GoPugliaTrust a local to show you around!

Puglia, the “heel” of the boot is a fascinating ancient region with hundreds of charming little villages many of which go back to the second or thirds century BC. Lecce is one of the most important cities often referred to as the “Florence of the South” for its baroque architecture. Alberobello is a town in the heart of the Itria Valley home to thousands of “trulli,” stone huts with distinctive conical roofs. Ostuni is also known as the white city, every home is washed with limestone on the outside, a common practice throughout the southern part of the region. An incredible coastline of over 500 miles wraps the region around the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea and frames low hills and plateaus filled with grapes and ancient olive trees. 

Puglia has been ranking for the past three years as one of the must visit places in the world. A perfect option to the too touristy and crowded Tuscany, Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast. Puglia offers you the most incredible hearty food, amazing climate, fabulous beaches, millions of ancient olive trees, and some of the most luscious wines in the entire country. 


Moving about the region with public transit is not as easy. If you don’t plan on renting a car, hiring a driver is probably your best bet. Puglia has a lot of farmland and farm roads that may present a challenge for those who are more adventuresome. Having peace of mind and a driver who takes places and shows you around will also make your vacation much more enjoyable and relaxing. The vast majority of little towns in Puglia have very ancient old towns and cobblestone streets that can be very challenging to navigate and access. 

While there are a few fancy hotels offering luxury services, there are also numerous other options if you want to stay in typical farm houses (Masseria), castles, palaces or villas. Many of these places only have a few rooms, farm to table food and a lot more authentic contact with local families and away from big crowds.

Another option is to stay in a couple of places with a chef, shop at the local farmers market and enjoy a relaxed way of life with your family with plenty of options for activities and day trips.


The amazing climate, the soil of Puglia, and its proximity to the sea, are the perfect elements for a the cultivation of Primitivo Grapes and other varieties that thrive in the hot sun. The Primitivo varietal known in the USA as Zinfandel is among the very first one to be harvested (Typically between end of August and 1st week of September, hence why the name Primitivo – which means early).

There are a few possibilities for wine lovers to go on wine tasting experiences especially in the south part of the region. Going wine tasting can feel like traveling through time and space as you visit small facilities or stopping in the vineyards with an expert to learn more about local grapes.

Manduria, aside from being my birth place, it is most well known for Primitivo di Manduria, a wine that has received numerous medals.  The town is located on the outskirts of the famous Salento Region. The production area for Primitivo di Manduria wines stretches eastwards along the Gulf of Taranto for about 25 miles (40km), an areas largely consisting of plains sloping very gently down to the sea.

The vineyards here are ancient, and share the land with endless olive groves; Primitivo di Manduria is now gaining international recognition so come find out for yourself why!

If you want to experience Puglia like a local emailing antimo directly: 

Don’t miss Lecce and its extravagant baroque

A stay in Lecce is a must when you visit Puglia. There is no other city to compare it if not to Florence given the large presence of palaces and churches decorated and carved in baroque and rococo style. The historic center of Lecce is very easy and safe to walk, only be aware that most churches will close at 12:30 and re-open around 4 or 5 pm depending on the season. 

Starting in 2020 most churches will have an admission fee. While the exuberant decoration can be overwhelming, three churches are a must: the Basilica di Santa Croce, Santa Irene and the Duomo of course. 

Palazzo Taurino hosts a cultural center and the Jewish and Medieval Museum and are worth a visit along with the nearby Teatro Romano. Just keep in mind that it is closed on Saturdays.  

The locals, in particular during the summer time (May to September) are known to go for a Passeggiata (Strolling up and down the main streets or having out in the piazza). The older crowd will be going on their passeggiata around 6:30 to 9:30 pm while young people will do so between 9:30 and Midnight. Lecce is very safe and crime free but expect it to be crowded on the weekends and during the summer months.