The National Geographic called it “the most beautiful region in the world” and more and more VIPs and exponents of the jet-set choose it to spend their holidays: we discover the heart of Puglia.

by Stefania Buscaglia

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The most beautiful region in the world”: there is no more comprehensive summary han taken from the National Geographic that makes a concept based on the magnificence of a natural territory, hospitality projected towards the future, but firmly anchored to its traditions and a wealth of unique and genuine flavors.

A region bathed by two seas and placed in the extreme east of our boot; a land famous for the variety of its territories: from the Gargano, to the Tavoliere delle Puglie; from the Valle d’Itria, to the province of Bari, down to the Salento.

A path that deserves to be explored in every corner, but that in this story we want to present in an ideal journey among ultra-chic farms, fairy-tale stays in original trulli, starred restaurants and dinner overlooking the sea.

The province of Bari is rich in a lush and orderly vegetation in which shades of colors and types of plants alternate in an exciting natural setting. A framework in which we can see lush, thriving palm groves and, above all, imposing secular olive trees that, chasing each other with a naturally accurate predisposition, outline a unique territory of its kind. In Monopoli there is Il Melograno, a fortified farmhouse dating back to the seventeenth century, dedicated to 5-star luxury hospitality, unique in Puglia and renowned for being the first to inaugurate a country-chic reception system, revealing its history to its guests centuries. Five hectares of luxuriant park that hosts majestic olive trees sometimes millennial, citrus groves and bougainvillea that – climbing on the typical white Mediterranean structure – give life to a context perfectly consistent with the territory. Forty rooms (including two suites, 70 square meters each!) furnished with elegant period furniture and in which the choice of natural chianca floors deserves praise.

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Guests have access to a wellness area, as well as two splendid swimming pools. For lovers of the sea, the Tamerici Beach Club, the private beach of Il Melograno, is available to guests: an oasis of peace where to spend relaxing moments at the seaside in an exclusive beach with umbrellas distant from each other, or under one of the 37 tamarisk trees, enjoying the shade and natural coolness. Inside the far you can enjoy a cuisine of the Territory revisited in a contemporary way at the Mùmmulo restaurant, where we find the chef Vito Casulli.

Casulli signs the kitchen of the Saleblu, “pied dans l’eau” inside La Peschiera, a marvelous 5-star luxury made from an ancient Bourbon fishing reserve with just 13 rooms designed to be all in it one with the sea. A place of infinite charm in which the chef proposes a cuisine obviously inspired by the sea thanks to we can live an experience of pure excellence in one of the most beautiful contexts in the whole region.

And if we want to talk about excellent cuisine, we have to mention the Quintessenza restaurant in Trani, a city chosen as the Apulian Capital of Taste. After winning the Michelin Star in 2016, the Quintessence was founded – and currently managed – by Chef Stefano Di Gennaro and his brothers Domenico, Saverio and Alessandro. A cuisine that respect the territory without extremism, sincere in taste and never self-referential. A vision that led the chef to be part of some of the top industry associations such as Les Collectionneurs, an initiative founded by Alain Ducasse with the ambition to become a reference point for the most demanding travelers. Among the listed structures we mention Le Monacelle, an estate where it is possible to stay in 6 trulli originating from the 17th century, to live an experience of pure charm.

Photo credits © Lucio Elio, Riccardo Belfiore