If there is one drawback to Italy, it's that it's so popular! If you're travelling anytime May through October expect crowds, especially in Rome, Venice, Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast.
The solution? Try an area that's still somewhat undiscovered.
That's what I did this year, visiting the province of Puglia on the south-east side of Italy (the heel of the boot of Italy).
The capital of Puglia, Bari, is about a 1 hour flight or 4 hour train ride from Rome.
Puglia is an agricultural center of Italy, most of the wheat & olives are grown here as well as many other fruits and vegetables. So it's not surprising that it's a culinary center as well!
Another thing Pulia is famous for is it's "trulli" houses with their cone-shaped roofs. The town of Alberobello is full of these houses.
There are many towns with stunning architecture, winding streets and charming shops. The countryside with rolling hills has many farms and small villages.
I stayed in the lovely small town of Conversano at the historic Corte Altavilla. This hotel like most of the town was built in the 12th century. The center of the town is a maze of small streets, cars are only allowed for residents. It was wonderful to slow down and get into the rhythm of the town, for example everything shuts down between 2pm and 5pm, and in the evening everyone promenades around the main square. I loved wandering the streets and glimpsing scenes of daily life.
The hotel rooms were basic but comfortable, and no two are the same. The hotel staff were exceptional, so helpful in recommendations and reservations.
Here is a suggested 4 night package
- 4 Nights accommodations in 4-star Hotel Relais in Conversano, based on double occupancy
- Welcome aperitif and dinner, wine excluded;
- Daily Breakfast;
- Full day excursion to Ostuni and cookery course at masseria (lunch and wine included);
- Wine tasting at Corte Altavilla;
- Salus per aquam route at Spa;
- Round trip airport transfer;
- Free Internet wi-fi and wired;
Feel free to contact me with any questions, I love to talk about Italy!