Rich in both history and legends, Puglia's true gems are its labyrinth towns where you can rediscover ancient realities and secrets even on a simple walk. In the heart of Apulia, where UNESCO has declared the Valle D'Itria a protected area thanks to the historical value of its Trulli, its flora and fauna, and the glorious gardens surrounding its centuries-old olive groves, some towns have recently become very popular attracting thousands of tourists.
But how to get directly in touch with the beating heart of these villages? Leaving the maps to the Sunday tourists, to start perhaps, an ice cream - perhaps one of the best in Italy - at Bar Food in Cisternino, a place that seems to have stopped in the 30s for its very particular design. Or a coffee break where it is a must to taste the local specialty called 'coffee on ice', a mixture of espresso coffee poured in a glass filled with ice and almond milk.
Another beautiful city not to be missed in the Itria Valley is Ostuni, also known as the White City. In the heart of its historic center, it is impossible not to dine at the Osteria del Tempo Perso, were among the vegetables 'hanging' and the various 'caves' the unforgettable atmosphere is assured.
Perhaps defined as the Mecca of Trulli, the town of Alberobello lives up to the expectations of the most demanding tourists with its wonderful Trulli, the traditional buildings with cone-shaped roofs. Alberobello's largest trullo originally built by a local family called the 'Trullo Sovrano' is the only two-story trullo in town. Used as a museum, the Trullo Sovrano offers a journey into the history of this mystical place to all its curious visitors. Finally, you can't leave Alberobello without having met at least one Maestro Trullaro, perhaps sitting in the shade of a trullo sipping a small glass of rosalia.
But if the local delicacies and the legends of the Trullari do not stimulate your curiosity, Puglia will surprise you with its natural beauty, the warmth of its people, and its history. On the other hand, if someone has nicknamed it 'The California of the South' there will be a reason.