A different Puglia: what to visit off the beaten paths
All those who come on holiday in Puglia get fascinated by its gems like Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, Lecce, or by Salento beaches, and it could not be otherwise.
But Puglia has much to offer even to those who like to visit less touristic places
that certainly worth a visit.
Here are our top 5 not (so) tourist places to visit in Puglia.
A serene and elegant hilltop town a stone’s throw from Polignano a Mare. It is the perfect place for people in search of art and history during their holiday. The stunning Castle with his incredible story, the Cathedral and its many fascinating small streets make Conversano a town of great interest. Here you also have the opportunity to taste the famous “ferrovia”, a delicious type of cherry which originated here.
Fifteen minutes’ drive from Alberobello, Noci has a charming historic center dotted with “gnostre”, small spaces consisting of three closed sides and with only one side that overlooks the main street, resulting in an area that is both semi-public and semi-private. In Noci every year in November takes place the festival Bacco nelle Gnostre, one of the most popular foods and wine events in Puglia. It warms the autumn of adults and children with chestnuts, red wine, music, street artists and other cultural initiatives.
Very close to Ostuni, Ceglie Messapica carries in its name the memory of ancient times, of the Messapi, a people who settled in this area even before the Greeks and Romans. The historic center of Ceglie has medieval origins and it is composed by a tangle of whitewashed alleys. Ceglie is a town with a very long culinary tradition and is a reference for the zero-mile food and wine system. As evidence of this, there is a Michelin-starred restaurant, Al Fornello da Ricci, a Mediterranean Cooking School, and numerous food and wine festivals.
A seaside destination off the beaten track is the marine protected area and the natural reserve of Torre Guaceto, about a 20-minute drive from Ostuni. The reserve includes a stretch of coast six kilometers long, characterized by the typical Mediterranean landscape that stretches from the sea to the sand dunes, from the scrub to the marshes, bordered by centuries-old olive groves.
BIKE TRAIL ALONG 19th CENTURY APULIAN AQUEDUCT
One of the best ways to get to know the land and the people in Puglia is to take a bike ride. The Apulian aqueduct is among the longest in Europe and is accompanied by a cycle path with well-marked paths that go from the Trulli Valley up to Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost point of Puglia.