Located on the western Ionian coast of Salento in the southernmost half of Puglia, the town of Marina di Pulsano is surrounded by a region of natural beauty. Step out of your front door, and you’ll find a coastline of continuous sandy beaches, tucked-away bays, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. It is always warm here whatever the season with year round sunshine.
Pulsano’s old town is also a treasure trove of historical sights. Highlights include the 15th-century Castello de Falconibus and the church of St. Maria La Nova - built in the mid-800s.
The Surrounding Region: Beyond the immediate area, the whole of Salento is within a 1-2 hour drive. Along with 500 miles of coastline, paradisiacal beaches and glittering bays, the region is dotted with medieval towns, sun-baked olive groves and vineyards.
Be sure to explore the historic centres of whitewashed hilltop towns such as Cisternino, Martina Franca, Ceglie Messapica, Ostuni and Locorotondo. Hiding maze-like streets, Baroque churches, medieval castles and communal gardens, these charming towns are all within easy reach of one another and can be visited as part of a day trip.
History buffs will adore wandering the atmospheric quarters of pretty towns such as Gallipoli, Nardò and Maglie. Sitting on the edge of rugged limestone cliffs, there's more exploring to be done in the ancient town of Polignano a Mare. Considered one of Puglia’s most significant early settlements, it was previously inhabited by invaders ranging from the Normans to the Huns.
Further afield, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello is worth a special visit. This enchanting town is home to 1500 white-washed conical-roofed houses known as trulli - dating back to around the 14th century. Matera, a fascinating hilltop town of cave dwellings and buildings cut into the rocks, is Europe's City of Culture 2019 and is a 90-minute drive away.
Meanwhile, Lecce “the Florence of the South”, is a walkable city of exuberant Baroque architecture, buzzing pavement cafes, outdoor wine bars, and outstanding cuisine. And if you're looking for a complete change of scene, drive 1 hour 15 minutes to Fasanoland - a safari theme park loved by adults and kids alike.
Puglia's Passion For Food Beautiful yet simple, the food of Puglia is a true highlight of any visit to the region. Vine-ripened tomatoes, sweet peppers, homegrown herbs, fresh fish and plenty of olive oil define a rustic cuisine that makes the most of wonderful local ingredients.
Order regional favourites including orecchiette con le cime di rapa - "little ears” pasta with turnip greens, crispy pizzette topped with cherry tomatoes, and the creamy custard-filled pastry, pasticciotto. With its patchwork of vineyards, sampling a glass or two of Puglia's fabulous local wine is also a must!
Local Restaurants Local restaurants are within easy reach of the villa and the following options are all highly recommended:
La Barca di Ciro: Quality seafood restaurant with excellent appetizers, a great wine list and sea views. Address: SP122 Litoranea Salentina, 74026, Marina di Pulsano, Pulsano. (Near Fisherman’s Bay) Tel: +39 099 533 3335.
*Casa Mita: Family-run B&B with rooftop terrace serving local & international cuisine. Try their homemade brownies - served warm straight from the kitchen! Address: Via Rotondella, 16, 74026 Marina di Pulsano TA. Phone: +39 099 533 6177. Web: www.albergoristorantecasamita.it
Il Grillo: Only a few steps away, this smart hotel offers outdoor dining surrounded by a lush garden. Serves typical dishes of Taranto and regional flavours with a focus on fresh fish and seafood. Address: Litoranea Salentina, 74026 Marina di pulsano (TA). Phone: +39 099 533 3025. Web: www.ilgrillo.it
Il Gabbiano: Elegant 4-star hotel with an international restaurant and 3 restaurants serving both international and Salento cuisine.Address: Viale Dei Micenei 65, 74026 Marina di Pulsano. Phone: +39 099 533 6061. Web: www.gabbianohotel.it
Al Canale: Refined restaurant serving classic local cuisine with beautiful sea views. Address: Discesa Vasto, 74100 Taranto TA. Phone: +39 099 476 4201
Hotel Saraceno Al Faro: An 18th-century manor farm featuring a 4-star hotel and restaurant. Serves traditional Apulian seafood dishes with a modern twist. Address: Via della Pineta, 3-5, 74100 Taranto TA. Phone: +39 099 471 4444. Web: www.alfarotaranto.it
Relais Histo: 5-star hotel set in a converted stone farmhouse. Their upscale restaurant offers traditional Mediterranean cuisine and Apulian specialties. Address: Via Santandrea Circummarpiccolo, 74123 Taranto TA. Phone: +39 099 472 1188. Web: www.relaishisto.it
Masseria li Surii: Lavish restaurant offering a stylish selection of regional dishes, including a variety of fresh fish, seafood, and the finest local meats. Enjoy delicious desserts crafted by award-winning pastry chefs. Address: S.P. 141, km 4, Contrada Li Surìi, Manduria TA. Phone: +39 099 676599. Web:www.masserialisurii.it
*Masseria Bagnara: A boutique 4-star hotel and refined restaurant boasting elevated local cuisine. An extensive wine cellar features prestigious bottles form the best-known producers. Address: Strada Provinciale 125, 74020 Lizzano TA. Phone:+39 099 955 8337. Web: www.masseriabagnara.it
*We can particularly recommend these restaurants having visited recently ourselves!