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Trulli Foodie Puglia-two weeks to eat through!!!

Trulli Foodie Puglia-two weeks to eat through!!!

Old May 30th, 2012, 09:48 PM
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thanks dina, glad it has wet your appetite for puglia-still a little more

Jubilda-yeah that sounds good, you probably only need 2 nights tops in Matera (you could even day trip from puglia very very easily although can imajine it being wonderful at nightear;y morning. Which are your bases in the north and south and where do you fly in and out of? there are so many places to enjoy you could 2 weeks in either area i think so you will have plenty to do in both for a week each. We very much love this area but also got a feel for further south too and wished we were staying another week to venture down to Otranto area oh well will have to come back!
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Old May 30th, 2012, 09:55 PM
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kimberly-its amazingly yummy, only little cubes scattered over it but adds a tangy deep flavour. Hmmmmmm
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Old May 31st, 2012, 03:59 AM
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HG, still in early planning. We can fly into either Brindisi or Bari depending on where we decide to start trip. My partner has one of the stassi hotels picked out and want to be in matera at night, we are thinking of maybe Polignaro and Otrantp, but also want to plunk ourselves down fairly near one of the airports for a few days to start, so not sure, but too early to know. We are in that fun anything is possible stage.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 04:48 AM
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ahh i remember that stage.

Pog is less than an hour from bari and on literally the one straight road all the way! you could then go to matera from there for a few nights then down to Otranto before flying out of brindisi.

Just a thought but there are so many ways to do it!

Have fun planning
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Old May 31st, 2012, 04:58 PM
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yes, that's the sort of plan we are thinking of, but didi not realize Pog so close to Bari. We really would like to chill at a masseria with pool for a couple of nights before getting a car and venturing out as we know we will be exhausted upon arrival from intensive work leading up to travel.
Did you starve today?
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Old May 31st, 2012, 09:43 PM
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jubilada, yeah i know what you mean-its nice to have a relax before starting the driving etc etc.

you are so lucky to have it all to plan- i love the planning stage
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Old May 31st, 2012, 10:37 PM
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oh and yesterday.....

we were slightly running short on funds and decided we wanted to each out for lunch and dinner on our last day (today) and seen as the weather was glorius and we had plenty of food in the fridge we went for an (almost!) lazy day by the pool.

We couldn't resist a quick nip out to the bakery and grabbed two more cornetti di chiccolato (hmmm will miss these) and rove five minute up coast to enjoy these at Porto Ghiacciolo which our villa owner had recommended, which is on route to monopoli. Beautiful mini beach cover with gorgeous clean calm water and a trendy upmarket little beach cafe, This looked like a great summer beach spot and could imagine it packed in august (today just a handful of people swimming away early in the morning)

Then popped home to enjoy the gorgeous pool! For lunch, we feasting of that delicious salami, local cheese and olive oil on Puglianese bread (have i said how perfect Puglianese bread is?- but you have to get the right one, its the one that almost golden yellow in colour with a brown toffee coloured crust and is quite airy rather than dense). We all demolished the remaining plump purple chilli olives we bought in Monopoli and some other supermarket salami which was scrumptious too!

Lazy few hours by the pool and then an evening dinner of gnocetti with pomodoro, chopped salami, garlic, torn basil leaves and olive oil (thats it! i was trying to keep it simple and tasty and take advantage of the great olive oil, oh accept i found one remaining oozy mozarella ball, so tore this up and sprinkled on at the end) For 1 euro a bag- this gnocci is some of the best texture ever, super creamy and takes the coating very well, has made me feel very bad about the nasty spongy stuff i buy at home!). Yummy dinner mopped up with even yummier golden bread....and all washed down with cold bubbly prosseco.

Like i say you don't have to spend a fortune here to enjoy nice food- the ingredients speak for themselves so that you can't really go wrong whatever you cook up!

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Ok last day- very sad
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Old May 31st, 2012, 10:40 PM
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in fact

:'(
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Old May 31st, 2012, 10:55 PM
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oh forgot to mention we also grabbed some little chocolate cream filled filo pastry goodies from the bakery for pudding. These are super yummy, flaky, buttery pastry with a tasty chocoate filling. We have seem them a lot her (kind off long triangle shape) so recommend as an after dinner treat!!
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 02:31 AM
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Ciao, again!! I forgot to ask you..or maybe I did not see if you mentioned it above, but did you go into the water at the beach at all? Was the water too cold? Thanks!! So glad you are having a blast!
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 05:15 AM
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hi eks, we only went yesterday and just to calf deep as we had not planned a swim. It was cool but there were plenty of Italians in (and even more down in santa maria al bagna the week before). The heat has really stpepped up a notch these last few days so by the time you are here i will be perfect beach weather i would guess. We are off to Greece in September so were not really trying to turn in into a beachy holiday as there is not really much else for us to do when we go to Greece (Paxos) apart from beaches!!

The water looks very clean and clear here thoug so should be lovely
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 11:48 AM
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Ok so our trip is nearly done and very sad to be saying goodbye to Puglia in the morning

I will write up the last day tomorrow in the airport i expect, but in short went for lunch in ceglie and enjoyed one of the best meals we had had at Il Perricci in Monopoli tonight for just 30 euros for two. More later
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 12:50 AM
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Ok home now so thought better write up the last day.....

Started off as always will coffee on the terrace (the weather was heating up bug time!) and went off to try and seek out that delicious steak we had heard about on here ( ;-) )in Ceglie Messapica. Its kind off like a small version of Ostuni, a little poorer maybe but perhaps more authentic (older!) old town. It took us a fair while to reach but through some very very pretty countryside with loads of trulli but got there in the end. Had a bit of a bad time parking as accidentally took a super narrow road through the town and had to park a little far out, which meant a walk through the outskirts which were quite worn down. Unfortunate as the central old town was really quite pretty and authentic.

It was again empty (like literally no one there!) and we wondered round getting very hot in search of the aroma of steak!! every time we smelt something delicious we soon realised it was just someone cooking the family lunch- i longed for us to go in and join them!! Eventually (after even using our phone map unsuccessfully and almost about to give up and drive to Locorotondo to seek out that pizza) we found it...it was Closed!! NOOOOO!!!! we were really disappointed Me especially as it was our last day

But time was passing and we had spotted Cibus restaurant on our search and there didn't seem to be many other places in the old town little streets and driving back to locorotondo seemed a little drastic so we ventured back to Cibus.

http://www.ristorantecibus.it/index....tenuto&lang=it

For some reason i had briefly skipped over this place on my searches thinking it was uber expensive and Carluccio's words in our Lonely Planet "never go to the expensive places-they are not authenic" haunted me and warned me off anything looking too pricey. But we didn't have a lot of choice. So when we arrived and had to ring a door bell i thought- oh dear our budget (which we had kept within and even had a 100 euros left for last day) was going to go out the window. But rejoice!! the menu looks like normal prices (8-12 euros a pasta) yeh i could relax!! and the outdoorsy setting is lovely and simple and Puglian white! not fancy at all, apart from table cloths.

It was a pretty place, with a semi indoor/outdoor eating place- all very white and cream ad those lovely arched puglian ceilings and greenery throughout, matching tables and chairs and provided a nice shade from the heat. We were given some huge wedges of that golden bread (hmmmmm i LOVE the bread here!) and a big tall bottle of deep yellow extra virgin olive oil. We began to feel relaxed again and poured ourselves a big glug of the oil to enjoy the bread with. Hmmmm i love bread and olive oil in puglia- perfect combination of peppery indulgent oil and deliciously scrumptious golden bread.

We had a plate of local hams (2) from the region which were very thinly sliced and very light. To follow i went for local rabbit with olives and tomatoes which was nice. although could have done with a little more of the yummy sauce- the rabbit was tender and the olives were very nice and tasty as all Puglian olives have been. Partner went for stuffed pork with onions and local cheese, which while huge and moist was unfortunately a little bland. but the cheese was tasty. Oh no, not one of our greatest meals but still enjoyable and at least it was on the healthy side ;-) although it was only 41 euros including coffee so reasonably priced after all our fears!

We ventured home to pack and enjoy one last swim before opting to go into Monopoli for dinner (battle between here and Pogliano, which was 5 mins further but one of our favourites) So so SO happy we went to Monopoli (we were owed one last amazing meal!) as we had a real treat!

Also worth saying that Monopoli definitely deserves more recognition- it is such a nice place and at night really comes alive. Lots of families sat outside there houses chatting or playing games. Lots of people walking the streets enjoying the evening. and the Churches all lit up (the Cathedral looks wonderful at night). We also discovered a pretty square we had missed last time. I really like this place....

Ok so for dinner, the villa owner had recommended Osteria Perricci (as did Vito here- thanks vito!!)

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaur...ri_Puglia.html

and we loved it!!

To start we were given was is uite simply the best bruscetta mini apertiser we have ever tasted, Have no idea if it was the oil or the chopper red/green/yellow tomatoes but it was absolutely divine bruscetta!! So so tasty we could have feasted on this alone for dinner!

Very basic but very authentic feel, no menu, little English spoken. We listened and understood (yeh!)) the dishes being ready out to us slowly in Italian and opted for antipasti for 1 (easily fed 2!) and then pasta with local seafood. The antipasti was lovely, fish based with some great deep fried spongy fish of some sort- batter was salty/crispy/sweet- the absolute opposite of bland batter. Also some nice muscles and super meaty anchovies. Also sampled an interesting (raw maybe) squid which was unusual - i liked, partner didn't. Anyway dont want to focus too much on the apertisers as it was the pasta dish that was stunninly simple but stunningly wow!!!

It was the puglian style cavatelli pasta with clams and muscles in a sauce (not tomato or cream based, perhaps wine and stock?!) which was absolutely delicious, served with a bowl of chilli oil full to bursting with fat chillies. We added a spoonful of the oil and then dug it- wow so tangy- it just tasted phenomenal to us (don't get me wrong its not at all extravagant dish, in fact was very very simple). I only wish i knew how to make this! We had a big dish for two and a ladle to dish the stuff up. We got loads but despite being a large portion , ever single pasta piece was eaten and we could have hag again!! I know i will remember this dish forever!

We also saw platters of local fried fish which lookded yummy but as there was no menu we had no clue of prices and only had 59 euros left so we were careful not to over order. Big mistake!! the fried platter looked gorgeous an going by the look of the faces of the french couple next to us, tasted so too!! We finished off with a slice of almond/cherry cake. OMG yum!! and despite my obsession for the sugared almonds here i hate almond in cake (marzipan is my 2nd most dreaded food- after artichoke of course, in case you hadn't noticed!). It was delightful . So 'il conto" time- oh dear fingers crossed, With half litre of wine and a coffee 30 euros! wow - very happy and relieved!! We left with very very happy bellies and even had change for some gelato from that place i had vowed to try in our first few days. Even had money for cornetti in the airport the next day (where randomly we arrived in Milan a the same time as Justin Bieber did- wow i don'f think i have ever seen anything quite like the way the italian girls screamed for him and his band mates- watching this at least filled some time between flights)

Anyway back to gelato......

Amazing proper gelato (beat the Trani one i think, whichwas still very nice) hmmmm gorgeous chiccolatto and profiterole flavours with little nuggets of biscuits. (interestingly italian gelato is not just italian for ice cream- somehow it is made with less fat (4-8%) rather that ice cream's 10%+ yet tastes in my opinion ten times creamier!). We walked back though the streets eating on our yummy gelato. Hmm Italy at its best!

And then we were done very sad to leave

I'll post some of our favourite places/meals tonight probably.

Hope you all enjoyed and for all those going soon-Enjoy!!!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 01:07 AM
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Great report...shame about the weather today for the flotilla
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 01:08 AM
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i know, when we got back we were like "heat wave-really!"
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 03:18 AM
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HG001 - I think that we'll all be almost as sad as you that your trip, and therefore your trip report, have had to come to and end.

I do however have a complaint.

How am I supposed to choose which part of Italy I want to go to next? I had a nice trip to Umbria, Le Marche and southern tuscany planned out [partly because i am desperate to show DH Orbetello where I did my italian course and partly because I want to revisit all the lovely places in that region] then I decided to go to Sicily to see the area where they filmed the Montalbano series, and now YOU come along with this.

it's not fair!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 03:40 AM
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HG001, I too will miss your trip report.
annhig, I know what you mean, but we have settled on Puglia, but alas we cannot go for a year.
That has not stopped us from planning though!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 04:34 AM
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jubilada - I am planning for next May, and haven't settled on anywhere.

DH however has expressed a preference for Sicily, so i suspect that that is where we will go.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 05:01 AM
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ann, juba haha i'm sorry.

I think wherever you go will have amazing food as its Italy after all.I have been to a handful of places in Italy (Florence/Tuscany,Amafli Coast, Capril,Rome,Venice) and really liked them all, especially when i revisit. (Not a fan of Venice 1st time round, huge fan 2nd time round- favourite city in fact)

(just randomly have you ever google images or been too Tropea-wow that looks cool!)

If you are planning on coming in the Summer and like beaches, and bit of a foodie i would say Puglia would be a definite winner no question. And at other times of year also a very strong contender- but everywhere in Italy i have been too has been nice so don't want to say defo Puglia as not fair on other regions.

If it helps I would say re Puglia

-very flat
-very clean
-very quiet (this time of year anyway)
-very pretty old town centres (which everywhere we went had)
-everywhere has white washed streets in the old towns with grand and beautiful Churches
-some run down suburbs, which never take more than a couple of mins to drive through
-partly greek feel
-relaxing vibe so important to have somewhere nice to come back to and chill out-i felt it not to be an action packed destination.
-alberobello is very unique and retains charm
-cheap food and wine
-relatively easy driving
-delicious food and wine
-beautiful clear water
-some jewel places like Trani/Pogliano/Ostuni/Lecce (We have just set a Pogliano photo as our screen saver pic!)
-nice friendly helpful people
-definitely a foodie place
-good for cycling
-good for fishing
-lack of people automatically talking back to you in English as they might in Rome/Florence( which i loved- the Italian language is so nice, i really enjoyed experiencing it and you cant help but pick some up)
-empty almost eerie towns during 1-5 so need to go early or late for groceries/people watching (by the end we were missing seeing people a little bit during the day and was so nice to go into Monopoli at night when people were out and all buzzy, so stay in centres if you want to people watch)
-nice weather
-i would say you need a car to make most of (although lots of places had train stations)
-lots of places close together
-authentic vibe
-not dramatic countryside/rolling hills such as Tuscany as very flat but very pretty al the same but not quite as pretty as Tuscany imo
-close to Matera
-good seafood
-not loads of museums/galleries as in Rome/Florence
-doesn't feel very touristy so restaurants all feel like local places
-towns are quite small
-gorgeous sea!
-very outdoorsy
-feeling of being a local in Italy and not a tourist so much
-on the whole not particularly glamourous (i.e. don't really have many excuse to get all dressed up for dinner as you might in Rome)
-not much theatre scene
-still very much undiscovered i felt.
-good for vegetarians

Hope this helps a bit, either way am sure wherever you pick will be great. We really really loved Puglia but am sure we would really love Umbria too! It was good though to spend two full weeks and really get to know it.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 05:05 AM
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ann, i think Sicily will be great in May as I think it is warmer than Puglia and would stick with your first choice as its normally the right one- that way you can come to Puglia in June/July/August and make use of the beautiful sea!!
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