Matera; Ancient Rock Churches, Modern Art and More

On our last day in matera we had the opportunity to walk around and explore the winding streets of the town, visit the wonderful modern art museum set inside a series of caves and check out the Rupustrian rock churches which lay across the valley from our terrace. I love modern art and the MUSMA…

A Walking Tour Through the Sassi in Matera Italy

If you’ve heard of Matera, then you’ve most likely heard of the Sassi. Matera sits on the border of Basilicata and Puglia in what would the arch of Italy’s “boot”. The word sassi translates to stones, but in this case refers to the two neighborhoods, the Sassi Caveoso and Sassi Barisano, which are comprised of…

Otranto and the Salentine Coast

On our last day in Lecce we decamped our car from its parking space, drove around in circles a bit and headed out of town going east, in a straight line on highway 364 to San Cataldo on the coast. I’m not sure what we expected, but there wasn’t much “there” there. In October everything…

Palazzo Gorgoni in Lecce, Italy

There are tons of hotels and B&Bs in Lecce and searching through them was more of a challenge than I expected. Then we found Palazzo Gorgoni, recommended to us by Silvestro Silvestori who owns The Awaiting Table, a cooking school based in Lecce.  My mother had “met” Silvestro on Twitter and he’d recommended the B&B…

Lecce, Puglia’s Baroque City

It’s about an hour’s drive from the Valle d’Itria to Lecce on the main highway. Finding our way to our B&B, the Palazzo Gorgoni, right in the historical center took almost half an hour, even though on the map it looked so simple. The challenge in Lecce, like most towns first constructed before the time…

Valle D’ Itria, Puglia Italy Part 2-Martina Franca

On our last day in the Valle d’Itria we drove to Martina Franca. We lucked out and parked on the street which led straight to the the main square at the Piazza XX Settembre where the walking tour in the Thomas Cook Puglia Guide begins. Street parking was paid to an attendant who stopped traffic on…

Il Cortiletto Restaurant-A Fresh Look at Puglian Food

Lunch at Il Cortiletto in Speziale, Puglia In Italy, Sunday is traditionally a big day for families to go out to eat for lunch. At 1:30pm, the tiny dining room of Il Cortiletto, which has only five or six tables, is already full. On the covered patio out back we’re offered our choice of tables…