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How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip in Southern Italy

Rolling hills dotted by olive trees, gorgeous beaches with turquoise water, poppy fields, vineyards, and charming villages—if you think this is Tuscany, think again. Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, is all this and more, and now it’s coming onto the radar of American travelers in a big way. And since the area isn’t very well connected by public transit, a road trip is the way to go. Here’s how to do it.

Fly into Bari—one of Puglia’s two international airports—and rent a premium car from Hertz Italy in the arrivals hall. Kick off the trip by checking into Borgo Egnazia, a member of Leading Hotels of the World that was a pioneer of luxury travel in the region. Run by Aldo Melpignano, whose family owns four luxury hotels in the area and one in London, it was designed by Pino Brescia to look like the platonic ideal of a traditional Puglian village, complete with a piazza surrounded by casette (little houses), three restaurants, three outdoor pools, and a golf course. Head to Borgo Egnazia’s beach club, Cala Masciola, for a fresh seafood lunch overlooking the sea, and don’t miss dinner at Due Camini, which earned a Michelin star last fall for its innovative take on Puglian cuisine. If you’re lucky enough to be in house while they host one of their summer parties, be sure to go.

Entrance to Borgo Egnazia.

Photo: Borgo Egnazia

This spring, Masseria Torre Maizza, a Rocco Forte Hotel, opened minutes away from Borgo Egnazia, bringing a new luxury option to the…

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