Discover the Puglia region, our insider tips

April 16, 2024

Written by Lotte

Masseria Calderisi, a place of charm and style

Tips for your stay in Puglia

The Italian region of Puglia boasts rugged landscapes, extensive olive groves, picturesque villages, and beautiful sandy beaches and coves. Located in the south of Italy, Puglia fortunately remains relatively undiscovered, allowing you to still experience the authentic and relaxed Italian atmosphere. The region is vast and offers a variety of opportunities to explore. We therefore recommend using a (rental) car during your stay, so you can leisurely discover the most idyllic villages and beaches.

We've compiled a few tips for you:

1. Explore the historic center of Ostuni

Ostuni is, alongside Polignano a Mare, one of the most photographed towns in Southern Italy. The maze of small streets, stately church towers, and of course, the whitewashed houses provide perfect photo opportunities. It's delightful to leisurely stroll around here, browse through charming boutiques, and settle down on a terrace with a delicious local wine. The central square is the place where tourists and locals come together.

2. Visit the town of trulli: Alberobello

The town of Alberobello is also beloved by tourists, but that shouldn't deter you. Here you'll find the iconic trulli: characteristic, white, round houses with grayish conical roofs. You can wander around here endlessly and enjoy la dolce vita.

3. Take a dip in one of the bays around Otranto

In the south of Puglia, you'll find the coastal town of Otranto, a true gem on the east coast. It's beautifully situated by the sea and offers a colorful harbor and an old historic center. In the evening, it's particularly atmospheric within the high city walls and in the narrow lively streets. You'll also find a small sandy beach here, but for the most beautiful beaches and bays, head west of the city. Along a coastal walking route, you'll come across various idyllic bays with crystal-clear blue water, such as Cala del Canale del Càfaro and Cala Pauline.

4. Taste the Southern Italian cuisine in Ceglie Messapica

In addition to the must-see places like Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, and Locorotondo, we also recommend visiting the town of Ceglie Messapica. This is one of the oldest villages in the region and is highly regarded for discovering and tasting Southern Italian cuisine and its accompanying delicacies. For example, visit Cibus (tucked away in an alley) and sit on the terrace under the pergola. Taste the antipasti with aged cheeses and other delicacies from the region, homemade by owner Angelo. Of course, accompanied by a wine chosen by him. Or visit Da Franco with a charming terrace right in the middle of the square, lit with lovely lights and where you sit on wooden benches with colorful cushions. Here you can taste the best pasta dishes and enjoy colorful cocktails.

Explore the Trulli in Alberobello

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Puglia, adorned with thousands of olive trees

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You'll find picturesque villages and elongated sandy beaches here

5. Experience a fairytale evening at a Masseria

In Puglia, you'll find plenty of Masserias, old farmhouses surrounded by large walls, with a courtyard and outbuildings, which used to provide shelter and protection to farming families and their workers. Now, these Masserias are places you can visit for activities like olive oil tasting or where you can stay overnight in the most charming rooms. Most Masserias have a restaurant serving authentic Italian dishes straight from the land. Often, special dining experiences are organized, where you can have lunch on bales of straw in the olive grove or dine in the courtyard of the Masseria itself, where the tables are tastefully set and everything is enchantingly illuminated. During dinner, music or entertainment is often provided, for an extra special experience. Some Masserias we recommend visiting for lunch or dinner are: Masseria Il Frantoio, Masseria Montenapoleone, Masseria Torre Coccaro and the exclusive Borgo Egnazia.

6. Plan a day at the beach at one of the many beach clubs

South of Monopoli, you'll find several beach clubs, most centered around Torre Canne, a long and fine sandy beach with plenty of parking facilities. Here you'll find places like Lido Bambù, a stylish beach club you might find in Ibiza or Saint-Tropez. You can have lunch in the restaurant or on your beach bed. Another great place in the same luxurious category is Coccaro Beach Club, an amazing hotspot right by the sea where you'll never want to leave. Also, Calderisi Mare, opened in 2023, is worth a visit. Here, you dine on the most beautiful tableware with, if you wish, your feet in the sand. Another beach club with a relaxed vibe is Cala Maka, where DJs often play live music and you can enjoy fresh sushi and seafood. If you want a day at the beach among the locals, without all the frills, bring your own snacks and rent a beach bed at Baia dei Turchi. You can park your car in the parking lot and walk through the forest and a narrow road along the coast to this secluded bay.

Puglia is an undiscovered gem in the south of Italy

7. Take a day trip to UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sassi of Matera

Not seen enough yet? Want to soak up some extra culture and history? Plan a day trip to the medieval town of Matera, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You'll find the town in the province of Basilicata, just over the northern border of Puglia. Matera is known for its carved cave dwellings, narrow streets with many stairs, and unique architecture. Keep in mind that it can get very hot here in the summer and you should also be cautious with people who have difficulty walking, as a visit to Matera can be quite challenging! But you'll get a special experience in return.

8. Stroll through the streets of baroque city Lecce

The capital of Puglia is Bari, but when it comes to culture, Lecce is the place to be. The historic city center offers plenty of beautifully decorated cathedrals, baroque buildings, squares, and charming narrow streets. The city is even affectionately called the 'Florence of the South'. You can spend hours on the cozy terraces, found in the squares and narrow streets. Of course, you'll also find the best Italian coffee bars here.

9. Shop for colorful ceramics in the ceramic town of Grottaglie

Grottaglie, a charming village near Taranto, is known as the ceramic capital of Italy, thanks to the abundant clay found in the ground. Here you'll find a range of artisan workshops producing pottery by hand. Perfect for getting a unique souvenir! Explore the many workshops and shops that Grottaglie has to offer; you can't really make a wrong choice. A must-visit is Quartiere delle Ceramiche, where you can find most workshops, including the remarkable Casa Vestita, located in carved caves along Via Crispi. Admire the typical Apulian ceramic pieces with flower motifs and splashes of green and blue. This 'splash' technique was a popular and affordable way to decorate objects in Puglia at the time. You'll find tableware with this recognizable decoration everywhere in Puglia.

Shopping for ceramics in Grottaglie

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Masseria Calderisi

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Our favorite places to stay overnight in Puglia

  • Masseria Calderisi, a stylish Masseria with an accompanying beach club that should definitely be at the top of your travel wishlist!
  • Masseria Auraterrae, a luxury Masseria opened in 2023 with a pool and sea views, a place where you'll truly unwind.
  • Masseria Montenapoleone, for a charming and authentic stay amidst vineyards and olive groves. Think fresh flowers in your room and breakfast with homemade treats.
  • Canne Bianche Lifestyle Hotel, looking for a hotel right by the sea? This highly acclaimed five-star hotel with premium service is an absolute recommendation.
  • Ottolire Resort, a charming resort perfect for a family stay. This lovely place with a spacious pool and top restaurant is ideally located. You'll reach all the sights and the beach in no time.


Do you need more hotel tips for a stay in Puglia or elsewhere? Use our hotel search engine and find the best hotels that suit your preferences.

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