Things to see in Puglia

Old May 14th, 2016, 05:53 AM
  #1  
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Things to see in Puglia

We (my husband and myself)are very excited to be leaving for Puglia very very soon. We will be getting a car to tour the area. We will be staying:
2 nights Trani
3 nights Ostuni
3 nights Lecce
2 nights Galipoli
2 nights Matera

What are the interesting/must see things to see as we work our way to each of these destinations? We heard about the cathedral in Trani, olive tree tour in Ostuni but where should we stop and in what order? For example, where would Alberobello, Locorotondo, Monipoli, etc fit in?
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Old May 14th, 2016, 08:27 AM
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I assume that you have a guidebook already but if you don't I suggest the Thomas Cook Puglia guide.
It outlines suggested itineraries of various lengths.

You should consider hiring a guide for one of the Matera days. People say wonderful things about Nadia.
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Old May 14th, 2016, 10:17 AM
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Sounds wonderful - we loved our trip to Puglia. A guide (there are many in the parking lot) was essential for seeing the sassi in Matera, otherwise some of the area was off-limits. We also took her suggestion for lunch, and it was outstanding. Their local dish, fave e cicoria (beans & greens) was incredibly simple but really delicious.

Alberobello is adorable, and well worth seeing just for the trulli, but lots of tourists. We just stopped to walk around a bit.

Polignano a Mare is a gorgeous town along the coast, north of Ostuni I think, spectacular sights, we stopped there for lunch.

One of our best meals, EVER, that we still talk about, was at Alle Due Corti, in Lecce. They do a pasta dish in which half the pasta is boiled as usual, but the other half is crisp - hard to describe, but unforgettably good.

The harbor at Trani is one of the most picturesque anywhere.

Enjoy!
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Old May 14th, 2016, 10:19 AM
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We lived puglia!!! We spent a week there outside of Mesagne (sounds like lasagne) in a masseria.

You can see our pics here
https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
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Old May 14th, 2016, 11:15 AM
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One of my favorite things in Puglia is Castel del Monte, a 13th-century medieval building (castle doesn't seem quite the right word) designed by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. It's a large but very simple white stone octagonal building, with eight octagonal towers at each angle, and an octagonal interior courtyard. There is no agreement on the use of the building, which was not a fortress, nor on the obvious symbolism of the design. Frederick was a scholarly man, ahead of his time, and well-versed in mathematics. The "castle" is not far from Bari, and it would be worth a detour to see it. I've been there twice, and if I were back in the area I could hardly resist visiting it again. The one-cent piece in Italy depicts Castel del Monte.

The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Trani is another of the great medieval buildings of Italy, built in the 11th century in Norman Romanesque style. (The Normans weren't only conquering England in that century.) Its position right at the harbor is very picturesque, and the interior is very beautiful and, fortunately, wasn't tarted up in the 17th century. Saint Nicholas is venerated highly in the Orthodox Church, and daily Orthodox services are held in the crypt of the Cathedral every day. Many Greek Orthodox pilgrims come to Trani to visit it.

Matera is actually in Basilicata, not Puglia.
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Old May 14th, 2016, 12:59 PM
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Agree w alle due corti above....tried that dish other places and not as special. We have a trip report here... See if you can stay in a trullo....and in a cave hotel or b&b in mater as. We loved our cooking class and meal mentioned in the report. Truly memorable.
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Old May 14th, 2016, 06:32 PM
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Some great suggestions and am definitely open to more.
I am truly bumming about alle due corti. I made a dinner reservation and a few days ago, received an e mail that they need to cancel it because the restaurant is closing for a few days to do some work on the building. Oh well. We will try La Torre di Merlino and also Il Vico del Gusto. Hope they are good choices.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 02:25 AM
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In Lecce, the local pastry is pastacciotto...and the best we found was at the unlikely named...and super central...bar cin cin. Highly recommended. Our trip report

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...a-loved-it.cfm
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Old May 15th, 2016, 03:27 AM
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Gravina's ravine with the cave churches.

mozzarella di Gioia del colle

Martina Franca

Masseria and staying in same

The people

Local cooking classes

The wine

Lecce stone work

Wines of salice salentino

The way wine waiters in the area treat red wine

The vegetarian options

"alle due corti"
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Old May 15th, 2016, 06:07 AM
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bilbobuglar, I am curious about the red wine. Care to elucidate?
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Old May 15th, 2016, 06:37 AM
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Because Puglian red wine is so big and because it is generally drunk in the region but seldom elsewhere a few traditions have grown up that work really well here. Many of them are found in other areas, but let me give you an example

In a small village I walked into the local pizzaria. A large place but still only doing the basics.

The wine list had 300 wines (300) and once ordered the wine was decanted, used to coat the inside a large glass and then offered to me to taste. After this I could drink it.

Note the wine was from a named bottle but less than E10. While jug wines are fantastic value.

Now that is service.

The wines of the Salice are especially important and expensive.

The Primativo, the Negroamaro, Nero d'Avola, Nero di Troia are so great. Then the Aglianico from Basilicata next door.

Benissimo
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Old May 15th, 2016, 06:41 AM
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Grazie
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