The Italian love affair with coffee is just one thing you’ll encounter sipping your way around Puglia. Once the espresso goes down, it’s time to consider the area’s wines, with vineyards sewn into the volcanic and calcareous soil, or perhaps make time for the growing crop of local craft beers. But best of all are the cocktails – this is the country that gave us both the Aperol Spritz and the Negroni. And if you think you know these classic apertifs, just wait until you’ve tried the Pugliese twists. This is where the region’s bartenders shine, putting a savvy local spin on drinks that lets you experience them as if for the first time.

Leccese coffee in Lecce
Invented in (and named after) the main city of the Salento Peninsula, Leccese coffee is a summer-friendly iced coffee topped with almond syrup. There are plenty of places to sample it, but an ideal destination is the Avio Bar. Owner Luigi De Mitri uses only natural ingredients for his variation on the local treat, meaning you’ll enjoy a cup free of gels and powders. Beyond the refreshing Leccese itself, make sure to take some of the house-made coffee liqueur, jams and bean blends home with you.

Avio Bar

Monna Lisa Caffè, Ostuni
This intimate bar is known far and wide for its inventiveness. Set in a cosy location that’s part al fresco seating, part underground oasis, the Monna Lisa is an ideal source of respite after a full day exploring Ostuni. Head bartender Leonardo Giorgini can whip up a unique…

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