Puglia, Why Not ?
A sunny southern Italian location known for whitewashed hill towns, a glorious Mediterranean coastline complimented by sparking crystal clear blue seas, rolling fields of gnarled century old olive trees and miles and miles of farmland. Home to sun baked beaches and villages of stone homes capped with conical trulli roofs.
Italy’s graceful heel which encompasses the area of Puglia, has been noted in travel magazines for the last few years as an unspoiled and slightly unpolished countryside where Italians have been vacationing for years. I’ve landed in Brindisi on my way to Basilicata and never realized that just a short distance off the highway was the very lovely and charming baroque walled city of Lecce. A 16th Century town often referred to as Firenze of the south, we highly recommend staying at the chic and tony La Fiermontina Urban Resort.
Exploring the surrounding areas can easily be accomplished using Lecce as a base to enjoy day trips to the charming towns of Gallipoli and Otranto. Masseria Li Veli Vineyards and tasting room is a short distance away. In 1999 the Falvo family, with over 40 years of experience in the Tuscan wine region, purchased and renovated the property to give birth to an ambitious project in the Apulia, a region with a long vine-growing tradition. Recently selected among the 100 Italian finest wine producers by Wine Spectator. An afternoon tasting and a stroll through the vineyards is the perfect end to a day of touring.
Move up the coast a bit to Ostuni and enjoy the rustic chic simplicity of small beach resorts close to Monopoli and the charming domed homes of the Trulli village. Spend an enchanting afternoon sitting amidst centuries old olive trees, trees planted in the original strict Roman grid of 60 Roman feet apart; this 7th generation Masseria Brancati is owned by Corrado Rodio and his family who make only extra virgin olive oil from his groves of monument trees in the Northern Salento area.
Fishing is a primary livelihood, thus fresh fish is offered at every trattoria, stop and chat with the local fisherman who are extremely proud of their family heritage and eagerly share photos of their biggest catch!
This morning head to the harbor to clamber aboard your private yacht to sail the sapphire blue seas, a perfect way to begin the morning. Moor at a white cliff cove in the small beach town of Poliganano on the Adriatic Sea, near the famous statue of Domenico Modugno, the Italian pop singer who crooned Volare Volare. Cliff divers perch atop the limestone cliffs above the crystal clear seas. Diving not of interest? Then wrap yourself in a water float tube and gently drift across the cove and paddle back to your waiting yacht.
The best time to visit Puglia is late May or early June or September when the crush of summer visitors has swelled through and the temperatures are still quite pleasant.