Puglia, the most south-easterly tip of Italy, has an abundance of three of my favourite things; olives, lemons and ceramics. On paper, Puglia is my perfect destination so I was surprised my expectations were exceeded.
We picked up a new fiat 300 from Bari Airport and headed straight for the coastal road. The shores were dramatic cliffs with tiny towns crumbling over the edge into the sea. The landscape is covered with dry grasses and olive groves for as far as the eye can see. There are so many beautiful towns coastal towns, such as, Monopoli, Savelletri and Brindisi. But, we only had time for one.
Polignano a Mare
Perhaps the most famous because of the secret coves and dramatic rocky shores. It’s very difficult to find parking space, we resorted to quickly jumping in and out of the car to take photos. For fine dining, check out the infamous Grotta Palazzese where you can sit inside a natural cave on the edge of the seashore.
Coccaro Beach Club – A little South of Polignano a Mare, usually reserved for hotel guests only, but they nicely decided to make an exception. We happily relaxed here the whole afternoon around the gorgeous facilities and private beach.
Know for it’s whitewashed old town stood on a steep hill with a stunning vista perfect for sundowners. Ostuni became a regular destination because of it’s close proximity to where we stayed – Masseria Moroseta.
La Taverna Della Gelosia – This indoor outdoor restaurant had level after level of tiny terraces filled with candle lit tables and a canopy of greenery.
Al Solito Posto – The best of Italian ingredients in a simple modern setting.
Riccardo – Head here after La Taverna Della Gelosia for an after dinner spritz.
Martina Franca – Flea market
Sunday 9am – 2pm
An abundance of ceramics, artwork and books. Park on the road parallel to Piazza Francesco Crispi.
Latteria Del Ringo – They said it was the best gelato in town, and it was. Found at the centre of the marble and stone town square.
Olive Oil Tasting
Masseria Brancati – A huge crumbling Masseria with four olive oils to taste with a simple short explanation of each. You get the feeling nothing has changed since it began which I like. Why change perfection?
Visit the town of Grottaglie for all the ceramics you could hope for. All the shops close between 1-4pm, we found this out the hard way. António Fasano was the go-to shop for a modern take on Italian ceramics, his ceramics can be bought in the Conran shop for quadruple the price sold here.