5 places off the beaten track in Puglia

If you are fascinated by the Mediterranean, if you like destinations with a long tradition, you are looking for dreamy landscapes and great hospitality, Puglia (also known as Apulia) is the next place where to go on vacation.

This land, embraced by two seas (the Adriatic and Ionian), is a must-see for tourists from around the world, thanks also increasing air flights and the wide choice of routes to follow, events to join in, activities to be practiced not only at the beach but also in the art cities and small towns scattered in the region.

In this article we recommend you 5 hidden gems to see in Puglia, spots that you should include in an itinerary of exclusiveness and beauty.

Ceglie Messapica, white town in Valle d’Itria

5 places off the beaten track in Puglia

Credits By Decrescenzo2003 at Italian Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In Puglia each color has an intensity never seen elsewhere, such as the white that stands out on the buildings of the oldest villages like Ceglie in the province of Brindisi, in the Itria Valley. Despite being a small town with few inhabitants, there is much to see: the Ducal Castle, the Porta del Monterrone, many masseria (a typical farmhouse) and the Clock Tower.

The Ducal Castle is built around the Norman tower that dates back to 1100 and is located on the highest point of the hill overlooking the town. It has been partially restored and is home to an Art Gallery and a library; it is open to visitors and is set to become the main attraction of Ceglie due to the charming inner courtyard, the grand staircase, the view over the town and the decorations on the ceiling of the Council Hall, dating from the XVI century.

Porta del Monterrone is one of the ancient gates of the town, evidence of the medieval era and a perfect setting for a stroll through the alleys of the center.
The choice of white color, furthermore, gives a greater brightness to the streets and alleys, past dimly lit.

Ceglie Messapica Clock Tower

Credits: Author: Mfran22 via pubblic domain

At Piazza Plebiscito there is the Clock Tower, built in 1890 in neoclassical style. From an architectural point of view it is very different from other Ceglie buildings and shows the uniqueness of the historical center, embellished with towers, fortifications and villas in harmony with the natural landscape.
With regard to the masseria, as in other parts of Puglia have been converted to accommodation or restaurants and in your itinerary you shouldn’t miss a stop in these big farmhouses.
More information about what to see and which cities are located in the surrounding area are available here: www.ceglieturismo.it.

Casalabate, a fishing village

Casalabate spiaggia

Credits by Luigi Giordano https://flic.kr/p/5kvf6g

Among the beaches less known but worth visiting in Puglia there is Casalabate, a fishing village where there are also beach resorts, located near Lecce.
Here we are in Salento, the land loved by travelers looking for relaxation and fun, a destination which we mentioned in the post Salento, a surprising destination in Apulia. In Casalabate we suggest to go to the beaches, rarely crowded and characterized by fine grain sand, suitable to spend days at a relaxed pace.
For those who love the nightlife, there the clubs and disco are also on the beach, with DJ sets and live music.
Torre Specchiolla, overlooking the sea, is an element of the landscape that immediately identifies Casalabate, which also boasts low cliffs and beaches provided with all the comforts.

Porto Selvaggio, secret jewel in Salento

Porto Selvaggio bay in Salento

Credits By Yellow.Cat from Roma, Italy (Porto Selvaggio bay Uploaded by tm) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Bay of Porto Selvaggio is, in our opinion, one of the best kept secrets of Salento.
It’s a protected marine reserve, features a rugged coast and a landscape characterized by pine woods and Mediterranean scrub.
The uniqueness of this place comes from the successful combination of archaeological finds, nature treasures and scenic routes.
To arrive is preferable to travel by car and drive up to Santa Caterina. Here you can park under the Torre dell’Alto, climb the stairs to enter the park and finally go to the beach. Alternatively you can get to Sant’Isidoro, park your car near the Casablanca disco and walk along a rough path that leads to a dense forest full of tall vegetation.
The effort required will be awarded by the untamable beauty of this nature reserve, dedicated to those who want to discover the most authentic spirit of a land such as Puglia.

Punta della Suina, the Caribbean Ionian

punta della suina beach in Apulia

Credits: http://www.baiadigallipoli.com/it/punta-della-suina

Close to Gallipoli there is a place that owes its name to the projection that extends from the coast almost to a little island off the coast. It’s the Punta della Suina, a beach surrounded by a large pine forest that for his charm has earned it the nickname “Caribbean of the Ionian Sea”. Punta della Suina is undoubtedly an emblematic destination of the entire region, as the scents of the Mediterranean and the harmonious color shades of sea and sky make it a treasure for the most discerning travelers.

Here you will find some useful information about the beach club: puntadellasuina.wix.com.

Al Trabucco in Peschici, restaurant by the sea


To complete the list of 5 places, we recommend a restaurant in Peschici, in the Gargano area, recognizable by its location, the top quality of the food and the exclusiveness of the experience.
Al Trabucco da Mimì is set like a jewel on the ridge of San Nicola, just in front of the sea, and it is “decorated” by buoys, traps, nets, carved trunks and naval relics preserved in the dining room.
The “trabucco“ is a gimmick for fishing built with oak beams, pine and fir, so the name is a tribute to the fishermen tradition.
Typical fish dishes and local wine are the strong points of the restaurant, which gives its customers a sensational view especially at sunset. Reservation is recommended to enjoy a dinner in this restaurant: a menu of Apulian specialties is a delicious way to celebrate the excellence of the territory. Official website: http://www.altrabucco.it/.

Summer has just begun and it is the best time to plan a trip dedicated to the hidden gems of Puglia.

Credits Preview image: https://pixabay.com/it/porto-selvaggio-grotte-527307/.

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