Sunshine, food and plenty of laughter: these were the main ingredients of our three days in Puglia. We spent three days of utter peace, relax and joy. We chose southern Italy for our yearly pre-holiday season summer trip this year – last year we had been to Mykonos, remember? To be precise, we went to Puglia, to Masseria Torre Coccaro, one of the most beautiful places to stay on the coast between Bari and Ostuni. While the rest of the world went to work on a regular Monday morning, we left, and in just two hours, we found ourselves transported from the oppressive heat of Milan to a wonderful, blinding white paradise that enchanted us right after the first second. The first thing to cast a spell on us was the absolute silence, a break from the usual city bustle that really freed our minds of accumulated stress. The other amazing thing about the place was the very structure we were accommodated in, packed with hooks and crannies where we were able to snuggle up to read a book, have a chat with a friend, or just get lost in our thoughts. Last but not least, we were completely charmed by the warmth of Vittorio and his staff. They were always ready to share their knowledge of local Puglia culture, and share everything else that this land has to offer… Starting with food, we never ate this much in our lives! Pizza, pasta, fresh mozzarella, vegetables prepared in a myriad of ways and lots of fresh, delicious fish.
We spent the first day at the dining table, starting with the rich breakfast that welcomed us here, continuing with the fusion-style lunch that we enjoyed at the Coccaro Beach restaurant, where we ended up whiling away the rest of the day. Our day ended with a wonderful evening of pizza and other local specialties at the masseria, which was also open to the public for a special evening. We didn’t just eat, though: at Torre Coccaro, we also cooked food ourselves. We learned all the secrets of pizza dough preparation, we prepared the dough for ricotta cheese cake, and the toppings for the mozzarella and tomato panzerotti that we enjoyed on the beach. The second morning was dedicated to the discovery of the treasures of local Puglia gastronomy, and to a competition of who was going to make the best orecchiette… The results were kind of passable! In the evening, we went for a visit at the Masseria di Torre Maizza, which has a beautiful olive grove. This was the scenery for our picnic before dinner, which we enjoyed on a terrace with breathtaking scenery. Unluckily, this day that was so beautiful for us was tragic for Puglia: not so far from where we were staying, there was a terrible railway crash, that really upset us all. We tried to go donate blood, but it soon turned out was impossible to go to the closest location for blood donation, Monopoli, and still make it back without missing out plane. We have expressed, and still would like to express, our deepest condolences and to send our affection to the families of the victims, as well as to the general population, who showed its solidarity from the get-go, rushing fast to donate blood and help out as much as possible.
The third day we left the masseria early in the morning and went to Coccaro Beach, to spend the last few hours on the beach: we had our last lunch beachside, our last swim, and then it was already time to leave Puglia and Chiara, too, who was stopping by a few days longer with her family. As for us… We will most definitely come back soon to this wonderful land.
Thanks to Cesare Morisco for these magical days
All photos taken at Torre Coccaro, Coccaro Beach & Torre Maizza