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These Are The New Places You Should Go In Italy’s Puglia

“The way to enter Ostuni is the same way that you go into Alberobello,” said Francesco, my guide through the villages of Puglia as we crept up the stairs and over rooftops in the back of the town. This region in the heel of Italy’s boot has been discovered the last few years by travelers looking for a new rustic region to explore so to escape the tourist shops that now line the street at the entry to this now famous town, you have to get creative. And then you get the full effect—a UNESCO designated maze of semi-deserted alleyways around a walled medieval core of whitewashed buildings and intricate arches.

It may have the most dramatic setting – high on a hill, its white walls gleaming in the region’s predominant sun—but Ostuni is hardly the only charmer of a town in the region. The similarly UNESCO anointed Alberobello is admired for its cone shaped stone houses called trulli, and two other whitewashed hilltop towns with historic centers, Locorotondo and Cisternino, have narrow labyrinths of streets perfect for strolling. Among the prettiest towns in the country, they’re also completely authentic—so authentic that vegetarians might have to look away while sitting at an outdoor café in Cisternino, a town known for its…

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