– A TOUR THROUGH THE HEEL OF ITALY’S BOOT –
Puglia has certainly become more popular over the past few years, but it’s still a long way off the tourism craziness you see in regions like Tuscany. Thank God for that!
The area is mostly known for its sunny weather, the typical trulli huts and the cute whitewashed hill towns. The whole beautifully surrounded by an endless strip of Mediterranean coastline. Let us take you on a little tour through pretty Puglia!
If you’re flying in, it’s likely you’ll arrive at the airport near Bari. Bari is the capital of Puglia and the old town -Bari Vecchia- is worth at least an afternoon visit. Imagine narrow streets, laundry hanging out to dry above you, women making pasta together outside, and the grunting of the occasional old Vespa making its way through the old town. Oh Italia!
Noci, Matera & Alberobello
From Bari it’s about 50 kilometers south east to Noci, a small town close to the ‘capital of the trulli’ that is Alberobello. In itself Noci might not be super exciting, but the food we had here was among the best we’ve had in Puglia. The same goes for the Airbnb where we were staying, it was super nice and it had a very chilled atmosphere; the perfect place to unwind from busy city life.
If you’re looking for a nice restaurant to go to, try l’Antica Locanda, the food is very tasty and especially later at night it’s full of locals. Make sure you’re hungry though because the portions are (quite) big!
Officially Matera isn’t in the region of Puglia (it’s in Basilicata actually), but if you’re on a tour in Puglia you should definitely go to Matera. The town’s historical center -called Sassi- is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and well worth a visit we promise you.
Think of an old hill town with many steps to climb, beautiful views, deserted streets, plants overgrowing buildings and the burning heat from the sun. Sounds pretty cool, right?! It is.
From Noci it’s roughly 60 kilometers to Matera which will take you about an hour by car.
Alberobello -a UNESCO World Heritage Site too- is probably a ‘must see’ because of it’s many trulli huts, but it wasn’t one of our personal favourites. Compared to other towns in Puglia there are a lot of tourists which means equally as many souvenir shops full of kitschy stuff and higher prices for food and drinks.
Sure, it’s cool to see a mini village of trulli huts but in fairness, once you’ve seen one or two, you’ve seen them all (although the chances are that a trulli expert would strongly disagree with us on this one).
If you want a cool local experience, try to spend a night in a trulli. Many locals rent them out to tourists so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that’s available (the Airbnb in Noci we mentioned earlier also has them for example).
Next up: Lecce.
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