Travel Expert Paul reminisces on his trip to Puglia

Landing down in Bari late Monday morning, I picked up my Fiat 500 and headed straight to Basilicata to drop off my bags at Hotel In Pietra and started exploring the quaint little town of Matera. Known as the subterranean city, with dwellings quite literally built into the cliffs.

Whenever I visit Matera, I always like to take a walk down the Piazzo Duomo road and take in the sight of the spectacular Cathedral di Maria SS. Kestral birds chatter away from the rooftops as walk by.


The next day I then made my way to Avetrana to visit Masseria Strazzati & Bosco for a catch up with Pierangela – the owner. I was greeted by mass amounts of lush greenery at the property and all around it. They even have their own little family of tortoise living in a purpose-built pond. Pierangela recommended most delicious seafood restaurant I have ever been to at the Posto 9 beach. Tucked away and surrounded by white wooden structures, it is very intimate and unconventional, with the curtains billowing in the salt water air. I went here during the afternoon, but I can just imagine how great an evening would be on the terrace at Posto 9 Beach!

That evening I headed for Martano to rest my head for the evening. Martano is home to one of our favourite properties here at Long Travel ‘Borgo Naturalis’. I could not think of a more relaxing setting if I tried, the hotel is surrounded by fields and open spaces to escape and take in the moments shaded under an olive tree. I was lucky enough to indulge in a little spa time, where I made full use of their heated indoor whirlpool and outdoor saltwater infinity pool. I really do love my job!


The next day, I then travelled north to stay at our trulli houses for a few days. I am as ever in awe of our trulli houses and feel a sense of being at home when I visit. Trullo Noce still stands as my firm favourite out of our exclusive collection for its romantic elegance and its own secluded additional outdoor shower! With the countryside in full bloom surrounding the trulli houses, every angle looks picture perfect and the pool was an alluring cool break from the sizzling Italian sunshine.

You can walk to a small selection of restaurants from the trulli but my leading choice for food in Cisternino is Bell’ Italia, down the narrow white bricked road and spilling out onto the alleyways it is enchanting and the food boasts traditional flavours with a nod to fine cuisine.


The following day I meandered over to Ostuni to explore the small town and visit the crisp white Masseria Cervarolo, the fuschia glimpses of flowers climbing up the walls really make for the perfect picture. I found myself gravitating towards the turquoise pool, where I lazed under a bamboo shelter and a cocktail menu was conveniently placed in my hand. One Mojito please…


With there being no rest for the wicked, the next day I popped by Monopoli and saw glamorous Italian married couples taking pictures in front of the beautiful well decorated entrance of the Don Ferrante hotel. It’s fair to say that the stunning exterior is merely a glimpse of the splendour inside. I ate dinner on the rooftop terrace and felt the embrace between sea and sky and revelled in it’s charming ambience. The food here is always marvellous, and the wine even more so. A few cheeky tipples later, I plunged into the King size bed under a vaulted ceiling for a kip.


Reluctantly, it was time for my little Fiat 500 and I returned to Bari airport and fly back to Liverpool (sigh). On landing, the bright colours on the exterior of the airport could not make up for the dark and gloomy realisation that my trip was over and the downpour of rain bought me back to reality with a bang!


Today, I’m at my desk with a glowing tan still intact, sharing my (too) short but ever so sweet visit to enchanting Puglia with you. If you would like to talk to me about a visit to Puglia, or any of our other regions, both me and my team of Travel Experts are here and on hand to tailor make something bespoke for you.

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