First of all you need to arrive in Puglia :) By far the best way is to fly and rent a car locally. Driving from the Netherlands is quite a long way, 2000Km, I would invest the driving time (and the money!) at destination. Transavia (from Amsterdam, excluding December and January) and Ryanair (from Maastricht, period April-October) offer direct flight to Bari. KLM/Alitalia(via Milan, Venice or Rome..in case please avoid the transfer in Rome!!) and Lufthansa/Air Dolomiti (via Munich) offer connecting flights to Bari as well. Bari (the main city) is located in the center of the region so from there you can reach different destinations. In our case it is 1 hour drive from Trinitapoli (home) so it is quite alright :) The Airport of Bari is connected with the main train stations of the area but beyond that..good luck! Public transportation in the deep South is not so efficient. Still doable though, but In order to waste too much time travelling I strongly advice to rent a car. (Puglia is more than 400km long!!!) Prices nowadays are definitely affordable (I advice to book directly with Hertz/Europcar/Avis etc instead of third-party websites in order to avoid surprises). So... we are set to go. Do you feel the heat on your skin? Do you smell the scent of the Mediterranean vegetation? We are just at the airport but we are already in Puglia!
Once you land in Puglia and you are set to go (with a nice Fiat 500...see #PugliaMyWay #1) there is only one thing to do at first. Take the highway heading north and go to Trinitapoli. 1 hour drive along the coast with an amazing view..quite an enjoyable ride. Lost in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by secular olive trees and vineyards you will find (eventually) this lovely little town. The time seems to have stopped there a while ago. You will mainly cross tractors and horse-drawn vehicle on the road.
It does not matter how many days you planned for your holidays, it does not matter with how many friends you are with, it does not matter if your final destination is 7 hours drive in the opposite direction...take it easy and go to visit Nonno and Nonna! Don’t you have a Nonno and Nonna in Puglia? It doesn’t matter...if you pass by Trinitapoli just say “sono un AMICO DI PIERLUIGI”... welcome in the family! Nonni by default want just to see you, they want to hug you, kiss you...and basically feed you smile emoticon Day and night, there is always something to eat. It doesn't matter you just earned 10 kg in the last two months,they will find you skinny…”here take some focaccia with salami”. It doesn't matter you just had lunch on the way…”here a homemade parmigiana”. “Did you try my homemade limoncello? here take some!”, "eat some fresh figs..."
Before you know the dark will fall and suddenly...it is dinner time!
Normally, the same day I arrive in Puglia (after the “light” buffet done at Nonna’s) I visit my adopted olive trees. They are like family to me so I cannot go in Puglia and not visit them! It is also a way to get in contact with this amazing Land, its essence. Most of you, in order to help the local farmers in Trinitapoli also adopted olive trees on www.pierluigi.nl . Local farmers are fighting to keep producing this authentic olive oil, Thanks for your support! This is the reason why you should be proud and go and visit your tree as well. Few minutes drive from Trinitapoli, following the GPS coordinates mentioned on your adoption certificate, you will end up in an amazing countryside. Completely surrounded by wheat fields,vineyards and fruit trees your olive tree plantation will be there waiting for you. Stop the car, bring your camera and look for the tree with your name on it. Hug it. Spend there some time. Walk in the nature. Enjoy the silence, the colours, the scents. Grab a fig from a tree around and eat it. Lose yourself in the vine’s maze. Free your senses. Only now you are really in Puglia.
P.S. You don’t have an olive in tree in Puglia? Do you want to help local producers and receive an amazing extra virgin olive oil? adopt your olive tree now here on Pierluigi.nl!!
watch all the posts and pictures here on facebook!