UKC

/ Puglia, Italy

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 12 Jul 2018

Afternoon holiday makers.

I off to Puglia for my summer jollies, staying for two weeks in a villa just outside Ceglie Messapica.  I dont know the areas so wondered if anyone had any ideas of fun things to do.

Its a self catering affair with pool with wife, two daughters and old daughter's boyfriend.  Mostly it will be chilling by the pool, eating the local grub and drinking the local wine, with a few trips to the beach but there will be days where we want to do something different.  I would love to get into the countryside and see something of the area too; we have a car with us to.  

Ive never been to Italy before so would welcome any pointers, especially those who know the areas of 'The Heel'.

Thanks

Richard

Bob Hughes - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Its a self catering affair with pool with wife, two daughters and old daughter's boyfriend. 

All the mod cons, then

Philip on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Good wine from that area. Weather generally too hot for my liking though. Enjoy the pool.

nniff - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Locorotondo and Alberobello are well worth a visit.  The latter is a world heritage site - at 8 am you have it to yourself and it's a delight.  Thereafter, it fills with thousands of tourists and it is a rather different experience.  The almond liqueur they sell in Alberobello is the world's best hip flask filler for winter climbing.  Seemingly unavailable anywhere else, including on line.  They're usually offering free tasting n some of the trulli there.

Putignano is nice. The restaurant Scinua there is outstanding.  If you only eat out once, go there.  The chef speaks good English and explains everything with care.  The attention to detail is immense, but the prices are not.  No more than you'd pay for a very average meal on the coast in Monopoli or Polignano.  Local food, local ingredients, world class preparation and presentation.

The old centre of Monopoli is quite nice.

Beaches are Italian and busy.

Cycling's great - all the towns are half an hour apart by bike,  Rolling, except for the sodding great escarpment inland from Monopoli.  Good bike shop in Monopoli.  Far too hot for climbing, but overall, there's a nice breeze usually, seeing as Puglia is essentially a ridge between two seas.

The local supermarket is 'Eurospin' - cheap as chips.  Their own branded products are called 'Lovely Hug'.   Don't ask me.

The big caves at Castellana Grotte are a good day out - far better than most of these things and they offer a point of no return trip - turn round here or do a couple more miles. They point out stalactites that look like a ballerina's leg etc, but don't point out the one that looks like a …….

Go to Scinua.  Make sure you know where it is on google maps on your phone, because you will get lost otherwise because the town is a maze of small streets. 

Did I mention that you should go to Scinua?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scinuà/428701150544070

 

Pursued by a bear - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Thank you for posting this, and for choosing to go there for your hols.  I've been toying with the idea of going there for some time, a region chosen because Primitivo is basically the house grape here, there's always a bottle (or significantly more...) of it somewhere in the house.  Other things worth seeing would stop a holiday there turning into a sun-soaked wine tour; not that there's anything wrong with that, but as nniff has suggested, there has to be much more to see.

I'll put it on the list for next year, possibly as a spring or autumn trip.

T.

Kean - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Ostuni's just up the road...worth a visit.

Also this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notte_della_Taranta

https://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it/evento/50913/en/La-notte-della-Taranta-2018---21%5E-Edizione

If you're into your music, it's well worth going...full on dose of local culture and really great fun. Stewart Copeland played one year:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC3W3Zsj0c4

Haven't danced so much since me spliffin days!

TheDrunkenBakers - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Philip:

> Good wine from that area. Weather generally too hot for my liking though. Enjoy the pool.

That's good news, whats is the local speciality?

TheDrunkenBakers - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to nniff:

> Locorotondo and Alberobello are well worth a visit.  The latter is a world heritage site - at 8 am you have it to yourself and it's a delight.  Thereafter, it fills with thousands of tourists and it is a rather different experience.  The almond liqueur they sell in Alberobello is the world's best hip flask filler for winter climbing.  Seemingly unavailable anywhere else, including on line.  They're usually offering free tasting n some of the trulli there.

These are about 30 mins from where I am so that is good.

> Putignano is nice. The restaurant Scinua there is outstanding.  If you only eat out once, go there.  The chef speaks good English and explains everything with care.  The attention to detail is immense, but the prices are not.  No more than you'd pay for a very average meal on the coast in Monopoli or Polignano.  Local food, local ingredients, world class preparation and presentation.

This is about an hour away but it would good to see the old streets etc.  Would make a nice day out.  Presumably this place is open in the afternoons too?

> The old centre of Monopoli is quite nice.

Thsi is about 45 mins away so good.

> Beaches are Italian and busy.

There are lots of beaches within about 1.5 hours on both coasts so we will be exploring.  I dont mind the busy bit as we tend to be early birds with beaches so that we can have lunch and chill for the afternoon.  What do you mean by 'Italian'?  Are there any quiet ones that you can recommend.

> Cycling's great - all the towns are half an hour apart by bike,  Rolling, except for the sodding great escarpment inland from Monopoli.  Good bike shop in Monopoli.  Far too hot for climbing, but overall, there's a nice breeze usually, seeing as Puglia is essentially a ridge between two seas.

> The local supermarket is 'Eurospin' - cheap as chips.  Their own branded products are called 'Lovely Hug'.   Don't ask me.

That's good to know.  The  nearest one is 18 mins away in Ostuni so I suspect that this will be the one we will visit the most.

> The big caves at Castellana Grotte are a good day out - far better than most of these things and they offer a point of no return trip - turn round here or do a couple more miles. They point out stalactites that look like a ballerina's leg etc, but don't point out the one that looks like a …….

This is about 1 hour away so again, a really good shout.

> Go to Scinua.  Make sure you know where it is on google maps on your phone, because you will get lost otherwise because the town is a maze of small streets. 

> Did I mention that you should go to Scinua?

Thanks for this, you've probably helped with a good few days worth of exploring.  Have you been to this areas much or just the once?  What is the culture like and is the area generally pleasant etc. Are there any national parks and wildlife places to visit that you know of.  Is there any interesting local flora and fauna, lizards/snakes/beasties etc to go looking for .  I like to make sure I get to see lots of the local wildlife.  

TheDrunkenBakers - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

> Thank you for posting this, and for choosing to go there for your hols.  I've been toying with the idea of going there for some time, a region chosen because Primitivo is basically the house grape here, there's always a bottle (or significantly more...) of it somewhere in the house.  Other things worth seeing would stop a holiday there turning into a sun-soaked wine tour; not that there's anything wrong with that, but as nniff has suggested, there has to be much more to see.

> I'll put it on the list for next year, possibly as a spring or autumn trip.

> T.

We've been toying with Italy for some time too and when we spotted the Trullo in which we will be staying, it made the decision really easy.  I'll post back after we've returned.

TheDrunkenBakers - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Kean:

> Ostuni's just up the road...worth a visit.

> If you're into your music, it's well worth going...full on dose of local culture and really great fun. Stewart Copeland played one year:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC3W3Zsj0c4

> Haven't danced so much since me spliffin days!

That looks amazing, thanks.  Another night or two planned.

Mooncat - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Lecce is worth a visit a lovely walled city. You're probably only an hour or so from Matera, The most amazing place I've ever seen. 

In my opinion the wine isn't great, the whole region had a reputation as a non wine producer, primitive has changed that but there was a lot of very good sicilia wine around. 

Doug on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Mooncat:

I was about to add Lecce when I saw your post. I spent a pleasant day there a couple of years ago, as a break from a meeting in Brindisi (which isn't really worth a visit).

To the OP, Italian trains are very cheap (Brindisi to Lecce was a couple of euros return) & avoid the problem of looking for somewhere to park

Pursued by a bear - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Mooncat:

It depends on your taste, of course, but I've had some very nice bottles of Primitivo that come from Salento generally and Faiano and Manduria specifically.  Try a bottle from Majestic or Waitrose, which both offer good ones; Sainsburys also ok, Tesco less impressive.

T.

Philip on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> That's good news, whats is the local speciality?

Red. Primitivo is the most common in the UK, but in Italy just drink whatever is local.

Mooncat - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Sorry, I rushed my initial post, I meant that Primitivo is generally very good but there's not much else of note locally. Asda's extra special was the first I tried, for the price it's brilliant.

Pursued by a bear - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Mooncat:

Yes, it is very good for the price.  Asda has a reasonably good wine selection; different grape, different colour, different country but their extra special Viognier is very nice too.

T.

nniff - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

To pick up on a few of your questions 

 

'Italian' beaches are rammed!

Not sure if Sciuna is open for lunch, but it is really worth making an evening of it

Lots of lizards etc.  No rivers at all - they're all underground (the caves are a clue)

Been there once and would like to go back, but currently have a thing going or Barbados which suits everyone.

All of the towns/villages are old (at least in the centre).  Locorotondo is probably the nicest although Alberobello would be if it weren't for all the people.

The towns are about 15 minutes apart by car.  Not a lot of traffic, but parking in Alberobello, Monopoli, Putignano etc is not easy.  Centre of Putignano is nice too.  Very busy in the evening.  There's a very obvious pedestrian only road with lots of restaurants.  There's one take-away sort of place that is spectacularly busy, for good reason

seankenny - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Puglia is super. We visit Italy every year and it's one of the best places we've found. Ostuni is really nice, try Ristorante Taverna della Gelosia and get the anti-pasti, for about £25 a head you can have a really excellent meal.

Locorotondo is great too, and I liked Lecce. Parking was a pain but worth it when you're in.

If you've never been to Italy before you'll not realise how good proper Italian pizza can be... wine can be good, I generally find Italy a bit hit and miss for wine but the food more than makes up for it.

Mooncat - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to seankenny:

You're right about the Pizza, I had a pizza in Bari with Norcia sausage, one of the best things I've had in Italy.

To the OP, make sure you try the red prawns while you're there if you like seafood.

TheDrunkenBakers - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Thanks sooo much everyone.  Im super excited now and youve given me some great info here.

nniff - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

"The towns are about 15 minutes apart by car.  Not a lot of traffic, but parking in Alberobello, Monopoli, Putignano etc is not easy.  Centre of Putignano is nice too.  Very busy in the evening.  There's a very obvious pedestrian only road with lots of restaurants.  There's one take-away sort of place that is spectacularly busy, for good reason"

Parts of this are nonsense! Delete 'Putignano' (where Sciuna is) and insert Polignano a Mare (which is on the coast, north of Monopoli)


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.