On a recent afternoon, we took a trip to Puglia. A virtual one of course, but after a year spent at home, it felt like a lovely little getaway simply by enjoying some of the products from the region of Italy that lies within the “heel” of the country’s stiletto boot shape. A mini lesson on olive oil tasting with Olio Intini was followed by a bottle of red wine (Lirica Primitivo di Manduria) paired with a crostini appetizer topped with BioOrto marinated artichoke hearts that was served on a beautiful handcrafted ceramic plate from Ceramiche Carella Ostuni. And to make the experience even more memorable, we opened up an AquaPulia diffuser with the Trabucco scent so we felt like we were standing under clear blue skies along the rugged southeastern Italian coast, breathing in the clean sea salt air.
While that travel experience was virtual, the wanderlust is real! So when international travel is allowed again, be sure to visit Puglia and enjoy all it has to offer in real life.
- Trulli, whitewashed stone huts with cone shaped roofs, are iconic to Puglia, especially the town of Alberobello. In a hilly area surrounded by ancient olive groves, Alberobello is home to the largest concentration of trulli and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Check AirBnB or another vacation rental company to book a stay in a trullo.
- Polignano a Mare is what travel dreams are made of. Built into the limestone cliffs, the city sits majestically on the craggy coastline of the Adriatic Sea. One of the world’s most recognizable restaurants, the Grotta Palazzese, is here. Situated inside a large natural cave that opens up to the crashing waves below, this restaurant’s stunningly beautiful setting has been serving guests since the 1700s. Don’t miss the chic, splurge-worthy hotel with eye-catching blue and white décor that’s located on the cliffs atop the restaurant and caves.
- With over 500 miles of coastline, there is no shortage of quaint coastal towns serving up the freshest seafood, while its beautiful beaches offer sunbathing, gorgeous grottos with crystal clear waters ideal for swimming, and hidden caves to explore.
- Stay at a masseria. These large farmhouse estates, many with working farms and restaurants, have been turned into lodgings. Beyond a standard hotel stay, masserie offer a more hands-on experience, whether it’s helping with harvests, taking a cooking class with the owners, or participating in other traditional cultural or agricultural activities the masseria is known for.
- Apulian cities are quieter and less trafficked than other major Italian cities, allowing their centro storicos (historical city centers) to be explored at a more leisurely pace. Stroll through the maze-like streets of Ostuni, a whitewashed ancient city known as the Città Bianca. Marvel at the Baroque architecture in Lecce. Watch the women of Bari make orecchiette by hand in the alleyways of the city each afternoon.