We really like the idea of being able to look with curious eyes as a traveler what is our land, our home. For this reason we have chosen to write about Valle d'Itria, dotted with trulli and olive trees, oaks and stone, rural and agricultural, which today lives a new dynamism made of young people, tourism, entrepreneurship and, of course, food.
The thing we love the most, passing the inevitable infatuation you feel for the place that gave you birth, is the cure of individuality that has remained in the countries, in the countryside: there is no (yet) the mass, they take care of the details,and at the same time it has become a land of exchange and stimulation, an inexhaustible port of travelers throughout the year, which leave with our perfumes but leave new cultures, unknown languages, eyes of distant lands.
The result is a melting pot of new trends, objects that transform your style making it customized, the bar that thinks more spending from the farmer to the baptism of countless brands of gin (enough! It's out of fashion).
We put together all the things we like more of Cisternino, Martina Franca and Locorotondo, the three municipalities that overlook the valley, in a guide that we hope you can scramble and use during this hot summer 2018 (and not only) and that we have written with some insider tips.
Below we leave an extract of the map, a list of places to go, the unmissable list that we give you to come in Valle d'Itria.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Sleep in the countryside, if possible in a trullo: Borgo Canonica, new opening among luxury resorts consists only of charming trulli, it rises from the recovery of a village in the 1800s where stone and land are the protagonists. A unique place. If you do not find a place you do not despair, the other addresses on the map are all up to it. Special mention for Casa Vacanze Marinelli: three apartments with attention to every detail, swimming pool with one of the most beautiful views in the area, spa and the kindness of Gianni. Priceless.
WHAT TO EAT
You are choosing to come to Puglia for sun and relaxation but it is useless to deny it: the call of the Bombetta is strong. Our reference for meat at the stove is twofold: takeaway, standing, quick choice from Pinuccio Al Fornello in Piazza Pellegrino Rossi or comfy, seated, served at the table by Zio Pietro, near the Clock square.
But Apulia is not made of meat alone (on the contrary).
And then Giardini 36 in Cisternino, curated by Katia and Davide, devotees of nature and its rhythms, who welcome with a black writing on a wall of sugar paper that says "we do what our grandparents did, but we do not do it in the same way. " How not to love them? Here they serve tapas mainly based on seasonal vegetables, processed in a different way from the usual, fresh fish and meat, a nice selection of cheeses and a strictly Apulian wine list, superlative desserts. Always.
Or Pomodoro e Basilico, by Stefano Lacarbonara to remain enraptured in front of its light dough but above all in front of the condiments of his wife Monia: a joy for the eyes and the palate.
Always in Martina Franca and always nearby there is Cibando, small and welcoming, has become known for its street proposals. One of all, the hot-dog from Puglia: Santoro sausage, caramelized red onion, semolina bread, homemade sauces. Fasten your seatbelts.
At Locorotondo there is Bina Restaurant, intimate, romantic, creative cuisine that starts from the roots, the landlady (Bina, in fact) is a special cook, you will feel her love on the plate. The man of the room is Nino, uncle for friends, you will feel his love for Bina in every word.
To drink something serious BBeP, Barba Baffi e Pelliccia at Locorotondo offers an ever-new selection of drinks and wines (especially natural). The Rosetta wonderfully accompanies the alcoholic evening.
Cantina Bell'Italia is an international oasis in the historic center of Cisternino, labyrinthine streets will take you to sip a drink on their sofas, you will be immediately projected in atmospheres halfway between the Milan rooftops and the Moroccan souks.
We put it first because it shows how true the story is that here in Puglia, and especially in Valle D'Itria, everything is in turmoil hyperactive.
At Frida you will find the most curious things in the world in a corner of the historic center of Martina Franca: ceramics of Giorgio di Palma, extravagant accessories, unique pieces for personal style furnishings sold by two colored and smiling girls. What else?
Shop Market Pezzolla
The neighborhood grocery where, before going to school, you took the rosetta with ham and galbani for the snack, has remained unchanged since then, and becomes the stage for the afternoon snack. Special mention: the first weekend of August takes place the patronal feast of San Rocco with a fireworks competition followed a few steps from this store, the stage becomes mandatory for a dinner under the stars.
In Cisternino, in the main square, tailoring touches its highest point in this shop that sells only one item of clothing: trousers. Women's, men's, long, striped, jeans, shorts, elegant. There is something for all desires and needs.
You can not leave the Valle d'Itria without having brought with you the product that most of all in these years is making known the name of this area: the Capocollo di Martina Franca. You can buy it everywhere, in Martina there are beautiful shops where you can find it. The important thing is to pay attention to the brand of the Association of Producers of the Capocollo of Martina Franca, an ocher and dark red dot that guarantees the original. We await you in the Marinelli district in our small showroom, the view of the panorama is worth the trip.
Locorotondo unlike the other two municipalities is the one most characterized by the presence of Cummerse, a typical construction with characteristics similar to the trullo but with a sloping roof instead of a conical one. The historic center is full of it, getting lost in the lanes with the nose upwards is a real magic, by Cummè you will find objects and t-shirts to bring with you designed by the owners and therefore unique, but above all the wine of Cantina I Pastini is on sale, let they send home a few crates of Rampone and then thank us calmly for the compliments you will receive from friends on Saturday night.