4 things they won’t tell you abut ‘Puglia’, south Italy

July 16th 2015
leggi in Italiano

Awarded (actually, already in 2014) as one of the best destinations in the world by the National Geographic and Lonely Planet, the heel of Italy is still one of the least known parts of the Country outside Europe ( I really mean that outside the old continent we must really say that this is the heel of the boot to make people understand  what we are talking about).
In Europe, only the most enlightened people know Puglia, together with those who have had the good fortune to bump into it in recent years.
In Italy, instead, Puglia has become one of the most loved and popular travel destination, and in some Italian cities you won’t be considered a human being untill you declare you’ve visited the region.
Between the lack of knowledge and the present fashion trends, we find  bright shades of authenticity that you should know to make  your travel experience unique. Let’s see some of them:

1 – Natural parks and hiking

Best known for its beaches than for its hiking trails, Puglia hides  wonderful trails of Mediterranean maquis, natural parks and protected areas of great environmental importance.
Among these I suggest you all to keep an eye on the website of the regional park Dune Costiere,  huge and beautiful space that extends from Torre Canne to Torre San Leonardo (BR).
Events of sustainable tourism, environmental education and walks under the stars alternating with book presentations, tastings, theater in the shade of olive trees.
Just to give an example, this Sunday (July 19), at the event Live your park, there will be a night walk guided by an astronomy amateur  who will explain the constellations and local vegetation. If you want to walk on the sand and watch the stars, take a beach towel and sandals and contact 348.1638228 (nfo@parcodunecostiere.org). At the end of the walk there is also a ccktail under the stars waiting at the seaside. I mean, you’re still thinking about ??


 2 – Street food

Don’t go just to restaurants and inns.
Keep your stomach ready to have dinner in those villages that every night turn into open air restaurants  for festivals of all kinds. Doing a search in google with Puglia + Festivals or Festivals + name of the location near you, yo’ll taste very good street food. Parmesan, pasta, meat, fish and local specialties. Please try! puglia street food

3  – Veg friendly 

Nobody ever talks about this aspect enough. I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years and my appetite has always been gratified by any restaurant and local festival. (mind the names of restaurants: names such as Lo scoglio, il vecchio pescatore, terra-mare will probably be based on fish).
Typically you can be satisfied by the simple starters, without the need to specify that you are vegan or vegetarian (eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, fave e cevcore, sgagliozze, pittule, fried vegetables, frise… and I could go on forever)

puglia wine

4 –  Houses in the town

I do notdon’t know if this is something that happens alla over Puglia, but many people think they can book a house in Santa Maria di Leuca or in any place of Salento (The bottom of the heel of the boot, as I always say when I’m talking to non European people) and Gallipoli in August, starting to look in mid-June. I try to say it in simple words: YOU WILL NOT FIND A ROOM! Or at least, it is difficult as in any tourist area.
Enshrined this, my advice is to look for holiday homes or B & B in towns, some km away from the seaside  for two reasons: the city is very lively in summer and is still close to the seaside. I don’t recommend you  the nights of Otranto and Gallipoli in August, you’d better spend the day at the beach and to go to some local festival in the evening, in some village referred to in paragraph 2.
A tip for a vacation home: La Corte degli Alessandri, in the city old center, in a place where I had the privilege to live for nearly three years. Smells of spices and local dialect, Africa, India and deep South Italy, smiling people, bikes, a small street just a step away from everything;  silence, spirits strolling and various deities who wash their feet in the fountain.
Huge house, fresh and newly renovated. If you book,  say you’re my friends!

corte alessandri



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