area of Puglia, Alberobello, is an eccentric yet picturesque destination that is gradually turning into a significant fixture on travel itineraries of numerous independent travelers and tour operators. This small town is now an official UNESCO World Heritage spot for its unique Trulli districts, the distinctive conical-roofed white-washed houses of the region. Alberobello makes a fascinating day-trip destination or an amusing base for several days-particularly if you are staying in your trullo.
The tale of this town dates back (15th century) when farmers relocated here as per the orders of the local Counts. But devoid of the authorization to build, they established temporary structures that were easy to demolish when tax collectors visited them.
Nonetheless, trullis, which are stone-build round houses featuring pointy limestone-made roofs, are among the most pleasant sights here. They are established using an ancient technique where stones are piled on top of each other with of use of mortar. These structures now find use as souvenir shops, cafes, as well as accommodation for visitors. Like its predecessor, Alberobello is also a UNESCO World Heritage spot, and on visiting, you will appreciate why.
How to get there:
The distance between Bari and Alberobello is around 56 km. You can use a car which takes about an hour, book a train (90 minutes ride), or take a bus (90 minutes ride).
Matera, a town deep in the Basilicata area of Southern Italy, resembles a cradle for civilization. It is the type of ancient city where individuals still reside in structures their ancestors established centuries back. But not to shade off the glamour from it, this is a town with a lot of history especially considering it dates back to Palaeolithic Era. After a rough patch starting from its time of establishment in the 3rd century BC by the Romans, the city sparked back into life in the 50’s after the Italian Government decided to relocate the inhabitants.
Your visit here will re-inspire some fantastic memories of various blockbuster films such as the Mel Gibson-directed, The Passion of Christ which was shot here among other amazing memories.
Its distinctive Stones of Matera’ (Sassi of Matera) include the features besides the city listed in the UNESCO list of World Heritage spots across Italy.
How to get there:
To get here from Bari, which is a distance of about 54 km, you can either take a train ( 90 minutes ride), a public bus, or the luxury of a rented vehicle. However, the distance is slightly longer while driving as it stands at 75 km from Bari.
Whether you are in Bari for a day, a week, or a month, or here for business or pleasure, take your time to enjoy the many allures that comprise Bari town and its constituents with an exclusive day trip tour. The remarkable seascapes, coastal towns, traditional cuisines, as well as olive groves, are but a portion of the rich list of attractions a Bari day trip affords you. A Bari day trip is the most exciting way to delight your senses, spark your enthusiasm, and interact with the sun-baked Italian culture.
Behind every corner of Italy are hidden incredible landscapes, museums and places of interest rich in culture and history and, last but not least, a culinary tradition spread throughout Italy and that has a lot to offer. Visiting will be a unique, immersive experience made all the more complete and fulfilling if you can find the time to do a little bit of everything, from sightseeing, to taking part in celebrations, festivals and art exhibitions, to tasting true Italian cuisine. You can do that by dining out in restaurants and local trattorie, or you can go to the source, visiting the places where certain dishes, ingredients and produce are made and processed before they’re served at your table, with interesting workshops and tasting experiences. When you decide to visit Apulia, or Puglia in Italian, there are a lot of things to take into consideration – what to see, which cities to visit, what to try, taste and experience while you’re here, and so on. One of the local productions throughout Puglia is olive oil, so there are many chances for you to visit the best oil mills in the region (and the country) and see first-hand how the oil is made, where and with what results, no matter the city you choose to spend your holiday in. Important oil mills can be found near Taranto, Bari and other major cities of the region and all of them are known for producing EVO oil of the highest quality. Visiting the mills is the best way to find oil to purchase and sample directly from those who have been producing it for generations in a pure, unadulterated way that will surely turn your holiday to Puglia into an immersive experience. Olive oil production is an Italian tradition, the country being one of the main producers of oil in the world, second only to Spain, and while there are many regions in Italy where extra virgin olive oil is produced, Puglia earns the spot as the biggest producer. Here are some of the best oil mills in Apulia where you can discover this tradition – by visiting the groves, buildings, production line and shops where olives are elevated to the rank of EVO oil.
Frantoio di Palma
The Frantoio Oleario di Palma, an oil mill established in 1936 and located in Canosa di Puglia, prides itself for the production of what they call their “yellow gold”, the extra virgin olive oil they obtained with a traditional cold-extraction method, the same the di Palma family has always employed to grind the olives. The method allows the final product to maintain its properties, texture, taste and aroma. The oil mill can be visited all year-round and during the period from November to January visitors can witness the production of the extra virgin olive oil. Directions to the mill can be found on the website www.frantoiodipalma.it.
Located in Montemesola, a city near Taranto, this oil mill finds its roots and inspiration in the very region that hosts it, and the olive groves that grow here. The raw olives are the muses and protagonists for the EVO Olio D’Erchie and the mill pays homage to the local artisanal tradition with ceramic bottles and containers for the oils it produces. Oil milling is a family tradition for this company, established in 1932 by the current owner’s grandfather, Ciro D’Erchie, and the Frantoio D’Erchie now offers a wide variety of oils. Contact information on the website www.olioderchie.com/contatti.
The Frantoio Galantino was established in 1926 and has grown ever since, sourcing its olives from the family olive groves and other trusted partners of the area to achieve the purest cold-pressed EVO oil of the highest quality. Located in Bisceglie, the Galantino brand includes the oil mill, a shop and a restaurant (closed on Tuesdays, open for lunch Mon-Sun and for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays). The oil mill offers tours and tastings in Italian, English and French and tourists can witness the production process and ask for an additional meal following their visit. A pamphlet and booking information can be found at www.galantino.it/visits/?lang=en.
Located in Ginosa, near Taranto, the Frantoio Bitetti is a family owned oil mill with a three-generation tradition of oil making that merges old and new techniques and technologies to achieve a high-quality EVO oil through cold-pressing of the finest olives harvested from November to January. The mill offers guided tours where visitors will see the production process, from harvest to bottling, and will have a chance to taste samples and purchase the oil, which comes in the classic extra virgin format as well as naturally infused oils (lemon, rosemary and chili pepper oil). More info can be requested and tours can be booked on the mill’s contact page www.frantoiobitetti.it/Contatti.aspx.
Puglia, Italy, is known to be home to the best and finest wines in the world today. This is owing to the beautiful climate that Puglia is so much blessed to have. Some of the best wineries in Puglia include the following:
1. The Azienda Agricola Masciulli
2. Cantine di Marco
4. Tenuta Girolamo.
These wineries are not only famous for growing their delicious and tasty wines, but also for being award winners globally.
1. The Azienda Agricola Masciulli
The Azienda Agricola Masciulli was started by the Masciulli family in 1975. The family stuck to its long-standing tradition of growing grapes and processing wine for decades. The Azienda winery is located in the heart of Trulli in Puglia. The location of the vineyards allows the grapes to get to the required level of maturity owing to the great climatic conditions.
The company ensures that the wine produced is quality and owes much value in keeping and maintaining the traditions of the family in producing the finest wines. The company uses the best technology in processing the wine, right from the grape picking to the bottling of the delicious wine.
The Azienda Agricola winery was recognized for its quality wines and was awarded the IGP Puglia mark, the Prisciu award in 2012 at the National Sca Prammaggiore, where the company won a gold medal.
Some of the fines wines that Azienda Agricola is known for include the White, the Rose, the Red, the Primitivo and the Prisciu wines. The winery is open daily from 10 am – 4 pm on Monday to Friday for tasting on advance booking.
2. Cantine Di Marco.
The Cantine Di Marco in Puglia boasts of the production of legendary wines through history. Some of the famous wines include-
Terre di Puglia-Primitivo di Manduria.
This particular wine is the pride of Puglia owing to its unique historical taste. It is made of pure primitivo grapes grown on the vast vineyards that have been in existence for more than 30 years. The wine is famous in most parts of Europe due to its sweet, dry but soft taste. Originally, the wine when bottled is red in color, but when it stays for some time, it changes to dark orange. The wine gets an even better taste with age.
Terre di Puglia- Rosato Salento
This is yet another brand produced by the Cantine Di Marco wineries. The Rose wine gives a sensational yet unique taste, flowering, dry and with very low alcoholic content that makes it just perfect. Situated in the Valle d’Itria in Cantine Di Marco, the vineyards have produced the finest rose wine for close to 30 years.
Other fine wine brands produced in Cantine Di Marco include; Martina Franca, Locortondo, Primitivo del Salento, Primitivo di Manduria, Salice Salento, Salice Salento Riservia, Negroamaro, Aglianico del Vulture, Brio, Brio Rose,Malvanegra, Malvenagra Rosato, Chardonnay, Tarie, Arcadia and Cortigiano wines.
3. Sarolo Wines.
The Sarolo wines, also popularly known as the Sarolo Don Carlo, is situated in the Valle d’Itria. The Sarolo began as a family enterprise and is currently owned by Marco Emilio Santory. He represents the 5th generation of the Santory family. The valley d’Itria has very good soil and climate as well.
The winery is located in the heart of the Murgia Hills of Southern Puglia. This is between the Adriatic and the Ionian coasts. The warm temperatures that range from 25-30 degrees by day and around 8 degrees by night is optimum weather that enhances notably the quality of the Sarolo wines.
The family tradition in the production of quality wine is upheld to date. The qualified staff handpick only ripe grapes that are then processed into fine, natural wine brands that are loved throughout Europe and the world as well.
4. Tenuta Girolamo.
Tenuta Girolamo is located in the middle of Itria Valley in Puglia. The legendary winery is owned by the Girolamo family. The vineyard stretches across 50 hectares of land and on it grows the finest grapes in Puglia. The Tenuta Girolamo is known for brands of wine that includes –
· Conte Giangirolamo, which is made up of an equal combination of Primitivo and Negroamaro grapes. It has intense ruby red color and also violet hues. The wine has a touch of fruity flavors like cherry, blackberry, very inviting scents of vanilla and chocolate as well.
· Red Lace, also called the Pizzo Rosso is made with pure primitivo grapes and is ruby red wine. It has a sensational dry taste that is uniquely velvety, smooth and persistence almost all at once. It is simply amazing.
· Monte Tre Carlini, made of pure Negroamaro grapes. It comes in intense ruby red with traces of violet hues. Monte Carlini has a dry taste that is soft and will linger on your taste buds for a while.
· Codalunga, made of pure aglianco grapes and is also the red wine that comes in fruity flavors of blackberry, plum, almond, etc. This wine has a dry taste that is tannic and persistent on the tongue as well, gives a sensational feeling.
· Monte dei Cocci, comes in various brands that are unique in taste, ranging from the Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, the Syrah, Verdeca and Chardonnay as well.
· La Voliera is a tasty brand that was developed from a long tradition of coming together.
The Tenuta Girolamo gained more popularity after winning the Berlin Wine Trophy. The Company also won the Decanter Asia Wine awards and the Mundus Vini. This made the winery gain more popularity not only among the locals, but also from around the globe owing to their tasty wines that will leave your taste buds in awe.
The Tenuta Girolamo is usually open for tasting every day from Monday to Friday, starting from 10 am to 4 pm. In order to visit the winery, reservations need to be made in advance due to the busy schedule of activities going on at the winery. During the weekends, visits are only allowed when booked in advance and should be a minimum of 6 guests. The most amazing bit is that one can make a request to also visit the vineyards at no additional fee
The Impasto Napoletano Restaurant was founded in 2009 after the Salemme brothers decided to turn their shared love for Neapolitan cooking into a business idea. The Impasto Napoletano pizzeria is just a short five minute walk from The Old Town of Ostuni Salento. The restaurant is split into two sections, a beautifully positioned terrace with incredible views over Ostuni Salento and a smaller indoor room, which was designed by a local craftsman, that can hold up to 35 people. With the menu full of delicious handcrafted pizzas, you will be sure to experience the true taste of Naples. Impasto Napoletano prides itself on only using fresh, quality ingredients and every order is lovingly prepared and created in house. Choose from delicious options, with choices spanning from the classic Margherita pizza to a build your own’ style pizza so you can sample lots of the local ingredients that Impasto Napolentano has to offer. The restaurant also offers an array of pasta, seafood and meat dishes with the focus always on providing the best to their customers. The waiting staff are always on hand to ensure you have the best dining experience, with helpful suggestions and knowledge regarding the food and the surrounding area. With their love for classic Italian cooking, the family environment and the beautiful setting for Impasto Napoletano – you will be sure to have a traditional Italian experience and create exciting memories for everyone to remember.
Ristorante Porta Nova
If it’s a fine dining experience that you’re looking for, the Ristorante Porta Nova is a great option to tantalise your taste buds. With just a stone throw away from the Ostuni Marina, the Ristorante Porta Nuova stands high on top of a Aragonese tower, providing the perfect setting for panoramic views of the surrounding olive groves. Large glass windows ensure that wherever you may be seated, the diner will always receive a beautiful view. The setting provides a quiet and cosy feel which easily translates into a romantic atmosphere; this restaurant is perfect for special occasions or parties. The restaurant celebrates the beautiful tastes of all seafood, with fresh fish caught daily to ensure the use of best quality ingredients. The menu offers delicious culinary experiences, from freshly caught sautéed shrimp to creamy lobster risotto, you will be sure to find something that is right for you. You also have the chance to visit Ristorante Porta Novas cellar to discover over a hundred different wines to accompany your meal, which is an added bonus for any fine wine connoisseurs. Every delicious option that Ristorante Porta Novas has to offer is sure to amaze you by the sheer beauty of what is presented before you. The food is displayed in such a simple and elegant way, you will almost feel like you are eating a piece of art. The Risorante Porta Nuovas has received praise from Michelin who stated that a few points to notice were the excellent wine list and fresh ingredients used. The Ristorante Porta Nuova is a dining experience that will make you feel as if you were almost Italian royalty.
White Ostuni Tito Schipa
A restaurant named after the city of Ostuni itself, White Ostuni provides guests with a true taste of Italy. Many famous faces have visited and enjoyed this restaurant with the most notable being Italian tenor Tito Schipa, in the mid 1930s. The restaurant underwent a redesign in 2010 and carried on the legacy of the previous ownership, keeping Tito Schipa’s name as a focal point. This restaurant is split in three large rooms; the relax room, the bistro-restaurant room and the White Ostuni Tito Schipa. The Relax Room is perfect for guests to enjoy a deliciously crafted cocktail while reclining on comfortable sofas. Head over to the Bistro-Restaurant room to enjoy panoramic views of the winding streets of the historical town and the Sea near Ostuni. The White Ostuni Tito Schipa is the perfect mix of elegance and modernity and a great area for gatherings and events. The White Ostuni Tito Schipa always crafts fresh bread daily, with options including salty cornets and sweet pan cakes – a perfect accompaniment to any meal! The restaurant also prides itself on hand picking the best raw ingredients to include in all their dishes, focusing on the quality of every individual course. If you want to enjoy a coffee, the White Ostuni Tito Schipa carefully picks each blend to offer visitors an experience in the ways of traditional Apulian territory. Visit the White Ostuni Tito Schipa and be blown away by the rich history of the restaurant while enjoying a luxurious meal in spectacular scenery.
Osteria del tempo Perso
Nestled in the centre of Ostuni, in the wondrous Apulian resort known worldwide as The White City’ lies Osteria del tempo Perso, one of Ostuni’s most beloved, historic and renowned Italian restaurants, founded in 1983. Made up of two truly wonderful and unique environments, you can enjoy the authentic, delicious Puglia and Ostuni tastes of Italy. The restaurant is differentiated into two halls, both of which are found in the millennial rock of Ostuni. The first hall is a real cave, dating all the way back to the 15th century, adding character and charm to this amazing restaurant. The second hall is for a more quiet and private dining experience, that was once the barn supplying the old oven. The originality, tranquillity and contrast of these halls helped to develop a unique once in a lifetime experience. Hosting authentic and traditional pasta dishes such as Orecchiette and Laganari, tantalising appetizers like Parmigiana Aubergines and Tuscan and Martina Franca Salame, mouth watering desserts and over two hundred different wine labels hailing from Italy’s prestigious vineyards, Osteria del tempo Perso is truely one of the best restaurants in Italy.
Ristorante La Reggia
Located directly in the heart of Ostuni, you will find one of the best restaurants in all of Italy. In the middle of the historic centre of the region you will find Ristorante La Reggia, a stunning restaurant renowned for its pizza, pasta and seafood dishes. Not only this, the restaurant is converted from a medieval cave – sights which must be seen to be believed. With cave walls surrounding you, you can travel back through time whilst enjoying delicious, modern Italian cuisine. Accompanying its wonderful indoor scenery, it offers spacious and comfortable terrace seating areas outside where you can relax in the beautiful sunshine and enjoy fantastic food whilst watching the world go by. With dishes such as tagliatelle, an array of pizzas and fish dishes, antipasti, mixed salads and house wine to accompany them, it’s no wonder tourists and the locals flock to Ristorante La Reggia regularly. In a prime location offering authentic Italian character, exquisite and fresh ingredients and decor unlike any other restaurant, you will no longer be wondering where to eat on your visit to Ostuni. Instead, unquestionably you will be visiting Ristorante La Reggia, where you will be greeted by excellent service, fantastic prices and a dining experience like no other.
Lecce is a great city in Apulia that you can visit or stay at during your holidays. The city has a lot to offer in the way of historical and artistic attractions, such as churches, Roman ruins, the Castle of Charles V and museums to discover the past and present of this beautiful destination. It also has many other little gems for you to unveil, and you can live a truly immersive experience in Apulia through the local, traditional food and activities that you can engage in while you’re here. Staying in Lecce means you’ll have the chance to visit this incredible city while also being close by to many other wonderful sights of Salento. You’ll be able to reach beaches, hot springs, cathedrals and more, and the best way to tour Salento is through car rental. The various cities and towns scattered along the coast are not always connected through a reliable and intuitive public transport system and the experience could get complicated and unnecessarily uncomfortable, especially when the alternative of going by car is a much better choice. The lack of severe traffic (unlike that found in Northern Italian cities) will ensure you’ll make your way to your destination faster, and every attraction as sufficient parking space to accommodate tourists. The best time of the year to visit Salento is the beginning or ending of the high season. Come to Salento in May/June, or during September/October to find a more relaxed and quiet atmosphere. Without hordes of other tourists swarming the beaches and sights, you’ll have more space and time to fully enjoy everything Salento has to offer, both in the way of nature (such as Otranto and Sana Cesarea), as well as what concerns the hinterland, further from the seaside, where you can find great spots (like the city of Lecce itself).
Must See in Salento
Salento has a lot to offer and the choice is wide, since every mile of beach hides treasures, and every corner of Apulia has the potential to be a vacation spot full of great things to see and do. Since you’re probably not going to be able to visit every little place on your way up and down Salento, here are some ideas on what to visit during your stay. Don’t forget that behind every little town or beach is hidden a great opportunity to find interesting and scenic locations, restaurants and places to relax – Use the internet freely on the go to look for the best rated eateries and spots for an extra little adventure as you visit the following main sights. Sometimes, getting lost is a blessing, when it enables you to find hidden gems!
In the city of Otranto you won’t just find the spectacular Aragonese Castle, but also the Cathedral, dating back to 1088. The altar is surrounded by the remains of the 800 Martyrs of Otranto, making for a truly impressive sight.
We’ve already mentioned the many beautiful places that you can visit while in Lecce, but the most important and historically relevant feature of the city would have to be its churches. The Duomo, Lecce’s Cathedral is the most eye-catching feature of the city square, with a 70-metre high bell tower.
In Galatina you will find many interesting buildings and tourist sites to visit, bot religious and of historical relevance, but the most beautiful is the Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, build at the end of the 1300s. While you’re busy in the city touring the sights, stop by a bakery or ask for the local signature dessert at a restaurant: the pasticciotto, a baked pastry with custard filling you’re sure to love!
Come to Santa Cesarea to enjoy the sea and to take part in something unique: the thermal baths, with various facilities. The city was built on hot springs and here you can enjoy different cosmetic and therapeutic services.
Visit this town if you love nature, for you will find a natural reserve, a marine reserve and many wonderful beaches to enjoy. Clear waters, rocky and sandy shores and many picturesque spots await you in Porto Cesareo. Don’t forget to enjoy some incredible fish dishes and seafood while you’re here.
South of Lecce, you will find the town of Castro and its many natural sights. You can enjoy the beautiful sea nearby and the natural areas and rock formations. The Grotta Zinzulusa is the most relevant in the area among other minor cave complexes near Castro, and it consists of three rooms filled with stunning stalactites, stalagmites and rocky walls that for their shape will remind the visitor of laundry on a clothesline with the sun filtering from the nooks and spaces between them.
Visiting the Southern regions of Italy is a one-of-a-kind experience, with delicious foods, incredible sights and immersive activities. In the region of Apulia, specifically in the heel of Italy’s boot-shaped territory, lies a magical and interesting area: Salento.
Beautiful geographic features await you, but you’ll also find some of Apulia’s main cities by visiting the region of Salento. The best way to explore all Salento has to offer, is to choose a main city to use as a base for your travels, a starting point from where to visit other small towns and touristic sights. While not being overly popular or a hugely renowned tourist destination, Brindisi stands as one of the most beautiful cities in lower Apulia, and its position will allow you to visit many neighboring locations with ease. Brindisi has lots of activities and sights to offer for anyone looking to visit the city as well as its surroundings, and staying here will mean you’ll have a lot of options to satisfy all of your needs. There’s lots to do and see in Apulia, but we want to give you a few tips and suggest some things you might enjoy for a truly immersive journey in Salento, and for a great experience while exploring the city of Brindisi.
Take a stroll through marbled streets and enjoy the seafront Brindisi itself has many beautiful locations that you can visit (between a meal and another!), as you stroll along the city’s streets all the way to the seafront. There are many incredible and impressive churches, dating from the 11th to the 14th century, such as the Duomo (the main cathedral of Brindisi), the Church of Santa Maria del Casale and that of San Benedetto as well as many others. But you can also visit other places that will amaze you, like the Aragonese Castle, also known as “Forte a Mare” (Sea Fort), and Castello Grande. Within the territory of the city you can also find natural areas and Regional Natural Parks, if you want to enjoy the local flora and fauna. If you prefer to discover more of local history and culture, museums are in the city center.
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Of course visiting Apulia also means enjoying the sea, and to do just that you can rely on the marine reserve of Torre Guaceto. It’s a beautiful beach located in a protected area and you can go for a swim, go snorkeling, go on treks and hikes and take part in other activities that are being organized along the reserve. Remember to respect the environment, an you’ll have a wonderful time in one of the most beautiful beaches near Brindisi.
Eat local foods – like pizza fritta!
There are many traditional dishes and snacks that you can try while in Apulia and Brindisi, you just need to take a look around food stalls, bars and restaurants. Perhaps the best example of local cuisine is that of fried pizza (pizza fritta), which can be found around pizzerias in Brindisi. One of the names that comes to mind when thinking about pizza fritta is the Pizzeria Romanelli, located in the city (Via Santa Lucia, 3 – Brindisi). With a long history in deep frying, this restaurant, established in 1949, also has a branched to the States, with a location in Houston, Texas. The pizzeria is also a good bet if you’re just looking to eat a great (regular) Italian pizza, but since you’re already here, you might as well go all out and sample your first (and perhaps best) pizza fritta ever!
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As already established, Apulia has great dishes and produce to offer. An excellent idea for a meal while in Brindisi would be to have a taste of great meat courses while enjoying Al Fresco seating. The Braceria Semeraro offers a cozy and homely environment with a few tables inside the restaurant and a number of tables outside on the terrace. Book a table in advance if you’re able, because the place can get crowded. The Braceria is the lovechild of a butcher’s and a restaurant, where you choose the cuts you want to have, which will be cooked for you so that you’ll be able to enjoy them at your table. It accounts for a very unique experience, and there’s no menu, so be prepared to choose from the variety of different meats and cuts.
Visit nearby Ostuni by car rental
By renting a car, you’ll be able to visit many beautiful cities and locations not far from Brindisi, such as Ostuni. The city is full of tourists during summer, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the Old Town, Ostuni’s Cathedral and other landmarks.
Puglia is Italy’s gem when it comes to history, archaeology and culture. The southeastern region has for many years thrived as a tourism hub with so much to offer vacationers interested in taking a step back in time and experiencing old Italy in its most authentic form. Despite its popularity among tourists, Puglia’s unmatched wealth in history and culture is not what makes it one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Below is what most people don’t realize that Puglia has up its sleeves.
1. Porto Selvaggio
Porto Selvaggio is found in Puglia’s province of Lecce. The beach itself is found along the Salento Peninsula with breathtaking crystal clear waters. In addition to the geographical beauty, Porto Selvaggio has a lot to offer in terms of history. It is actually the only place on earth where an ancient Greek dialect known as Griko is still spoken.
What to see and do
· Sunbathing and swimming
It is nothing short of a crime to visit Porto Selvaggio and not pay the beach one or two hundred visits. It is the reason why it is on this list as one of Puglia’s best kept secrets. You could also decide to experience the water by taking a boat ride or going SCUBA diving.
Some points of interest in Porto include the walled seaport of Gallipoli, Villa Tafuro and Uluzzo Bay. If you have extra time and an untamed adventurous spirit, you should also plan a visit to the various archeological sites there including the cave of the horse and sierra Cicora.
· Watch the sunset at the beach
You will never find anything to match its breathtaking beauty.
Monopoli is in the heart of Puglia given its location in the region’s capital province of Bari. The town is right next to the Adriatic Sea. Like all other Puglia gems on this list, Monopoli is a triple threat with the sandy beaches, archaeological and historical as sights as well as culture to enjoy. Below are a few things that you should not leave Monopoli without having seen.
· The beaches
The beautiful waters of the Adriatic Sea meet the mainland forming beaches that you simply must see to appreciate. The aquamarine blue waters will leave you refreshed and ready to explore more of this amazing town.
· The ancient castles
The Castle of Charles V in particular is a must visit for people with a soft spot for history and fine architecture. The building was used as a prison until the mid-sixties when it was converted into a museum and art gallery which is where you will get the best cultural experience of Monopoli. The castle of S. Stephen is also worth a visit.
· The Jerusalem Hospital
This is probably the oldest hospital not only in Italy but in the whole world dating back to 1350. The architectural marvel is full of history and is one of those places you simply can’t leave Puglia without visiting.
3. City of Ostuni
The city of Ostuni is pretty much a white fortress and one of the fewest old towns in the world that has managed to preserve its medieval layout. From a distance, all you can see is white buildings. This is not a coincidence but has a historical etiology where people lime-washed the walls of their houses in an attempt to deflect the heat from their homes. Below is more that this charming little town has to offer:
· The Archbishop’s palace is Ostuni’s highest points and is an architectural marvel.
· Beautiful beaches along the Adriatic sea
· The Saint Oronzo festival every August to celebrate the town’s patron saint.
4. Grotte di Castellana
Grotte di Castellana is a series of amazing cave formations in Itria Valley, Puglia. They date back more than ninety million years and are among the most important of all of Puglia and Italy’s natural attractions. Taking a guided tour though the cave gives visitors the opportunity to experience not only nature at its best but also history and archaeology through the fossils and cave art you will get to see.
5. Da Mimi Trabucco
The Da Mimi Trabucco is a must-see if you want to add an educational aspect to you Puglia trip. The Trabucco itself is actually a unique fishing contraption that is nothing short of genius. You will get to see how it works and as many questions as you would wish to. It is a dining experience that you will not get anywhere else. In addition to the fishing scene, Da Mimi Trabucco is full of history with the Ottaviano family name popping up more than once in the fishing, culinary and construction aspects.
Having visited the region of Salento in Puglia for the past 8 years, I can pretty easily assure you, you won’t have a bad gastronomic experience in the heel of Italy.
Wherever you will end up eating, you will be greeted by welcoming hosts and mouth-watering dishes, made with simple ingredients. From starred restaurants to shacks on the beach, Salento knows a thing or two about good, honest food and wine.
Puglia provides most of what Italy consumes. Most of the grains for pasta, fish, olive oil and wine come from here. The region is covered by vast areas of ancient olive trees so it will come as no surprise that Puglia also produces over 70% of Italy’s olive oil (and 15 percent of the world’s olive oil). The region is also producer of 25 DOC wines most of which come from the Salento area.
Some of the region “signature” dishes include “orecchiette” (or “small ears”) because of their resemblance to small ears. Enjoy orecchiette with fresh tomato sauce, basil and strong ricotta cheese. Orecchiette with “cime di rapa” (sort of broccoli) are also a region’s favourite.
For breakfast head to the your local bar where locals enjoy a cup of freshly brewed espresso coffee and warm “pasticciotto” standing at the counter. The best pasticciotti can be eaten in Galatina where Pasticceria Abalone has been creating these pastries since 1745.
You will not get hungry during the day as there are plenty of snacks and appetisers available, including “frittini” , a mix of fried appetisers, “friselle”, a snack made of crunchy dry bread best served dipped in water and topped with fresh tomatoes, basil and extra virgin olive oil and “pucce, a sandwich made of pizza dough and stuffed with cured meat, cheese or vegetables; not to mention the round shaped “tarallini” crackers available in different flavours, excellent with a glass of cold rosé wine on the beach.
Here are my top 5 recommended places to eat in Salento. Spoil alert, expect the lovely aroma of freshly prepared meals and the warm welcome of their owners.
L’Altro Baffo in Otranto, where Chef Cristina Conte will serve you traditional Apulia dishes interpreted in a contemporary key, where tradition meets innovation. Expect freshly made pasta, fresh fish and seasonal ingredients. Our favourite dish is “chitarrine ai “ricci di mare” “, fresh pasta with sea-urchins, for those of you with really fine palates! A family run business located in one of the most scenic spots of Otranto under the shadow of the Aragonese Castle. Reservation highly advisable.
Lo Scalo in Alessano, a historic seafront restaurant built along the rocky coastal route between Tricase and Leuca. Seafood dishes will be prepared according to the catch of the day and served in an enchanting setting by the water. As dessert, excellent is “pasticciotto” with lemon custard. Reservation highly advisable.
Agriturismo Le Site in Corigliano d’Otranto, where most of the ingredients used in the kitchen are cultivated in the Agriturismo’s own fields. Excellent meat and an abundance of vegetables are served by this family run enterprise. Le Site also produces its very own olive oil as well as home-made jam and liquors, available for purchase at the restaurant. Le Site also offers a number of guests rooms for those looking for a lodging.
Cantine Menhir Salento located outside Otranto is a producer of some of the best wines of Salento, including Negroamaro or Primitivo. Here you can also reserve a table at their “Osteria Origano” where excellent traditional Apulia dishes are served. In summer you can dine al-fresco in their Mediterranean garden and may be entertained by live music.
La Porta Antica in Sternatia is a traditional trattoria where excellent pizza, meat and fish dishes can be savoured. Their speciality are the “antipasti” which I highly recommend to try in abundance. Portions are very generous! It is very popular with locals and during the weekend and summer months it can be very crowded. reservations recommended.