The driving’s easy after you get used to a few cultural differences on the road. Italians are going to ride your tail hard and they are not going to use turn signals. Be prepared for melodic Italian road rage that includes thorough hand gesturing. Before you start your engine, download a Puglia holiday playlist stacked with Italian jammers, including Franco Battiato tracks (try “E ti Vengo A Cercare”). Lastly, leave your Tevas at home. Italians are impeccably groomed and well-dressed, from their tailored shirts to their spotless loafers. They prove that it doesn’t matter what you look like—you can still look hot if you put some effort into your style. Bring your loafers.
Where to stay and what to eat
Puglia isn’t huge, so don’t be overwhelmed trying to narrow down a perfect home base. Most of the places you’ll want to see are day trippable if you rent a car. As far as accommodations go, the move here is to stay in a masseria—essentially a gated farmhouse. “In Puglia, there very few hotels. It’s all masserias,” says Palumbo. A masseria stay will give you the illusion of staying at your Italian family’s home, even if you don’t have an Italian family. A solid pick is Masseria Eccellenza, which lives up to its name thanks to its magical breakfast spread (mozzarella in the morning!) and twinkling pool. From the front yard, you can catch glimpses of the sea peeking out from the gaps in olive tree foliage. Eccellenza’s Fasano location plants you…
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