Puglia Lecce, Italy – The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Author: , August 11th, 2016

Puglia - Scruffy Italian Traveler

As you will discover through my posts, all of Puglia is beautiful: I might be slightly biased in my judgement, of course, but I do really believe Apulia (the original Latin name, as it is worldwide known) is a gem just waiting to be discovered. To be fair, more and more tourists every year are heading her and enjoying the beauty of my region!

One of the most beautiful cities of Puglia? Lecce! Every time I am in Puglia Lecce is a must visit for me: I love its international vibe, the gentle elegance of its baroque historical center, the strolls around its quietly crowded streets every evening.

As one of the 5 biggest cities of Puglia Lecce is full of charme: the historical centre of the city is not very big, easy to walk around. Forget your maps, you can discover beautiful hidden corners of the city just wandering around: the so called “Florence of the South” is rich of Baroque architectural buildings, with a proper style, so original and full of expression, that has acquired its own nickname, barocco leccese (Lecce baroque).

By Sergio Scardia – Full Story at The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Puglia Gay Travel Resources

Instagram Meet: Salento Up n’ Down – The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Author: , August 10th, 2016


At the end of May, I was invited to take part to an Instameet in Lecce. An Instameet is a meeting where Instagramers (that is, people who are part of the worldwide community of Instagram) are invited to take part of. The occasion was very special: the launch of the second edition of Salento Up’ n Down!

Salento Up n’ Down is an annual event organized by the University of Salento, aiming to promote the beauty of this beautiful region in the world through Social Media (mostly Instagram)! A bunch of 24 influencers from all over the world are invited to spend one week altogether around Salento, to promote its beauty to their (huge) community of followers on Social Media.

The meeting was organized to let the Instagram users of Puglia meet and greet the participants to the event, a way to welcome them to our beautiful area. Salento is the southernmost area of the heel of the boot: it is a big chunk of Puglia, a geographic region, starting more or less where the Valle d’Itria ends.

By Sergio Scardia – Full Story at The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Apulia Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: B&B Il Gelso, Monteroni di Lecce, Apulia, Italy

Author: , April 30th, 2015

B&B Il Gelso

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Quiet House in the Countryside. Animals-Fruit: A large villa in a 5000 mq park and a separate small building with four double rooms in the park. Pinewood, fruit trees, quite environment.

See the B&B Il Gelso Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Apulia

La Città Bianca in Ostuni, Italy

Author: , June 18th, 2014

Carlos Melia in OstuniThe White Town of Ostuni. Transiting, from north to south, the lovely Valle D’Itria, province of Brindisi, in the region of Puglia, South of Italy, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, I did a brief stop at the White City of Ostuni. From the road below, it appears like a mirage of white light. From the ancient town, up the hill, you can admire beautiful scenery.

Via Cattedrale, divides the medieval heart named Terra in two. Stroll through the narrow alleys, steep stairways, craft shops, and restaurants, courtyards and piazzas, where white houses are dotted with geraniums. The 15th century Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral has a beautiful rare 24 rays rose portal. After are walk through the town, we stopped for lunch at Relais La Sommita , to experience one-Michelin-starred restaurant, Cielo.

Stylish menus featuring seasonal offerings by Chef Sebastiano Lombardi , who was recently awarded its first Michelin star. His stylishly combined dishes promise a journey through the senses of the past and present, with projection into the future where the comforting flavours of the earth will reign strong. Visit Ostuni square with Saint Oronzo’s column.

The region around Ostuni has been inhabited since the Stone age. Ostuni’s main economic activities include tourism, attracted by its nearby pristine beaches, historical architecture in the city and its surroundings, as well as a vibrant olive and grape agribusiness. Totally worth the visit.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Apulia Gay Travel Resources

Polignano a Mare in Puglia, Italy

Author: , June 11th, 2014

Polignano a Mare, Italy - Carlos MeliaOne of the many stops during my recent visit to the region of Puglia, in the south of Italy, was the charming and worldwide known Polignano a Mare. Famous for being Dominco Modugno’s (Italian singer, songwriter, actor) hometown, Polignano a Mare rises on a rock overlooking the Adriatic Sea.

Only 20 minutes away from Bari. Always important meeting point for tourists, it is also the idilic and ultra romantic spot for celebrities, to tie the knot, like recently Japanese superstar Utada Hikaru. The buildings and churches architecture, shows the influence of the Arabs, the Byzantines, the Spanish and the Normans.

Inlets, caves, crystal clear sea, evocative see bottoms make it one of the most visited destinations in the province of Bari and Puglia in general. This fascinating medieval village is perched on a hight and jagged coastline, where there are many caves.

In the centre of Polignano a Mare, there is a succession of narrow streets with typical white houses and terraces overlooking the sea. I was told that some of the best Gelato in Puglia, can be found in Polignano, so I went in search for it. Do not be fooled, most guides recommend Mago del Gelo, between us a true tourist trap. Go to Caruzo and try the Riso, Miele and Cardamomo gelato. More on my week exploring Puglia coming.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Apulia Gay Travel Resources

From Rimini to Monopoli

Author: , June 24th, 2013

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on the go again, this time in Italy. She has graciously allowed us to republish her travel blogs. Enjoy!

Rimini, ItalyToday is a travel day. We are on a high-speed train, going south along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. We have been traveling for two hours now, and are half way there. It. Is amazing to be able to see the sea for almost the entire time, and nearly everywhere along the sea, are umbrellas and chairs. One village runs into another: Rimini, Riccione, Portoverde, Cattolica…one after another…hotels and beaches. But it is beautiful. The one exception is Ancona, which has a refinery, so there are many tanks for petroleum, and a noxious scent to the air. But after that, more little towns, more hotels, more beaches.

Yesterday we took a boat cruise from Rimini, following the coast to Cattolica. We stopped in Cattolica, and were given one hour to explore the town. It is very pretty, more hotels and beaches, but also a swimming pool, shops, pedestrian areas. This town has only been a tourist destination for 50 years, and it seems to be very family oriented. There were more gelato shops in the space of a few blocks, than I have seen anywhere.

On our return to Rimini on the beach, we were served fried little fishes and calamari, bread and wine. The crew put on music, so there was some dancing. I walked out to the front of the boat to take some pictures, and one of the crew guys took my hand and we started dancing, That was fun, as well as funny!

The hotel where we stayed, Hotel Cristallo, was also family oriented. As well as having hotel rooms, they also have apartments, so there were many families staying there, as well as grandparents bringing grandchildren. In fact, during the evening Passiagetta, one was more likely to be run over by a stroller than a motorized vehicle.

We could watch much of the action from our terrace, that overlooked the Main Street. Last night there were fireworks at the south end of town. We could see most of them through the trees, and we could also watch the antics of the con men trying to sucker people into the old shell game, as well as the partying crowd on the roof of the hotel next door.

I can hardly wait to see the next town where we are going to stay. Monopoli is just a 30 minute train trip from Bari, but off the beaten path.

Later: We arrived at the Monopoli train station. I called the owners of the B&B where we are staying, and talked to Anna, the wife of Vito. They came to pick us up in a little Peugot convertible. That was the nicest “taxi” I have been in yet, but it was so small that Anna had to hold one of our suitcases on her lap on the way back to their home.

I didn’t realize the B&B was so far out of town, but these people are so gracious. They take us back and forth to the train station, into town for lunch and/or dinner, and seemed very happy to do this for us.

It is only a 10 minute drive to town, but it is too far to walk…Suzanna wanted to rent a car, to free us up, but since both of us are directionally-challenged, and neither of us excel at map reading, I vetoed that idea.

There’s a lovely swimming pool.. That was a nice treat after a day of train travel. We have a nice large room, with 2 separate bedrooms. This is a very nice place to spend our last few days in Italy. It is called Tenuta Martinelli B&B.

Now we have more sights to see in this southern part of Italy, so you will be able to see some of our adventures very soon.

Want to Follow Bella’s Latest Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

Gay Friendly Italy Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Visiting the Heel: Puglia, Italy

Author: , December 23rd, 2011

“So here’s the plan,” said Jim Colucci, half of a New York City couple that my wife, India, and I met during a recent weeklong visit to the rural region of Puglia, Italy, where history — medieval and beyond — melts into modernity and where the olive trees outnumber the residents. “Today, we find the Adriatic.”

That shouldn’t be too hard. Puglia (pronounced: POOL-ya) sits on the Adriatic Sea, 500 miles of coastline along the blue and turquoise waters, kind of the Achilles tendon of the foot that is Italy. And we were already close. Jim and his husband, Frank (they married as soon as New York legalized gay marriage), were staying at the same gorgeous resort as us: Masseria Borgo Egnazia, near Fasano Brindisi, in the countryside of southern Italy. The only thing that stood between us and the sea was the resort’s lush, links-style golf course.

Soon we were finding fabulous photo ops along the gorgeous, rocky coastline and dipping our hands into the ocean, a kind of baptism for our final day in Pulgia. The water felt bath-water warm to this New Englander, even during the mid-November week we were visiting. If I’d had a suit, I’d have gone in.

Full Story from Murphysboro American

Click here for gay travel resources in Apulia, Italy.


Gay Travel Off the Beaten Track in Apulia, Italy

Author: , December 18th, 2010

by Augusto, Hallmark Travels

Email Augusto | Visit the Hallmark Travels Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Apulia, Italy Page

Piazza Martina Franca, Apulia, Italy

Apulia TreesThere are lots of reasons for heading off the beaten track and Apulia, southern Italy, is an unspoiled region that’s ideally suited to is, where the art of the “far niente” (doing nothing) takes place. This area has so many things to offer that it is difficult to know where to start.

Apulia FishermanYou’ll find miles and miles of coast line, coves and glorious beaches (either busy or secluded) many backed by cliffs, dunes or pine woods, as well as picturesque nice villages, deep culture and traditions, excellent food and wine. But most of all, the warmth of our people that will let you feel like you are one of them. They have a kindness and an altruism that you can only find in the South.

Monte del Giorno, Apulia, ItalyTraditionally focused on family, food and celebration, Apulia’s culture is the result of the many incursions that occurred in the past (Greek, Romans, Goths, Lombard, Byzantines, Saracen, Norman, Spanish, Turks, Venetians, etc..).

Locorotondo, Apulia, ItalyApulia is a region in southeastern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its southern portion, a peninsula known as Salento, forms a high heel on the “boot” of Italy. The climate is hot and dry in the summer, and there is some rain in the fall and the winter months.

The fine cuisine in Puglia is famously known to be one of the best and healthiest in Italy with its mosaic of flavours, being very creative to cook with whatever is available. The food of Puglia is in essence a home-based cuisine, not marked by the influence of great chefs or restaurants but by all the invasions the region has been subjected to.

Apulia Meat TastingSince three quarters of the area of Puglia is surrounded by the sea its products are abundant and popular: oysters, mussels, cuttlefish, and octopus are cooked in simple ways, sometimes even eaten raw in the markets. However fish is a big part of the pugliese cuisine, meat is very much appreciated: in the area of Cisternino it’s very common at night to go to the “macelleria” (butcher shop), some have a restaurant side, choosing the meat you wish to eat. They cook it on the BBQ and they serve you with grilled vegetables and some local wine.

Apulia GrapesWine production in Apulia is among the best in Italy, with Apulian producers mostly focusing on quality production. Best know Apulian wines, which in the last years have become more and more popular, are Negroamaro, Primitivo, Uva di Troia, Verdeca, Malvasia and Moscato.

It is also has an ideal climate to cultivate olive trees – in fact, with its 50 millions olive trees, the Region is actually known for being the first producer of olive oil. Amazingly, some of the trees are 1000 years old, all with different shapes, almost like pieces of Art.

Trulli in Apulia, ItalyAnother of the “icons” of Apulia are the trulloes, amazing Apulian stone dwelling with a conical roof traditionally built without any cement or mortar, thus avoiding taxation. In Alberobello atop a trullo’s cone there is normally a pinnacle that may be one of many designs, chosen for symbolism. Additionally, the cone itself may have a symbol painted on it (as shown in the picture of the trulli in Alberobello.) Such symbols may include planetary symbols, the malochio (evil eye), the cross, a heart, a star and crescent, or quite a few others.

Hallmark TravelsHallmark Travels works in partnership with its Clients to create exceptional tailored vacation experiences, wishing to understand their objectives so to be able to design best wine and food tours according to their unique travel needs. All the travel arrangements are settled in connection with the local best tourism suppliers.

Hallmark Travels will let you feel like a native in the places you will visit, through people normal facts most telling their true identity and traditions, making available to you unique emotions you will cherish in your heart when back to your everyday life. For example, all visits to winemakers involve a visit to the cellars, an introduction to the wines produced hold by the owner or the local oenologist and a wine tasting with some local food specialties. Describe us your dream holidays… and we will turn it into reality, paying our maximum attention to every detail.