I’ve been wanting to visit the Puglia Region for years and I’m so thrilled that my first visit was even better than I anticipated.
After our day trip in Sassi di Matera we arrived at our next destination, Alberobello, which would be our home for the next three nights. This quaint town is known for its beautiful trulli buildings (white stone buildings with conical roofs that have been around for centuries) which have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. We checked into our B&B, Trulli Antì, where we got our own trullo called Trullo Essenza. So magical.
Once settling in, we wandered through the historic city center before heading to dinner.
Our first night we dined at Ristorante L’Aratro, a local restaurant with great Puligese cuisine.
We started off with their full spread of various appetizers ranging from local cured meats to cheese to a plethora of vegetable driven bites.
Next was the primi aka pasta dishes which were regional dishes with traditional pasta shapes.
We both loved the sweetness of the tomatoes with the stewed eggplant and the creamy Caciocavallo cheese.
Orecchiette is known in this region and is traditionally made with cime di rapa (broccoli rape) but it was out of season. Their version had a zucchini cream with anchovies topped with toasted breadcrumbs.
Another traditional dish was this lamb main course with tender meat, roasted potatoes, and onions, all cooked in a terracotta pot. Divine.
While I could have gotten dessert at the restaurant, I was in the mood for gelato. We went to Martinucci Pasticceria, a pastry and gelato shop, and their gelato didn’t disappoint.
The next morning we started off by exploring Alberobello in daylight. We walked through the entire historic center since it’s quite small and started off by passing by Trullo Sovrano, which is now a museum, and the only two story trullo. We went to a great viewpoint where we marveled at the gorgeous collection of the trulli houses. It’s a stunning sight.
After admiring Alberobello, we drove to two neighboring towns, Martina Franca and Locorotondo. First up was Martina Franca, a beautiful small town known for their capocollo ham.
We went to two bakeries that both served bocconotti, a traditional pastry with short pastry dough stuffed with different fillings. The first place we tried was Caffè Tripoli where we got some tomato focaccia and two types of bocconotti (Ricotta/amarena and Ricotta/pear). Both were delicious.
The other bakery we tried was Bar Adua that also had a spread of mini pastries. I loved the pistachio flavored bocconotti.
Next up was the town of Locorotondo which was even smaller. Very peaceful and quiet.
After a day of adventures, we had a late dinner at Macelleria Braceria da Zio Peppe, a butcher shop and eatery where you choose your meats to be prepared. We actually walked there which took a little over 30 minutes so we definitely worked up an appetite. Their meats come from their own farm which was been producing meat, cured meats, and cheeses for over 30 years.
Their homemade salumi and various cheese were scrumptious. We loved every bite especially with the local apricot jam.
These were some of the best meatballs we’ve ever tried. The sauce had such a rich depth of flavor.
Of course they served taralli, a traditional cracker from this region that are great for snacking.
The mixed meat platter had sausages as well as meat stuffed with cheese. Everything was simply grilled but so yummy. We loved the meat stuffed with cheese that we ordered another round.
Since Macelleria Braceria da Zio Peppe is a butcher shop, they didn’t have any dessert options. Once we made it back to town I got gelato at the same shop from the night before.
Our last day started off by getting paninis at Gusto for our lunch to bring to the beach. A signature sandwich known in the city is the “pasqualino” and I wanted to try it from several panini stores but only Gusto was open this early (other places that have this sandwich are La Lira Focacceria and La Pagnottella Panini Lovers).
After getting our paninis, we ventured to Polignano a Mare, a beach town that’s 30 minutes away from Alberobello. Their famous beach, Lama Monochile, is a small beach that’s between rugged cliffs.
Since Lama Monochile was very busy, we walked to Ponte dei Lapilli Beach to enjoy the sun and our panini. Both sandwiches hit the spot and we could have easily eaten another two.
Our last stop of the day was to Monopoli, another small beach town. We walked through the city center before finding another beach where Tommaso was riding the waves as the water wasn’t too deep for him.
Our final dinner was at Ristorante Angelo Sabatelli where we had a marvelous experience and was a wonderful ending to our Puglia trip.
Puglia is a decently sized region in the country so for our first time visiting, we actually got to see a lot of amazing towns. I cannot wait to plan another trip as there’s still so many places to explore!