New from Sunvil for 2016, is a series of blogs called ‘Notes from the field’. These articles will follow the Sunvil team as they explore our destinations in search of hidden gems and to hand-pick our holiday accommodation. Like people, a country develops and grows and with every trip we discover new attractions, breathtaking viewpoints and little-known places – often not found even in guidebooks.

Sunvil promise holidays that are tailored to your taste. It is only possible to achieve this through first hand and intimate knowledge of our destinations. Each resort and island has been visited by our reservation experts and they are on hand to advise, guide and answer any questions you may have. Five-minutes of honest, open conversation with our team will save you hours of online research and visits to review websites.

Our first blog covers the region of Puglia on Italy’s heel. Rosanna and Angela have recently returned from the area, where they visited the Adriatic and Ionian coastlines, the scenic mountains, beech forests, ancient sites and quaint towns and villages. Their thoughts are below.

 

Details of your favourite property and why?
Angela: The 4-star Il Palmento in Locorotondo stood out. The property is a collection of traditional trulli houses (small white-washed buildings with cone-shaped roofs) surrounded by unspoiled countryside and with a nice pool area. It is the perfect property for a relaxing stay but is also only a short drive from the beach and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello.

Rosanna: My favourite properties are Il Palmento in Locorotondo – as these are the traditional trulli houses which look like hobbit houses – very sweet and have well-maintained gardens. I also really liked Borgo San Marco in Fasano – which again have beautiful gardens, have also added a mini spa since I saw it last and the rooms are spacious. They also offer free olive oil tastings from their own production.

Il Palmento, Locorotondo

Il Palmento, Locorotondo

 

Favourite viewpoint and why?
Angela: The setting of the beach in Polignano a Mare is stunning as it is framed by cliffs on either side.

Rosanna: I loved the small town of Trani and the view over the port – a thriving fishing port where locals buy fresh fish from the boats, cobbled streets and the Mare Resort Hotel is in a great position opposite the port.

Trani

Trani

 

Where you ate your best meal. What did you have and why was it your favourite?
Angela: Alborobello – A restaurant called L’Atrato, lovely restaurant in a Trulli building. We shared Antipasti selection for starters and I cannot remember what was for main, but it was yummy.

Rosanna: Several restaurants were recommended locally but I particularly enjoyed: ReMida in Lecce – Starters were c.5-8 Euros each, 1st dish was c.7-8 Euros, 2nd dish was c.8-13 Euros. I had a delicious Caprese con Bufala (8.00 Euros) as a starter and Parmigiana di Melanzane as my main dish (7.00 Euros) plus a nice glass or two of local red wine – Negroamaro

Caprese with buffalo mozzarella

Caprese with buffalo mozzarella

 

Favourite beach and why?
Rosanna: I’d love to say that we had time to see beaches but we didn’t. Some of the beaches that were recommended were Savelletri (rock beach) and Torre Canne (sand beach) – south of Bari and Atlantis Bay (sand) – north of Otranto.

Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare

 

Highlight of the trip?
Rosanna: To finally visit Matera in Basilicata but also visit some new towns previously unseen such as Polignano a Mare, Otranto, Trani and the white town of Otruni. We had a chance to walk in all the towns connected to our properties which was great. It gives you a better feel for the regions and what to recommend to clients of places worth visiting.

Matera, Basilicata

Matera, Basilicata

 

General feel of the area:
Angela: I really liked this area and it is not what I imagined it to be, it was a lot prettier. Most attractions and places of interest are within a short drive of one another being relatively short distances (max 1 hour to 1 hour 30 mins) and easy enough to find with a Sat Nav.

Rosanna: I loved Puglia and Matera (Basilicata). There are many towns with historic centres, cobbled streets, friendly locals, beautiful buildings, parking is mostly on the outskirts of the towns, lots of places to eat and drink. When ordering drinks you generally receive the local savoury snacks ‘Taralli’ or local crackers free. Taralli come in all flavours from olive oil, fennel, tomato etc – delicious!

Rosanna and Angela

Rosanna and Angela

 

If you have any questions about your holiday to Puglia or would like a holiday recommendation from the team, please call Rosanna and Angela on 020 8758 4722 or email discovery@sunvil.co.uk.