Greg and Andrea live in northern Italy, but spent three weeks travelling around our region. In the first of a two part podcast they take in Gargano, Imperial Puglia, Matera (in the neighbouring region of Basilicata), the Valle d’Itria and end up in Santa Maria di Leuca.
They are effusive in their praise for Puglia and don’t hold back from describing their highlights - from restaurants to must-see places of beauty.
Links and further information
Gravina in Puglia
60km from Bari, to the west of Altamura. Stunning scenery and that view over the aqueduct. Eventually bursting onto big screens nearby you or at least streaming into your home with James Bond 21: No Time to Die.
Trattoria Mamma Mia | Gravina in Puglia
For the Friday night Brodetto Vastese (fish stew). €30 and only by booking.
To. Die. For.
More | Trattoria Mamma Mia website here.
Osteria La Murgiana | Gravina in Puglia
For an incredible meal and dining experience. This is how Italians eat. The restaurant may be packed with families, including children at dinner time and there is no menu to choose from. Instead enjoy the 8 starters, the 2 pasta and the 2 main dishes.
Incredible value too.
More | Osteria La Murgiana website.
Valle d’Itria | drive the back roads
According to Greg and Andrea, forget “totally unauthentic” Alberobello, which is “worth giving a miss.”
“Trulli are its focal point but they are all over the countryside. Grit your teeth and don’t go!” Greg exclaims.
“If you are looking for UNESCO and World Heritage, if you are looking for authenticity then seek out the back roads between Savelletri, Fasano and Cisternino,” urges Andrea.
A viewpoint echoed by Greg.
“Drive the back roads inland between Torre Canne and Savelletri - the UNESCO protected dry walls, with the millennial olives groves. Fantastic drives, walks, bike routes - simply stunning. Breathtaking.”
Fasano | Pentole e Provete
A fabulous restaurant not too far from the station. It may not yet have a Michelin star but they are working towards it. Although it has been open for almost 4 years the proprietors still have an incredible enthusiasm about their food as if they opened yesterday.
Here you will find traditional ingredients cooked and presented in a interesting, contemporary style. And you will feel like you are dining in the lower East Side of Manhattan or in Hoxton - it really is that much of a revelation.
Enjoy incredible cuisine dished up with wave of excitement.
More | Pentole e Provete website here | their bottone ripieno di ragù bianco con crema di cipolla, salsa di pomodoro e fondo di manzo pictured above.
La Cutura | Botanical Garden
A huge botanical garden in Giuggianello, near Maglie.
It is divided into many different sections. A herbal and a rose garden, the largest collection in the world of succulents and an amazing cacti garden. Simply stunning. Located in the heart of Salento, wherever you are in Puglia you have to visit.
More | La Cutura website.