We flew with a low cost carrier to Brindisi, then travelled in Southern Italy to visit Lecce, Alberobello, Taranto and finally to Naples, all by train. I have however started this page with Naples as it is a more visited city because of it’s proximity to the Amalfi coast and sites such as Pompei.
Most visitors don’t usually stay in Naples but head straight to the coast or the islands, give it a few days as it is worth the time. It may at first seem chaotic, particularly the old part but stick with it and it will grow on you. For every one thing that puts you off the place there will be three you love in a city of amazing contradictions, it is an essential part of Southern Italy for me.
Restaurants & Bars
La Cantina Del Sole, Via G Paladino 3, Piazzetta Nilo, is a lovely restaurant with local produce and specialities, they do a reasonable 2 courses and house wine offer.
Gran Café Aragonese, Piazza S Domenico Maggiore, is a beautiful café with tables outside in a lovely square they have fabulous apperitivos and great coffees, try the speciality Café Aragonese.
Enoteca Da Carmine, Via Tribunal 330, a real locals place with good cooking and reasonable prices.
La Catina Di Via, Sapienza Via Sapienza 40, this is a great local place, only open for lunch so be sure the try the excellent food at very reasonable prices.
Il Piazzaiolo Del Presidente, Via Tribunali 120, one of the many great pizza places in Via Tribunali, popular with locals although I suspect that they all have their own favourites. We thought it did the authentic Naples pizza and it was named after the visit by Bill Clinton.
G Mazzaro, Via Tribunali 359, is a cake shop and bar run by lovely people, they have fabulous cakes and ice creams and also great drinks.
La Cucinotta, think it could now be called Trattoria Bausan, Via Bausan 32, near the funicular from Vomero to Chiai, is a lovely local place with great lunch prices and also open at night.
Antica Osteria Pisano, Piazetrta Crocelle ai Mannesi, off Via Duomo, is a friendly local place with good home cooking.
Lecce, known as the Florence of the south, has some amazing baroque architecture and it is worth spending two or three days to enjoy wandering around and sampling some excellent Puglian cooking and wines. It truly is a must for any visit to Southern Italy.
Alle Due Corti, Corte del Giugni 1, is a wonderful family run restaurant including old Puglian recipes, very helpful owners who helped with the menu choices, some of which as they were traditional recipes needed some explanation.
Enoteca Perbacco, Vico Dei Fieschi, is a wine and produce shop which does free tasting of local produce and wine.
Trattoria Nonna Tetti, Piazetta Regina Maria 17, this is an old fashioned restaurant, popular with locals and open for Sunday lunch, which many places were not.
Joyce Wine Bar and Irish Bar, Via Matteo de Lecce 5, do not be put off thinking another Irish Bar, the wine bar has great meat and cheese platters and an excellent wine selection and is very popular. Other dishes did not seem to be as good as the cold meat, vegetable, and cheese selections.
The guide books would in the main put you off visiting, it is a major port and industrial city but the setting of the town on an island linked to the mainland with different seas on either side and the history of the city make it worth a visit if it fits in with your travel, which it did ours.
Trattoria del Pescatore, Piazza Fontanta 47, is a great seafood and fish restaurant with fish shop attached, we were definitely the only visitors and were surrounded by large local family groups. We were helped with ordering by the staff and had a super meal of seafood and fish which were so fresh it was as if it had all just been caught – probably true.
These pages cover two grape growing region, Campania for Naples and Puglia, Apulia, for the other places. For Campania look out especially for some excellent white wines, in particular ones from the Fiano grape, such as Fiano de Avellino, and wines from the Greco white grape, in particular Greco de Tufo. In Puglia, look for the fabulous reds, mainly from the Salento region, of the Negroamaro grape and also those from the Primitivo (Zinfandel) grape.
Famous for its conical roofed trulli houses and named as a world heritage site, worth an overnight because it gets numerous coach loads of day visitors and it is lovely to see when it is less busy in the evening.
Trullo del Conte Trullo del Conte, Via Cadore 1, is an excellent place for dinner with tables outside and their own local red wine, the food was great. Lots of meat dishes, such as veal T bone and lamb. Il Pinnacolo, Via Monte Nero 30, in the trulli zone, has a lovely terrace and garden, a really good place in the most touristy part of the town, the black pasta filled with seafood was excellent.
Locorotondo is a lovely hill top town famous for it’s round historical centre, it is perfect for a day trip from Alberobello,
Trattoria Centro Storico, Via Eroi de Dogali, an italian slow food society member and it offers excellent antipasta and mains at reasonable prices.