Salento Soul

Salento has made its mark in my heart. It was my first time visiting the south of Italy this summer and I was only able to stay there for 4 days…definitely not enough after realizing the happiness an exuberant blue crystalline ocean and brilliant sun filled skies brought to my soul …

Not only that, the abundance of fresh fish dishes and local pastries made me want to try everything I had never tried before…so hard to keep in shape with this kind of a diet…lol!!

My favorite dinner was at my boyfriend´s mother´s house where she cooked fresh pasta filled with spinach and ricotta inside..it was made in a way where the pasta was twirled around the stuffing …like a circle… I guess I don´t even know how to describe it very well (picture tells it all), but it was delish, and on top she placed some fresh homemade tomato sauce and a drizzle of local olive oil.

Probably the best thing about italian dishes is the freshness of the ingredients…

By the way, watchout for the olive bread when in Salento, the typical olive breads are made with the actual WHOLE olive inside, you can break your teeth when biting in…they DO NOT REMOVE THE PIT.

For dinner at Gallipoli we went to Trattoria la Puritate – some of the best choices include linguine alle vongole, and the antipasto misto where you get to try different types of seafood…-  Via S.Elia, 18

After dinner we went to Blanc Café & Living Store – Old 700´s Oil Warehouse redesigned and transformed into a concept store, this place offers a spectacular niche area for sitting down and having a drink at the back of the store.  Everything is at your disposal for purchase, including the glasses you drink out of – beautiful, relaxing niche lounge –  Via XXIV Maggio, 19. The bartender had created some of the drinks on the menu and recommended a few of his favorites. Definitely a place to sit back and relax, let the bartender mix it up and enjoy.

My list of PASTRIES to try include:

The taralli di rosmarino as well as the taralli di olive…delicious salty biscuits

A pastry called “Divini Amori”…made of almonds this sweet makes you keep on wanting more…so delicate and sugary, perfect with coffee or tea

Pasticciotto is also a must – small pastry in an oval like form with a soft rich cream like texture inside that will melt in your mouth

A few of my favorite beaches were:

Torre Pali – great infrastructure for bathing in the fantastic maldivean waters – stay at the Elite beach area (chair rentals and nice small space for having lunch) – no crowd, very private, family friendly

Lido Sottovento – Gallipoli – nice infrastructure for sunbathing and having a drink, water is spectacularly clear turquoise

If you are looking at a romantic weekend with someone special and can´t decide where to stay in Gallipoli, I would suggest Palazzo del Corso –great location, amazing rooms. Each room is named after a famous car…Bentley, Bugatti, etc…which is fun because the decorations inside also change.  The staff is extremely helpful and service is first class– Corso Roma, 145

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