Puglia’s history is somewhat similar to Sicily’s with invaders from Greece and Rome, then the Byzantine empire, followed by the Normans, Emperor Fredrick II and finally the Spanish, all who have left something for us modern day travellers to Puglia something to enjoy. But it is Fredrick II who has left the most in Southern Italy. Be it the Pythagorean mystery of Castello del Monte or the cathedrals of Trani and Bitonto, his mark is everywhere. With any wine and gourmet touring in Puglia you are going to want to come and discover some of the incredible sites outside of Puglia’s wine regions too. Some ideas could be:Lecce, Bari or Otranto Just 30 minutes away from Lecce and it will take us close to the spectacular Salento coast. If you are motivated by incredibly clean and turquoise sea then you should take some time to head down to the very tip of the stiletto, Santa Maria de Leca. Trani deserves a long lunch and stroll around the harbor. The seafood and the Cathedral are deservedly on most Puglia itineraries. We normally like to add in this visit with Castel del Monte. Polignano a Mare – It is hard to think of a more picturesque place. Cliff hugging houses 200 feet above sea rushing into an unusually beautiful beach. Manduria – Another very important area for wines and the Primitivos but you will also find some wonderful Masseria, Oil farms and white washed sun kissed villages.
Having spent close to 6 years
in Puglia we know it inside out for more
detailed information take a look at this
Short City Guide
How Long do I need
A week in Puglia is perfect and combine it with Matera and Basilicata a few days more.
When to come
Avoid August if you can and its all good
Wines of Puglia
Today this region is considered one of the most interesting and innovative wine regions in Italy. We think the winemakers in this region have assured ability to draw on the massive strides Puglia has made in the last 20 years. When one thinks historically Puglia’s wines were being used in massive quantities to add tannin, concentration and color to Italy’s anaemic and poor Chiantis and not only that. We have alot to to say about the wines of this region if you are interested.
Just as in Piedmont and Tuscany the cuisine is extraordinary and diverse, healthy beyond belief. The seafood is wow and the tomatoes actually taste like tomatoes. Olives and their oils are some of the best in Italy; Fresh sea urchin on a bed of fresh pasta, fava beans with chicory, mozzarella from Gioia de Colle, purported to be the best in Italy. Apulian cuisine has always been defined as “poor” for its simple ingredients; yet, it satisfies any palate. Its basic elements are three: durum wheat, vegetables and olive oil, combined with meat and fish to create authentic dishes. Types of pasta include Orecchiette then we have mignuicchie, fenescecchie, troccoli, sagne ‘ncannuate, cicatadde and of course there are plenty more. You just cannot dislike the cooking in this region. The coast from Bari to Polignano a Mare where raw seafood reigns supreme is one of the worlds blue zones where people live for impossibly long lives. Puglia with its 800 km of coast and two seas, offers a great variety of fish specialties for those who know how to appreciate it: raw, marinated, poached in delicious fish soups and even with cheese.
Altamura bread, famous for its crispness made with Oak kindling
Clementine Tangerines from the Gulf of Taranto
The olive Bella della Daunia, has cultivated in the area of Foggia since 1400
lamb and donkey and horse are all are part of Apulian cuisine
Pork, beef and poultry supplement these to give a wide selection of meats to choose from
Lamb skewered with bay leaves, salt pork and pecorino cheese grilled over coals
Oysters and mussels are the preferred shellfish, but octopus, squid, sea urchins and fish dishes are enjoyed as well
Ostriche alla tarantin, oysters from the Gulf of Taranto, are baked with olive oil and fresh parsley after breading
Mussels baked with olive oil, parsley and lemon
Fish, such as bream, are also roasted. Orata alla barese roasts fish with grated pecorino, garlic and potatoes.
Cuttlefish stuffed with squid, mussels, grated pecorino, bread crumbs and capers then backed
Zuppa alla tarantina is a pepper and tomato soup combining fish and shellfish
Ncapriata aslo just called Fava e Chicoria, is a thick soup of mashed fava beans and bitter chicory, Amazing
Chick peas are cooked into a noodle soup called ciceri e tria
Apulian cuisine include artichokes, many kinds of greens, brassicas and nightshades.
The lampaschiuoli is a small bitter onion excellent with Rabbit and Lamb
Lamb, olives and sliced lampasciuoli wrapped in foil baked to make agnello al cartoccio
Strascinati with cabbage and fried bacon or spaghetti with string beans, tomatoes and cacioricotta cheese
Eggplant is used every which way
Pasta comes in many forms spaghetti, lasagne orcchiette and cavatieddi
Cavatieddi con la ruca is topped with a sauce of cooked arugula, tomatoes and pecorino cheese
Orecchiette con cime di rapa, the sauce is made from garlic, hot peppers is a Puglia classic
focaccia and pizza with both wheat flour and potato variations
Savory baked goods include calzoni, panzerotti, calzuncieddi and sfogliate
Friseli are dried Breads moistened before serving, topped with tomatoes, olive oil and oregano
Taralli are also very popular baked crackers infused with Fennel or Spice
desserts are often flavored with candied fruit, honey, almonds or ricotta
The half moon shaped bocconotti have marsala in the dough and have jam and cream put into them before baking
Ribbons of marsala flavored dough are fried in olive oil and covered with cinnamon and honey
Below are some tours and more information on Puglia and beyond
3 friends from San Francisco enjoy Puglia and Basilicata“We had an incredible trip planned by Robertson Wine Tours. Tim and Cristian created a tour that fit us perfectly – which is no easy feat! The attention to detail and personalization was what stood out for us. Tim kept in contact from the moment our feet touched the Italian...Kara Maiko & Friends.
Basilicata and Puglia Food and Wine Experience with Jetsetter Dear Tim, Lynn and I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how very much we have enjoyed recounting with friends and colleagues just how wonderful your wine and food tour of Puglia was for us. As you know, much of my motivation was professional since I import wines from...Bob Stevens Penn Cove Wine Company
'Grazie Mille from Louisiana!' Yes, we are home! The return trip is always harder because of the long hours and saying 'goodbye for a while' to new friends! What a unique and memorable trip! We came home with 'little pieces of Italy' and BIG memories! I truly believe it is the people we meet on...Sondra Pilgreen
Italian Wine touring with plenty of running activities Italian Wine touring with plenty of running activities Italian Wine touring with plenty of running activities Tim, Cris, Thank you for a wonderful Italy experience! We can't say enough good things about the people, wine, food and sights. It was very nice to meet you both. We truly enjoyed wine tasting, at your...Winnie & Kyle Fukuda.
Retired English couple come to Puglia and Basilicata. 5 day wine and food experience. Tim Robertson had been recommended to me through dear friends and we are very pleased to have made his acquaintance. My wife and I have been to traveling to Italy for many years with various companies and sometimes under our our steam. The 5 days wine touring in Puglia especially... Richard and Rose Hollingbrooke