Located on the heel of Italy's boot, Puglia is the hotspot for a romantic getaway and for good reason. The region is bursting with history, art and excellent food - a perfect recipe for romance. On a tranquil trip for two, our Italy expert, Francesca, discovered that traveling with her husband in tow was the best way to explore. Read on to find out why Puglia is a great holiday option for 2022...
From Masserias to Matera
Picturesque Puglia is the perfect place for a romantic road trip for two. We took our time touring Italy's stunning southernmost flatlands and endless olive groves, stopping at villages and beaches along the way and learning about Puglia's fascinating history. We drove through Trulli villages like Alberolbello and seaside havens like Monopoli. The most popular properties to stay in are Masserias, essentially pale-stoned traditional farm buildings built between the 15th and 17th century, which have gained popularity as trendy hideaways.
Next stop - Matera, also referred to as 'Italy's Magical City of Stone'. Located just outside of Puglia in the region of Basilicata, Matera is one of the world's longest inhabited human settlements with some seriously cool Sassi (cave dwellings) that you can stay in. We opted for a night in Corte San Pietro, a beautifully restored property with luxurious candle-lit interiors and heaps of historic charm.
Food and love are inexorably linked and we were delighted to discover that Puglia is home to some of the best traditional Italian fare in the country. One of the most famous foods in the region is the tasty Taralli biscuits, a type of savoury biscuit perfect for nibbling on over long candle-lit conversations accompanied with some Pugliese wine. To truly get a taste of Puglia's cuisine, I would recommend visiting a cheese factory to learn about how Burrata di Puglia is made and signing up for a couple's cooking class where you can learn to make fresh orecchiette (pasta) from Salento.
Love in Lecce
There is nothing more romantic than meandering hand in hand along the cobbled streets of Lecce, the 'Florence of the South'. This 17th century Baroque beauty is an art historian's dream. As evening rolled in and the buildings were painted gold by the sun, we strolled through the streets of the old town, stopping to gaze at the jaw-droppingly beautiful squares from Piazza del Duomo to Piazza'Oronzo, home to the city's grand amphitheatre.