You might be wondering why this blog and why about Puglia. The answer is simple: over the last years, our love and appreciation for this amazing region has grown. Yes, it is a long drive all the way down to the South and yes, there might be criminality, also if we haven’t had any issues so far. Some years ago, we wouldn’t have thought that we would fall in love with the region so much. After uncountable visits in Apulia, we saw the region develop in a great way. I have to say that we have been mainly visiting the Itria Valley and the Salento but there we can see a lot of positive change in the sense that there are many young business owners and people working in tourism, that are innovative, focus on great service and quality and appreciate the visitors coming to their region.
Our experience has been, that the majority of people is very friendly and welcoming. Of course every now and then you also meet the grumpy kinds but generally people take time for you and treat you as a guest. It might help that my husband is Italian and speaks the language. But also when I approach people in my still quite basic Italian, they have always been welcoming and helpful.
Puglia still allows you to travel off the beaten track as long as you avoid the high season in July and August. You will find a lot of beautifully restored accommodation, still kept authentic but with all the comfort you can wish for. And you find them in all price ranges. From the basic B&B to the upscale hotel. Many only feature a few rooms and you can see how much love and effort the owners put into making the stay of their guests perfect.
And then, Puglia is one of the best places when it comes to real, simple and fresh food. Most of the ingredients come from the region and are prepared the same day. The quality for money is very high compared to other places. Also when it comes to restaurants, bars and cafés, we found that innovation and creativity is spreading more and more. You find a lot of producers that are still run by the family and people that are happy to show you the production process. Like a frantoio (olive mill) close to were we are building our trullo. When you come to buy your tank of high quality oil, they don’t mind you having a look at their production facilities. These kind of little episodes (besides the amazing food of course) make a trip a memorable one.
Last but not least, you will find beautiful scenery in the country side as well as on the coast. I can’t get enough of driving through the Itria Valley between Cisternino and Martina Franca and see the Trulli spread across the hills. The beauty of the white-washed town of Ostuni, the old towns of Lecce, Trani, Giovinazzo and many many others all this will make you want to come back again and again.
This blog has been established because a lot of friends are asking us for recommendations in Puglia. Something that ended up in writing veeery long emails. So finally we decided to put this information together in a blog so we can share it them and also a wider audience.
I imagine that in a couple of years, Puglia will be a very well-known destination allover the world. And I hope it will be able to keep its friendliness, warmth and beauty nevertheless.