Matera: A Perfect Mix Of Ancient Cave Dwellings, Dalí, Hip Bars, and Wine!!

Matera. The name sounds like a place you should know, but you just don’t. Well surprise, surprise, Matera is Italy’s newest, hottest tourist destination. Thanks to being named a European Capital of Culture in 2019, Matera is on the travel radar, but, at least for now, still retains lots of Italian character and charm! Dan and I spent too few days here in September 2019. This is our trip report for those planning a similar trip!

The Sassi of Matera.

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L’Aratro: An Excellent Slow Food Restaurant In Alberobello.

As promised in my recent review of Alberobello, I had lunch at an excellent restaurant  recommended by our Puglitaly guide: L’Aratro. L’Aratro means “the plow” in English, and that is is an appropriate name for this essentially “farm to table” restaurant. To wit, L’Aratro is part of the Slow Italy movement and it sources almost all of its menu items from the local area, and certainly from within Puglia. Look for local delicacies highlighted on the menu!

The entrance to L’Aratro.

Located on one of Alberobello’s main tourist streets, L’Aratro is located inside a beautifully decorated trullo, with both indoor and outdoor seating.  Its not uncommon to see the main chef hanging around outside the restaurant in his signature brightly colored chef pants! We sat in L’Aratro’s open air courtyard overlooking a few trulli domes. The views from the courtyard are not fantastic, but certainly good enough. The interior, however, is beautiful. I would have sat inside were it not for COVID-19.

Gorgeous interior of L”Aratro. This would be a magical spot for a fall or winer meal.

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How To Spend A Day in Alberobello, Puglia: Trulli, Slow Italian Food, And Delicious Wine!

You’re probably familiar with Alberobello in Puglia, Italy, even if you don’t know its name. Alberobello is the Southern Italian town filled with trulli (trullo, singular) houses, or those small white stone houses with domed roof tops that seem to be straight out of fairy tale. Its a super cute town, but also very , very touristy, even during the light travel summer of 2021. Here is how my husband and I spent a day in Alberobello if you are planning your own trip!

A real life trullo in Alberobello!

TOP TIPS: Arrive early, bring cash, dress in layers, wear walking shoes, and be sure to see inside a trullo by visiting the shops or restaurants.

SOME CONS: Super duper touristy, hilly with cobblestones making walking somewhat difficult, not as many people as we expected spoke English (this may be a positive!)

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Grotta Palazzese: A Review Of That Gorgeous Cliffside Restaurant in Puglia

If you have any form of social media, you have probably seen the gorgeous cliffside restaurant in Polignano a Mare, Grotta Palazzese. Yes, the one light up in blue with white tables perched on a sharp cliff above the Adriatic (or maybe Ionian) sea. The location is truly stunning.

View looking out to the sea. There is another “lagoon” on the other side. I tried to take a picture but it did not turn out well. Keep reading, LOL.

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How To Spend A Weekend In Montefalco, Umbria

Most blog readers probably know that Dan and I love to travel and particularly enjoy wine travel. Our two favorite wine grapes are big reds: Tannat, which we went all the way to Uruguay to drink a few years ago, and Sagrantino, a grape from the land surrounding the Umbrian town of Montefalco. Hence, we decided to start our [first] 2021 Italian adventure in Montefalco precisely to drink Montefalco’s wines! And they were fantastic. We left with no less than 3 cases…and this was our first stop. Whoopsie.

Sagrantino on Piazza del Commune, Montefalco’s main square.

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