With its mild sunny days, Puglia in Autumn offers the possibility of visiting many unique and enchanting towns.
This is the perfect period to visit the Itria Valley, also known as the ‘Valley of the Trulli’.
It stretches from the Bari and Taranto to the Brindisi provinces and includes towns such as Alberobello, Ostuni and Martina Franca.
Famous all over the world for its trulli, it boasts rural landscapes with swathes of century-old olive groves and vineyards, red soil warmed by the sun and stone masserie (farmsteads) which were generally used as temporary shelters or as dwellings by small landowners.
Here are our recommendations on what to see in this part of Puglia.
Although trulli can be found all around the Itria Valley, the maximum concentration is in Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
As you wander among the evocative alleyways and corners, you can spot around 1500 trulli scattered in the Monti and Aja Piccola districts, with crosses, pierced hearts and zodiac signs adorning the roofs of every one of them.
During the walk, stop to admire the Trullo Sovrano, Casa Pezzolla, the Trulli Siamesi.
Even the churches are in the shape of a trullo in Alberobello, such as the Church of Saint Anthony.
Last but not least, the Belvedere Santa Lucia is the most evocative viewpoint in the town.
Locorotondo is perched on a plateau with a fascinating circular white centre.
From the famous ‘Lungomare’, i.e. the town’s belvedere, you can take in all of the Itria Valley with its swathes of olive groves and vineyards.
Strolling along the many alleyways lined with white houses embellished with windows, flower-decked balconies and archways is a unique experience.
The real attraction in Locorotondo are the cummerse, i.e. the typical very steep roofs build with chianca, i.e. local limestone blocks.
Martina Franca is an elegant town and boasts a historic centre brimming with Baroque churches, magnificent 18th-century palaces, sumptuous buildings and alleyways.
The characteristic white houses that line the winding alleyways further embellish the centre. The Palazzo Ducale with its sumptuous Baroque style and the majestic Basilica of Saint Martin are worth a visit, while the famous Capocollo di Martina Franca truly deserves a taste.
Cisternino is a tiny yet lovely town where you can stroll along the alleyways paved with ‘chianche’.
After a lovely walk, we recommend stopping to savour some grilled meat in one of the town’s ‘fornelli pronti’ (i.e. ready ovens) and order the famous meat bombette.
Ostuni, the White City, boasts a lovely Medieval centre featuring countless alleyways and white-washed buildings.
A stroll around the old town, known as ‘terra’ (land) to distinguish it from the more recent ‘marina’, presents us with picturesque views of alleyways, steep staircases, courtyards and squares overlooked by white houses decorated with flowers and brimming with artisan shops.
A wine that we recommend for this period?
The Diodoro, Primitivo di Manduria Dop, San Giorgio line.
The wine boasts a deep red colour, an enveloping flavour with a good body and a persistent and intense finish.