Out of Office: Notes from Puglia
Find out what Puglia’s like from our Italy experts, Margherita and Saffo. Plus, get a look at gorgeous Villa Tria and discover a great dinner spot: l’Aratro ad Alberobello.
How do we get our incredible travel tips? Through these posts. As our experts are out visiting the destinations featured in our portfolio, they share with us the best activities, newest attractions, and their favorite villas, supplying us (and you) with an up-to-date account of the area.
Destination: Puglia, Italy
For those who enjoy the beach life and have already been to the Amalfi Coast, Puglia can be a fantastic alternative. A vacation here is a mystical mix of nature, sea, art, and relaxation. Many old agricultural estates of this region, like Masseria or Trullo, have been recently restored, transforming them into stunning vacation sites that make Puglia one of Italy’s most appealing regions.
Where We Stayed: Villa Tria
The fairytale-like Villa Tria, is a luxurious property that embodies the sense of tranquility and slow pace of the region. We particularly enjoyed the Turkish bath with aromatherapy and shower. We were impressed by the meticulous restoration of the old trullo structure and the attention to details in the choice of the finest linen and toiletries.
What We Experienced:
The highlight was the cooking demo, where we learned how to make orecchiette, a variety of pasta that hails from Apulia, a region of southern Italy. (The pasta’s name comes from their shape, which resembles a small ear.) While cooking, we sipped Negro Amaro wine (a black grape variety which is grown all over Puglia and especially in the southern part of the region) which is rich and full body. The cooking demo also included an olive oil tasting, and paired the oils with burrata mozzarella and Olive di Cerignola. (Burrata cheese takes the mozzarella one step further — it's mozzarella that's formed into a pouch and then filled with soft, stringy curd and cream. Cerignola olives are very large, mild in flavor, and may be served either green or cured red or black and comes from the local town of Cerignola).
What We Saw:
We traveled through the Itria Valley, also known as Valle dei Trulli (Trullos’ Valley). Trullo is a version of a dome house, and this valley has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The magical atmosphere is created by white constructions with stone conic roofs immersed in timeless olive groves and Mediterranean vegetation. We managed to see deep caves, ancient archeological finds, Matera – the town of rocks, and the peculiar city of Alberobello with its trulli.
We embarked on a boat trip in Ostuni, one of Puglia’s most important ports. Our captain made a few stops at the sandy beaches of Marina di Ostuni, and the fabulous Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve, a naturalist’s paradise combining unspoiled woods, Mediterranean marquis, several miles of sandy beach, and a protected marine reserve. While there, you may well come across a flock of flamingos, just one of the dozens of species of migratory birds who stop off here.
Where We Ate:
l’Aratro ad Alberobello is the ideal restaurant to taste the traditional dishes of the Apulia cuisine, cooked with great mastery and only with local, fresh ingredients. A dinner at l’Aratro is a very emotional experience because you are in an authentic trullo in the heart of Alberobello.
The villas selected by us, beyond the refined design, facilities, comforts, and fantastic pools, offer a unique vacation style allowing to experience the best of Puglia. While you enjoy relaxing by the villa, surrounded by the silence of the olive grove, you can easily reach extraordinary beaches with blue sea, experience unforgettable food and wine tastings, and explore beautiful old villages and towns.
For a dinner, a walk, or some shopping, don’t miss the wonderful villages of Alberobello, Ostuni, Locorotondo, Polignano, and Fasano (with its sea sites of Savelletri and Torre Canne).
Until next time,
Margherita & Saffo