When Helen Mirren was on the Italian press tour for The Queen in 2007, she fell so in love with Puglia that she went back and bought herself a castello (a castle) a few months later. And who can blame her? Heralded as “the new Tuscany,” the region has attracted admirers from Bella Hadid to Tom Hanks to Madonna, who threw herself a rager in Puglia last year, and returned this month for round two. Located at the southernmost “heel” of the Italy boot, Puglia’s bucolic charm, fairy-tale towns, UNESCO heritage sites, and locally-sourced cuisine has landed the region on our vacation hot map.
The most important decision you’ll make each day. Puglia is culinarily self-sustainable, and known for using exclusively local products; it’s common that a restaurant or hotel even makes their own olive oil. For lunch, head to the picturesque village of Alberobello, known for its trulli architecture and regional cooking. In Alberobello, you’ll find Trullo d’Oro, highly recommended by the Michelin guide, but without the Michelin price tag. Be sure to order the staples such as eggplant caponata, fava bean puree, and grilled octopus.
For dinner, head to Masseria Le Mandorle in Ugento, where you’ll be greeted by a lavish antipasto bar that changes nightly. Expect an array of fresh vegetables from chicory and peppers to beets, and the best tomato focaccia…
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