We have been receiving lots of requests from our guests attending our culinary and wine tours in Puglia, about top places to visit in Puglia Italy and best things to do in each town.
We are happy to share an itinerary that could be helpful to travelers coming for a one week / 10-day vacation in Puglia.
First of all, please note that we think the most important reason why you should come to Puglia is the food, olive oil and wines. For sure you will love Puglia, if you love simple, fresh and delicious Italian food and wines. In addition to that, the beauty of Puglia is the fact that in one place you also find beautiful sandy beaches, cleanest sea water, relaxing countryside with millenary olive trees and vineyards, old historic towns with many influences from the Greek, Roman, to the Turkish and Spanish.
We chose our TOP 10 favorite places in Puglia and best things to do in Puglia based on a combination of: local cuisine, wines, beauty of the place, location.
This itinerary may change according to the season you come.
In case of interest, you may join one of our Best of Italy Puglia tours which are a unique chance to visit Puglia with LOCAL EXPERTS and do things that tourists do not normally do.
We can also help you put together customized Self guided tours around Puglia and in other regions in Italy. You may also find it helpful to learn Italian online before coming to Italy or attend our one week Italian language courses.
Day 1: Our number one top location in Puglia is Lecce. We think you should make Lecce as your base for at least four days. Closest airport to Lecce is Brindisi. Lecce has an elegant old town, with beautiful old palazzos and baroque churches.
Because of the architecture, Lecce resembles Noto near Ragusa in Sicily. Among the best things to do in Lecce, you should not miss all the gourmet shops, the market, the mozzarella makers and the very interesting papier machè artisans. The ice-cream in Lecce just off the main Saint’Oronzo square is the best you can get in Italy! We guarantee. You should count a whole day to visit Lecce. We provide gourmet tours of Lecce and market tours (the one where the locals go!) which include visits to the best and most delicious shops and food artisans in Lecce.
Food in Lecce: restaurants in Lecce serve mainly freshly made pasta, vegetables, meat (little seafood as Lecce is not by the sea). Don’t miss the pasticciotto and rustico. Also the famous orecchiette with tomato sauce and cacioricotta cheese.
We also provide hands on and half day cooking classes in English or one week cooking and wine tours. This is a unique chance to learn about the Italian culture and traditions of Puglia through its food and cuisine. We are native to Puglia (and we speak English!) so we only teach the authentic traditional cuisine that we learned from our Grandmothers and family. Please note that real Italian cuisine is the home-made cuisine Italians eat at home. The cookery method (home-made) is the main reason why it is such a simple, healthy and delicious cuisine. It is thanks to the Southern Italian Women that this cuisine has been preserved and handed down till today (see our e-book). Very rarely you will see an Italian man in the kitchen!
Things to do near Lecce include: playing golf, scuba diving, sailing, shopping…enjoying the Dolce Vita!. Don’t forget about the siesta time in Lecce.
Day 2: Lecce is also a very good base if you want to visit and taste some of the best wines and extra virgin olive oils in Puglia. You should consider another whole day for the winery tours and olive oil tastings in the Salento area.
In case of interest, we provide wine tours and extra virgin olive oil tasting tours. You may attend the one day tours, or the special one week Full immersion into Puglia wines and olive oils program, which includes several visits to best wineries and olive oil producers as well as in class tastings and lessons.
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Ciao Chuck! how wonderful to hear that you and Maureen come to Italy in June and that…you sing!
I and Marika are pianist and love music as well.
I will send you a private message so we can hopefully organize to meet in Lecce.
mi piace moltissimo il tuo website…
Im signing up my wife, marueen to meet you…
Andiamo spesso in italia …lei parla bene l’italiano…ed io canto…in Amalfi…
Forse ci incontriamo in Lecce in Junio ?
chuck e maureen
Hi Linda: it takes about 4 hours to drive to Bari and 5-6 hours to drive to Lecce. There are two airports in Puglia: Brindisi and Bari. I think it makes sense to drive if you stop in Rome for sightseeing so you don’t have to go back to Fiumicino airport. It is quite an easy drive on the motorway….but we usually prefer flying as it is less tiring.
Is it an easy drive from Rome or are we better off flying to Bari and renting a car there?
So nice to hear from you Nancy and to know that you are using our recipes!!!! Come back to Puglia….we would love to see you again. We are missing you!!
Hi Cinzia and Marika!
I am missing Puglia! Your pictures and suggestions make me wish I was on my way right now!
I am making pasta this weekend and using some of your recipes. I can’t wait to return to Puglia!
Michael, it was so nice and…fun… having you with us! Please let us know next time you come back. Un abbraccio da Lecce
Have no doubt visit Puglia! In my mind Puglia is one of the best kept secrets in all of Italy!
the best way to see all these places would be by car. Puglia is very easy to drive…and it would very different from driving in Rome or Naples. However if you prefer the train, there are some places where you could with the fast train (Lecce, Ostuni, Polignano). To all the others you would need to go with the SLOW trains. Hope this helps! come and visit us if you have time. Ciao Ciao
wow, what a great list of suggestions. i plan to visit Puglia late this year. And now i have a list of places to visit.
can you tell me if all the towns are accessiable by train?