HIP SOUTHERN ITALY TRAVEL EXPERIENCES: LECCE & PUGLIA | MASSERIAS
If you are bored to visit the cities that everyone visits in Italy it is time to travel to the southern heel of Italy´s boot, Puglia.
This undiscovered region is rapidly becoming one of the most trendy places in the Mediterranean for those who seek authentic experiences. It is known for its sunny weather, valleys of ancient olive trees, centuries old farmland, old baroque cities and beautiful white beaches.
You should take at least 5 days to visit this Region and spend your time chilling at the beach, visiting the stunning baroque architecture or simply tasting the excellent wine and food.
Where to go puglia-map
Take an airplane and land in Bari or Brindisi airport and rent out a car. Renting a car is quite easy and cheap and you can arrange your booking in advance for the best rates. As you hop out of the airport you head towards Alberobello, a smll picturesque city that is home to unique stone huts with conical roofs (called trulli). After visiting the old town during the day get ready for a southern Italian evening.
Find a nice piazza (piazza is the Italian name for square) and take a table with the view over the square and order a Primitivo wine (red, dry and strong body) and enjoy the warm evening breeze. In southern Italy the piazza is a place where people meet, or simply spend their time with the “dolce far niente” (sweet doing nothing) which is a statement describing the easiness of Italians and their full appreciation of the nice things that life offers. Head towards Lecce, known as the Florence of the south is the best city to start your journey. Order the “caffe in ghiaccio con mandorla” the typical way of drinking coffee at the Caffè Alvino on the Piazza Sant’Oronzo. Now it is time to go baroque by walking around the ancient city center. Stop before sunset at Basilica di Santa Croce and enjoy one of the robust red wines that grow in the region and visit Corte dei Pandolfi a nice place to dine.
Otranto is the best places to combine culture with the sea. The city is built on a cliff over a turquoise crystal blue water offering amazing views over the Adriatic sea. During the day the best thing is to do is to rent a boat or jump on one of the many sail boats you will find in the harbour, most of them will stop at spectacular caves or you may just asks the skipper ask to anchor in pristine waters that are perfect for a refreshing swim. View from Otranto old town View from Otranto old town Once the heat of the day has settled down go down the old village towards the lungo mare (the sea promenade) and watch the locals while they are socializing. Make a short stop at the Gelateria Martinucci and than head towards your Hotel. At night the city turns into a spectacular chillout destinations with small restaurants serving fresh seafood at reasonable prices and excellent white wine.
After dinner find one of the many bars in the old town and enjoy the warm seabreeze with a fresh cocktail. Your last stop should be in Santa Maria di Leuca, the southern most town in Apulia. It is an undiscovered town with extremely beautiful villas in art noveau that have been built by the rich landlords of the inner parts of the Region in the 18th and 19th century.
Puglia Maldive del Salento
The town has just a couple of shops and many restaurants where you can eat fresh fish for less than 15 euros. Prices in this region are 30-50% lower than in Rome or Milan while the quality of what you eat is unbeaten. Close to the town the most beautiful beaches of the region, called Maldive del Salento (Maldives of Salento) for its turquoise water and its white sandy beaches are the ideal spot for relaxing.
When to go
The best time of the year is in May, June or September and October. Spring comes very early and autumns are usually mild and sunny. The water is warmer in October than in June. Avoid August as the Italians love spending their holidays in this region, prices soar and beaches get crowdy.
Check the most convenient flights from Milan and Rome.
southern italy travel, lecce, puglia, experiences