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Puglia – Bike Tour

Alberebello - Trulli

Alberebello - Trulli

Alberebello - Trulli

Puglia Bike Tour Cicolposse

Alberobello – 23.6 miles & 18.2 miles

Today was the first real day of riding.  We broke the ride into 2 segments with a break for a cappuccino, lunch and tour of  the town of Alberobello.   Our charismatic guide Nemo shared his knowledge of his beloved city, the first known Trulli city dating back to the 14th century.  All  Trullis were constructed with white limestone and without mortar so that they could quickly be dismantled in order to evade taxes.

Day one we did a short 12 mile ride to get used to our bikes. We road to the coolest little local coffee/bar shop. They had the most amazing ceramics made from local artists.


 

Puglia bike to Matera

Puglia bike to Matera

Bike Trip Ostuni Puglia

Bike Trip Puglia

Matera via Palagianello – 40.2 miles

After breakfast at the Maseria we rode through the trulli filled coutryside to the town of Palagianello. The town was founded in 1102. We enjoyed a yummy lunch at a funny cafe in town (my Moms Italian was very helpful).  After lunch we had a 45 minute drive to the ancient cave town of  Matera. We met our fabulous guide for sweats and cappuccinos before entering the historical center know as Sassi.  In the 3rd Century BC the city was allegedly founded by the Romans. The city was dug into the rocks. In 1993 was declared “World Heritage” by UNESCO. The best way to see Matera is to wonder around the winding streets, we laughed that this never would be allowed in the US, too many obstacles!

It was a 2 hour drive back to the Masseria. For dinner we went into the old town of Ostuni (10 minute drive), which is known as the white city. We ate at the charming family restaurant Taverna della Gelosia.  It is a popular local spot that was chalk-a-block full of the owners collection of shadow box framed religious relics.  As with all of Puglia they are known for their appetizers. Try the pasta nera, it is a medieval recipe.

Ristorante Taverna della Gelosia
Vicolo Tommaso Andriola, 26, 72017 Ostuni BR, Italy
+39 0831 334736
www.tavernadellagelosia.it


 

Luigino - Puglia

Luigino - Mesagne - Puglia

Li Veli - Salento - Puglia

Li Veli - Salento - Puglia

Li Veli - Salento - Puglia

Li Veli - Salento - Puglia

Bike Tour Puglia

Bike Tour Puglia

Bike Trip Puglia

Cellino San Marco (Le Veli)  – 39.9 Miles

Today we rode to the Li Veli winery with a stop at Luigino D’Errico in Mesagne for cappucino made by Luigino himself. From there we rode to the beautiful winnery Li Veli in the Salento area. We enjoyed a beautiful private lunch with wine tasting followed by a tour of the winery.

For dinner we went to Al Solito Posto. This is unlike any pizza place I have ever been to. Loved the contempory fun interior. Again it was hard not to fill up on the unbelievable appetizers.

Masseria Li Veli – private wine lunch
72020 Cellino S. Marco (BR) Puglia – Italia
Tel. +39 0831 618259 | info@liveli.it
http://www.liveli.it/en

Al Solito Posto – gourmet pizza
Via Cesare Braico 37, 72017, Ostuni, Italy
Tel. +39 0831 305850
www.alsolitoposto.it


 

Biking to Martina Franca

Puglia Martina Franca Bike Trip

Biking to Martina Franca

Biking to Martina Franca

Biking to Martina Franca

oil oil tasting Puglia

Olive Oil Tasting Puglia

Olive Oil Tasting Puglia

Olive Oil Tasting Puglia

Cooking Class Ostuni Puglia

Cooking Class Ostuni Puglia

Puglia Bike Tour

Martina Franco & Olive Oil Tasting at Trisole – 38 miles

Today we stopped for cappuccinos in the beautiful historic town of Martina Franca.  The Gran Café, is located directly outside of the city gates. We had time for a very quick walk around of the city and then back in the saddle to ride to the Family Owned Trisole Olive farm.

We were so lucky to be at the olive farm during harvest. Outside the farm there was an olive tree that is over 1000 years old. Walking into the harvest area the smell was overwhelmingly delicious. We saw two processes of making olive oil. The traditional process with old stone that grind the pit and the olive which produces a more bitter and strong olive oil.  And the new way which the pit is removed from the olive and produces a more delicate taste.

For dinner we went into Ostuni for cooking class. We dined at the same delicious restaurant Osteria del Tempo Perso.

Gran Café – cappuccino break
Piazza Venti Settembre 7/A, 74015 Martina Franca
Tel +39 329 375 9082
http://grancaffemartina.it

Osteria del Tempo Perso – for dinner
Via G Tanzarella Vitale, 47 – 72017 OSTUNI
Tel. +39 0831 304819
www.osteriadeltempoperso.com


 

Puglia Bike Tour

Bike Trip Puglia

Bike Trip Puglia

Puglia Bike Tour Cicolposse

Puglia Bike Tour

Bike Trip Puglia

Puglia Bike Tour

Puglia Biking

Cycling Along the Coast – 37 miles

Today we skirted the ocean with its numerous beach clubs and miles of undeveloped beaches. We stopped at another local coffee shop overlooking the Adriatic before doing a climb up to the mountains. We ended the biking portion of the trip at a beachside restaurant.

We enjoyed a fun and information wine tasting at the Masseria and followed by yet another wonderful dinner.


Cicolposse

I can not say enough wonderful things about our biking tour with Cicloposse.  For me it is very important to experience the local culuture. The places Marco chose were as local as it gets. Some of the coffee shops, cafes and bars I could not even find online. I felt like we got a true Italian experience. The bikes were top of the line. Marco and Tomaso were wonderful and always kept us laughing. Julianna was behind the scenes and did everything to make our trip seamless and customized to our groups desires and abilities.  We are already looking forward to our next adventure.

Masseria Cerverolo, Puglia

Masseria Cerverolo

Masseria Cerverolo

Masseria Cerverolo

Masseria Cerverolo

Masseria Cerverolo

Masseria Cerverolo

Masseria Cerverolo

Masseria Cerverolo

Masseria Cerverolo

 

Stay

Masseria Cerverolo
S.P.14 Ostuni – Martina Franca
+39.0831.303729 | info@masseriacervarolo.it
www.masseriaververolo.it
The masseria Cervarolo is a farm with trulli houses. It was built in the XVI century, and has been restored over the past 5 years. It is located just 6 km from Ostuni village.

We called the Masseria home for 6 nights, while we explored Puglia by bike during the day.  The owner Tio and the staff made us feel so welcome from the moment we arrived and they were waiting at the entrance. The most beautiful breakfast is served in the dining area.  The library area in the main masseria serves as an evening cocktail area, where it is fun to meet other guests. In the comfort of the library area we had an educational wine tasting evening from a lovely, passionate young sommelier.  Late afternoon simple cooking classes are organized to show how to make the local specialties (orcchiette, focaccia, taralli, and  biscotti).

I dream (most comfortable bed with ironed sheets) of  returning to this beautiful retreat.

Sienna

Sienna Duomo

Sienna Duomo

SIenna, Italy

Sienna

Sienna
We did a day trip out to Sienna via the train.   The train is very easy and drops you at the bottom of the city.  Then we took a long escalator up to the old city.  We enjoyed wondering through the streets that are a bit less crowded before reaching the Piazza Del Campo. There is a great coffee shop on the corner right when you enter the old town gates.

Eat

Osteria Le Logge
Via del Porrione, 33
+39 0577 48013
Loved this restaurant. The kitchen has a large window that looks out to the streets. Just one block off of the Piazza Del Campo. Make a reservation, ask to sit on main floor.

Florence

Florence

Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens
Boboli Gardens

Stay

AIRBNB in the center of Florence

Florence Apartment in City Center

Florence aparment
L’Antica Torre (The Ancient Tower)
My parents and I stayed in L’Antica Torre and we loved it! The apartment is beautiful and so interesting with all of its history. We loved to meet the owner, Gianni and learn the history of the tower and how he renovated it. The apartment is spacious and incredibly clean. I could not believe the location, it is smack in the heart of everything. We enjoyed walking across any of the bridges to get out of the city center a bit and found prices for food less and a bit less touristy. The tower is a 5 story walk up which made us feel like we could indulge in pasta and gelato.
www.airbnb.com

Eat

La Menagere Florence
la ménagère
Cafe il Sole, Florence
Cafe il Sole
Trattoria Angiolino | Florence
Trattoria Angiolino

*All dinners in Florence it is best to make a reservation.

La Ménagère – best for cappucino and light food
Via dè Ginori 8r | San Lorenzo Neighborhood
www.lamenagere.it
This unique modern space is a perfect setting to get some early morning (they open at 7) work in while drinking a cappuccino. It draws a trendy crowd of both locals and tourists.

Cafe il Sole – best for casual lunch
Via Guelfa 25r | San Lorenzo Neighborhood
We went to the Marceto Centrale for lunch, not realizing the main floor is closed on Sundays. Fortunately we stumbled upon this eclectically decorated, think rose decorated tablecloths, christmas lights and Italian soap operas on the tv cafe. Food was great and prices were even better. I had my go to pesto gnocchi followed by a cappuccino. Interior decor is cute and cozy and they have outside dining. A great alternative to the Marceto Centrale when in the Saint Lorenzo area. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Mangiafoco Caffè | Dinner or Glass of Wine/Cheese
Borgo Santi Apostoli, 26
+39 055 265 8170
This cute restaurant was a few steps from our Airbnb. We came here for a glass of wine and ended up staying for dinner. Food is yummy, interior is cozy, staff is very friendly.

Cantinetta Delle Terme | Dinner
Via Delle Terme 14r
+39 055 239 6084
This restaurant was downstairs from our Airbnb. Although it is located just one block off the main drag, it has fair prices and not too touristy. I really enjoyed the ribollito soup and they have nice wine by the glass. Make a reservation and request to sit on the main floor.

SAN SPIRITO NEIGHBORHOOD  – Staying in the city center can be overwhelming crowded, not to mention expensive for dining.  I love finding the spots that locals love. The San Spirito Neighborhood is a short walk across the bridge (one or two up from the Ponte Vechio).

Trattoria Giovanni | Dinner
Via Sant’ Agostini, 38R | San Spirito Neighborhood
Loved this tiny restaurant. Here I enjoyed bruscetta with pecorino and truffles to start. Followed by picci pasta with ragu. We had dinner here, they are also open for lunch.
www.tattoriagiovanni.it

Trattoria Angiolino | Dinner
Via di Santo Spirito, 36 R | San Spirito Neighborhood
+39 055 239 8976
Fun scene, big bar which you can dine at which is not common in Florence. We left at 11:00 and there were still people waiting to sit down.

Puglia, Monopoli

Its that time of the year again. Fall off season,  which translates to: travel time.  First stop is Don Ferrante Hotel perched on the rocks above the Adriatic Sea.  The tiny city of Monopoli is the heal of Italy’s boot is comprised of narrow white stone streets, large rock stone pavers, white ceramic pots laden with succulents, castles, cathedrals and the beautiful blue sea.

Don Ferrante, Puglia

Don Ferrante

monopoli

Don Ferrante, Puglia

Don Ferrrante Puglia

Don Ferrante Breakfast

Don Ferrante, Puglia

Monopoli, Puglia

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 Stay

Don Ferrante
This tiny boutique hotel is beautiful and has the most stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. The staff is exceptionaly friendly and accomindating. The rooms are elegant down to the Frette ironed sheets. The breakfast is wonderful, try to get a table in the window perched above the sea. Persecco on the roof top terrace is a must. I loved everything about Don Ferante.
www.donferrante.it

Eat

When in Monopoli eat the seafood. Throughout the day fishing boats come and go with the daily catch. You can watch the locals catch octopus with their hands.
Puglia has many wines to offer and at incredibly reasonable prices. My preference is Primotivo.
You will want to make reservations for dinner.
Puglia is known for its appetizers. Many times they will just be sent out without ordering them. Often times we found ourselves full before the main courses had arrived.

il Guazzetto
Via Dell’Erba 39/41
Monopoli | 080 4107175
Local, very authentic.

Florence

Obica - Florence

Obica - Florence

Caffe' Dell Oro - Florence

Eat

Obica – Mozzarella Bar
Via Tornabuoni 16
Beautiful courtyard in the city center.

Caffe’ Dell Oro
Lungarno degli Acciaioli, 2, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Beautiful breakfast sanctuary, immediately off the Ponte Vecchio.

Stay

Riva Lofts

Riva Lofts

Riva Lofts
Via Baccio Bandinelli, 98, 50142 Firenze, Italie
+39 055 713 0272 | www. rivalofts.com
Boutique hotel blending city lifestyle with a welcoming warm atmosphere.  Ten minute bike ride, 20 minute walk along the river  park (bikes free for guests). Easy to drive to and park at hotel.

Drink
Amble

Amble
Piazzetta dei Del Bene, 7/a
Florence
+39 055 268528
Closed Monday.
Tues – Sat 10-10
Sunday 5pm-10
Minutes from the Ponte Vecchio, but feels like one of the quietest squares in town. Great neighborhood bar feel nestled at the end of an alley under a fig tree. Hip, relaxed and delicious place, perfect to stop at any hour of the day.

Florence

Tuscany – Pienza – Val d’Orcia

La Bandita Countryhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Countryhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Countryhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Countryhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Countryhouse

Pienza Italy

La Bandita Country House Pienza

Pienza - Tuscany

Pienza

Day Trips

Monteverdi - Tuscany

Monteverdi - Tuscany

Dopolavoro - Tuscany

Dopolavoro - Tuscany

Monteverdi – Castiglioncello Del Trinoro Tuscany – hotel, spa and restaurant
Exquisitely restored 12th century mini village (25 inhabitants) of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, Tuscany.  Be ready to relax with a fabulous book and soak in the beautiful setting. Gorgeous spa, restaurant, bar and Enoteca. Great for a day trip or spend a night or 2 here.

Dopolavoro Restorante & Bar – Below La Foce
Traditional Tuscan farm to table dining, vegetable garden is across the street. Often have live music in the evenings.

La Foce – Gardens
Marvelous estate, you can stay here or if budget does not allow go for a garden tour and hike.

STAY

La Bandita Townhouse – Pienza
Boutique hotel located in the heart of Pienza. Mix of modern and old.  The restaurant was our go to hangout.
Casina Di Piazza – Pienza – Airbnb
Great price, center of town, clean 2 bedroom Airbnb.

Eat

La Bandita Townhouse - Tuscany

La Bandita Townhouse

La Bandita Townhouse - Tuscany

Il Picolo - Pienza

La Bandita Townhomes – A must
We spent a lot of time here (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Elegant setting, friendly staff and excelent  food.

Trattoria Latte du Luna – Simple, fresh and resonable
Authentic Tuscan restaurant. Very reasonable, Try the peci pasta

Buon Gusto – Galato and smoothies
The best spot for homemade gelato.

Il Picolo Caffe – casual dining
Cozy inside seating, great outside patio in the back. After traveling all day and having a big pasta lunch at La Bandita, this was a great spot for a casual dinner of prosciutto, cheese, and antipasto.

Drink

Il Bar - Pienza

Bar Il Casello – Best view in Pienza
Order inside and enjoy your vino overlooking the Tuscan fields

Galati Mamertino, Sicily

GalatiGalati-SicilyGalati-SicilyGalatiFinding this little remote village of Galati Mamertino located the Sicilian mountainside between Palermo and Taormina  and being treated to dinner and breakfast by the Mama, Aunts, cousins and extended family of the people behind the famous Il Pastio restaurant in Beverly Hills was a highlight among many in this journey. Nino’s (a friend from Il Pastio) sister Nancy stopped her weekend plans and spent the evening hosting us.The generous hospitality of these folks, their love for preparing the most delicious food, the way they share this food with gusto and laughter, the instantly fresh ingredients all raised locally and their welcoming warmth…..defines the Italian culture. Fresh porcini mushrooms gathered in the woods around us were sautéed in olive oil and then topped with toasted pistachio nuts…..DELIZIOSO !

STAY
Belvedere Bed & Breakfast
di Rosetta Baglio Rivetti
Largo Alloro, 9
Galati Mamertino
Tel 0941.435068
www.belvederebeb.net
info@belvederebeb.net

EAT
Trattoria “La Bettola” – order whatever they recommendvia Cavour, 159
Tel 0941.0434952

BAR
G-Bar – look for adorable bartender Gaitano
Piazza S. Giacomo
Galati Mamertio