Adrian Mourby shares some of his favourite places to eat in Puglia, plus places to stay with a focus on local gastronomy…
Puglia photos by Kate Tadman Mourby
Where to eat
Gran Bar Pugliese
This superb café and fish restaurant sits on an old harbourside just 15 minutes from Bari Airport. Ideal for a first – or last – meal in Apulia.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, Giovinazzo
Enjoy courtyard dining hidden away at a crossroads in this roadside hamlet (left). Every year, on the first Sunday of August, Speziale holds a unique festival, the Sagra della focaccia.
Via Lecce, Speziale
+39 080 481 0758
Hidden under an unremarkable seaside hotel sits the most dramatic restaurant in Apulia, a great cave where the sea comes rushing in below you.
Via Narciso, Polignano a Mare
Al Fornello da Ricci
In Ceglie, one of Apulia’s favourite food destinations Antonella and Vinood’s family have been running this popular restaurant since 1966.
Via delle Grotte, Ceglie Messapica
This unusual 30-seat restaurant is located in a former tufa quarry and garden 10 minutes outside Lecce. The wine cellar is dug down into the tufa.
Strada Provincale, Lecce
La Taverna del Duca
In a shady side street off the main square of Locorotondo you’ll find Antonella Scatigna’s popular taverna, where dishes are served direct from the open kitchen.
Via Papatodero, Locorotondo
Where to stay
Masseria Naturalis Bio Resort
Simplicity and wellness are the keywords of this restful masseria (right) where redevelopment of the original buildings has been kept to a minimum. It also, my wife informs me, does the best massages ever.
Sixteenth-century fortress-farm that has been transformed into glamorous boutique hotel much sought after by celebrities and movie stars.
Masseria Le Carrube
Almost monastically tranquil, this strictly vegetarian masseria is the ideal retreat for those who really want to get away from it all.
This thriving farm outside the foodie town of Ceglie Messapica has just opened a palazzo-style hotel in the centre of the centro storico.
Ideal for families and for those seeking fine dining, this new-build resort has done a great job of looking as if it was built centuries ago. Its attached restaurant ‘Due Camini’ is pictured left. Find out more here.
Savelletri di Fasano
Masseria San Domenico
One of the first historic masserias to be converted into a hotel, San Domenico offers a respite for those want quiet. No under-12s.
Savelletri di Fasano
Guide to Apulian wine
D’Araprí Sparkling Wines
D’Araprí in San Severo make a brut rosé based on Pinot Nero and Montepulciano grapes, and a brut from Bombino.
Carlomagno Fiano Puglia
Fiano is a very popular grape in Apulia. This reliable favourite originates in vineyards on the Salento Peninsula.
Messapi Puglia Negroamaro
From vineyards near the foodie town of Ceglie Messapica comes this very popular red wine.
Cantele Negroamaro Rosato
This rosé is created just outside Guagnano from grapes that are macerated for 12-24 hours in order to guarantee its distinctive colour.
Botromagno Gravina Bianco
Gravina is one of the most geographically interesting Apulian appellations because of its rolling hills and relatively high altitude.
Contrada Barbatto Gioia del Colle Primitivo
Named after the Barbatto vineyard in Chiaromonte, this Primitivo spends an extra six months in the bottle prior to release.
British Airways and easyJet fly to Bari and Brindisi from Gatwick. Ryanair from Liverpool, Manchester and Stansted.
Rhino rents cars from Bari and Brindisi at £17 per day.
Zest of Italy
Zest of Italy organises individually customised culinary tours of Puglia and other rising destinations across the Italian boot.
+39 338 141 6526
For more about Adrian’s travels check out Apulia: back to the land