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Italy: Think Puglia

Words by Kathy Till
Photos courtesy of The Thinking Traveller

If you are looking to celebrate your engagement, intimate wedding, honeymoon, or just a romantic getaway, think Puglia (poo-lia), a southern region of the Italian coast or "heel of the boot" of Italy. Traveling to Puglia is taking a journey into a bygone era. It’s a quiet place where aristocrats spend their summer vacations and where most Italians go on holiday. Every day is like falling in love again while exploring the road less traveled and where all the local towns and fascinating communities showcase their history

Book your stay with The Thinking Traveller, a team of experts who want to know and understand all your needs, wants and desires in order to remove honeymoon planning stress. They are always available for questions, do their best to satisfy your wishes and truly know and understand the differences with all the areas and properties in Puglia. I had the distinct pleasure of visiting several of their exclusive, pristine properties too beautiful to imagine. It will be difficult to choose from the numerous and very private villas, masserias and palazzos.

The properties are carefully selected and are unique home-away-from-home options that accommodate anywhere from eight to 18 guests in some of the most breathtaking areas of Puglia. Some services offered include maid service and cooks upon request who will conjure up traditional meals with homegrown food from the local markets. Most estates come standard with courtside cinema, wood-fired pizza ovens and cozy patios to snuggle up on, along with excellent nearby restaurants.

Masseria Cisterna Rossa
This is just the spot to enjoy quiet seclusion in a beautifully restored oasis surrounded by olive orchards and home to an art dealer who owns a gallery in Rome.

Palazzo Ducale Guarini
Allow the Duke and Duchess to detail how they painstakingly created one of the most amazing gardens – designed with the goal of creating an unforgettable experience. The palazzo is complete with modern amenities and has been in existence for over five centuries.

L’Argentiera
This luxury villa can sleep a family of 18 with nine bedrooms (each with en-suite bathrooms) and overlooks mesmerizing views of the Adriatic Sea. Anna Maria Chirone, a food writer and teacher, can stop by and give you a lesson in making orecchiette (Puglia’s signature pasta) while you enjoy a glass of Prosecco.

Villa Blanca
A refreshingly different coastal luxury that has awe-inspiring views and restaurants just around the corner in the resort town of Santa Maria di Leuca. Stop for a casual seaside lunch at Lo Scalo and select an entrée from the fresh caught seafood menu.

Trullo Rosmarino and Trullo Terra Dolce
These two original, updated properties were inspired from Trulli architecture and are nestled in the Valle d’Itria which has an exquisite quaintness where all the dwellings are built with an interesting cylindrical base and conical tiled roofs.

I am not sure I have ever seen such creative continuity in a destination. After you visit you will find yourself saying, “I had an incredible experience and I can't wait to come back.” Grazie Mille Puglia!

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2016 issue. You can order a copy here.

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