72 Hours in Puglia (Part 2)

June 26, 2017

The plan for the day was to visit Alberobello for the famous trulli and then head to Ostuni, the white city. Finally, we would check into our trulli accommodation before dinner at Savelletri.

 

Please Note: This is Part 2 of a three-parts blog post sharing my 72 hours trip in Puglia (Lecce, Polignano a Mare, Alberobello, Ostuni, Savelletri & Locorotondo). This post focus on exploring Alberobello, Ostuni & Savelletri. Click here for Part 1 (Lecce & Polignano a Mare), here for Part 3 (Locorotondo & Polignano a Mare). 

 

SUNDAY AM – Alberobello

 

Feeling excited to explore the UNESCO-protected Alberobello, we arrived fairly early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The most picturesque trulli district in Alberobello is Rione Monti, a district cluster of white-washed conical roofed houses on a slope facing the town centre. There is no better way than exploring this fairy-tale like area by foot, so you can wander around and be mesmerised by how cute each individual trullo is and how much it reminds you of hobbit town from Lord Of The Rings! Why such unique design you ask? One story is that they were designed in such a way as to dismantle in a hurry to avoid housing tax collectors!

 

Tip: visit the rooftop of Trulli of Alberobello to get an elevated view of Rione Monti. Some Trulli are painted with symbols on their roof and supposed to have some religious or superstitious significance.

 

Tip: to get a complete view of Rione Monti, visit the lookout next to Parrocchia Santuario - Basilica S.S. Cosma E Damiano

 

 

We made a food stop at this Deli (Alimentario) as it is a recommendation from our foodie friends Phil (who also has a blog, (check it out here) and Karen. Having selected our food varieties & wine, we found a table at their tasting room which is at the back of the deli shop. The Iberia ham and fresh burrata were sooooooo amazing. All for 26 euro.

 

SUNDAY PM – Ostuni

 

At time Puglia feels a little like Greece and there is no city that is more Greek than Ostuni in this region; commonly referred to as ‘the white city’ for its white walls and white painted architectures. Its origin dates all the way back to the Stone Age and was re-built by the Greeks around 200BC.  

 

Instead of spending too much time in touristy landmarks like the Ostuni Catheral, Doumo di Ostuni & Piazza della Liberta, we wandered around the tiny streets and submerged ourselves in the experience.  

 

If time permits, you might even want to join the locals at La Mela Bacata Lounge Bar for some caffè in ghiaccio con latte di mandorla or aperol spritzes. 

 

As we wandered the streets of Ostuni, we noticed a lot of architecture, residential houses and restaurants were all decorated with acorn shaped ornaments! Most of these ornaments are ceramic, some in the shape of acorn and others in the shape of flower bud with open petals.  Bursting with curiosity, we walked into a local shop to seek the answer. ‘Pumo de fiore’ the locals call it; they are good luck charms, traditionally given as wedding gifts or to bestow good luck in a new home. I later learnt that the petals, about to open, also suggests fertility and prosperity.

Tip: If you are planning to buy some of these ornaments, get them from Ostuni. The old town is bigger, there are more varieties, the price is slightly cheaper and you can even haggle with some of the vendors especially if you are buying more than one.

 

Other things you can do while you are in or around Ostuni include: 

  • Olive oil tour. I booked a tour with Masseria Brancati but sadly we couldn't  make it.

  • Archaeology tour

  • Animal safari. If you are travelling with kids, this might be a good option. 

Tip: Don’t forget to take a shot of the city from a distance before leaving. I took this shot at the intersection of Corso Vittorio Emanuele ll & Via Cesare Beccaria.   

 

SUNDAY PM – Leonardo Trulli Resort in Locorotondo

 

Curious about what it’s like living in a trullo but don’t want to compromise on having modern facilities? Leonardo Trulli Resort is the best of both worlds!

 

Charming exterior of a traditional trullo with modern facilities inside; the bedroom sits under the main ‘cone’, complete with a small resting area and bathroom. It also comes with its own private garden, relaxation area and sun baking facilities on the rooftop.

 

This beautiful boutique estate has a swimming pool and big gardens, which we saw several families enjoying in the spring sunshine. It also caters for dinner if you don't feel like venturing out, but we had already made reservations for the night at a beach club!   

 

Tip: If staying in a trullo is not your cup of tea, another very popular option is to stay in a Masseria (i.e. a traditional farmhouse). Our friends Phil & Karen stayed at Masseria Moroseta & highly recommended it. Sadly we missed out on it as these farm houses are usually quite small (less than 10 rooms), and the popular ones are booked out many moons in advance.

 

SUNDAY PM – Beach Club Dinner 

 

Picture a secluded beach with a live DJ, lying on lounge beds sun-baking while sipping on prosecco and watching the sun set before dinner. This is what you can expect at Pescheria da Vito, the restaurant arm of the famous Borgo Egnazia. Apparently Justine Timberlak