More about Itria Valley in Puglia
Between the Ionian and Adriatic coasts of Puglia rises the great limestone plateau of the Murgia (473m).
At the center of the Murgia lies the idyllic and fairytale Itria Valley.
The landscape here is so particular: dry-stone walls, vineyards, almond and olive groves, winding country lanes.
This is the part of Puglia most visited by foreign but also Italian tourists.
Four cities to visit in this zone of Puglia
Each one has its own charm because they are all beautiful but different.
You can choose your favorite: I wasn’t able to!
You’ll spot that Trulli houses are scattered all around this region, but Alberobello is famous for them. In here there is the largest concentration of trulli. They are about 1400: so many!
Since 1996, it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is extremely popular with tourists.
The Trullo is a distinctive, dry-stone building with a conical roof which is specific to this part of Italy. Many of them have symbols painted onto their cones, with religious or mystical significance and were meant to protect the people living in.
While the city is divided into the Monti and Aja Piccola quarters, only in “Rione Monti” there are about 1000 trulli. It’s the most visited part. Lots of them have became souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants and other touristic attractions.
Anyway, strolling in these picturesque alleys is still an authentic experience.
Locorotondo is near its famous neighbor but it’s far from being touristy in Puglia land.
Officially listed as one of the most beautiful towns in Italy (I Borghi più Belli d’Italia), this quiet town is located on the top of the hill. Someone call it the most beautiful balcony of the Murgia. In fact, from Villa Comunale you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valley. It’s a public garden but also a Belvedere point. From here you can also enter the historic quarter of this charming town.
White stone walls and calcine are everywhere in this circular small village: in summer they are in perfect contrast with the colored flowered balconies. The effect is outstanding!
The characteristic sharp roofs made of gray stones called “cummerse” emphases the facades of houses. It’s a unique building structures with those unusual peaked gable roofs. Unusual because it’s so strange to see it in this part of Puglia.
Of course Piazza Vittorio Emanuele is the heart of the historic center. It’s surrounded by baroque building and times ago by the castle wall.
Least but not last, an information: the name of Locorotondo derives from its circular shape.
Going down south from Locorotondo and only few kilometers from Alberobello is the town of Cisternino in Puglia.
It is on the list of the most beautiful towns in Italy because of its fascinating narrow alleys, whitewashed walls and unique external staircases of the houses decorated with colorful potted plants.
We were fascinated by the Vittorio Emanuele Square with the Clock Tower in particular, near the famous Church of San Nicola of Patara. It’s also called as the clock Square.
Famously known as the “White City”, the charming of Ostuni is distinct even from the main highway. The splendid Gothic Cathedral sits majestically above the cluster of white houses surrounded by defensive walls.
In fact, Ostuni is rich in history and was marked by several cultural influences, like other cities in Italy.
Anyway, you would never imagine that in the 17th century, these white washed walls were for survival rather than aesthetic purposes. Why? Because the lime wash was considered to have antiseptic properties. Therefore it was used to keep the town safe from the plague and diseases of that period.
However, nowadays, the ‘White City’ has become a popular touristic destination without losing its own charm.
Narrow windy cobblestone streets, small shops, pretty bars and restaurants, lovely views with flowers at every corner are what you find in here. You’ll never regret a visit in this part of Puglia.
Below you will find some tips regarding a place where to stay for some nights and eat something very special.
Relais La Sommità
The Relais “La Sommità”, one of the few 5 star hotels in Puglia, is a historic 16th century residence, which represents a hidden gem in Ostuni.
We stayed here for two nights and everything was just perfect!
We had a deluxe view room but the structure has 15 different rooms and suites. Each one is unique because has its distinctive feature.
Ours is called “Il mare” because there is a king-size bed placed on a platform in front of the window overlooking Ostuni’s beautiful sea. The structure is pet friendly, too!
They prepared a bed for our dog too, very welcoming!
Among all the services, in this boutique hotel you can also find an amazing Spa and 1-star Michelin Restaurant.
The Wellness Center offers its guests personalized treatments aimed at relaxation and physical and psycho-physical reinvigoration. Perfect spot for chilling out!
Instead the restaurant Cielo at Relais La Sommità offers a charming view of the alleyways and whitewashed walls of the town thanks for its upper position in the City.
Sobriety and elegance are the synonymous of this place. Belvedere is the perfect spot for tasting some fine-quality wines.
The breakfast is outstanding too! Fruits, fresh juices, salads, cheese, ham, home made cakes and biscuits, eggs cooked at the moment in your favorite way and even pancakes! It can’t be better than this, I swear.
We also had lunch with selected wines and, as you can see below, the plates are more like artwork than just food. The complexity of the dishes hides the long preparation and all the hard work of the Chef.
Here is the direct link of the structure to see more and make a booking.
Have you been to Itria Valley in Puglia and which is your favorite town? Which of these best suits your personality?
For any other information or tips, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’ll be very happy to help you.