An Enchanting Escape: 10 Days of Romance and Luxury in Puglia

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Advisor - Melanie Hernquist
Curated By

Melanie Hernquist

  • Puglia

  • Italy

  • Food & Wine

  • Luxury Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Beach Town

  • Relaxation

  • Local culture

Boats floating in the sea and city on the other side.
Curator’s statement

With its captivating blend of charm and natural beauty, Puglia invites you to embark on a remarkable journey. Explore the enchanting towns, wander through the hillside villages, and soak up the sun-kissed beaches along the Adriatic and Ionian coasts. Indulge in the flavors of the region, from the renowned wines to the golden olive oil, cultivated with care on picturesque farms. But it's not just the scenery and culinary delights that make Puglia exceptional. The warm hospitality of its people will make you feel like part of the community, creating moments that will leave you longing to return. Get ready to discover the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation in this captivating region.

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Day 1: Arrive in Puglia

Houses on the seashore.

Upon landing at Bari Airport, the first order of business is picking up your rental car. From there, take some time to explore the charming city of Bari.

Visit the bustling market, wander through the narrow streets of the old town, and indulge in delicious street food. If you're feeling adventurous, you might even consider visiting a local fisherman and trying some raw fish.

For lunch, head to Polignano a Mare and dine at the renowned Morus Ristorante, where you can savor the flavors of the region. Don't forget to treat yourself to a delightful gelato at Bella Blu Gelateria in Polignano a Mare, known for their artisanal creations.

After satisfying your taste buds, embark on a scenic drive to Fasano, where you'll be staying at the elegant Hotel Masseria Narducci. This traditional Pugliese masseria is renowned for its olive oil production and offers a culinary experience like no other.

Check in and take some time to unwind, exploring the beautiful surroundings and enjoying the luxurious amenities. In the evening, indulge in a delicious dinner either at the hotel, where you can savor the authentic Pugliese cuisine, or venture out to one of the nearby culinary gems.

Day 2: Explore and indulge

view of a coastal city with blue sky and boats

Enjoy a delicious breakfast at Hotel Masseria Narducci, savoring freshly baked pastries and aromatic coffee. Drive to the charming coastal town of Polignano a Mare for a memorable day ahead.

Indulge in a delightful lunch at Pescaria, a renowned seafood restaurant known for its fresh catches and delectable flavors.

Afterward, embark on a Catamaran Tour, cruising along the stunning coastline, admiring the cliffs and turquoise waters.

Conclude the day with a unique dinner experience in a traditional Masseria and local home, where you will savor fine local meats and immerse yourself in the authentic flavors of Puglia. This day promises to be a perfect blend of culinary delights and scenic beauty.

Day 3: Journey through local towns and villages

white stucco city walls in a narrow street

Embark on a day of discovery in Puglia's captivating towns and villages. Begin with a hearty breakfast before venturing out to Martina Franca, renowned for its vibrant Wednesday market. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere as you explore the stalls brimming with fresh produce and local crafts.

Continue your journey to I Pàstini for an unforgettable wine tasting and tour, where you'll savor the region's finest wines and learn about the winemaking process.

Take a leisurely nap to recharge, then set off to Locorotondo, Alberobello, and Cisternino, enchanting towns with distinctive architecture and rich history. Indulge in the local delicacy, Capocollo, and treat yourself to gelato at Caffe Tripoli.

Conclude the day with a captivating wine tasting experience at Trulli il Castagno, surrounded by the iconic Trulli houses.

Retire to your hotel for a delightful seven-course dinner, savoring the flavors of Puglia, and unwind by the pool, cherishing the memorable moments of the day.

Day 4: Lecce's splendors

alberobello trulli white hobbit homes

After a satisfying breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to the picturesque town of Matino, immersing yourself in its charm and local treasures.

Continue your journey to Lecce, known as the "Florence of the South," renowned for its stunning Baroque architecture.

Discover the intricate details of the city's magnificent buildings and soak in the rich cultural heritage. Indulge in a delightful lunch at Come Vuoi Pane & Condimenti, savoring the flavors of Puglia's culinary delights.

Later, make your way to the elegant Palais Gentile hotel, where luxury and comfort await. Check-in and take a moment to unwind.

In the evening, relish an exceptional dining experience at Foscolo, where culinary masterpieces are created using locally sourced ingredients and expert craftsmanship.

Day 5: Coastal and culinary delights

rocky wall on the coastal shore

Awaken to a delightful breakfast, fueling your senses for a day of coastal exploration. Embark on an enchanting boat ride in Castro, where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas converge, revealing the mesmerizing natural beauty of the region.

Discover hidden grottos and marvel at the captivating landscapes that unfold before you. As you drive back, allow the scenic views to captivate your heart.

In the evening, savor an exquisite dinner at Valente - Ristorante del Salento, where the flavors of Puglia come to life in each dish. Indulge in a culinary journey, savoring the authentic tastes of the region. As the day concludes, cherish the precious memories of your Puglia adventure, forever etched in your heart.

Day 6: Flavors & traditions

town square with turquoise sky

Start your day with a delightful breakfast, preparing yourself for an immersive culinary experience. Join a captivating cooking class at Masseria Don Agostino, where you will learn the art of making traditional orecchiette pasta. Immerse yourself in the rich culinary heritage of Puglia as you create and savor the authentic flavors of the region. Indulge in a delicious lunch, savoring the fruits of your labor in the picturesque setting of the masseria.

Day 7: Discover Matera's timeless beauty

An arial shot of the city.

As you bid farewell to your previous accommodations, set off on a scenic drive to the remarkable city of Matera.

Check-in to the elegant Ai Maestri Rooms & Cafe, a sanctuary of comfort and charm nestled in the heart of the city. Spend the day exploring the enchanting streets and intriguing history of Matera, known for its ancient cave dwellings, or "sassi."

Lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys and soak in the timeless beauty that surrounds you. In the evening, indulge in a gastronomic delight at Ristorante Vitantonio Lombardo, where culinary masterpieces are crafted with passion and expertise.

Allow the flavors of Matera to enchant your palate as you relish in a memorable dining experience. Savor each bite and toast to the unforgettable moments created during your journey through Puglia.

Day 8: Immersive exploration in Matera

ancient city lit up a night by orange light

Embark on a day of discovery as you explore the captivating city of Matera at your own pace. Lose yourself in the winding streets and ancient alleys, marveling at the unique beauty of the "sassi" cave dwellings. Immerse yourself in the rich history and fascinating culture of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Take the opportunity to join a guided tour to uncover the hidden secrets and intriguing stories that lie within Matera's timeless walls. In the evening, treat yourself to a culinary delight at Baccanti, a renowned restaurant that celebrates the flavors of Puglia.

Indulge in an exquisite dinner, where each dish is expertly crafted to showcase the region's finest ingredients. Let the ambience and culinary creations transport you to a world of pure gastronomic pleasure.

Day 9: Mozzarella and flavors of Fasano

mozzerella, peach slices and greens

Embark on a scenic drive to Fasano, where a memorable culinary experience awaits. Immerse yourself in the art of mozzarella-making during a hands-on class and farm tour. Discover the secrets behind crafting this beloved cheese and gain insights into the local traditions that have been passed down through generations.

Savor a delightful lunch, indulging in the flavors of freshly made mozzarella and other regional specialties.

Check-in to the enchanting Hotel Masseria Calderisi, where rustic charm meets luxurious comfort. Unwind and rejuvenate in this tranquil oasis surrounded by the beauty of the Puglian countryside.

In the afternoon, embark on a sensory journey through the flavors of Puglia with a wine and olive oil tasting. Let the expert sommeliers guide you through a selection of exquisite wines and locally produced olive oils, allowing you to savor the essence of the region.

Day 10: Beach bliss and aperitivo delights

jumping from a cliff into Adriatic Sea

Spend a blissful day at the exclusive Masseria Calderisi Beach club, where sun, sand, and relaxation await. Bask in the warm Mediterranean sun as you unwind on the pristine sandy shores. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Indulge in a delectable lunch featuring the freshest seafood and local delicacies, perfectly complemented by the stunning coastal views.

As the day turns to dusk, gather with newfound friends for a delightful aperitivo. Sip on handcrafted cocktails or sample regional wines as you soak in the tranquil ambiance of the beach club. Let the enchanting surroundings and warm company create unforgettable moments of joy and connection.

Advisor - Melanie Hernquist

Travel Advisor

Melanie Hernquist

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For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor David Rosenberg's guide, Slowing Down in Puglia, Italy. This itinerary is part of our ongoing series on travel to Puglia.