THE STAYCATION EXPERIENCE
Good morning virtual jet-setters! We hope you enjoyed the island getaway in the magical Sicilia, as this week we swap coastlines to explore Italy’s eastern side. Every week we are exploring a new destination in the Italian motherland in the form of a staycation, staying in quarantine but vacationing through the web! Today we start our adventure in the region of Apulia, andiamo!
Week 8: Puglia
The southern region of Puglia (Apulia in Italian) forms up the heel of famous ‘boot’ on the map of Italy. It’s renown for its coastlines and whitewashed towns, and of course there is plentiful history to accompany these. It has the longest coastline of any Italian mainland region, and the turquoise-blue waters glisten to prove the point. The area is also famous for its olive oil production, as it provides more than 40% of the country’s cooking essential.
To enjoy the flavours of Puglia during your staycation adventure, the Made in Italy chefs have teamed up to bring you Pizza Puglia, featuring; a Tomato Base, Onion, Spicy Salami, Mushroom, Oregano Mozzarella.
To See in Puglia
Alberobello is the home of the trulli. Inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, the trulli are stone dwellings with cone roofs date back to the Middle ages. They were once homes for peasant farmers and similar folk, but today they’re a beautifully unique tourist destination. The town is in a valley along a string of città bianche (white towns), that exude a Greek vibe. This, in part, could be due to the first colonisers being Mycenaean Greeks!
Otranto is a clifftop town that overlooks the crystalline waters of the Adriatic sea. It is the most easterly point of Italy, and an underrated gem when it comes to Italian tourism. It’s a town with a history in ceramics, and full of boutique family-owned stores selling precious clay creations. For the travellers who love the creepy underbellies of each destination, the Otranto Cathedral has three walls filled with the skulls of 800 decapitated martyrs. The stones used to kill these are also kept within the church!
To Do in Puglia
The Grotte di Castellana is a 3km long, cave system between the towns of Alberobello and Monopoli. There are two possible footpaths for visitors to take, and various kinds of scenery within the caves. The most loved is the Grotta Bianca, an all-white cavern of stalactites and stalagmites that is considered a treasure by the local community. The longer walk through the caves takes two hours, and it is worth venturing into the cold underground temperatures and uneven paths.
For those that prefer staying above-ground, a swim at Polignano a Mare is essential. The town’s tiny beach is sheltered by the town’s houses on the cliffs, and there’s a picturesque photo opportunity of it from the Balconata sul Mare. If you’re feeling adventurous, try cliff jumping into the ocean from the limestone walls!
Flavours of Puglia
This quintessential Italian region is one of farmers, so for lunch and dinner the land will be on your plate. There is plentitude of available wheat, so pasta and bread are at the heart of every meal. Pizzette – mini pizzas with simple ingredients – are a popular snack in Puglia to enjoy in the morning at the beach.
Bringing Puglia Home
Try our weekly special, the Pizza Puglia. Let your taste buds feel like you’re in a Puglian field with its ingredients: Tomato Base, Onion, Salami, Mushroom, Oregano, Mozzarella. Or if you’re craving an early morning snack, grab one of our new pizzette on the breakfast menu at our Annandale location!
Order in your Made in Italy meal and settle in for a funny staycation watching the romantic musical Walking on Sunshine – a story of mixed romances set in the Apulian region. It’s a vibrant film, full of energy, to represent these Italian landscapes.
Enjoy you staycation and the sites, sounds and flavours of Puglia and we look forward to taking you on another adventure next week in Florence.
Lastly, as always buon appetito!