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How To Travel Puglia Like A Local

I’ve had images of the trulli saved in my folders for years. You know, the iconic white houses with conical roofs in Puglia. For my first real vacation in years, I wanted to go somewhere in Italy that I haven’t been that wouldn’t be too crowded with tourists and by the seaside, so Jacopo and I decided to hang out in Puglia for 10 days.

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For my vacation, I wanted to avoid people so we opted to stay at a house instead of a hotel. Puglia isn’t huge, so don’t worry too much about finding the right place to stay since most places are easily accessible by a scooter or by renting a car (you do have to know how to drive stick.) While looking for houses to rent, we came to the conclusion that we didn’t want to go grocery shopping and worry about what to eat so we ended up staying at a farm to table style masseria called Fatuaria which is about 40 minutes from the Ostuni area. Staying at the masseria made us feel like staying at our Italian family’s home.

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Cisternino was the nearest town to us. It’s a charming small town with whitewashed houses and streets with tons of cafes and restaurants, including a barbeque butcher – macelleria-eateries, meat markets where you choose what you want and they grill or roast it for you while you wait.

Vattelappesca – since I don’t eat meat, we opted for a seafood restaurant and sat outdoors. Both Jacopo and I ordered fish and mussels. I went a bit crazy with the focaccia they served us in the beginning so I highly suggest pacing yourself!

Local Forno – this bakery was right in the main square and had THE BEST Panzerottis. They are freshly made and only cost one euro. I ate like a local standing outside and then went back for another Panzerroto filled with cheese and tomato.

Polignano a Mare

Famous for the stunning beach with white pebbles called Cala Porto, this village is definitely a must-see. Although I’m warning you, the pebbles are painful to walk on but you can pass through the caves and jump in the water or swim to the nearby cliff like I did, and then jump off the cliff! It’s a workout and so refreshing.

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Mint Cucina Fresca – vegan friendly restaurant. I had the tuna steak and a veggie burger.

Grotta Palazzese – We didn’t eat here since Jacopo and I don’t like super boogie touristy spots but our good friends ate here (took them about a month to get a reservation) and they said it’s super romantic with the terrace overlooking the water but the food isn’t great.

Casa Mia Trattoria Pizzeria – I’ve had the most pizza on this trip than I’ve ever had in my entire life. I think I must’ve eaten a pizza a day. Not just a slice, but the entire pizza. This place also had fish and pasta aside from the pizza. I had a simple burrata pizza with zucchinis on top.

Torre Canne

Oasi del Riccio – If you love uni (sea urchin) as much as I do, this place is just for you. We had really fresh and cheap uni on a plate, then both got the uni pasta (the portion is the typical Italian portion, a bit too small for my American appetite) and also got freshly grilled octopus.

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Il Santos – A simple taverna on the sea, like in a Greek island with simple and fresh food. You can stay there for a day after eating at the restaurant and rent an umbrella and swim.


We didn’t spend much time here but did a quick glimpse. This area is filled with alleyways and houses built upon houses with glimpses of the Adriatic Sea. Since we were on vacation, we decided not to go sightseeing and just pass by, but next time I’m visiting Puglia, I’d stay here longer and explore.

Local markets – on Saturdays from 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the vicinity of Via Gabbriele D’Annunzio, southwest of Ostuni centre, you can buy fruits, veggies, etc.

Marina di Ostuni – beach

Pizzeria Nottie Bianche – get’s really packed but honestly, the pizza was so delicious.


This beautiful town was declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1996. It has the view of the beautiful white trulli and I must’ve gotten super lucky because by the time we were about to leave after getting a shot with the trulli in the background, an entire bus filled with tourists arrived.

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– We visited Alberobello on our way to a different town and because it was around 3pm, pretty much all of the restaurants were closed but managed to find one that was opened. It was the first one that we overlooked because it looked too touristy but to our surprise, they had one of the best pizzas. Apparently, they had won the pizza of the year.

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