After mostly visiting the mid and north of Italy, I never really managed to go down south. With all the stories going around about Puglia, the most beautiful region of Italy, we could not resist traveling to the heel of the country and discover this beauty ourselves. This we did in the spring of 2017, when we planned a 10 day Puglia road trip along the most amazing parts and villages of the region.
We started our Puglia road trip in Bari, with a scheduled end at Lecce. in between we planned a stop and visit at Monopoli, Locorotondo, Alberobello, Pogliano al Mare, Ostuni, Otranto, Santa Maria di Luca and Gallipoli. I still can’t believe that we visited all these nice cities and villages in only 10 days! And no, we did not only passed them by and waved…
The full experience of our Puglia road trip we have captured in a vlog. Still what I can say about Puglia is that it truly is a beautiful and must-visit region. I find it very difficult to choose one or two places that were our favorites, but I think that the old town of Bari, the magical Monopoli, the harbor city of Gallipoli and the cosy Lecce impressed us most.
Traveling through the streets of Monopoli like royals
A village that should definitely be on your list when you travel to Puglia, is the charming and picturesque town of Monopoli. It’s small and cozy streets, ocean view and very authentic fishing harbor will impress you. Monopoli feels like a place where romance is around every corner you look and its inhabitants are incredibly friendly.
We also lost our hearts at the amazing bed and breakfast were we staying in Monopoli, which is called Albergo Diffuso Monopoli. Upon arrival and after parking our car, we were picked up by the B&B Vespa, which drove us around town like royals. Seeing all those faces staring at us made us feel like were we celebrities for a day… to welcomed with pure hospitality and a glass of excellent Puglia wine at the accommodation.
Watch our vlog for our impression of Monopoli and the small Vespa tour.
Learn Italian hand gestures before traveling to Matera
They say there is a big difference in the Italian culture in the north and south, and this is true. I found the people a bit more open and friendly, but traffic, infrastructure etc. were more chaotic and neglected, which you especially notice when driving your rental car from A to B.
On our last day in Puglia we tried to make it to Matera by car, to visit the historic village and caves, but we were totally caught up in the culture of Italian traffic and the emotions that come with it. After driving around in the town center and ‘battling’ for parking space, I got so frustrated about the lack of rules and respect, that Shirley took over the steering wheel… mainly because she was better with her ‘Italian hand gestures’ than I was.
In the end we still did not manage to find a place to park our car and all we wanted was to escape the traffic horror, thus we decided to find our way back to Bari again. As Matera looked quite impressive from a distance – it also is known for the Mel Gibson movie ‘Passion of the Christ’ – a visit is still on our bucket list.
Watch our vlog and explore Puglia with us!
If you want to explore Puglia with us, then we invite you to watch our Puglia road trip TRVL Vlog, which you can find below. We also recently shared a blog about our trip to Torino, which shows a different face of magnificent Italy. Read all about it HERE.
We hope that you will enjoy the journey and please share your comments and tips in the comments filed below.