Day 1 - 21 Aug 2021
Content: From Bari to Salento, making stops in Lecce and Otranto: an itinerary through the best things to see in Puglia, sunny region of the south of Italy. After landing at the international airport of Bari, I rented a car and moved to Monopoli, first stop of my itinerary. About Monopoli. Called "City of 99 districts", Monopoli rises on the Adriatic Sea and it’s one of the most active and populous port in Puglia. The historic center, surrounded by high walls, had origins in the early Middle Ages and it’s characterized, a bit like all the villages in this area, by light colors always tending to white.
Day 1 - 21 Aug 2021
Content: The first 4 nights I stayed at Resort Porto Giardino / CDS Hotels (located in Monopoli) which is an huge resort closed to the beach with two swimming pools, a big restaurant, a big children’s area, private parking and tennis/basketball courts. Very nice!
Day 2 - 22 Aug 2021
Content: Located on a rocky spur overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the seaside village of Polignano a Mare is a pavement of long and narrow streets that wind between low buildings and strictly white houses. Among the things to see stand out Lama Monachile, a beach inlet located between two sheer rock walls (very suggestive), the Palazzo dell'Orologio, the Belvedere di Santo Stefano and Largo Ardito, the Abbey of San Vito (a few kilometers from the historic center) and the numerous sea caves which can be accessed via boat trips.
Content: Belvedere Santo Stefano is one of the most beautiful place where to admire Polignano.
Content: Lama Monachile is a beach inlet located between two sheer rock walls. Very suggestive!
Content: Abbey of San Vito in Polignano a Mare, a beautiful church in front of the sea.
Content: A special place to have dinner in Polignano a Mare is Grotta Palazzese, a restaurant with a terrace created inside a natural cave. So amazing!
Day 3 - 23 Aug 2021
Content: The Trulli of Alberobello represent one of the best destination in Italy. The name Trullo derives from the ancient Greek and means "dome". Historians agree that it’s a refinement of the thòlos, but their origins are still uncertain. Among the most famous Trulli of Alberobello stand out the Trullo Church Parish of Sant'Antonio, the Trullo Sovrano (among the largest) in Piazza Sacramento, the Siamese Trullo in the Monti district and the terraced Trulli with drawn zodiacal, planetary and astrological signs.
Content: One of the most famous plate in Alberobello is “Orecchiette”, a special type of italian pasta. Let’s try it in “turpins green” version. So tasty!
Day 4 - 24 Aug 2021
Content: Located on the top of a hill, between the Murgia and the Valle d'Itria, Locorotondo is another of the wonders to see and experience in Puglia. The city stands out for the intense white color of the houses and a medieval historic center. The main attractions of Locorotondo are located inside the historic center. Do not miss the ancient Town Hall with the Clock Tower, Palazzo Morelli, Mother Church of San Giorgio, Church of San Nicola and Church of the Madonna della Greca, the oldest in the town.
Content: Mother Church of San Giorgio is the most important Church in Locorotondo.
Content: The ancient Town Hall with the Clock Tower.
Content: An amazing way to see Locorotondo city is by “Ape Calessino Tour” (an italian special and vintage means of transport) or Bike Tour!
Day 5 - 25 Aug 2021
Content: Also called the Florence of the South, Lecce is located in a strategic point of Puglia of which it constitutes the fulcrum of the Salento peninsula. The peculiarity of Lecce consists in the sumptuous Baroque style which is defined as Lecce Baroque. The buildings, typically seventeenth century, are all built in Lecce stone, a limestone suitable for chisel work that allowed the reproduction of sumptuous decorative elements on all the facades.
Content: Amazing activities to do in Lecce: taste the “pasticciotto leccese” which is a typical dessert consisting of shortcrust pastry filled with custard and baked in the oven. Very good!
Day 6 - 26 Aug 2021
Content: The city of Otranto is part of the circuit of the "most beautiful villages in Italy" and overlooks the Adriatic coast. It’s an active center, full of initiatives and life. Among the things to see in the historic center of Otranto there are the Aragonese Castle, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata, the Heroes' promenade, Porta Terra, Porta Alfonsina and the Clock Tower .
Content: Built by Alfonso of Aragon at the end of the 15th century, the Castle of Otranto dominates the town with its mighty walls, the high moat and the towers that are still perfectly preserved today. Curiosity! Few people know that "The Castle of Otranto" was the name of the first Gothic novel in history, written by Horace Walpole.
Content: Erected on the remains of a Messapian village, the Cathedral of the Annunziata was built during the Norman domination and finished in the 12th century. The façade, with a Baroque portal and an imposing rose window, surrounds the interior consisting of three naves delimited by granite columns.
Content: The Heroes' promenade represents the natural border between Otranto and the sea. At its center was placed the statue dedicated to the Martini of the city.
Content: Connected by a canal called Lu Strittu, the Alimini lakes are located about 8 km from the historic center of Otranto and are one of the things to see in the surrounding area.
Content: The Cava di Bauxite of Otranto is located about 1.5 km from the historic center and is a highly suggestive place. It is an emerald green lake set inside a red quarry whose color is given precisely by bauxite, a mineral from which aluminum is obtained.
Content: Otranto is a good place where to choose an accommodation for this second part of itinerary in the Salento’s peninsula. When I’ve been here, I stayed at the Hotel Corte di Nettuno, closed to the castle and the beach. They also have a nice restaurant in marine style which offers fish-based menu and typical local dishes.
Day 7 - 27 Aug 2021
Content: The best way to see and experience Santa Maria di Leuca is certainly by sea, so I recommend a boat trip with a visit to the nearby caves. When I’ve been here, I choose the “Piccola Nautica”. They offer day tour and boat rental (with or without skipper).
Content: After having your boat tour, you can have a quick lunch with some fish like octopus (delicious in this area) and take a walk in the center. Remember do not miss the Basilica of Santa Maria de finibus terrae with the viewpoint next to it, the Church of Cristo Re and the splendid nineteenth-century villas including Villa Mellacqua, Villa Colosso, Villa La Meridiana or Ruggeri and Villa Daniele.
Day 8 - 28 Aug 2021
Content: The beautiful Gallipoli rises in front of the Tyrrhenian Sea and it’s characterized by three souls: the historic center located on an island of about 1.5 km in circumference, the new village connected to the island by a thin strip of land and the beaches. Among the best things to do and see in Gallipoli, the pearl of Puglia, I absolutely recommend a walk in the historic center (ancient village) with a visit to the Castle, the baroque cathedral of Sant'Agata, the beach of Purità, the Frantoio del Vicerè.
Content: The beach of Purity (or "puritate" as the locals call it) is one of the completely free of Gallipoli , located in a characteristic area of the city and surrounded by legends and history.
Content: The mills, like this important one of the Viceroy, are called hypogea because they were built underground, re-adapting ancient granaries built by the population that many centuries earlier occupied the soil of contemporary Puglia, the Messapi.
Content: Remember to taste Gallipoli’s pasticciotto (with a different dough than the typical Lecce one) and coffee with ice and almond milk! The best place where to eat a pasticciotto is “Vecchio Ingrosso” bar.