Postcards from Puglia
Eternal sunshine, undefeated cultural gems and whitewashed hilltop towns comes to mind when we think of Puglia (Apulia). We have discovered many great sites from centuries old farmland, hundreds of kilometres of Mediterranean coastline and ascendant historic architecture. Puglia is a region divided into six provinces: Bari (which is the regional capital), Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce, Taranto and the recently-constituted province of Barletta-Andria-Trani. We had the pleasure of discovering Bari, Bitonto, Trani, Polignano a Mare with Livio from Zest of Italy and we thoroughly recommend a guide if you want to unearth some local aspects of the towns.
This region at the southern heel of Italy has sheer natural beauty, authenticity, charm and substance. Whether it's visiting the whitewashed trullo houses in Alberobello (thanks to Ad Pugliam), visiting olive groves and orchards or swimming in seas with the deepest shade of blue, this Italian region has something special. It borders the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea ...Puglia's coastline is one of the longest in Italy, making it a hit destination for Italians.
Our stay was based between country retreats Masseria Alchimia and Masseria Potenti. Masseria Potenti is a country resort cherished with 140 hectares of stunning beauty with a swimming pool, stylish restaurant, Arabic-style garden and a hamman. For a quiet down time, enjoy cookery lessons, countryside walks or simply lounge by the pool. No two rooms are the same at Masseria Potenti. For those that require more independent living (as we did), there are 2 apartments available, which are located in the oldest and most ancient part of the Masseria. Both apartments feature two rooms, a private garden and a kitchenette. Masseria Alchimia is a design hotel with 8 self-catering studios for two/four guests. A traditional whitewashed former convent and girls school, Masseria Alchimia is surrounded by greenery and farm land growing crops around the fields. It is an exclusive stay away from, close by to the beaches and the lovely town of Fasano. You will be in your element here, as it is comfy, full of open space and the staff are on point.
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The trulli of Alberobello, Castel del Monte and the Sassi of Matera are all hot spots in Puglia. The Sassi are ancient districts in Matera where dwellings have been carved into the rocks, a unique element in this side of the world. Materia, also known as "la Città Sotterranea" (the Subterranean City), Matera is well known for its historical centre called "Sassi", considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993, along with the Park of the Rupestrian Churches. On Oct. 17, 2014, Matera was declared Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019.
Our favourite dining experience was at Corte in Fiore Restaurant in Trani. A former palace passed to the Grezza family (then Laghezza). Expect Renaissance layout, contains a garden that was once part of the road surface of the Via A. Prologo, whose uneven pavement is to mark the limit of a missing porch for some time now. Expect fresh fish from the day: octopus, squid, shark, lobsters, shrimps, sea urchins and many more dishes to choose from!
Here we share some of our favourite pictures from our time in enchanting Puglia.