After a whistlestop at home in Trevignano, we flew to Brindisi to explore the off season only slightly awake Puglia.
Puglia is certainly not ‘undiscovered’ particularly inside of Italy by Italians seeking beautiful scenery, blue seas and simply delicious food and wine. We were literally on the cusp of the change over season with restaurants and hotels opening as we moved down south. A few long walks towards the hope of a local trattoria were dashed with final painting or renovations more important than a few straggler tourists looking for lunch, but we still ate well, and arrived in time for sea urchin season.
The roads down to Leuca at the very bottom of the heel were similar to Amalfi with a little more wilderness and lots of potholes. I expect it would take twenty times as long to navigate the single lanes in the summer, and that turning at a “sul mare” sign would result in more action than a couple of bulldozers, mud and closed up holiday apartments.
The hotsprings at Santa Ceserea were perched on a cliff, and a swimming club on the edge of a pool surrounded by rocks and a misplaced middle eastern style villa were enough for an intriguing coffee stop.
We spent a night in Otranto, drove in a semicircle to Leuca and then around the west side of the boot north to Gallipoli for a second stay, then via a stop in historically beautiful Lecce, finished up in Noci for a couple of days exploring the Trulli, caves, country and stunning Polignano del mar.