Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Puglia

Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:03am EDT
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By Giles Elgood

CISTERNINO, Italy (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to spend in Puglia, southern Italy? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors to get the most from a short visit.

Puglia is going to be the new Tuscany. Or maybe the new Umbria. Anyway, the not so well known bit around the heel of the Italian boot has always been popular with Italians going on holiday but hasn't been overrun by foreign tourists yet.

The best places to stay are trulli -- ancient stone farm buildings with conical roofs refurbished as holiday homes. Ours was a three-pointer near the town of Cisternino, standing in an olive grove with fig trees outside the door.


6 p.m. Campari and soda on the terrace of the trullo, watching smoke from a bonfire across the valley drifting upwards above a line of beehives.

8 p.m. Drive into Cisternino for dinner at the Osteria Sant Anna down by the station, on via Stazione, in fact. The mixed antipasti is pretty much all you need, but the roast meat is a good follow-up if you're still hungry. The main part of the restaurant is in a hushed and elegant vault-like room, a cathedral of gastronomy. Next door they serve pizza and you can watch football on a big screen.


9 a.m. Drive to Grottiglie to look at the pottery workshops. Great stuff here to suit all tastes and it's not too expensive. The wacky-looking pottery sheep in the ceramics museum will make the grumpiest visitor smile. We bought a celadon bowl and a cream jug for 30 euros ($38.55) from Nicola Fasano on via Caravaggio, who also supplies big shops in London and other capitals. It cost rather less here.   Continued...