Apartment Q40, Ostuni | Guest Information

View of Ostuni’s old town from the main terrace of Apartment Q40, Ostuni.

In this companion guide for Apartment Q40 Ostuni guests, we describe how to get here, where to park, shopping facilities and some recommendations where to eat and drink. We include links to our favourite guides to Ostuni, to Puglia’s beaches, must try regional dishes and curated restaurant and bar recommendations.

Follow us on Instagram or on Threads (where we post regular articles and information about visiting Puglia) and listen to our #PugliaPerfect playlist to put you in the mood! Our hashtags are:

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Getting to Ostuni from the airport

We assume that you will be arriving at either Bari or Brindisi airport, and hiring a car. For information on using public transport we recommend this guide to using public transport in Puglia.

Brindisi (Salento) airport is closer to Ostuni. It is 38km (a 32-minute drive). Bari airport is 99km away by road (approximately 1h10m by car). We suggest setting your sat nav to one of Ostuni’s main public (pay) car parks at Via Giosuè Pinto, 27, 72017 Ostuni when you first arrive. It is easier to get to until you have your bearings, and Apartment Q40, Ostuni is only a short walk (450m). See the ‘Parking’ section below.

If Ostuni is not your first or last destination then as a general rule of thumb we suggest choosing Bari airport if your onward destination is north of Alberobello. If you are staying in Alberobello or further south, then Brindisi airport will be closer.

If you are using public transport this guide has information on airport connections by train and bus from Bari and Brindisi airports.

Bari airport

Bari International Airport-Karol Wojtyla is Puglia’s main airport. It has more direct international flights than Brindisi airport, as well as regular connections to and from Rome, Milan and other destinations in Italy.

The car hire desks are in the main airport terminal, at the end of the arrivals area. Turn left as you exit the baggage collection arrivals section into the main terminal arrivals area. Car hire collection (and drop off) areas are a short walk beyond the terminal building. Continue down the outside of the train station entrance, the building immediately adjacent to that end of the main terminal building.

The airport is on the northern side of Bari. Driving south will take you onto the SS16 Bari tangenziale ring road, probably the busiest section of road in Puglia. Follow the tangenziale all the way around and out of Bari and stay on the same highway for some 85km, which more or less follows the Adriatic coast. Take the Pilone exit toward Rosa Marina/Pilone where you take the SP19 (3rd exit at the roundabout, in effect straight ahead) for 5.6km all the way into Ostuni. The recommended parking spot takes you around the eastern side of Ostuni, avoiding the city centre.

Brindisi airport

Brindisi airport is the smaller, more modern airport of the two. It is easy to navigate.

The main car hire desks are in a separate, stand-alone building adjacent to the main terminal building. Turn left when you exit the baggage hall into the arrivals section of the main terminal building. Walk up towards the check-in and departures section at the top end of the terminal building. Exit where the check-in desks are and turn left, continuing in the same direction to the next door building for the car hire desks. The collection (and drop-off) areas sit around the building.

It’s an easy drive from the airport onto the SS39 main Adriatic highway. Stay on the highway for 23km until the Torre Pozzella exit, and follow the ramp off around and over the highway bridge, turn right and continue straight on the side road for 500m until the 1st exit on the left (Ostuni Costa Merlata/SP21). Stay on the SP21 for 6.8km until you come to an elongated roundabout. Take the first on the right onto Contrada Rosara. In 850m turn left onto Via Giosuè Pinto which curves round to the car park.

Parking

On street free parking is available directly outside the apartment, and in the nearby streets. This is on a first come first serve basis. Wherever you are in Ostuni (and indeed in any town or city in Puglia) finding a free parking space can be challenging. These towns were built for carts and horses.

We suggest that when you first arrive you use one of the nearby pay public car parking areas located at Parco Rimembranze (500m walk from Apartment Q40, Ostuni) and Ostuni Parking ‘Al Giardino’ at Via Giosuè Pinto, 27, 72017 Ostuni (450m). The Parco is the park area with the blue outline and Al Giardino is the solid blue rectangle. Apartment Q40, Ostuni is shown by a red dot and the arrows.

We are happy to show you around the nearby parking once you have checked in.

Blue areas shown on the map are the pay parking spots. The green areas are free public on street parking spaces available on a first come first serve basis.

These are for the pay parking around the park. Payment is only for part of the day. You need the car registration (licence) number to input so a tip is to keep a photo of it on your phone if you hire a car. The Al Giardino car park operates on a similar basis. The rates specified are from 2021.

The on-street free car parking areas are shown in green on the map reproduced above. Whether any are free depends on the time of the day, the day of the week and the time of year. However we usually always find one either along Via Giordano Bruno or Via Ludovico Pepe or opposite the Paragon 700 hotel. Our last resort is around Piazzale Domenico Colucci *, the small green square shown on the map reproduced above. * NOTE: the parking around Piazzale Domenico Colucci and on Via Francesco Trinchera is residents only parking from mid-June to September.

Via Giordano Bruno.
Via Ludovico Pepe.

The white lines that you can see indicate free public parking.

Generally parking spaces delineated in blue are pay parking spaces.

We are happy to help you get your bearings once you are here.

Piazzale Domenico Colucci.
Piazzale Domenico Colucci.

Eating out

Food is an integral part of Puglia’s identity.

We are Italy’s biggest producer of olive oil. Around 40% of Italian olive oil comes from Puglia. We are Italy’s 2nd largest wine producing region, known for rich, full bodied reds. And Puglia gave the world burrata!

Our tradition of la cucina povera (“peasant food”) serves up simple but inventive dishes using seasonal, locally produced, fresh and flavorful ingredients. Most dishes use only a few ingredients and very little goes to waste. Humble and frugal, the end result is much more than the sum of its ingredients.

#EatPuglia and enjoy Puglia’s best dishes, streetfood, and regional produce. Buon appetito.

Puglia by food

A short selection of some of the dishes you will find in and around Ostuni. Check out the Puglia Guys ‘Puglia By Food Gallery’ to see a fuller selection of Puglia’s cuisine with links to where we ate them!

Puglia by food. A virtual tour of Puglia’s best food, dishes, restaurants. Puglia is one of Italy’s top foodie destinations | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination for LGBT travel
Puglia by food. A virtual tour of Puglia’s best food, dishes, restaurants. Puglia is one of Italy’s top foodie destinations | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination for LGBT travel
Bombette pugliesi, must eat street food served up around Puglia | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia, city guides and guides to Puglia’s best restaurants, accommodation and things to to in Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination for LGBT travel.
Puglia by food. A virtual tour of Puglia’s best food, dishes, restaurants. Puglia is one of Italy’s top foodie destinations | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination for LGBT travel
Puglia by food. A virtual tour of Puglia’s best food, dishes, restaurants. Puglia is one of Italy’s top foodie destinations | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination for LGBT travel
Puglia by food. A virtual tour of Puglia’s best food, dishes, restaurants. Puglia is one of Italy’s top foodie destinations | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination for LGBT travel
Puglia by food. A virtual tour of Puglia’s best food, dishes, restaurants. Puglia is one of Italy’s top foodie destinations | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination for LGBT travel
Pizza from Luppolo & Farina, Latiano. The Puglia pizzeria was voted one of Italy’s top 50 | photo the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Puglia Guides.
Puglia by food. A virtual tour of Puglia’s best food, dishes, restaurants. Puglia is one of Italy’s top foodie destinations | Photo © the Puglia Guys for the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia guides to gay Puglia, Italy’s top gay summer destination for LGBT travel

Ostuni bar and restaurant recommendations

Apartment Q40, Ostuni is only a minute’s walk from Ostuni’s main piazza, Piazza della Libertà. From the front door either turn left then immediately right to continue down onto Corso Guiseppe Mazzini, or turn right and then immediately left to continue down Via Galileo Galilei which will take you out Sant’Oronzo column.

Here you can enjoy lunch, gelato or an aperitivo with stuzzichini (singular stuzzichino, little bites that can be eaten during aperitivo). For lunch we are big fans of Ostuni Bistrot and Caffè Fanelli Bistrot (2 Corso Cavour). Fanelli have a great lasagne and orecchiette al pomodoro, a favourite spot for people watching, and at 4,90€ the cheapest Aperol Spritz on the piazza. Just 10 meters away on the other side of Sant’Oronzo at Casbah Risto Cafè you’ll pay 15€ a spritz, more than 3x the price!

Aperitivo with stuzzichini at Caffè Fanelli Bistrot.

For dinner, we like to stroll into the heart of the old town and eat at Casa San Giacomo or Osteria Monacelle (we recommend booking first). L’Osteria del Tempo Perso is often highly recommended by others, but we found it disappointing and certainly not value for money relative to price and food.

Exceptional dining comes at a price that reflects the cuisine, service and setting at Masseria Moroseta off the SP19. Often booked well in advance, this is a special place for a memorable occasion.

Further recommendations can be found in this guide to eating out in Ostuni.

Further afield

For a change of scenery neighbouring Carovigno and Cisternino come highly recommended. The former certainly punches well above it’s weight. Recommendations can be found in this curated guide to Puglia’s best bars and restaurants.

Picci Bar, Carovigno

Eating in

Food

The apartment is self catering, but we supply tea, coffee, milk and sugar. The coffee machine is a Bialetti Gioia, Macchina Caffè Espresso taking capsules. We usually have the Roma (strength 9) and Napoli (strength 10) caspules but reserve the right to change these from time to time.

Following guest feedback we remove any food products left by previous guests, including salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar, herbs and seasonings etc..

A local Despar supermarket is located at Via Armando Diaz, 17. Usually open between 08.00 – 13.30 and 17.00 – 21.00 (Sunday 08.30 -14.00).

If you want to stock up on food we recommend supermercato Famila, Via Pietro de Laurentis (on the main Ostuni ringroad). This is Ostuni’s largest supermarket, and a favourite with locals and summer visitors. They have great fresh fruit and vegetable, bread, cheese, fish and meat counters, as well as regular supermarket goods. They stay open during the afternoon.

Wine

An exceptional range of Puglia wines at reasonable prices can be found at Enoteca Vini di Puglia wine store adjacent to the Famila supermarket. It’s where we shop for almost all our wines. They are closed during the afternoon pausa. Because they only stock wines from Puglia they don’t have Prosecco. Moinetto bio suits us well (around 9€). You will need to get this from Famila.

Under 20€
Under 30€

However we recommend d’Arapri spumante from San Severo in Gargano (around 18€). On special occasions we but the Gran Cuvée (28€).

Other wines we regularly buy from there include:

Under 8€
Negroamaro is one of Puglia’s best known wines
Fiano (white), under 9€
Nero di troia, under 14€
Salice salentino, under 8€
Under 14€
Negroamaro, primitivo, Nero di Troia, all under 14€
Negroamaro, under 8€

The prices referenced are from Enoteca Vini di Puglia, as at March 2023. All of these wines are very good, and are the wines we have at home. We have never been disappointed.

Nearby beaches

The stretch of the Adriatic coast from Bari south has more rocky coves than the endless strips of sandy beach you will find on the Ionian coast. Nevertheless there are some fine sections to enjoy, especially around Ostuni. Here are some of our favourites.

Savelletri

Savelletri beach guide, Ostuni, the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia beach guide to Puglia

Long stretches of sandy beach. Many private lidos with loungers, umbrellas, bars and restaurants but fewer free public beaches. Great for seafood.

Savelletri beach guide, Ostuni, the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia beach guide to Puglia

Torre Canne

Torre Canne beach near Ostuni The Big Gay Podcast from Puglia beach guides to Puglia

Long stretches of public, sandy beaches. Popular with families and sports enthusiasts, there is canoeing and kite surfing.

Torre Canne beach near Ostuni The Big Gay Podcast from Puglia beach guides to Puglia

Pilone

Pilone beach guide, Ostuni, the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia beach guide to Puglia

Sandy beach, popular with residents of the camping and touristic villages nearby, who often arrange for residents’ beach club activities for kids, so it can get noisy!

Pilone beach guide, Ostuni, the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia beach guide to Puglia

Torre Pozzelle | Lamaforca

Lamaforca gay beach Ostuni, Puglia beach guide The Big Gay Podcast from Puglia

Small sandy beaches in rocky coves, surrounded by pine forest. Both are popular with the families who stay in the nearby camping touristic villages.

Lamaforca gay beach Ostuni, Puglia beach guide The Big Gay Podcast from Puglia

Punta Penna Grossa (Torre Guaceto)

Lamaforca gay beach Ostuni, Puglia beach guide The Big Gay Podcast from Puglia

The family friendly end of Torre Guaceto. Extremely popular, but you need to park in the not so nearby pay car park and take the shuttle trolly train (around 4 mins).

More beach

If you want to head further afield, here is a useful guide to the 50 best beaches in Puglia:

Alternatively, if you want to hit the road and have the time, this road trip from Otranto to Santa Maria di Leuca is a must. The route along the coast from Santa Cesare Terme onward is one of the most dramatic in Puglia, sandwiched between prickly pear lined cliffs and shimmering sea. 

Experience home cooking, visit local and take part in local pizzica nights.

Experience A Local Pizzica Night:

Participate in community events, festivals, or celebrations. Local gatherings provide a firsthand look at cultural traditions and the chance to celebrate alongside residents. 

Puglia has the biggest festival in Italy. La Notte della Taranta is a celebration of pizzica – centuries old folk-music from Puglia’s Salento region. The festival is spread over several weeks and culminates with the mammoth La Notte della Taranta show in the small Salento town of Melpignano (30 km south of Lecce) which in 2024 will be held on 24 August

But pizzica music can be heard on the streets of Salento all summer long. From Ostuni to Otranto and beyond. Free pizzica festivals, pizzica nights and events take place where residents participate, wholeheartedly. It’s such a joyous experience.

Insider tip | San Vito dei Normanni is at the heart of many pizzica celebrations. The Scuola di Pizzica di San Vito is based here. They organise free pizzica nights with musicians, singers and dancers. These events take place all summer long. Everyone is welcome. With Puglia’s World Music Academy they host the annual Coreutica festival with pizzica workshops and free concerts.

Insider tip | Strato bar in San Vito dei Normanni for free open air pizzica music and dancing (led by the dance instructors from the pizzica school). A popular and lively local haunt for aperitivi and to pass the evening. 

Insider tip | Popular pizzica nights featuring local musicians with street dancing regularly take place (usually every 2nd Thursday night) at Antiko Cocktail Bar in San Vito dei Normanni. Another local favourite for aperitivi.

San Vito dei Normanni is 15km to the south of Ostuni, between Carovigno and Mesagne.

#EatPuglia | Local Cuisine:

Food is a gateway to cultural understanding, and indulging in local cuisine adds a flavourful layer to your journey. Explore the neighborhood markets, visit local eateries, and savour authentic dishes. Engage in a hands-on cooking experiences, and eat local.

Home cooking at home and beyond

There are more ways to experience authentic Puglia cuisine than just eating out at restaurants. From cooking classes, buying home cooked food from the local baker or experiencing one of Puglia’s traditional sagre food festivals. This is how we #EatPuglia!

Insider tip | Luisa Tricca is a local chef and champion of regional cuisine. Luisa is warm and generous and her cooking classes are beautifully curated.

Insider Tip | Eat where locals eat

Tripadvisor has its limits. The english language version has recommendations made by tourists for tourists, including many restaurants where locals would never go to eat. 

We eat where locals eat. That’s why many of the restaurants that regularly top Tripadvisor and similar lists are not included in the Puglia Guys’ guide to Puglia’s best restaurants. In our opinion there are better (and better value) options

Insider tip | Visit the panificio (local baker). They bake more than daily bread. From delicious local focaccia to parmigiana. Take-out or take-home a variety of home made dishes baked in their ovens. This isn’t processed take-out food, this is freshly home-made Puglia take-out food. We buy focaccia by the slice to take to the beach. On lazy days we buy oven baked parmigiana to eat at home.

It’s also a cheaper way to experience home cooking without having to eat out every meal-time.

Visit Local:

Stray away from overly touristy areas for a slower pace of life that is typically Puglian.

Insider Tip | Head inland to smaller, less well known towns: think Nardò, Galatone or Galatina instead of Gallipoli or Maglie instead of Otranto, for starters.

Taranto, the beauty underneath. Visiting a destination like Taranto will reveal the authentic, raw and gritty side of Puglia, the perfect antidote to Alberobello. Authentic Puglia by the Puglia Guys.
Taranto, the beauty underneath. Visiting a destination like Taranto will reveal the authentic, raw and gritty side of Puglia, the perfect antidote to Alberobello. Authentic Puglia by the Puglia Guys.
Taranto, the beauty underneath. Visiting a destination like Taranto will reveal the authentic, raw and gritty side of Puglia, the perfect antidote to Alberobello. Authentic Puglia by the Puglia Guys.

Insider Tip | Seek out places frequented by locals. No trip to Puglia is complete without a visit to Alberobello. But this is the most touristic and part of our region. In the main trulli zone, every other trullo is now a tourist shop or restaurant. Taranto’s historic old town is a complete contrast. Raw, gritty and authentic, nowhere else provides a more authentic experience. Don’t visit Alberobello without experiencing Taranto’s borgo antico. Stay at Hotel L’Arcangelo at the edge of Taranto’s borgo antico and for the best seafood in Puglia eat at any of these Taranto restaurants.

Tour Guides

We recommend Pietro of Puglialy for small group tours in and around Ostuni, particularly if you are looking for a wine and food tasting tour. Guests have been very complimentary about his highly personalised service (puglialy.com). Pietro can also organise private driver transfers to and from the airport and around Puglia. Just tell him we sent you.

For a tuk tuk tour of Ostuni there’s no-one better than Davide 5-star of GoLapa.

Be at home at Apartment Q40

Italian law requires us to take details of each guest and we have to pass these on to the local police office. We also have to collect the city tax which is currently 1€ per person, per night.

We will make sure that you have our contact details, and the Wi-Fi code.

Terraces

The terraces are accessed from the top floor bedroom. When you are on the terrace be sure to push the terrace door all the way open until it clicks against the catch on the wall. If the external terrace door closes then, even with the key, you are unable to open it from the terrace.

Please enjoy the terraces, but be respectful of the neighbours.

Mosquito screens

All the windows, including doors to the terrace and the balconies, have mosquito screens. Take care when using to remember if they are open or closed. Otherwise you risk walking into them (and tearing them open).

Air conditioning

If you are using the air conditioning in summer, and you probably will, we ask that you:

  1. Close the windows and terrace/balcony doors, and keep them closed. The air con units will not function if they are kept open.
  2. Respect Italy’s energy saving measures. Please switch off when you go out. So long as the windows and external doors are closed the apartment should stay fresh. The shutters can be closed to keep the apartment dark and cool.

Toiletries

The upstairs shower and toilet and the downstairs toilet both have toiletries supplied if you wish to use them.

We supply disposable soaps and shower gel. In addition we also supply a selection of the following shower gels in recyclable bottles which we fill and replace:

Bulldog vetiver and black pepper, vegan friendly:

  • Spicy and aromatic fragrance, with notes of fresh orange, black pepper, cloves, vetiver and patchouli
  • Formulation: contains 100% natural fragrances, does not contain synthetic thickeners, does not contain sulphates (including sles or sls
  • Approved cruelty-free under the leaping bunny vegan program; all palm-derived materials are sourced from sustainable sources
  • Packaging: 100% post-consumer recycled amber plastic bottle with flip cap

Olio 31 Erbe Vegan & Organic

  • Balsamic & Regenerating. AIAB certified organic cosmetic. VEGANOK certified. 98% Ingredients of Natural Origin. Dermatologically Tested.

Please don’t throw out empty bottles. Leave them in the cabinet for us to refill.

Please do not flush anything down the toilet other than toilet tissue.

Laundry

The apartment does not have a washing machine, but laundry detergent is kept in the cupboard below the kitchen sink should you want to do a hand wash. There is a small clothes rack on the side terrace to dry and/or air clothes and towels.

There is a nearby laundry at Via Ludovico Pepe, 7. Open from 0:700 to 20:30 each day (7-days a week). See website for more information: Stedor Lavanderia Self Service.

Waste

We recycle in the 3 kitchen bins:

  • Plastic and metal (together)
  • Card
  • Glass

Don’t worry about the colours, so long as you keep the waste separate in those groupings.

On the kitchen balcony there are two larger bins. One for food and non-recyclable waste, the other to hold any filled bags from the recycle bins.

We will remove the waste when you leave. If you are staying for 7 days or longer we can arrange to collect it should you wish.

Smoking

For the comfort of guests Apartment Q40, Ostuni is a no-smoking apartment. Please smoke outside on the balconies or on the terraces.

City Tax and Guest ID

Online websites like Booking do not collect the city tax payment. The city tax payment for Ostuni is currently €1 per night per guest and must be paid at the property at check-in. By law we are obliged to charge and collect this.

At check-in we must take a copy of official ID documentation (passport, official Government ID). Again by law we are obliged to complete a return to the Carabinieri (national police) office in Brindisi details of all guests, including name, age, nationality, country of residence and ID number, and whether it is a family group or individuals.

Check-out

Check-out time is 11am. Please leave the keys on the table inside, and when you leave the apartment close the door so the lock clicks shut. If you leave earlier it would be very helpful if you message us when you leave so we can attend to getting the apartment ready for our next guests, as they might have requested an earlier check-in.

If there are no guests booked the same or next day and you would like a later check-out we will try to accommodate you. Please let us know.

Parli Italiano?

We can’t stress how much fun and value it adds to your vacation just to try a few words in Italian.

  • Buongiorno – good morning (good day)
  • Buonasera – good evening (after 14.00)
  • Grazie – thank you
  • Vorrei – I would like
  • Per me | per lui | per lei – for me | for him | for her
  • Ciao | salve | arrivederci- hi, bye (informal) | hello (formal) | goodbye (formal). But don’t get hung up. People will know you are foreign and not expect you know the formal and no-formal. Remember, it’s your vacation. Have fun!

Puglia tips and hacks

All we ask is that you love Puglia and tell your friends what an amazing place it is. Better still, we hope you come back. We hope the following information will help add value to your vacation, and make you fall in love with Puglia.

La pausa

We work a split day from 9am – 1pm and from 5pm – 8pm, more or less. Shops and businesses will close from 1pm and re-open around 4.30pm. Get your groceries, bread, meats early!

Eating out

In Puglia we lunch early but have our dinner late.

Lunch | All year round most workplaces, businesses and shops close for la pausala controrail riposino – an afternoon break that starts from around 12.30-1pm (and continues until round 4.30-5pm). Many restaurants will continue lunch service until around 2.30pm. But be prompt – try to sit down before 2pm if you want to be sure of eating.

Dinner | The only people eating in restaurants at 8pm are British. At 8.30pm the German, Scandinavian and northern Italian visitors join them. We will book our table for 9pm, although we will of course arrive later than planned. Being late is a way of life. See you from 9.30pm onwards!

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY | Italians enjoy the occasion of dining out. We are not in a rush, neither to eat, nor to finish and leave. If the service gets slower after the food has arrived, that’s perfectly normal. Time to enjoy good food, good company and good Salento wine. Slow cooking and a slower life are all part of the Puglia experience that you came here to enjoy.

Tipping

We don’t generally tip in Italy. Sometimes we leave the small change up to the nearest €. But don’t fret. Restaurants include a cover charge, up to 2,50€ per person which covers bread and service.

Electricity

Power | Italy operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz | there are two main socket plug types: two round pins and three round pins. – take a universal adapter just to be sure.

Mosquitoes

Repellent | we have mosquitoes from around May to September. You can buy repellent here, or before you arrive. Likewise soothing cream or treatment for bites – especially if you don’t have them at home.

Accommodation | Apartment Q40, Ostuni has insect screens fitted over the windows.

Live like a local

1. Buy something from the local panificio, caseificio or pastificio and say “buongiorno”.

Vacation like a local in Puglia photo the Puglia Guys. Le Zeppole di San Giuseppe.

In Puglia people are friendly and polite. When someone of any age enters the local baker, cheeseshop, pasta shop – even the doctor’s waiting room – they will typically greet everyone, wishing them a good day. The shopkeeper and other patrons will say “buongiorno” back.

This one comes with the added bonus of purchasing a tasty treat – guaranteed.

2.  Wake up and smell the tomatoes.

Wake up and smell the tomatoes. How to holiday like a local in Puglia - photo the Puglia Guys.

Buying from any of the many daily fruit and veg stalls on the streets will leave you in awe not only of the variety of tomatoes on offer (each has its purpose) but also the incredible scent that they have.

These aren’t just any tomatoes, these are Pugliese tomatoes.

3.  Go to “il bar” and order a coffee.

At the bar. How to holiday like a local in Puglia, photo the Puglia Guys

Ask for un caffè. As a non-local you will probably be asked if you want an americano or espresso. Look them in the eye. With a smile, as if surprised, say “normale”.

You’ll be given a shorter, blacker and stronger than your usual espresso. Offered with some water, still or sparkling, which you should drink before your coffee.

Most Italians drink their coffee standing at the bar. Feel free to do the same, even if you don’t understand their conversation. It’s not because your Italian is bad but because they will normally be speaking in dialect.

Coffee and pasticciotto in Puglia. How to vacation like a local in Puglia. Photo the Puglia Guys.

Insider tip | many guides suggest that drinking a coffee at the bar is better value. It is true that sitting down for a coffee (we recommend you have it with a typical pastry, try a pasticciotto or cornetto – a croissant – with la crema. Cornetto ‘vuoto’ means empty, i.e. plain) will cost a little more. But really it is very little more, perhaps 0,05€ an item taking your 2 coffees and 2 pastries from 2,30€ to 2,50€ for example. We wouldn’t loose any sleep over this!

4.  The evening starts early…

Ostuni city guide, best bars and restaurants The Puglia Guys, how to holiday like a local in Puglia.

In Puglia we usually say “buongiorno” (good day) until around 2pm, but from then you are likely to be greeted with good evening – “buona sera”, and you should say the same.

5.  …but dinner starts late!

How to holiday like a local in Puglia. Photo the Puglia Guys.

Most restaurants don’t start their dinner service until 8pm. If you want to blend in like a local don’t think about eating out until at least 9pm. The only people to be found eating out at before then are typically British and Northern European visitors.

Security

Personal security | we don’t consider Puglia to be an unsafe destination for holidaymakers | be cautious as you would in any other tourist destination | though rare, pick-pocketing and robberies could happen in crowded spots | keep your valuables secure wherever possible, especially on the beach if you are planning to go swimming.

Our experience | we have left our cell phones on display on cafe bar and restaurant tables outside, in a parked car, and in an unguarded backpack on a beach while we swim, along with our wallet, without incident. Nevertheless that does not mean you should do so – and our advice as above stands.

Street crime | the mafia (Sacra Corona Unita) exist in Puglia but it isn’t something that should be a concern to travellers | organised crime in Puglia is rarely in the public eye, except in Foggia | there are no public shootings or any obvious form of organised crime on the streets.

Accommodation | ensure shutters are fitted to windows – these are quite common to keep the sun out | many villas are fitted with alarms and benefit from private security. Break-ins do happen; some family members rented an apartment in the countryside with a security gate, alarm, secure doors and shutters and were still broken into. But they are the only visitors that we know of who have had such an experience.

Car security | we regularly read advice against renting cars in Puglia on travel advice forums, because of the risk that hire cars will be a target, and will be stolen and shipped abroad. This is not something we recognise – and in fact, any cars that we have hired have no markings that would identify them as hire cars. We know of no-one who has experienced any such incident.

Contact Us

If you need to contact us during your stay please message using WhatsApp. Due to a hearing disability it is difficult to hold a conversation on the phone. If your message is urgent by all means ring the phone to alert us to your message after sending it.

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