PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
The small town of Alberobello nestles in the peaceful countryside of the Itria Valley. Its star attraction is its trulli – round, whitewashed dwellings with slate-grey conical roofs. They line the streets in two areas of town, Rione Monti (where you’ll find most of the shops) and Aia Piccola (the quieter, more residential area).
From the Santa Lucia belvedere (viewpoint), the trulli look a little like a toy town. Wander the hilly streets among them and you’ll see that these quirky little houses have been transformed into shops, wine bars and mini-museums. You can even stay in a trullo if you’re after an authentically Apulian hotel.
You’ll find the odd trullo here and there in Alberobello’s newer part of town, along with some fantastic restaurants and cafes. In terms of getting out and about, the Adriatic coast and caves of Castellana are short drives away, plus you’ve got the Itria Valley on your doorstep – perfect for scenic drives, walks and bike rides.
Amble around Locorotondo and Cisternino
These two towns are part of I Borghi più belli d’Italia, an association of villages awarded for their historical and cultural heritage.
Locorotondo’s the closest to Alberobello – 10 minutes’ drive on the main road or 15 if you take the scenic route. Make a beeline for the centro storico (historic centre), which wraps around the Chiesa Madre San Giorgio in a knot of shady alleyways and sunny piazzas. Just to the east is the Villa Comunale, a leafy park which opens out into a balcony overlooking the trulli-dotted countryside.
A further 10 minutes’ drive lands you in Cisternino. Again, point yourself in the direction of the historic centre, where you’ll find whitewashed houses, bougainvillea-draped balconies and another park with widescreen views of the countryside. Visit first thing for crowd-free wanderings and coffees in quiet piazzas, or head here in the evening to try out the ‘barbecue butcher’ restaurants.