Puglia: The Heel of Italy

Looking for recommendations for the heel of Italy, Puglia. Flying into Brindisi for just over a week and wondering what to check out.

Wanna get some Spaghetti all’Assassina from Bari.
Check out the funny looking houses in Alberobello.

Gotta do more research on the rest. Anyone else been?

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Had a great week there in 2019. Matera, Lecce and Gillopli all amazing. Really liked Nardo, too. Hope you like cheap wine.

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Jack Nicholson Yes GIF

Loved it. Had our honeymoon there.

Trains are easy and taxis were good too.

Monopoli well worth a trip

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Just a tourist place really but nice to see



Going next month too. Thanks for the suggestions!

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Food I want to try:

Spaghetti all’Assassina (Bari)
Orecchiette with broccoli rabe (Bari)
Pane di Altamura (near Bari)
Ciceri e Tria (Lecce)
Taralli (in the south)
Pucce (Salento)
Paposcia (Gargano)
Caciocavallo Podolico (Gargano)
Panzerotti (Pizzeria Di Cosimo, Bari)
Pasticciotti (Lecce)
Cartellate (Gargano)

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Places I want to visit:

Lecce - Pretty baroque architecture.
Castel del Monte - Looks like it’s from Catan.
Alberobello - Funny hat houses.
Grotte di Castellana - Stalactite af.
Vieste - Pretty coastal town.
Monte San Angelo - Religious buildings.
Martina Franca - Pretty town with good views.
Bari - Food & stuff.
Gallipoli - Beach time.
Grotta Zinzulusa - Caaaaves
Matera - Roast the mona said so


I wanna go for longer now!!

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I lived in Lecce for a few years and before that in Galatina for a few months.

Best place I’ve ever lived, absolutely wonderful people and just all round incredible. I can provide a lot of specific recommendations but. maybe via DM or on request?

If you want a base I would really recommend Lecce.

Bari is a big, rough round the edges Italian city but I like the old town. Not sure I’d recommend a visit on a short holiday unless there is something specific you want to do.

The coast is amazing, both the Adriatic and Med sides.

The only standard tourist place I’d recommend to avoid is Gallipoli. The geography makes it a traffic nightmare, the old town is meh and there is a lot of 60s not very nice development and soulless beach clubs.

So yeah happy to get specific on places, practicalities etc if people wish.


Invaluable insights, thank you! The more the merrier with recommendations, both positive and negative. We have no fixed plans, we have a car, we have somewhere to stay, and the rest we’re just gathering recommendations and see how we feel when we’re there.

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Whereabouts are you staying?

40km west of Lecce, to the south east of Manduria by the coast.

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ah the coast south of there is wonderful. Campomarino, Torre Colimena, down as far as Santa Maria al Bagno. Outside the towns not at all touristy even in Summer.

I’m sure you know to avoid Taranto.

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Ah, so nice to hear!

Now I do

I actually like Taranto but it has a terrible recent history. It is dominated by a huge concrete factory that has caused awful pollution in the town.

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Just tagging @eltham in case you hadn’t seen this thread x

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Any opinions on Ostuni? It was recommended by my friend (whose wedding we’re going to in Cisternino).

Ostuni is wonderful imo. It is unlike anywhere else I know in Puglia (although I know the southern part - Salento - better) in that it is a hill town that rises out of all the flat lands. So it’s more like a Tuscan hill town but with the white houses. I’d definitely recommend for a day visit or as a base for a few days. We stayed in a really nice hotel there I can dig out the details for if you wish.

Only issue with Ostuni is it’s a lot easier to leave your car at the base of the town and walk up into the Centro. Or get a cab up.

edit - big plus for Ostuni is being a hill town the breeze gives relief from the heat, a really big advantage.


Thanks! Sounds amazing. Please do send the hotel deets if you can find them :slight_smile: