Passported's Monique Thofte is the office expert on Southern Italy, and we're all regularly asking her advice on everything from where to eat in Positano to where to stay on Capri. She recently visited Puglia's Borgo Egnazia (one of the best spots to book this summer) and shared her tips on what to see in the area and where to eat while you're exploring this special part of Italy.
Pescheria 2 Mari, Savelletri
"This was probably the freshest and tastiest seafood I've ever had, and arguably the best meal of our entire trip. It's located in Savelletri, a small fishing village located five minutes by bike from Borgo Egnazia. If you're staying in the area for more than a few nights, you'll probably want to eat here twice so plan ahead."
Zio Pietro, Cisternino
"This small restaurant, a no-frills eatery with a cavernous dining room, is located in Cisternino, around thirty minutes driving from the hotel. It's so good that the owners of Borgo Egnazia eat here once a week. Like many restaurants in Cisternino, you choose your meat at the butcher stall before you sit down, then your meal is grilled to your liking in a fire-lit clay oven (meat rolls are a must). I loved the town of Cisternino itself as well, a picture-perfect Puglian village with narrow streets and ancient alleys. Arrive in the late afternoon to explore and stay for dinner."
Anticalama, Torre Spaccata
"This resort, which is located in Torre Spaccata (around twenty minutes from Borgo), has a beautiful restaurant with an outdoor terrace ideal for warm evenings and a gorgeous lawn for kids to run off dessert."
Il Cortiletto, Speziale
Also twenty minutes from Bosgo is Il Cortiletto, a charming trattoria with a simple and super fresh local menu.
Polignano a Mare
This ancient seaside village has a beautiful historic center plus a seaside promenade on top of the city walls. After exploring town, hit Fly for an aperitivo and Da Tuccino for seafood. Ten to twenty minutes driving from Borgo Egnazia.
Known as the white city, Ostuni is best visited in the late afternoon or early evening when the village's main square hosts events and vendors sell street aperitivos and events. Wander the upper part of the city called 'La Terra,' then eat at the rustic Casa San Giacomo. Thirty minutes from Borgo Egnazia.
One hour from Borgo, Lecce boasts an incredible amount of baroque landmarks and beautiful churches. Combine a morning of culture with an afternoon on the beaches of Salento, thirty minutes from Lecce, for an ideal full-day excursion.