Whilst the northern part of Puglia around Bari has a much more european and industrial flavour, the arid, sun-baked area central, and leading south west towards Gallipoli, is so dramatically unlike the rest of Italy, eschewing the fashionable, and chic, big names and smart restaurants, that it is seemingly a region that never became part of Europe. The whole peninsular displays a startling diversity of culture, topography and demographic. If you’re on holiday in Puglia, our advice would be to take a little look everywhere. Our trulli in Puglia is just about in the middle of it all – so you are ideally situated, wherever your travels take you, to cover any of these destinations within a day.
What to say about the food, apart from the fact that it is fabulous. We cannot begin to number the osteria, and tavola calda that have filled our tummies over the years. Pugliese dishes will astonish you, and you won’t be able to resist their unique, fresh and genuine flavours, because in Puglia there’s a deep-rooted culinary tradition, composed mostly of simple dishes, made with local products. Our trulli in Puglia, with its close proximity to all of the major hill and coastal towns, is right in the middle of an incredible selection of places to dine out, or just to shop for wonderful fresh and local ingredients to conjour up your own gastronomic delights, using the first class indoor and outdoor cooking facilities at Trullo Bellissimo.
Then, of course, there is the sea and beautiful coastline. Only 30 minutes away are the fabulous beaches of the Adriatic. There is a whole coastline (the longest in Italy) to choose from, where there are sandy stretches and rocky coves. Some beaches have ‘paid for’ areas, where you can hire beds and umbrellas, in season, but the vast majority are free. When you stay at our charming trulli in Puglia, we provide you with beach chairs, parasol, picnic hamper and cool boxes. In fact, all that you would need for a day at the beach.
One of the most stunning cities in southern Italy, famous for the dazzling effect of its whitewashed houses. It is a genuine and charming example of mediterranean architecture. The city of Ostuni is a series of levels, staircases, small roads, alleys and arches, hidden behind the great medieval bastioned walls. The architecture of Norman and Byzantine invaders permeates every niche, and the vista of the olive grove encrusted coastal plan is stunning. The brightness of its whitewashed houses, set against the pink-tinged brown of its duomo, sets the scene, brilliant in the full sun, Ostuni has become the fabled Città Bianca (the White City). For a holiday in Puglia, having Ostuni on your doorstep is a real bonus. If you are looking for a trulli in Puglia, Trullo Bellissimo is only 5 minutes drive to Ostuni.
A settlement since the fourth century BC, with 5km of it’s original fortification walls still standing. The 15th century castle and bishops residence, with Norman tower was built on the site of a far older Greek acropolis, in turn replaced by a Roman temple. Today the site is being entirely restored by the commune in partnership with the European Union, and will form an extensive museum of local history and educational centre. Famed also for its gastronomy, no visit to Ceglie would be complete without the purchase of its famed ‘dolce Cegliese’ or Ceglie cakes, which are absolutely divine. Equally restaurants in Ceglie are renowned throughout the peninsular for the quality of their fare. Ceglie is also surrounded with many examples of the trulli, which is the main private residence in Puglia.
Sits high above a virtual ‘sea’ of olive groves and vineyards on the edge of the famous Val d’Itria. Visit the ‘centro storico’ a fine example of ‘spontaneous architecture’, alleyways, houses, churches added to, built upon, partly extended over the centuries presents the visitor with a charming warren of tiny streets, and exit through the Porte Grande, an 11th century Norman arch to the most stunning panorama of a sea of olive groves. Famous also for its ‘fornelli’ or stoves, tiny restaurants offering delicious barbecued food to eat in or take home, free concerts every Sunday in summer in the central piazza, or the large Monday market, Cisternino is an absolute gem. No holiday in Puglia would be complete without a visit to this beautiful hill town with its views looking over some of the best examples of the trulli in Puglia.
One of the most elegant towns in the region. The old town has great tourist appeal, with its fabulous and completely intact baroque buildings including the ducal palace, built in 1668, owning to more than 300 rooms. The town enjoys a unique setting, dominating the Val d’Itria, known as the Valley of the Trulli in Puglia, small groups of picturesque white houses, with dry stone walls, and everywhere olive groves.The architecture of the historic part of town is charming, narrow lanes, wrought iron balconies covered in flowers, palazzi, churches, and monuments including the gateway -Porta di St. Antonio, the Arch of St Stefano. In August the town stages its annual, international opera festival, and the streets are quite literally buzzing with open air performance.
Overlooks the entire Val d’Itria, it’s houses safe behind a long protective wall that encompasses the entire town, and provides a natural balcony from which to survey the countryside. The stunning views again will remind you that this area really is the the land of the trulli in Puglia.The town skyline is dominated by the massive dome and the campanile of the historic church, and main piazza at the radial point of the ‘centro storico’. The town hosts a number of events including festivities to honour its patron, Sant’ Rocco, and a whole series of gastronomic fairs. Locorotondo also produces the most delicious white and sparkling wines, unusual for Puglia, which is renowned for its robust Primitivos and Negromaros.
A designated UNESCO world heritage site, with its beautiful coned trulli houses and their white-washed walls. Alberobello really is the capital of the land of the Trulli in Puglia and confirms that the trulli really is the main residence in Puglia and has been for centuries. The city of trull first made its appearance in the 17th century when the local earls of Conversano decided to build a town of dry stone dwellings which could be quickly dismantled when the reviled tax collector of the Aragonese Kingdom of Naples came calling. See also the symbols painted on the cones to represent, religion, fertility and astronomy. Today these tiny structures are restaurants, trattoria, a museum, and even a church.
Polignano a Mare-51km
An enchanting seaside destination, with an ancient town built on a spur of rock directly above a magnificent, clear blue sea. The caves beneath the town still bear testament to prehistoric human settlement. Today the town is well known for the variety of its musical venues, and many international artists play in the vicinity.
The capital of the Salento region due to its geographical position between the Ionic and Adriatic Seas. Known as “the Florence of the south”,Lecce has a wealth of architectural monuments in Baroque style, with gargoyles, cherubs and portals. There are many sites of artistic and historic interest, including the Church of St Croce, Piazza St Oronzo, the Column of St Oronzo, Porta Napoli, Lecce Cathedral, the Roman Amphitheatre seating 25,000 spectators and much more. Lecce is certainly worth a visit on any holiday in Puglia.
The capital of Puglia, Bari was first settled in the 3rd century by the Romans, and later invaded by Lombards, Saracens and Byzantines, all of whom have left their marque upon the city. The cathedral famously houses in its crypt, the remains of St. Nicholas, whom we refer to as Santa Claus, and thus Bari has become also a centre for pilgrimage for both the orthodox and catholic faith. A fine swabian castle constructed during the time of Frederick II is open to the public, and the stamp of Napoleon was left, clear for all to see in the fashionable shopping district, reminiscent of any Parisian boulevard. The delightful promenade, some 15km in length offers a pleasurable walk watching the many ships entering and leaving the mainland for Greece.
A World Heritage Site located in Italy’s Basilicata region, on the north eastern fringe of Puglia, was, with Grassano, its much smaller neighbour, a backdrop to Carlo Levi’s stunningly beautiful book “Christ Stopped at Eboli”, as well as being the film location for Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ”. Matera is a unique example of a cultural tradition and civilization which stretches back to the Neolithic age. The old city was created out of a rocky ravine, the numerous natural caves being the first houses of the Neolithic inhabitants. Today these ‘sassi’ homes have been turned into boutique houses, and hotels, a far cry from the malarial backwater of Snr. Levi’s most poignant book. Matera is another must see site to visit on any holiday in Puglia.
Gallipoli is quite clearly divided into two parts, the more recent, enveloping the marina, and main habitation, and the old 13th century city built around the Aragonese fort which guards the entrance to the bay. This walled island is connected to the mainland by a 6th century bridge, and although small comprises homes and churches of splendid Baroque architecture, in particular that of Sant’ Agata built in 1629. No holiday in Puglia or trip to Gallipoli would be complete without a visit to the wonderful fish market located under the bridge. Although small, the range and freshness of the produce is breathtaking.
A picturesque fishing port in the south east of the region this is one of the most popular destinations for visitors. Boasting a 15th century Aragonese castle (today open to the public), and defensive walls which encircle the old town, Otranto is one of the prettiest places of interest in the whole peninsular. Not to be missed is the beautiful cathedral of Sant’ Maria Assunta, consecrated in 1088, displaying a massive rose window, and one of the longest Roman mosaic to be discovered anywhere in Europe.
Castel del Monte-450km
This most astonishing castle, constructed at the behest of Frederick II during the 13th century is a site of rare architectural value. The central octagonal keep is bordered on all sides by octagonal watch towers, which each have eight rooms on each floor. Nobody is quite certain whether this unique building served as a military fortress, hunting lodge, or was specially commissioned as astrological observatory. Whatever may have been it’s original purpose, Castel del Monte is spectacular.