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Trip Report A Perfect Week in Puglia

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We had spent a week in Umbria and a few days in Rome with a group of 8 -- family and friends -- before my husband and I ventured off to Puglia on our own. We had 6 nights and 7 days, which was not a lot, but offered us a wonderful taste (no pun intended) of the region. I would like to write a brief report since so little seems to be written about this wonderful region. The people are so warm and the food is amazing.

Below was our itinerary:

1 night in Lecce at Palazzo Persone
2 nights near Ostuni at Masseria La Rascina
1 night in Matera at L’Hotel in Pietra
2 nights in Montegrosso at Lama di Luna

I will be giving hotel and restaurant reviews and a few tips, and i am more than happy to answer questions.

DAY 1: LOVELY LECCE

We took a fast train from Rome to Lecce -- 5 hours, 2nd class. Very nice, but our car was noisy and crowded. Would have preferred 1st class, not for seat comfort, but for less people and noise.

We arrived in Lecce at 2:30. Now let me say that we have spent many weeks in Italy over the years and traveled all over and in many tiny towns, but we were not prepared for the shocking silence of a Sunday afternoon in Lecce. Our room was not ready, so we walked around and it was literally a ghost town. For an hour and a half, we probably saw 10 human beings walking around in the historic center.

Nevertheless, we were stunned by the beauty of this city. Absolutely gorgeous! The historic center is small and easy to navigate.

Lunch - Doppiozero
A very nice police officer directed us to a heavenly spot for lunch which he knew was open --Doppiozero. It is a “deli” type restaurant with outdoor and indoor seating on Via Paldini. We ordered a Greek salad, a salami and cheese platter, and a focaccia sandwich. It was perfection. We couldn’t have been happier.

Hotel - Palazzo Persone
We were able to check into our B and B, the Palazzo Persone, at 4. We stayed in the Sinagoga room. It was beautiful and spacious. There were only two of us, but it had a second bedroom with a twin bed which we weren’t even expecting and it was great for our luggage. The location was excellent, very close walking distance to everything you want to see. We would definitely return!

Needless to say, we were relieved to see human beings in Lecce as we ventured out again for an early evening walk before dinner. The town came to life, and it was even more beautiful in the evening than during the day.

Dinner - Locanda La Magiada
Unfortunately, the restaurants we had hoped to visit in Lecce were closed on Sundays. We were able to book Locanda La Magiada, which was recommended on the Mario Batali site, and had TVs so we could watch the Eurocup soccer. (Beware that google maps will tell you this restaurant is in piazza vittorio emmanuel, when really it is on VIA vittoria emmanuel) The food was fantastic! We had an burratta appetizer, and I had a wonderful pizza. Most people seemed to be ordering pizza. My husband ordered the local pasta that has some fried noodles and chick peas, and it was also delicious. It was overall a great dining experience and we would happily return.

The next morning, we were to rent a car and start our driving journey through Puglia. We were so happy that we had chosen Lecce as a starting point.

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