Puglia becomes a trend not only for a summer vacation but also for a autumn-winter time. In november one may enjoy the process of new extra virgin olive oil creation, visit new and ancient frantoio (plant where the oil is being produced), taste a new wine 11th of November at San Martino and vino nuovo holiday. And what about December in Puglia?
Christmas is the time of year in which the traditions of the territory are rediscovered and in Puglia the traditions of the past are very much felt, also from the point of view of the dishes that are brought to the table for the holidays. Every year I discover something new living here and even remember a part of the names of those dishes 🙂 So together with the sightseeings I’ll tell you about the typical dishes of the “poor” cuisine how the local Italians call them, which have now become real masterpieces of taste.
What to do for Christmas in Puglia?
Considering that Puglia is the sunniest region of Italy, choose it to escape from cold and use this time to visit the cities, sightseeings which might be difficult to do in summer because of the heat. And here we go!
Visit Alberobello: “Mercatini di Natale tra i Trulli” and Lights festival
From 7th of December till 6 of January Alberobello becomes a true fairy-tale. The most famous attraction of Puglia is covered with lights, full of merchants and of course there will be Santa. Obviously you should come when the daylight disappears to feel all the magic!
Visit Luminarie of Polignano a Mare
Polignano this year also decided to participate in Christmas festivity and organized its own lights festival with the help of luminarie di Salerno (famous light festival in Italy). Here you’ll enjoy a huge New Year tree, ice skating rink, lots of beautiful light installations, Christmas fairs and various events which will be for sure held during the weekend till 6th of January.
Entrance fee is 5€ per person.
Moreover, I do love Polignano for the choice of places to eat from a typical focaccia for 2 euros and a super delicious fish panini in Pescaria for 8-10 euros to the most exclusive restaurants.
But to tell the truth, I am more about meat and mushrooms during the winter season, so I prefer to go to Valle d’Itria for a dinner. And here comes my favorite place #3 and it is Locorotondo.
Fall in love with Locorotondo Christmas decorations
I don’t know who does all that work, but it is something unbelievable. Seriously. I do do love this white town during summer and even more during the winter evenings. The concentration of lights make you stay there for an hour to take a picture of every corner. Love it love it! And right in the center there is a good restaurant we love to visit as well, called “U Curdun”.
Try Purciduzzi and Pettole
Both are from flour, but the first one is sweet another one is neutral more salted. The first one is more complicated and is a portion of small pieces of dough fried and richly covered with honey or chocolate. Sweet sweet sweet! We usually it it or separately (I prefer to have an immediate cup of black tea) or after a all the lunch as a desert. People adore this Purciduzzi!
Pettole are balls of leavened dough typically prepared with olives, salt cod or anchovies and fried in big quantity of extra-virgin olive oil. But I saw at my husbands house pettole prepared without anything inside and they can be tasted as a separate dainty.
Taste Apulian sweets from almond dough
Almond dough or called in Italian pasta reale is one of the most typical type of making dolci in Puglia. It is almost just a lot of almonds and a lot of sugar. The sweets except being delicious are usually well decorated. Where can you try them? in some local pasticceria or a supermarket.
Visit a magic Christmas market of Borgo Egnazia hotel and enjoy a typical Apulian cuisine
There is another magic place to visit in Puglia for Christmas. It is a luxury hotel Borgo Egnazia which organizes its own Christmas market in Apulian style showing all the typical product, the way they are produced. Their program of full of shows from the local artists like dancing and various performances. To visit it (if you are not a guest of the hotel) you have to go to their website to section “Events” -> Mercatini di Natale -> and make a request. There two options to choose: or you choose a small degustation, or you choose a lunch/ dinner at Borgo Egnazia restaurant. The price for a dinner is 60€ for adults and 30€ for kids wine excluded. The lunch in Borgo Egnazia will cost you 50€ and the half price for kids. Menu is provided on their website.
Visit Presepe Vivente di Tricase
Or in English a Living Nativity of Tricase town. It is one of the biggest in Europe! You have to go quite far, almost to the end of the “heel”, but if it happens to you to be there you will not regret! Especially if you are with kids. Before going there it is better to check the working hours and days. Usually they open from 17:30 till 20:30.
A Living Nativity of Tricase is a huge park with a 2 km itinerary full of ancient craft and metiers installations, the Grotto of the Nativity, etc. You can see a person making strings or a working donkey.. Or whatever you can imagine had been being done in ancient times.
As I remember there is no entrance fee, consider a lot of people coming there.
Address: Contrada Monte Orco 73039 Tricase (Lecce)
Where o stay in Puglia for Christmas?
I have a surprise for you! There is one gorgeous masseria of XVI century which I visited in November (see the saved stories on IG), called Masseria le Torri and it offer 4 night with a cost of 3 nights. With brakfast, massage, cozy cozy rooms and a very nice living area where you can relax in front of the fireplace.
Three magical nights plus a GIFT for a total of 4 nights
• Welcome to the Masseria (Welcome Cocktail)
• 4 rich breakfasts with local products
• Christmas snack
• Visit to the “Wonderful Christmas” event in Polignano a Mare, with masseria’s shuttle service
• December 25: Opening of the gifts in front of the fireplace
• Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch are available, upon reservation (extra fee).
• Late check-out at 12:00.
• Standard Room € 290.00 per person
• Superior Room € 310.00 per person
• Deluxe Room € 325.00 per person
• Suite € 350.00 per person
Christmas lunch can be booked on request.
Promotion valid until December 28th 2018.
To book, please make a request at email@example.com
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