Hello, fellow chowhounders!
I will be heading to Puglia for the last 2 weeks of September. The second week will be spent on a cycling trip along the Adriatic coast, covering most of the must-see towns (Ostuni, Otranto, Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, etc.) and I will have 6 days before that begins to check out the rest of the boot. I have been doing some research but would appreciate your recommendations!
I will be traveling alone and I am very comfortable dining solo. Cost is not an issue, especially since even the fanciest restaurants seem to be very reasonably priced! I love fine dining but I also like to sample traditional local fare and it doesn't have to be fancy to be a great experience.
My first two nights I will stay in Matera. I have a reservation at Bacchus for dinner the first night (saw it recommended here on some of the older posts) and at Ego Enoteca Gourmet Origini the second day for lunch. I was planning on walking it off in the sassi and a light dinner that night. I'm not fixated on either of those places if there are better options! I have also heard good thinks about Dimora Ulmo, Ristorante Francesca, and Ristorante del Caveoso.
The 3rd day, I will move to Tenuta Monticelli in Alezia for 4 days. I will have a car and plan to do some day trips, including a visit to Lecce (I don't think we spend much time there during the cycling trip). I will be very close to Galipoli and definitely want to check out some of the fresh local seafood and the beaches. I fell in love with gamberi rosso is Sicily and hope to find some there.
Every post I've read tells me I must dine at Cibus, so I did make a reservation there! I was hoping to stop there for lunch on my travel day from Matera to points south but they were closed that day, so I may make that the day I walk through Lecce and then head up to Ceglie Messapica after that, making a big loop.
Apologies for the long post. Here are my questions:
- Do you have a favorite beach to visit for a day? I don't mind paying the "beach club" fee.
- Best restaurants near Galipoli? Basic or fancy is fine.
- Best day trips or sites to see? I've heard the Grotte di Castellana near Bari are worth the trip.
- Must see towns along the Ionic coast or inland?
- Any wine bars/enotecas that you can recommend to try local wines by the glass?
- Would love to hear about any other places to eat that you loved in southern Puglia!
Thank you for any advice!
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