Puglia on my Mind...
After our visit to Puglia last September, we returned home knowing we had seen a lot but only scratched the surface. But here are my first 10 reasons to go to Puglia:
1) I Trulli - Be it Alberobello or the surrounding countryside dotted with these with these circular dwellings, they are beautiful and unique to look at.
2) The Beaches - You’ll never get the SoCal girl out of me, so beaches are very important. Here you will find endless miles of white sand beaches and turquoise water. Simply heaven to me!
3) Pesce Crudo - Ok, maybe not everyone is a fan, but I am crazy about fish. Puglia has its own twist on sushi and frankly it’s better! Note, there are several “beach huts” where you can enjoy this delicacy with feet in sand at the same time.
4) Ostuni - This whitewash hill town stands out like a cupcake against the Pugliese countryside. Roam its cobblestone streets, enjoy its cute shops and some very fine restaurants.
5) Bari - Is beautiful and sophisticated, who knew?! Love its somewhat gritty “centro storico”, its tree-lined shopping district and pretty seaside promenade. Locals say “the closer you are to Bari, the better the food gets”. Who needs more than that?
6) I Taralli - Piemonte has the grissini and Puglia has the taralli, delightful, one is never enough bread munchies served with just about every meal.
7) Burrata - Soft, rich, and gives mozzarella di bufala an run for its money!
8) The Landscape - I couldn’t get over the crisp contrast between the red “terra”, the white rocks, verdant olives trees with trunks as big as a truck and the blue, blue sky. Just gorgeous.
9) Lecce - They call it the “Florence of the South” but I found the architecture even more interesting and “allegra” (sorry Florence!). The old city is (mostly) blocked off to traffic, making it easier and more fun to stroll and explore.
10) The History - Puglia was (is) the point where East meets West in Italy. Dating back to the Paleolithic Age and having been conquered by no less than 8 civilizations (Greek, Roman, Norman, Spanish, etc.), there is an incredible mix of cultures, gastronomy, traditions. Maybe only rivaled by Sicily in its diversity.
Remember, this is just a start. I welcome any and all other points to add to the list. For more stories and information on Puglia, I suggest the following sites and blogs: