Puglia  is considered by many Italians as their favourite destination, mainly because of its food and wine wonders, as well as its historical and cultural wealth. With deeply rooted traditional folklore and eclectic baroque architecture, valleys, forests and 800 kilometres of coastline, it’s no wonder that the National Geographic considers it a Top Trip, as does Lonely Planet who placed it in its 2014 must see places. The peninsula is known ‘as the land of the two seas’, as either the Adriatic or Ionian sea is never more than twenty kilometres away. Well-tended orchards, perfectly manicured vineyards and centuries-old olive groves are the living proof of how passion and determination have translated in an abundance of premium produce, award-winning wines and exquisite extra virgin olive oil. Once you get here, you’ll be mesmerized by the many cultural landmarks, like the cone-shaped homes known as Trulli, a UNESCO heritage site immersed in the magnificent Itrian Valley; the city of Lecce, known as the Florence of the south, as well as other beautiful towns full of character and warmth.

Over the centuries, civilizations have come and gone via the Port of Brindisi, once known as the ‘”gateway to the Orient”. It was from here that St Paul began his journey to Rome. The region was invaded and occupied by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Spanish. Signs of their presence can still be seen today in a number of landmarks and well-preserved ruins. Even the local dialects have been exposed throughout the centuries to a mixture of cultures, like the Griko which has some similarities to the Greek language.

If you travel in  July make sure not to miss the internationally acclaimed Festival della Valle d’Itria, featuring international performances in classical, opera and jazz. It has reached its 41st edition and attracts visitors from all over the world.


Come and discover the warmth and beauty of the south of Italy. You will fall in love with the amazing hospitality that this region is famous for. This is where the Mediterranean diet is at its best, with one third of Italy’s olive oil production, wholesome foods based on organic, simple and genuine recipes. All this accompanied by the finest of wines, like the full bodied and robust Salice Salentino and Primitivo di Manduria. For the Magical Puglia Getaway we’ve selected a stunning property as our preferred accommodation in Martina Franca. Its garden oozes a gentle Mediterranean scent of myrtle bushes, indigenous fragrant wild herbs and cacti in bloom.  Enjoy  wine tastings, excursions to  local producers and a walking tour of the UNESCO heritage listed city of Lecce. After an idyllic stay in the Valle d’Itria travel to Matera, Europe’s elected cultural capital for 2019.

Some ideas for your trip to Puglia


Martina Franca and Ostuni

Stay in a perfectly renovated Masseria, a typical Puglian dwelling, only a short walk away from the beautiful town of Martina Franca. This is the perfect place to start exploring a region recently voted by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top travel destinations. With its beautiful historical centre, boasting baroque buildings, including the Ducal Palace by Bernini and the majestic cathedral of San Martino, Martina Franca will soon capture your heart.  Stop for an aperitif at the city’s most celebrated cafe, Caffe’ Tripoli, to experience the culture and sweeter pace of southern living.

Then head-off to Ostuni, a picturesque medieval town perched defensively on the highest peaks of the Murge hills. It’ s known as the citta’ bianca because of its characteristic whitewashed buildings. The remains of the city walls are from the Angevin period, taking us back to a time when it was essential to be on the lookout for pirate ships.


The Itrian Valley, Aberobello, Locorotondo, Cisternino

Alberobello is situated in the Itrian valley, just seven kilometres away from the Adriatic Sea. Here we find Puglia’s emblematic cone-shaped homes known as trulli. Very little is known of their origin, it is thought that locals borrowed building blueprints from the Middle East. Perhaps the reason as to why Puglia’s inhabitants are somewhat superstitious is to be traced back to the time when religious and astrological symbols were painted on their conical roofs.

After Alberobello head towards the village of Locorotondo. Perched on a high ridge at 410 metres high, it’s the perfect place to admire the lush Itrian valley with its one thousand trulli, well-tended vineyards and bountiful orchards. Stop for an outdoor aperitif and  take in the beauty of the cobalt sea stretched out infront of Locorotondo’s best bar.


The Salentine Peninsula, Lecce and amazing vineyards

Today  go on a wonderful guided tour of the pre-Roman city of Lecce, a UNESCO Heritage site. This charming city is to the Baroque what Florence is to the Renaissance. It boasts 17th century Salentine Baroque buildings made with pietra di Lecce, soft limestone with a unique golden hue.

On your way back to Martina Franca,  stop at  the Al Bano Carrisi Vineyards, owned by one of Italy’s pop legends Albano Carrisi. Once married to Romina Power, daughter of  Hollywood star Tyrone Power, Albano was born into a family of farmers. Over forty years ago, he transformed the family’s property into one of Puglia’s most respected and largest wine-growing estates.


Grottaglie – The District of ceramics

If you love ceramics then Grottaglie is for you. It’s situated in the middle of the Salento area. Ever since the Middle Ages, thanks to an abundance of red clay in the area, it became an important centre for the production of pottery and ceramic. After a visit at the Museum filled with pieces from various eras, take a stroll and admire the various workshops.

Today visit another wine estate with multiple awards and accolades from both the international and national media. Visitors from all over the world come here to learn about their advanced wine-making techniques. When it’s time for wine-tastings, close your eyes and let your taste buds run free!


The Itrian Valley, Polignano a Mare and lunch by the sea

Visit the fishing village of Savelletri, a well-loved summer resort. Then head towards Polignano a Mare, where the residents have been so clever to even transform a barren cave overlooking the sea into one of the most romantic restaurants in the world. Enjoy a delicious lunch by the sea.


Ceglie Messapico, San Vito dei Normanni and the ancient city of Oria

Today visit the city of Oria, according to Herodotus it was founded by a group of Cretans that landed here after a shipwreck and chose it for its strategic position. They named it Hyria. Oria gained importance during Roman times as it was along the Appian way. Stop to admire the beautiful triangular-shaped castle which was commissioned by Emperor Frederick II, whose royal court had a strong presence in all of Puglia.

Head down to the local beach club and try a  caffé leccese, a shot of inky black espresso sweetened with fresh almond milk poured over grated ice.


The caves of Castellana and ruins of Egnazia

Put your adventure cap on this morning and visit the caves of Castellana and its 3348 metre underground cave system and at a depth of 122 metres. The temperature within the caves is around 18 degrees.

Then travel  towards the coast to discover the  Greek ruins of Egnazia, a Messapian town of prehistoric origins.  With the sea just a step away from the archaeological site, it will be hard to resist soaking your  feet in the beautiful cobalt waters!


The city of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site

Today head towards the city of Matera, the new European Capital of Culture better known as the city of Sassi. This is where Mel Gibson filmed the ‘Passion of Christ’. Its dwellings were once caves inhabited by the locals until the late 1950s. In the last years they have been beautifully renovated and have become heritage listed.   You can eat and sleep inside the caves, a very exciting and unique experience. At lunch enjoy a delicious meal at one of our preferred restaurants.

Magical Puglia Getaway

Location: Puglia and Matera
Type: Self-guided with activities
Length: 7 nights/8 days
Accommodation: Boutique style, twin share

We suggest

  • 7 night accommodation at a beautiful estate
  • Walking guided tour of the cities of Lecce & Matera
  • 1 cooking class
  • Wine, cheese and olive oil tastings


  • Discover the beauty of Puglia
  • Exclusive tour visits, including UNESCO sites
  • Top-quality food and wine
  • Wine-tasting at award-winning vineyards
  • Best beach resorts


The Magical Puglia Getaway can be custom designed. Please contact us for further enquiries.

Ca poi la terra po essere ricca, se eti riccu cinc’ a natu e no riccu pi li soldi a npauta ma riccu a npettu e ancapu de amore.
― From a Puglian poem
L’abitu nu face u monicu…
You can’t judge a book by its cover.
― A proverb in the Puglian dialect
Just like the soil is rich you too are born rich not because of money in your pocket but rich in the heart and in the mind with love.
― From a Puglian poem
Ennusce che téiche ca menge che méiche.
Bring something with you, and come eat with me.
― Alberto Sobrero