Beaches and natural reserves
The amazing beaches of San Pietro in Bevagna, Punto Prosciutto and the dunes of Campomarino are just 20 minutes away from the Masseria. Only 30 minutes to visit the natural parks of Torre Colimena on the Ionian side and Torre Guaceto on the Adriatic side, both protected areas of mediterranean landscape, an unspoilt habitat populated by reptiles, amphibians and pink flamingos.
Lecce and his baroque
Lecce, also known as the Florence of the south, is a triumph of stone beauty decorated by expert hands over the course of centuries. Golden limestone is everywhere; facades, churches, columns, balconies, and windows. The city centre is a labyrinth of narrow streets, pathways, roman theaters and secret passages and archways that will take you to Piazza Duomo and Piazza Sant’Oronzo and Basilica di Santa Croce. Do not miss a stop at Caffè Alvino for the best ‘rustico’ and ‘pasticciotto leccese’, and right after Gelateria Natale for pistachio and chocolate ice-cream to die for.
The cave of poetry
Along the coastline between Lecce and Otranto there is Roca Vecchia and its natural caves. Here the water has the deepest blue colour, cliffs are high and diving is only for those brave enough. Bring flip flops and towels: Grotta della Poesia is a huge natural pool, filled with saltwater arriving through a small channel which connects it to the sea. It is going to be the most amazing swim of your life.
Keep driving and you will reach Otranto. If you are feeling tired from too much swimming, the best way to visit Otranto is by an Apecar Taxi, which will take you to explore the charming city centre, the fortified castle and its walls, the cathedral whose floor is entirely covered by a medieval mosaic representing the Tree of Life. Just outside town, the bauxite quarry with its blue waters and red rocks; the promontory of the Palascìa Lighthouse, where you can see the coastline of Greece and Albania. Otranto is full of magic, history, legends and art.
Taranto and the fish market
Taranto is called the City of the two Seas, divided by a swing bridge, famous for its fishing traditions. This is an ancient city with roots dating back thousands of years; its history today visible in its city centre, San Cataldo Cathedral and the Aragonese castle, a masterpiece of Renaissance military architecture. Taranto hosts the MARTA, a renowned National Archeology Museum with over 20,0000 relics and artifacts from Prehistoric times to the Middle Age. And to end your day in Taranto, why not join one of the daily boat excursions leaving from Molo Sant'Eligio? You will likely meet the dolphins who have been swimming around the Gulf of Taranto for the last 4000 years.
The ceramics of Grottaglie
All our guests tell us ‘I love your ceramics, where can I buy them?’. The answer is Grottaglie, the city of Ceramic, 20 minutes away from Masseria Palombara. A city center bursting with shops and laboratories where local crafters create pottery in vibrant colors: serving ware, jugs, plates, lamps you will fall in love with. We will be happy to organize a trip to Grottaglie for you, for a hands-on pottery workshop experience. Believe us, it is going to be difficult to leave Puglia without having some local ceramics shipped home after you!
The trulli of Alberobello and the Valle D'Itria
Just a 50 minute drive, and a fairytale landscape will open in front of your eyes. Green valleys and hills, red earth and olive groves, stone walls but especially ‘trulli’, the typical local conical shaped houses. The bigger centre is Alberobello, a town featured in the Unesco World Heritage List. But don’t miss some of the other most beautiful italian villages: the picturesque Locorotondo, Cisternino and its excellent meat, the elegant Martina Franca with its baroque buildings. Last but not least, Ostuni, the White City, with its beautiful whitewashed, sun-kissed walls and homes.
The stones of Matera
One of the most beautiful places in Italy, Matera is not in Puglia, but only 90 minutes away from us by car. This city of caves and stones is considered a National Heritage site and is the European Capital of Culture 2019. Our excellent tour guide will help you explore its beauty, will take you inside one of the old houses built in the mountain, its museums, grotto churches, its Gravina valley, its restaurants and their ‘peperoni cruschi’-based recipes. You can leave at around 10 in the morning, after a hearty breakfast, and be back with us at the Masseria by sunset.
Puglia is the region of mozzarella, burrata and stracciatella cheeses. It is dotted with dairy farms producing cow and sheep cheeses. All dairy products served in our restaurants are supplied by two small traditional producers just 10 minutes away. If you are a cheese lover, you can’t miss the chance of visit a cheese factory. You will learn how mozzarella is made but most importantly you will get to taste a freshly-made delicious and warm mozzarella. Believe us, it is an experience you will never forget.
Primitivo of Manduria and olive oil tasting
Just a few minutes away there is Manduria, famous all over the world for its famous red wine, Primitivo. Every family here produces wine, there are big wine cooperatives and small family-run ones, boutique wineries and wine bars serving only selected bottles. We are proud to admit we are wine connoisseurs and we love to talk about it and drink it in good company. If you love wine, you are in the right place.
Masseria Palombara produces Extravirgin Olive Oil. Our olive oil is used in all our dishes, we make handmade natural soap and moisturize your skin in the spa with it. For an olive oil tasting, just ask!