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Decanter travel guide: Puglia, Italy

In this narrow region you’re never far from either sea or inland wineries, and always surrounded by beautiful scenery and superb food.

Puglia travel guide: My perfect day

Morning

Have a cappuccino and pastry in the colourful port of Trani in one of the bars overlooking its small fishing fleet of painted wooden boats, and watch the fishermen hawk their day’s catch. Then drive south for an hour to Acquaviva delle Fonti to visit Tenute Chiaromonte. If you book ahead, you can walk in the ancient Primitivo vineyards with producer Nicola Chiaromonte, and have an alfresco snack as you taste the wines.

Lunch

From there it’s a short hop to Gioia del Colle – one of the most important areas for Primitivo – to Polvanera estate, where organic producer Filippo Cassano makes pure deliciously fruity Primitivo without the use of barrels. A visit to his bare-walled cellar, dug right out of the rock below the cantina, is a great way to really see the terroir. Follow that with one of the best meals you can have in Puglia, home-cooked by the women of the house (must be booked ahead), of handmade pasta, fresh and preserved vegetables, fried breads and, of course, great wines.

Afternoon

From Gioia, it’s a scenic 40-minute drive to the village of Alberobello to see the iconic trulli houses with their pointed conical roofs and do a bit of sightseeing. Then meander your way through Fasano towards Monopoli on the coast through the beautiful Val d’Itria, celebrated for its centuries-old, sculptural olive trees and neat vegetable fields. Take a walk in the historic centre of Monopoli, stopping in at Enoteca Il Tralcio to stock up on wines from Puglia and beyond, as well as local specialities.

Evening/overnight

Have an aperitivo on the seafront before heading for a leisurely dinner and overnight stay at the luxurious Borgo Egnazia, a five-star Moorish palace set among olive groves, with swimming pools, private beach, tennis courts and a fine restaurant.

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