The Area

In the ‘heel of Italy’s boot’, Puglia juts into the stunning Adriatic & Ionian Seas. Puglia is only 40km wide, on average, so you’re never far from the coast.

Medieval watchtowers still dot the coastline, reminding Puglians of the near-constant threat of invasion over the centuries. Occupied by the ancient Greeks in the 7th century BC, Puglia has been colonised by extremely diverse cultures, from Romans, to the Byzantines, the Normans and the Bourbons. 

With crucial ports that served as gateways to the Holy Land for armies embarking on The Crusades, Puglia has long seen an eclectic mix of eastern and western tradition.

Evidence of this can still be seen in the Greek and Arabic architecture of the medieval hilltop towns, nestling alongside Norman churches and Baroque cathedrals. Many of the towns and villages retain their old local dialects some of which have more in common with Greek than Italian.

In a land where the cuisine is all-important, Puglia’s iron-rich red fertile soil has proved perfect for agriculture - cultivating olives, vines and vegetables in abundance, as well as supplying pasture for sheep. Sixty million olive trees occupy a quarter of Puglia’s cultivated land, producing most of Italy’s olive oil with more than 1,000 mills processing the 53 varieties of olive grown here.

Puglia’s Tavoliere plain grows the wheat for most of Italy’s pasta and its’ wines are now gaining international acclaim. Little wonder this region is a gastronome's delight – this, combined with its sun-bleached landscapes, ancient gnarled olive groves, unspoilt beaches and charming hilltop and coastal towns make it an interesting, diverse and relaxing holiday destination for all.

Local Towns


(8kms) - The town of the Trulli.

UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the concentration and multitude of trulli found in the town (about 1,500 of them!).

Probably the most touristy of all the towns in the Valle D'Itria, but still worth a visit. Wander down the narrow trulli-lined streets, dipping in to the predominantly souvenir-filled shops (the leatherwork shop is worth a look). Sit and have a coffee or grab some freshly baked foccacia at "La Lira" foccaceria.

If you are parking in the trulli zone, make sure you pay for your parking at the machines. The Wine Museum, situated near the train station in Alberobello is worth a visit too.

There are two handy supermarkets in Alberobello.

As you enter Alberobello, (from Trullo Genna) take the 3rd exit off the roundabout and after a few hundred yards you will see Doc Supermarket on your left, there is a small carpark. It is open 7 days a week now, but shorter hours on Sunday.

Alternatively keep going on the same road a little further and you will find the newer 'Conad' on your right. This too has a carpark.

On the same road just after 'Conad' you will see 'Il Fidelio" ristorante on your left which serves good food in elegant surroundings.

Our favourite place to eat though, is the Trattoria next door called "Gli Ulivi". It is one of the most popular places for locals to eat which is high praise indeed. The food is wonderfully tasty - try the antipasto della casa - but be warned there is a lot of it! - and the vino della casa is great too. This wonderful trattoria is great value for your euro.

Like many places, pizza is only served in the evening. You can pick up a takeaway pizza from here (pizze da asporto) if you fancy eating at Genna. 

Click for map of Alberobello or Directions to Alberobello from Genna

Castellana Grotte

(6kms) - Home to Italy's longest and most spectacular network of underground caves.

Famous for its vast complex of underground limestone caves filled with amazing cathedral like stalagmites and stalactites the Grotte are only a few kilometres away from Genna. There are two tours in English - one is 50mins, the other 2hrs long. (check the link for times

This is a fabulous place to go to cool off - remember to wear 'sensible' shoes, and take a jumper with you.

Within the town there are a few good places to eat - 'Osteria del Caroseno' is always good.

'Masseria Papaperta' is described as being in Castellana but is in fact probably the closest place to eat from Trullo Genna. When you take the tarmac lane down to the main road and reach the roundabout (Alberobello is left, Putignano is right) go straight over toward Noci. After about 50 metres you will find the entrance for Masseria Papaperta on your right. This is a working masseria/farm so you must book by telephone beforehand. You will find the number in the information booklet or on their website.

For those of you with kids there is an Adventure Playground in Castellana called 'Indiana Park'. You will find ropeladder walking, tree climbing, cable slides for all different ages and levels and picnic and bbq areas to use. 

Click for map of Castellana Grotte


(6kms) - Traditional town that holds the longest Carnival in the world during February and March.

Known as the 'Citta di Carnevale' Putignano's Carnevale is both one of the longest (2 months long) and the oldest.

On the 26th of December 1394 the relics of Santo Stefano were brought to the Church of Santa Maria della Grecia, Putignano for safekeeping. It is the celebration of this event -the 'Propaggini'- that begins the Carnevale, which finishes on Shrove Tuesday.

Interestingly, the 'Propaggini' combines the sacred and the profane. Religious events and celebrations alternate with bawdy performances of satire and poetry ridiculing Political figures, current affairs and even the Church - much like Ancient Greek plays would do in their heyday. There are 4 major parades with carefully crafted papier-mache floats and masks.

On the 2nd of February they celebrate the 'Festa dell'Orso" and on Shrove Tuesday the Carnevale finally finishes and Lent begins.

The town itself is one of our favourites as it is distinctly non-touristy. There are nice cafes that run along the Main Street where you can grab breakfast, an icecream or a coffee. There is a good bar called 'Giglionero' on Corso Umberto, where you can have a drink or a coffee and then eat a good meal in the ristorante area. As with all the local towns if you go during Siesta (2-4pm) most shops are closed. A better time to go is during the 'passegiata' - 8.30 p.m onwards, where everyone young and old comes out for a stroll and a catch up.

'Scinua' is a popular and good ristorante on Via Santa Lucia. The owner cooks traditional Puglian cuisine with his own twist. Everything is seasonal and additive free. It is best to book by phone in advance - the number is in the information booklet.

If you just fancy a pizza 'Old Money Pizzeria' is good and does takeaway too. It is on the outskirts of Putignano on the road to Castellana Grotte. Athough not a pretty location, it is open early and the service is fast.

'La Famila' is the biggest supermarket (you passed this when you came from the airport) with plenty of parking on the roof - which is always an option if you fail to get a space in the "centro storico". 


(15kms) - Sip its famous white wine whilst sitting against the whitewashed walls and gaze upon the Itria Valley.

Locorontondo's circular Centro storico perches on top of a hill overlooking the trulli-filled valley below. A panoramic street encircles part of the centre, and it is from here you will get a fabulous view over the Valle D'Itria.

Check out tripadvisor for recent reviews and recommendations for places to eat. Its local speciality is 'u tridde' - fresh pasta with pecorino cheese and parsley in turkey broth.

The view of Locorontondo itself, if you are coming from Martina Franca, is a photographer's dream. A curving wall of white -washed houses perched against the clear blue sky.

Famous for its white wine - this is a great place to go to the wine co-operative to taste and buy a few bottles or in bulk. The Cantina Sociale del Locorontondo is found on Via Madonna della Catena, which is close to the station. Check out its' range at or just pop in.

Martina Franca

(20kms) - An elegant and picturesque Baroque jewel. Host of the world famous 'Festival della Valle d'Itria' in July/Aug.

Martina Franca is a beautiful and elegant Baroque town. A wonderful place to visit for the passegiata in the evening, or to savour a long lunch or dinner. The local speciality is 'capocollo' - a type of cured ham. There are lots of lovely little shops and cafe/bars - but remember, like most of the local towns, during siesta time shops and banks are closed.

Park somewhere along the ancient medieval wall which is punctuated by various arched entranceways that will lead you through narrow cobbled streets to the main piazzas. Piazza Plebisco has a couple of lovely ristorante where you can dine alfesco and gaze at the Baroque splendour of Basilica di San Martino.

Martina Franca hosts an Internationally renowned Classical Music Festival that runs for just over two weeks at the end of July. Check out exact dates and the full programme of events


(25kms) - Charming little hilltop town known as the 'city of peace'.

Another of the region's 'citta bianche' (white towns), this is a lovely little town that lies between Locorontondo and Ostuni. It's nickname is the 'citta per la pace' (city of peace).

There are lots of good trattorie/ristorante to eat in and the central piazza with its lovely clock tower will always remind us of watching the 2006 World Cup on an outside screen, amongst the locals when Italy was victorious over France. Champagne bottles popping from the balconies and lots of cheering and celebrating into the wee small hours - not peaceful that night but great fun!

The local speciality here is 'bombette' which are little meat parcels filled with mince, ham and cheese. You can buy them at special butchers called "rosticceria' - they will cook them for you and bring them out to you whilst you enjoy a carafe of local wine.

Every Sunday at Noon in July and August in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele there is live classical music and apperitivi.


(35kms) - Chic and popular hilltop town filled with stylish bars and eateries.

Ostuni marks the end of the Valle D'Itria and the beginning of the Salento plain. Called the 'Citta Bianche', its whitewashed buildings perch dramatically on top of three hills with fantastic views of olive groves, trulli-dotted landscape and the sea beyond.

It is a chic and popular destination, with lots of stylish bars and eateries. There are lots of lovely little shops as you wander up the narrow streets off the main piazza, and the Adriatic Coast is only 8km away with some of Puglia's best beaches to

Polignano A Mare

(18kms) - stunning seaside town known as the 'pearl of the Adriatic'.

Nicknamed the 'pearl of the Adriatic' , Polignano a Mare is a beautiful small seaside town perched precariously on the edge of limestone cliffs. It is definitely worth a visit.

Enter the old town through the medieval Porta Grande and see if you can spot the holes that activated the original drawbridge and the openings where boiling oil was poured on to unwelcome visitors.

Wander round the little streets of the medieval centre.

Enjoy the artisan ironwork and jewellery shops and maybe stop for a coffee or cool drink at one of the lovely cafes in the main piazza or take in the views of the beautiful Adriatic Sea.

The best ice cream shop is to be found just outside of the old town and is not to be missed - 'Bella Blu Gelateria'. It has a huge selection of flavours and an area upstairs to sit and eat them.

The crystal clear waters, partially submerged sea caves and 'blue flag' beaches make Polignano the perfect day trip.

This was the birthplace of Domenico Modugno who wrote 'Volare'.


(50kms) - Hauntingly beautiful 'City of Sassi' is like no other place and will be a destination to remember.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site really is worth the drive (just over an hour from Alberobello). An amazing place hewn out of rock. Used as a film location for Mel Gibson's 'Passion of Christ' - this town is said to be one of the world's oldest, inhabited for around 7000 years.

Half of Matera's population still lived in their cave-homes in the 1950's (often with no running water or electricity), and it wasn't until the late 1950's/1960's that the authorities were finally shamed into relocating the last 15,000 inhabitants to new housing. This was due, in large part, to Carlo Levi's book 'Christ stopped at Eboli', where attention was drawn to the fact children would have to beg passers-by for quinine to stave of the deadly malaria (infant mortality was a shocking 50%).

Now it's a fascinating and atmospheric place to explore. We can thoroughly recommend taking a tour of the old town and having lunch in the trattoria which sits at the bottom of the sassi area. For up to date recommendations for alternative restaurants check tripadvisor.


(18kms) - Charming old fishing port complete with Castle, Cathedral and beaches.

Lovely old fishing port with picturesque harbour. Explore the 16th Century Castle and the Baroque Cathedral and then enjoy the beach which sits just outside the fortified walls of the town.

If you wander on foot, 10 minutes South of here you reach Lido Bianco where you can have a lovely fresh seafood lunch.


(80kms) - Admire the seafront Cathedral or wander along the marina, the 'Pearl of Puglia' will capitivate you with its elegance and sophistication as well as its' freshly-caught seafood.

One of our favourite seaside towns, Trani is known as the "pearl of Puglia", and once you visit it you will understand why. The majestic and imposing Romanesque Cathedral sits right on the waterfront - pale walls reflecting the sun and the sea, which is particularly magical as the sun sets casting a rosy glow.

Visit the impressive Castle that lies just North of the Cathedral. Amble down to the old port and watch the local fishermen haul in their catch, which you can taste at one of the many excellent seafood restaurants.

Ognissanti Church - a church erected by the Knights Templars - sits here in the old port, and it was from here the First Crusaders would have boarded their ships to go Eastwards. Trani is a great place to come to eat if you are visiting the Castel Del Monte.

Castel Del Monte

Andria (80kms) - Mysterious UNESCO World Heritage Octagonal Castle built by Frederick II.

Set on a hilltop, Castel Del Monte is one of the most impressive Castles to visit in Puglia and has UNESCO status. This mysterious octagonal castle was built by Frederick II (finished in 1240) and became the permanent seat of his court. It is placed exactly midway between the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and Chatres Cathedral in France.

Frederick II himself was a fascinating, influential and cultured character. A 'Da Vinci' of his day - humanist, patron of the arts, poetry and science - he was passionate about astronomy and geometry and a real forward thinker.

He brought scholars and artists from the Arab lands, Greece and elsewhere to his court. He had the works of Aristotle, Ptolemy and Galen translated into Latin and founded the University of Naples. His many talents earned him the title of 'Stupor Mundi' - Wonder of the World.

For 5 euros you park at the bottom of the hill and a bus will take you up to the castle itself. Plan to visit Trani on the same day trip as the castle itself is fairly stark inside with no museum.


(120kms) - Picturesque fishing town situated on the beautiful blue waters of the Ionian Sea, with fabulous beaches all around.

Gallipoli is a lovely fishing port situated on the Western Side of Puglia on the Ionian Coast. Its Old Town sits on a tiny island connected to the mainland by a bridge. In the Summer it has lots of cafes, bars and restaurants that have tables on the pavements overlooking the sea and the large beach 'Spiaggia della Purita'. This beach is ideal for those that don't like the isolation of out of town beaches. The water is calm, clear and warm - this is a great day out to combine the beach, a spot of shopping and of course a lovely meal washed down with local wines. It is very busy in the summer months though.

If you want a bit more space there are lots of long sandy beaches running up the coast North of Gallipoli, or why not visit the beach at 'Punta della Suina' which is a lovely beach just South of Gallipoli, surrounded by pine forests which gives you a lovely view of Gallipoli. There is a lively bar at the lido with toilets, but if you walk beyond this you can find a more peaceful spot to lie.

Nearer to Taranto if you take the exit for Pulsano you could go to Lido Silvana or Lido Gandoli which are free.


(90kms) - The 'Florence of the South' is a lively, elegant and relaxed University town packed with upmarket boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and bars not to mention the amazing Baroque architecture and Roman amphitheatre.

Although a bit of a drive, it would be a shame to miss this elegant Baroque town. Lecce is the capital of Salento and is known as the 'Florence of the South'. Park your car in the historic district near the castle and then explore the many beautiful piazzas, the stunning Baroque architecture and there is even a large Roman Amphitheatre right in the heart of the town.

This is a University town so it has a lively and vibrant feel all year round. If you want a night to enjoy the city's delights as well as a bit of shopping we would recommend staying at the Mantatelure - a fantastic B & B, right in the heart of the old town.

For Kids

Zoo Safari & Fasanolandia Amusement Park

Selva di Fasano

Safari Park and Amusement Park with rides for all ages.

Check it out at

Castellana Grotte Caves

Castellana Grotte

A wonderful place to take the kids if they get too hot. Explore the cool caves with amazing stalagmites and stalactites. Guided tours are available.

Go Karting at 'Kartodromo 90 Turi

Between Putignano and Turi on SS172

Go - karting - check out opening hours on

Parco Adventura Ciuchino Birichino

Near Ostuni

Adventure Playground near Ostuni - 'trails on trees', archery, horse and cart rides, falconry, eco fitness, nordic walking, trekking and yoga - lots for all ages


The Adriatic Sea

The Adriatic is located approximately 30 minutes from Trullo Genna. All along the coastline North and South there are restaurants and beaches - the further South the sandier the beaches.

The best beaches in the area can be found at Pilone and Monopoli.

Pilone can be found by driving down to Fasano and then heading toward Brindisi on the SS16 (the main super strada running along the coast between Bari and Brindisi) Pass Fasano and Torre Canne and then take the exit for 'Pilone'. At the roundabout you will be faced with two signs for Pilone - take the exit that runs back parallel with the SS16.

After a couple of kilometres there are a number of lidi, our favourite is Lido Mediteraneo. The parking usually costs 5 euros. There is a small cafe here to get drinks and lunch with toilets and showers. You can hire sunbeds for a small fee from here too and they will place them where you like. It is lovely shallow water here so perfect for kids.

Other beaches that have been recommended that are near Monopoli are - Lido Torre Egnatia, Lido Verde and Lido Bianco.

The Ionian Sea

Near Taranto - take the exit for 'Pulsano' - Lido Silvana and Lido Gandoli are free beaches

South of Gallipoli - ''Punta Della Suina' - slightly rocky when entering the water but lovely views of Gallipoli and a trendy bar with toilets.


Local open-air markets

Local open-air markets can be found in all the local towns on differing days - some are bigger and more varied than others.

The markets are excellent for browsing and buying fresh fruit and vegetables, inexpensive jewellery, clothing, shoes, pottery and lots more! They open early in the morning and pack up about midday.

Monday - Cisternino

Tuesday - Noci / Gioia Del Colle

Wednesday - Putignano / Martina Franca / Fasano

Thursday - Alberobello

Friday - Locorontondo

Saturday - Castellana Grotte / Monopoli / Ostuni

Sunday - Torre Canne / Martina Franca has an antiques market the third Sunday every month

Local shops

Shops are usually open Monday to Saturday 08.30 - 13.00 : 16.30 / 17.00 - 20.30.

A large hypermarket called 'Auchan' and fashion shopping mall is open 7 days.

It is within half an hours drive from Trullo Genna toward Bari (you will have passed it when you arrived from the airport).

It is located at Cassamassima on the SS100 Bari / Taranto. Opening hours Mon 12.00 - 21.00 ; Tues-Sunday 09.00 - 21.00

Local supermarkets can be found in Alberobello - Dok and Conad.

At the first roundabout you take the 3rd exit toward Locorontondo. Dok is on your left and slightly further on Conad is on your right. Both have small carparks - Dok is open 08.00 - 21.00 Mon - Sat, 09.00 -13.00 Sunday. Conad has similar hours.

In Putignano there is 'Famila' - take the first exit at the roundabout on the edge of Putignano. 'Famila' is on your left. There is a rooftop carpark. Opening hours 08.00 - 13.00 , 16.30 - 21.00 Mon - Sat, Closed Sundays.

There is a discount fashion outlet centre North of Bari near Barletta, which is over an hours drive from the Trullo. It is called Molfetta Fashion District and has Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Calvin Klein, Levi, Kappa, Stefanel, Timberland amongst others - you can see the full list at There is a Skateboard park here too which is open 10.00 - 13.00 , 16.00 - 20.00 and has 'skateschool' for 6 - 16 year olds on Tues/Thurs 15.00 - 17.00. It is a pretty soulless place but if you need a bit of retail therapy you could try here or Bari's city centre, or the shopping centre at Cassamassima where Auchan is has lots of shops closer to home.


Local Eateries

Opening hours tend to be 12.00 -14.30; 19.30 / 20.00 - 23.00 or midnight.

In the evening Italians eat late - usually 21.00 onwards.

Between 14.30 and 19.00 you can find bars open which serve sandwiches and snacks.

All the restaurants are very happy to see families with children of all ages.

There are wonderful eateries in every town - we have recommended some in the 'Local Towns' section above and Tripadvisor is always good to get recent reviews . The food here in Puglia is fresh, simple and delicious as are the local wines.

Pizzas are often only on offer in the evenings.


February / March

Late Feb - Early March - Putignano - 'Carnivale di Putignano'

The longest Carnival in the world. 4 parades, exquisite papier-mâché creations aloft floats, music, drama and satire. Two months of tradition and celebration. For full details of programme and history see

Mid-March - Locorontondo - 'I Falio di San Giuseppe'

Father's Day coincides with Festa di San Giuseppe - the pagan and Christian converge as bonfires are lit in towns all around Puglia as an act of purification and hope for a bountiful year.


Maundy Thursday - Noicattaro, nr Bari - 'La Processione dei Crociferi' - 8pm

100 crosses are carried through the streets by shoeless devotees dressed in black habits, with thorn crowns on their heads.

Late April - Lecce -'La Notte Biance'

The White Night is an all-night affair - people visit museums, concerts, art exhibitions, many of which are informal on-street affairs.


Early May - Bari - La Festa di San Nicola

The Festival of St Nicholas is a big affair, attracting thousands of pilgrims who come to partake in the 3 day celebrations of the arrival of San Nichola's bones, which were brought for safekeeping from Turkey in the 11th Century.

On the first evening there is a procession from Castello Svevo to the Basilica di San Nicola. The following day there is a fly-past and a fleet of boats carries the statue of St Nicholas along the coast.

That evening and the next there is an impressive firework display.

Early May- Taranto - La Festa di San Cataldo

A silver statue of San Cataldo, the Patron Saint of Taranto, is taken on a journey, via the canal, from and to the Cathedral renewing its' blessing on the city.

There is a rowing competition and fireworks.

Usually last Sunday in May - Parabita - 'La Festa di SS Maria della Coltura'

Lots and varied programme of musical events.

Check exact dates on


Early June - Brindisi- 'Negromaro Wine Festival'

Wander among the 150 stands, 5 wine bars, 5 event stages to live music in the heart of Brindisi's old town. Kool and the Gang were the closing concert of 2014. Check exact dates on

Mid-June - Fasano - 'La Scamiciata'

Historical re-enactment of battle of 1678, where the inhabitants of Fasano triumphed against invading Turks. There is a Baroque feast afterwards. Historical information and exact dates at

Late June - Ostuni - 'La Notte di San Giovanni'

Three days of celebration for the summer equinox.

Late June - Otranto - 'San Pietro e Paolo'

Taste its delicious local food and get to know Salento folklore all in the amazing backdrop of the beautiful seaside town of Otranto.

Late June - Galatina - 'Danza delle tarantole'

Procession and celebration of the ancient music and traditional dance of the Tarantula.


Noon, Every Sunday July/August - Cisternino - 'Aperitivo classico'

Every Sunday at noon, in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, live classical music with an apperitivo.

Late Jul - Early Aug - Martina Franca - 'Festival della Valle d'Itria

World renowned Classical Music Festival. Now in its 40th year. Look at the full programme and buy tickets directly online at

Mid-July - Bari - 'Bari in Jazz'

Jazz festival - full programme information on

LateJuly - Gallipoli - 'La Festa di Santa Cristina'

Rowing regatta, procession, concerts, shows, and fireworks to celebrate Santa Cristina who in 1867 liberated the city from a violent plague.

Late July - Early August - Locorontondo - 'Locus Music Festival'

Rich programme spanning many musical genres from jazz to world music. Big concerts on the main stage are accompanied by a series of side events, D.J sets, reading and street performances.


Noon, Every Sunday July/August - Cisternino - 'Aperitivo classico'

Every Sunday at noon, in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, live classical music with an apperitivo.

25th July - 10th August 2014 - Locorontondo - 'Locus Music Festival'

Rich programme spanning many musical genres from jazz to world music. Big concerts on the main stage (one of which is Laura Mvula 25/26th July this year), are accompanied by a series of side events, D.J sets, reading and street performances.

9th-10th August 2014 - Oria - 'Torneo dei Rioni'

Fantastic re-enactment of medieval 'Tournament of the Districts', that originally took place in 1225.

The first day sees a massive procession of up to 800 volunteers, divided into one of the four competing districts, all dressed in replica uniforms, complete with weapons, armour, war horses, camels, siege machines and battering rams.

The second day is when the contests begin with jousting, racing, individual and group combat, tests of speed and competency and strength. The winning district is then awarded that year's "palio" by the Emperor (the part of Frederick II is usually played by a well-known actor).

Entry to the town and the procession and military campsite is free. Tickets to see the tournament itself can be booked at

12th-16th August 2014 - Parco Gondar, Gallipoli - 'Gusto Dopa al Sole'

A reggae music festival - Snoop Dog (aka Snoop Lion), Alborosie and the Shengen Clan headline this year.

15th August 2014 - San Vito dei Normanni - 'Sagra di Ferragosto'

Music festival featuring pizzica dancers and musicians.

16th August 2014 - Locorontondo - 'Sagra Pirotecnica della Valle d'Itria'

To celebrate Locorontondos' patron Saint San Rocco, 3 or 4 of Italy's best known firework specialists compete to be pyrotechnic king! The contest begins at midnight!

22nd-24th August 2014 - Polignano a Mare - 'Mareviglioso'

Festival celebrating sea food in the stunning clifftop town of Polignano a Mare. Tastings, exhibits and music. Check out the full programme on