Roads in Puglia. Part 1

Roads in Puglia. Part 1

Now as you probably know my trip to Puglia meant a lot of beautiful places and heaps of great food.

What you don’t know is how I split my routes and what was my itinerary on this trip that took me to see amazing places, places that I miss sometimes and would go back to visit again.

The center of my trip was Bari. But I did not land in Bari but in Pescara. I wanted to earn an extra day and the flight to Pescara came to a great help. From Pescara airport I took a bus directly to Pescara Centrale (the train station) and from there a 3 hour train ride to Bari.

Was it a bit tiresome? I must admit yes but in this way I gained an extra day and a half comparing to flying directly to Bari the next day in the evening.

Now many people have not heard or dismiss the idea of Puglia due to different reasons. What I can tell you that I could have used 2 more days to my trip to see some other places I did not get the chance to visit.

What people must realize from the start is that this area, Puglia, is not something commercial. It is an area yet to be discovered, a not so developed area and from here comes the fun of this trip. Unspoiled beaches, cliffs, a low number of tourists, cheaper prices and stunning views they all add up to a memorable experience.

Before starting to tell you about my routes and what I saw I must emphasize, again, the need for a car. Do not try to see Puglia without renting a car. You will rob yourself of the pleasure of seeing an amazing cliff or a little village and not be able to stop there and admire something special.

So let us start with how I planned my itinerary for each day spent there. Yes, after reading it you could say that I could have added more places or skip on some of them but this is what I wanted to saw and I was really happy with my visits. Of course I could have added a day or two to the trip but I guess that’s the same with every trip we take. Most of the time we sure could use an extra day or two.

Day 1:  After leaving the bags at the Hotel and taking a shower I got out and headed straight to Mastro Ciccio to grab a bite to eat. After this meal, first of the day, I started wandering the streets. As it happens there was a celebration in Bari at that time, St Nicolas, if I remember correctly so the streets were filled with people, all walking, laughing, eating ice-cream and moving towards the Piazza del Ferrarese where a big stage was built.

After spending some time in the port and admiring the old theatre and the boats my feet brought me back from Lungomare di Bari back to the narrow streets of old Bari.

Now this is a place you want to comeback more than once. The narrow streets, the maze of it, letting you walk between them, so close to people’s houses it is just amazing. Balconies filled with clothes let out to dry, doors open letting you catch a glimpse inside the houses, old people on small stools outside their houses speaking, laughing or just looking at the tourists.

Old Bari is not big, it is not a big place but you can easily take your time and tour the streets for some time. Seeing the local little shops, watching people stay in line for focaccia and popizze(a short post will be up soon about a place that was always crowded), sitting on small plastic tables and chairs on little bars, kids running and playing football and even scooters passing between the tourists it all make up for a great experience.

Old Bari is full of life and each time I went there it reminded me what Italy is about: joy, happiness, people talking loudly, gesturing, calling each other from across the street, knowing each other, scooters buzzing, little glasses of Prosecco, Aperol, wine appearing at night, groups of friends standing in the street and laughing and joking.

So the first impact with Bari has been a great one after a long day.

Day 2:

I got up early, without the use of coffee, and headed to the Hertz office closest to my hotel. I already booked my car so it was just a matter of minutes before the little Polo came and I boarded it heading towards my first stop for that day, Alberobello.

Alberobello I think is the postcard for Puglia. There are a few places in Puglia that are more marketed than others and Alberobello is surely the number one attraction.

I left my car outside the city center, in a paid parking lot, and headed towards the small white place that is captured in millions of pictures each year.

What I suggest here is getting to Alberobello in the morning. It is so quiet and peaceful and as the shops open there are only a few tourists on the streets. I got to this place about 09:40 so I had about 45 minutes of empty streets before the first waves of tourists started to appear.

Now when I say waves of tourists don’t expect Prague tourists or Paris tourists. We can’t really compare tourism in famous places to this area but for me, a passionate about photography there are always too many tourists.

Alberobello is white, pure white but most of Puglia is white. Places like Locorotondo, Ostuni, Brindisi, Otranto shine white in the sun letting this area seem like from a fairy tale.

Alberobello is small like most of Puglia. Its white streets paved with stone, the little trullis lined up, most of them open hosting little shops, restaurants or even small hotels, rooms to rent.

I believe this is the best place to start your trip in Puglia. Alberobello in a way is the essence of Puglia. Small, delicate, untouched and white. Pure. Yes, it may seem more commercial than other places but there’s a certain beauty beneath those little trullis filled with little magnets or souvenirs.

Next stop was the charming place of Locorotondo. I already posted on the blog about the beauty of this place so I won’t write much here about it. The main point to remember is that is very close to Alberobello and for me this was that perfect little surprise of the trip. You know, that little place, that special place in your trip where you don’t expect much but return with great memories from it. That was Locorotondo for me.

Last stop of the day was Ostuni. Now Ostuni is bigger and I managed to forget in which parking lot I left my car but that didn’t get me too mad about it.

Ostuni is diferent. Larger in size, more people, cars running thru the city it is in a way very different from my two stop earlier in the day.

But Ostuni has its charm also. The views, the white, some quiet places, all add up to a perfect way to end a day.

After the day was done and I was back in Bari enjoying a meal I thought back and congratulated myself for picking that route. Had I went to Ostuni first, like I wanted for a long time, I would have not been able to enjoy the quiet streets of Locorotondo and Alberobello.

As I was leaving Alberobello there were already 2 elderly groups and about three or four school trips so the place was starting to become crowded.

In my opinion Ostuni is the same regardless of the time of visit but what really differs is those two little towns, Alberobello and Locorotondo, places that can make or break your experience depending on how many people swarm those little streets.