Bari and Beyond
We chose Bari to meet in mainly because of logistics as it was easy for the boys to train it from Palermo and for me to fly from London but partly too because the name made us laugh. As a base for exploring Puglia we found Bari to be a great choice and I’ll share some of our discoveries here.
Where else to begin but food?
An unexpectedly great find which we found on google maps after several glasses of wine.
The street view is picture perfect and worth booking an outside table as even a Monday post lockdown we were out of luck. Inside however, is irresistibly cutesy, quirky and comforting.
You get all the home feels, a shrine to St Nicolas, an excellent local wine selection and a true Welcome to Puglia menu.
If you’re not having a daily ice-cream then are you even in Italy? This is one gelateria that I’d be happy to frequent at least once a day. Just the right number of flavours that you don’t get selection panic but so tasty that you’ll have no regrets whatever you chose.
Still dreaming about the octopus salad I had here. Mastro Ciccio is super cool and super delicious. Food is fresh, ready to go and great on the quality/price front.
Great enough that I had a double lunch of salad and Panzerotto (a moister, tastier take on a calzone).
Our last morning in Bari, the food gods gifted us with this incredible find. We stumbled upon Jerome to discover class, quality and sugar coma inducing delights.
It would be pure madness not to have at least one Pasticiotto di Pistachio (my biggest regret is not ordering a second) and as self-titled crema connoisseurs (we’ve tried A LOT) we highly recommend the Cornetti con Crema too.
Bari’s old town is maze of narrow alleys that wind in any direction they chose, rendering it completely confusing but utterly charming. Life happens on these streets; white washing billowing dry overhead, neighbours nattering on chairs on their doorsteps, doors open wide to nonnas at work in the kitchen, children racing the ancient pavements as mopeds weave through, groups playing cards round plastic tables, trays of freshly rolled pasta and tomatoes drying in the sun. It’s seriously intimate. But seriously worth experiencing.
Bari’s chic sister located under an hour’s drive up the coast. Trani has the historical centre with cute winding streets for all your photo needs plus an elegant curved marina for people watching along the promenade.
Plenty of eateries to chose from, we enjoyed Paniart for a panino like no other washed down with a scarily moreish local sparkling rose.
Trulli worth a visit to see these adorable and totally unique houses originally built in this style to be dismantled quickly to avoid property tax in the 16th century!
Get your Instagram fix here. And get there quick for a wonderfully tourist free trip.
A hilltop white washed town that doesn’t need the sea to sparkle, although its views of the coastline are pretty magnificent. We opted for a grab and go panino at Sapori D'eccellenza that totally hit a spot after walking in circles round the old town.
Monopoli / Pogliano a Mare beaches
We didn’t have long enough to explore the towns but for a beach day that will leave all those back home steaming jealous of your photos, this stretch of coastline is the place to be. Picturesque coves and water clear enough that even this hater of water/swimming was splashing around feeling like a mermaid!