Traditional Puglia

Traditional Puglia

in southern Italy is a place steeped in tradition. In my
travels to the region, some of the most beautiful locations I
photographed were masserias – Puglia’s historic farmhouses which
have been converted into chic boutique hotels but retain their
Greek influence. I enjoyed many long and lazy Italian dinners in
these buildings and this photo journal goes some way to reflect
those memories.

We’d begin with antipasti, such as raw cuttlefish with lemon,
sardines, octopus or frittura mista and pettole – a Puglia classic
of fried clusters of dough occasionally stuffed with olives,
anchovies or salt cod.

This is followed by ‘primi piatti’, which is most always a pasta
dish. But in Puglia, along with the famous orecchiette (a homemade
pasta typical to Puglia), you’ll come across hardy vegetable-based
dishes such as fave e cicoria – pureed broad beans with wild
chicory, topped with a generous amount of rich Italian olive

A dish like this falls under the ‘cucina povera’ category simply
meaning ‘poor kitchen’ which was the perfect meal for farmers
looking for a full stomach on a low budget. Puglia’s rocky interior
is excellent for sheep farming so accordingly, your ‘secondi
piatti’ in areas like Ostuni and Martina Franca might feature a
mixed plate of meat, such as lamb, various types of sausage and
meat skewers, served alongside roasted olive-oil potatoes with
fresh rosemary and thyme. Another classic Pugliese dish is rolled
pieces of horse or veal meat stuffed with herbs, sealed with a
toothpick and covered in Nonna’s homemade tomato sauce.

The meal winds down with espresso or homemade limoncello and in
the sub-peninsula of Salento, dessert is always the legendary
pasticciotto – Italian pastries stuffed with egg custard.

The rooftop bar at Masseria Calderisi, Puglia

Discover More
13 Beautiful Hotels in Puglia We Love