Starting to plan your summer vacations and thinking about Italy? Want to try something a little off the beaten touristic track? A week in Puglia may just be what you need! The ‘heel of the boot’ is a real little rustic wonder, for excellent food and turquoise waters, look no further!
Now grab an Aperol Spritz or a glass of rose because it’s a long one! If reading isn’t your thing, check out our trip highlights video!
We landed around lunchtime in Bari and headed straight South-West. We checked-in at Tenuta Yala, a wonderful agriturismo which I highly recommend!
We relaxed for the rest of the day, enjoying a glass or two of wine and a filling dinner at the agriturismo.
Day 1 – Tricase Porto and Leuca
We woke up bright and early the following day and headed South to Tricase Porto and Leuca. The drive by the coast was just fantastic!
Tricase Porto is teeny tiny, so you will only need an hour there. We walked by the harbour and the seafront and took a minute to appreciate the turquoise water.
Next stop was Leuca. It is not the prettiest city, people mainly come here for the beach. So we just walked around the town grabbed a bite to eat and a gelato.
We then headed back and had dinner in Gallipoli at Al De Pace. It was one of our best meals there, the octopus pasta was to die for and the tiramisu was just delicious! Well worth a visit!
Day 2 – Otranto, Galatina and Baia Verde
The following day we headed West to Otranto. It was one of our favourite villages in Puglia, full of history and surrounded by turquoise water. A medieval gem in a paradise setting!
We then thought it would be a good idea to head to Galatina for lunch… It is good to note that on Mondays most restaurants are closed in Italy. The town is beautiful but it was completely dead! It may worth going on another day as we ended up having a very unsatisfying sandwich from a local shop.
We ended the day enjoying the sunset at Baia Verde with a glass of Aperol and a new friend! A glorious sunset on the Mediterranean sea followed by a delicious dinner at Sciamu Moi.
Day 3 – Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli
On our third day, we headed to Porto Cesareo, a very rustic village with a beautiful beach.
After a quick lunch, we headed to Gallipoli old town and got lost in the little-cobbled streets. The city is very charming and extremely lively in the evenings!
Day 4 – Lecce and Brindisi
The following day we started our exploration of the central and eastern parts of Puglia, starting with Lecce. It is called the ‘Florence of the South’ and you can really see why. The town is beautiful and very grand!
When you are there, make sure to grab lunch at L’Angolino di Via Matteotti for the most delicious puccia, a traditional sandwich people have for lunch.
We then headed to Brindisi, which to be honest, didn’t really worth a stop. The town is pretty but there really isn’t much to do.
Day 5 – Ostuni, Cisternino and Alberobello
Thursday was one of our favourite days! We headed to Ostuni, Cisternino and Alberobello which were all beautiful!
Ostuni is a true vision! Rising from the top of the hill like a white gem.
Cisternino is a smaller version of Ostuni but still worth a visit!
Alberobello is magical with its streets of trullos, the traditional Puglian houses.
It is like walking in another creatures’ village. The house looks so different and proportions are on the smaller side for modern human size, it could be a movie set for a hobbit town!
We ended the day at a once in a lifetime restaurant, Grotta Palazzese in Polignano A Mare. The venue is insane, but the food wasn’t the best we had. Also, it is EXPENSIVE so only go there if you really want to tick it off your bucket list.
Looking familiar? Probably because its pictures are all over Pinterest!
Day 6 – Martina Franca, Locorontodo and Monopoli beach
Our second to last day was dedicated to relaxation (finally!). We went for a little walk around Martina Franca and Locorontodo in the morning. Both towns are fairly compact so just get lost in the little streets to embrace the atmosphere.
Don’t be afraid to enter churches in Italian villages, this is where you will discover some gems like this chapel below in Locorontodo.
We then spent the afternoon on the beach in Monopoli.
Day 7 – Monopoli, Polignano A Mare and Bari
For our last day, we went to explore Monopoli…
Polignano A Mare…
…and Bari. All beautiful! All very Pinterest-able and Instagram-able as you can see! We just walked through the streets of Bari city centre, enjoyed the beautiful local architecture in Monopoli, and gasped at the impressive cliff views of Polignano A Mare.
A week in Puglia was the perfect escape to Italy. The dolce vita at its best!