Off the Beaten Path of Puglia: Guest Blog
January 21, 2020
About the Author: David Wright and his wife, Sharon, took their first group travel experience with Adagio in October when they headed to ‘the heel of the boot’ in Puglia, a wonderful ‘off the beaten path’ section of Italy. They had a terrific time and graciously offered to share their experiences.
Unforgettable Experiences in Puglia
Our local guide Giovanni maneuvered our group into some unique locales that we never would have been able to pull off on our own.
We spent time observing a family make different cheeses and explain their generations-old passion.
We visited another family so proud of their capicola, a traditional Italian cured pork.
We witnessed local women in Bari make pasta by hand in lighting speed.
We saw massive brick ovens in Altamura and sampled their fantastic local bread, garnished with prosciutto and incredible caprese.
We had an incredible picnic lunch at a small, family winery in Gioia del Colle, with Giovanni translating for us the proud wine producer’s history of making Primitivo wine.
We learned about the unique history of Alberobello, which contains historic, ‘smurf-like’ dwellings, called trulli.
We viewed the breathtaking renaissance of Matera, a fantastic vista.
In Monopoli, we enjoyed one of the highlights of the trip, sampling some inexpensive but excellent local wine in the cellar of the owner’s house. He explained the tradition was begun by his grandfather, who never wanted his wines to become expensive or commercialized.
Unplanned Pleasures in Puglia
Some of the best parts of the trip were not scheduled. On our way to Bari, we asked our guide about some actions we observed from the bus by some local fishermen. We stopped, got out and got to see and have explained to us how Bari fishermen catch and then tenderize octopi.
We saw some beautiful churches, large and small, got to experience the changes in the architectural style, learned of the mythic deeds of St. Nicholas, and the history of southwestern Italy – all in a week’s immersive experience!
We picked out our meats at a local butcher shop in Cisternino, repaired to a small restaurant, and had then presented a fantastic meal made with our selections.
We sampled local Limoncello, tasted dozens of olive oils, saw thousand-year old olive trees, sampled wines on a bright sunny day on the coastline of Brindisi, visited a proud artisan of papier–mâché figures in Lecce, and finished with a fantastic meal we all helped prepare at a local masseria in the town of Surbo.
Plan Your Puglia Adventure
If you are looking for a sense of adventure, enjoy seeing and experiencing unique local experiences, relish going places where your lack of language skills requires the assistance of a guide, and enjoy eating incredible, diverse foods, Adagio is a great option. We really enjoyed our time in Puglia and look forward to another journey!