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We partnered with Guest Editor Eleonora Betesh, the founder of Via Puglia Magazine to showcase all that Southern Italy has to offer. You’ll find the very best in places to stay, eat, sip, shop, and discover something new. Here, Betesh shares her side of Puglia.
WHITEWALLER: What does Puglia mean to you?
ELEONORA BETESH: Timelessness. On one hand, you can find long-forgotten towns surrounded by ancient pastures where tradition reigns, and on the other hand, it has utterly inspiring contemporary vibes.
WW: What are your favorite spots to eat and sip?
EB: Puro and Fè are great options as well as Da Tuccino for seafood, but I also like to head over to some of my favorite hotels where the kitchens are open to outside guests. Winter is a beautiful time to head to the towns of the Itria Valley for countryside family kitchens that serve game and traditional recipes.
In the summer, beachside dinners are the best. Try Ultima Spiaggia delle Cesine, Lido Gold, Canneto Beach, Pettolecchia Il Lido, and La Vinaigrette. For dinner among (Michelin) stars, don’t miss Angelo Sabatelli or Vitantonio Lombardo. For drinks, some of my favouite spots are The Cardinal Aperitif & Bar, Laurus Cocktail Experience, Elia beach, Farmacia Bilboa, and Cubi.
WW: What is Puglia’s best-kept secret?
EB: It’s an all-year destination that offers so much hiking surfing cycling culture tours and the best time to actually visit is October, November, May, and June. Actually even Christmas is a great idea because you can always rent a wonderful villa with a fireplace, bring your best group, hire a chef, or cook meals for endless lunches while enjoying some fresh weather and sunshine.
WW: Where is the best place to see art?
EB: Bari has some great art galleries, and there are some great spots in Trani, plus Castel del Monte. The towns of Salento are works of arts in themselves and I would suggest visiting Nardo, Tricase, Galatina, Grottaglie, and Lecce, the capital of Baroque. Matera is a great place to find art exhibits. During the year there are a lot of artists that set up installations in the open air, too.
WW: Where do you like to relax?
EB: At Relais Histo‘ they have a great spa, but if that’s not possible, walking among the olive groves in the countryside or by the sea with a beach chair on the rocks, a good book, and meditation playlist.
WW: What makes Puglia special?
EB: It is still pristine and a lesser-known destination and while people have been inhabiting the region for thousands of years with many intermittent conquests, there is still so much potential.