Q: What are the top experiences in Puglia?
A: Visiting a traditional trullo house in Alberobello and learning how people used to live in the region is a must. In Puglia’s main city, Lecce, be sure to visit some of the six baroque churches sprinkled across the old town; the buildings are so decorative that ‘Lecce baroque’ is becoming a recognised form of architecture in its own right.
Q: Are there any off-the-beaten-track destinations or experiences in Puglia and Basilicata which you would recommend?
A: Masseria Salinola is located outside the hilltop town of Ostuni. Essentially, it’s a hotel; however, it’s set in one of the oldest olive groves in Italy. The colossal trees date back to 4CE, when the Roman Empire was at its height. The hotel’s cellar houses an ancient mill that was once powered by donkeys, who pulled a stone to crush the olives.
Tucked away in the heart of Matera, Panificio Paoluccio might be missed if it wasn’t for the large queue of locals come lunchtime. This is the place in the city to get focaccia – essentially a thick pizza slice with just tomato topping. It will only set you back a few euros, yet its taste is worth a hundred times that.