I am back in Milan and although I am happy to be back home (my bed!)(all my clothes!), I would die to have a few more days off. This is why I thought to tell you about my holiday in Puglia and in the Marche – two of the most beautiful regions of Italy – to pretend I am still there…
Take good friends, a pretty summer destination, a villa close to the sea, a light schedule made of siesta/tanning sessions on the beach and food wanderings, and here you are, great holidays guaranteed.
I have been going to Puglia (the heel of Italia) almost every year for 6 years, and I keep enjoying it. The region has started to be really trendy lately but I can’t blame tourists (partly because I am one of them): the region completely deserves its success from North to South. Imagine white towns and narrow streets, turquoise water, amazing food (give me all the fresh cheeses and seafood) and wines, red soil and olive trees until the eye can see…
Planning to visit Puglia and the Salento area (southern part of the region)? Here are a few places you should visit, plus my favorite food spots:
The White City. My favorite Apulian town ever, all white and uphill, with many cute craft shops. I love getting lost and find new places every year.
Still cute but less impressive. There are many nice restaurants there but personally, I am very loyal to one: Il Vicoletto. You first select your meat at the macelleria (butcher’s shop) next to the restaurant. Once your order placed, you sit at the restaurant and wait patiently with antipasti (burrata, bruschettas…) for your perfectly-grilled meat to arrive. Sausages, bombette (bacon wrapped pork roast stuffed with cheese), rib steak… a real carnivore heaven! And to finish on a “light” note, try the cannoli filled with lemon cream.
Not so easily accessible, the Torre Guaceto beach is located in a natural reserve and the water is incredibly transparent. Early in the morning, we were almost alone in our small creek. No bar, no shower, no toilet, just us surrounded by nature: simply wow!
Alberobello & Locorotondo
The village, located in the outback, is famous for its trulli (traditional Apulian huts). We usually go there before sunset to enjoy the golden hour over the conical roofs. Simply magical.
Not far away in the countryside, in Locorotondo, we discovered Bina, a cute restaurant built in a white stone basement. My primo dish was excellent and so was the selection of local wines.
*From left to right: My man in Alberobello – Alberobello’s trulli – Polignano a Mare – Blues of Torre Guaceto
In Porto Cesareo, the Punta Prosciutto beach is also called the “Maldives of Puglia”. Even after swimming meters away from the front, the water remains so transparent you can still see your entire body. The only thing: don’t expect to be alone in paradise! The place is crowded… But on the positive side, the lounge chairs, umbrellas, and the music playing all day make it a nice beach spot.
This year, I was curious to discover Martina Franca as I had never been. And guess what, it is yet another beautiful Apulian city! We had a Spritz Al Bacareto da Ivan, a bar serving more than 12 different versions of the famous cocktail.
We then had to rush back to the car because of the rain. Otherwise, I think we would have enjoyed a gelato at the Latteria del Ringo, famous for serving the best ice creams.
Polignano a Mare
Last but very not least, Polignano! Although I go there several times a year, its beauty never ceases to amaze me. Narrow streets full of shops and original bars, breathtaking terraces overlooking the sea atop high limestone cliffs, great fish restaurants, what else can you ask for?
–> Antiche Mura: enjoy traditional fish cuisine in a curated interior, under a vaulted stone ceiling. The generous selection of antipasti, the primi and the wines were all good. It was our last night in Puglia and we really enjoyed the atmosphere and the joyful service.
As you have understood, I was in paradise for an entire week. I even managed to get tanned despite my very fair skin and layers of sunscreen SPF50. But believe me, it was HOT (+30°C at night!).
One year after the terrible earthquake that shook the region, it was heartbreaking to see abandoned houses and mountains of rubbles. It made me realize what people have lost: their house, their job, and even worse, their loved ones. But these people’s resilience and energy to rebuild what they had are extraordinary.
Partly because we wanted to support these communities, we went to a sagra. These traditional parties, taking place in different villages every week, are what animate the countryside during summer. Each sagra specializes in a typical food of the place: lentils, red potatoes, lamb skewers… There, you’ll share a long table with other people in a very convivial way. After all the food eaten, you’ll probably end up watching old couples dancing tenderly to the sounds of old Italian hits. I recommend living this typical rural Italian experience!
The rest of the time, I went to the sea, I relaxed a lot, I visited and ate amazing stringozzi pasta in the medieval town of Spoleto in Umbria (another beautiful region) and, obviously, I secured an entire box of local food to bring back to Milan. Oh yeah!
On August 16th, it was also my birthday! Although I am no longer a kid, I like it to be a special day and I start the countdown weeks before 😉 My 27th year on this Earth is meant to be very special and this day was a good foretaste of what’s to come… hopefully!
So I turned 27 and for the occasion, my boyfriend organized a dinner with our friends in the beautiful seaside town of Numana, located in the Conero Regional Park. After drinks at sunset in Sirolo, we headed to a seafood restaurant overlooking the sea: La Torre.
Well, I got pretty much everything you can expect from a day like this: I’ve been spoiled with special gifts, I ate great fish in good company, I blow candles on a heart-shaped cake, I received calls from my loved ones, and I even got to watch fireworks over the sea!
The best is yet to come
Thankfully, my #summer2017 is not completely over. In September two major events will conclude the season beautifully. I’ll be flying to France to attend the weddings of two of my best friends. I just can’t wait to share with them one of the most special days of their life. Bring it on September!
But tell me about your #summer2017! Have you already been to Italy?