Puglia (Day 3)

Catch up on… Puglia First Night, Puglia Day 1Puglia Day 2, Puglia Day 4

Another stunningly beautiful day to wake up to this morning…

Marina di Pulsano Puglia Sunshine View Sea Pines
View from our hotel balcony

…so we decided to make the most of the sunshine and drive to a nearby beach as we knew that this afternoon we had to head back to the hotel to shower the sand off before we went to our wine tasting in Manduria that afternoon.  We decided to drive down the coastal road and just stop at prettiest beach, we could find.  Easier said than done when they are all absolutely beautiful.  After many shouts of ‘that one’ ‘that one’ we just pulled over and jumped out.

Puglia Marina di Pulsano Beach Sea Sand Sunshine Italy ParadiseWe wandered up and down the beach for a while, taking it all in, and then found a secluded spot and set up for a few hours, lying in the sun and dipping in and out of the water when it got too hot.  We had nice relaxing morning, playing cards on the beach, heading to the beach bar for an Aperol Spritz and just generally enjoying the sunshine!


Marina di Pulsano Puglia El Caribe Lunch Sunshine Fruit Yoghurt

Not wanting to eat too much as we knew that our wine tasting was coming with nibbles, we headed for a quick snack at El Caraibe.  I went for the Fruit Salad with Natural Yoghurt and Dan had the Smoked Salmon Salad – very refreshing and the perfect amount to keep us going until dinner.

Next it was off to the town of Manduria.  We were heading for the Museo della civiltà del vino Primitivo a wine museum attached to the Cantina Produttori Vini Manduria, a co-operative with more than 200 farmers who pass their grapes to them during harvest, at which point they make the wine to sell for them.

First we were shown a tour of the museum, a collection of old tools and staged rooms to show what wine production would have been like years ago – not hugely interesting, but luckily they rush you through it, as I think they understand that everyone is really just there for the wine tasting!!  One thing we did learn is that Primitivo got its name because it is the first grape to be harvested during the season as it ripens the fastest (Primitivo meaning first in Italian).

The first wine we tried was a Puglian Rosé, Amoroso, made with the Primitivo grape.  It was quite refreshing but a bit too sweet for my taste – it tasted heavily of strawberries, and I prefer a rosé that’s a bit more like a blush.

We then tasted a Figlio white wine, Sereno, which we requested, as we hadn’t been able to find any decent white wine in Puglia so far (probably because we had no idea what we should’ve been looking for).  It was so much better than any of the other whites we’d had so far.  Light and citrussy and well-balanced, it would’ve been perfect to drink in the Puglian sunshine.

Then all the rest of the wines were made with 100% Primitivo but had been aged differently.  The first one, Memoria, was from the last year’s harvest and had been bottled without oak so had all of the characteristics of a young un-aged Primitivo.  Quite tannic and with a peppery flavour, it was a very easy-to drink-wine.

The second, Lirica, had spent 6 months in French oak barrels so was slightly more robust and the third, Elegia, had been aged for 12 months in oak barriques (smaller than barrels so that more of the wine comes into contact with the oak and therefore has an oakier flavour).  This one was a naturally sweeter wine, but not overpoweringly so.

The last, Sonetto, had been aged in barriques for 24months.  It was heavy and oaky and was definitely my favourite of the lot.  Tasting of dark fruits and plums, it was and rich and powerful and less tannic than the younger ones, due to the oak.

Finally she let us try their sweet wine, Madrigale.  I was expecting something like a port or a Pedro Ximenes type sweet, gloopy, sugary wine, but this was very different.  It was just naturally sweet, and hadn’t been fo,rtified so it was the same alcohol content as the table wines, and came in a bottle of the same size.  It was very drinkable, you could easily have a large glass of it and we absolutely loved it, having never tasted anything like it before.  We bought a bottle to enjoy over the next couple of days, and I thought it would make a really interesting gift or dinner party addition for anyone into wine as it’s so completely different from anything out there.  We might have to have a crate shipped over!

Manduria Puglia Old Town ItalyAfter the tasting, we wandered into the Old Town of Manduria to find somewhere for dinner.  Unfortunately, as it was still quite early, everywhere was going to be closed for the next few hours (and most places weren’t even open for the season yet), so we decided to have a drink in a very sweet bar that we found and then head somewhere closer to home for dinner.

The bar owner was very sweet, and when we asked for Primitivo, he recommended his personal favourite, bring it out to us with some snacks so we could enjoy a proper Apperitivo!

TripAdvisor to the rescue again, we decided to head to Pulsano, about 5 mins drive from Marina di Pulsano, for dinner.  Dan’s research before the trip had suggested a great restaurant, but when we pulled up it was closed.  Wandering around, we found out this was because the local school was playing a concert in the main square and everyone in town was watching it.  It was a really beautiful sight, classical music and singing, with some modern stuff thrown in and we stayed and watched for a while.

Pulsano Town Concert Dinner Square Puglia
School concert in the main square
Il Re Della Brace Pulsano Restaurant Dinner Old Town Meat BBQ Wine

Wandering around, we came across beautiful little square with a restaurant that seemed open, Il Re della Brace, so we decided to stop and have dinner there. We sat down outside in the square, waiting to be brought the menus when the waiter gestured for us to follow him.  We went inside and suddenly it became clear, the restaurant was attached to a butcher’s shop.  You had to choose the meat that you wanted and then they would cook and serve it to you.  Good job I wasn’t a vegetarian anymore!

There was so much meat and it all looked really fresh, so we ended up picking a steak, a spicy sausage and a rolled kebab.  We went back to the table and they brought over a huge salad and a plate of chips, we ordered two glasses of house red and settled back to wait for our food.  We weren’t disappointed, the steak was huge and the kebab and sausage were so tasty (although I dread to think what meat was in them, as we really didn’t know what we were ordering – the kebab definitely didn’t taste like beef – I’m choosing to believe it was definitely not horsemeat or something similar!)  And the bill….

Il Re Della Brace Pulsano Restaurant Dinner Old Town Meat BBQ Wine

26.50 euros!! for steak, sausage, kebab, salad, chips, water and wine for 2, UNBELIEVABLE!

Catch up on… Puglia First Night, Puglia Day 1Puglia Day 2, Puglia Day 4


40 Comments Add yours

  1. MMM that food and wine all looks so good! Also the beach looks stunning, wish I was sunning myself there. Hope you was not too tipsy after the wine tasting!

  2. Zoe says:

    Looks like such a lovely place to visit with lots to see, eat and drink 🙂 that beach looks gorgeous!

  3. soumna says:

    Puglia looks like a nice place to see with so many beaches that you found it hard to choose the prettiest. I would have loved that fruit salad with natural yoghurt. I just realised that I don’t know anything about wines since I am not aficionado. At least I now know what Primate means. 🙂

  4. That food makes my water mouth.. and the Dutchie in me especially appreciates the tiny bill afterwards!!

  5. Ha, I’m glad they didn’t make you hang about at the museum waiting to get to the good stuff! I love those sweet wines too, I never have them at home but whenever I go on a wine tasting tour I pick one up. As I’m a vegetarian I can’t say I’d have been thrilled at the sight of all that meat but what a great price!

  6. Glads to come across this post..have been hearing a lot about Puglia lately.Now I have a great guide to refer to:)

  7. Sounds like a jam-packed day! Your photos make the beach look so amazing! The sand is so white and the water so blue! The fruit salad looks super refreshing too! Perfect beach food.

  8. I Love Italy it’s one of my favourite countries to visit. Not only because of the food, wine and friendly people but also because of the stunning scenery throughout the country. I haven’t been to Puglia yet but it looks amazing, so i guess i will have to go back and explore it!

  9. Soraya @ Hello Raya says:

    Your time in Puglia looks amazing! The beach looks so inviting, with its lovely blue water and white sand. And I love that you did wine tasting – it is one of my favourite things to do too. The are of Marina di Pulsano looks interesting too – too bad the restaurant you wanted to go was closed, but at least you got to see the concert.

  10. authenticfoodquest says:

    Sounds like a perfect day. What I especially love is the spontaneity of getting off the beaten path and running into the butcher/restaurant. We’ve found our favorite restaurants that way. Beautiful place, would love to visit Puglia at some point.

  11. EG III says:

    They say the third time is the charm and it looks like day 3 was a winner. Between the beach, wine and dinner, as much as I love meat, if I had to choose one thing I’d probably opt for a bottle of that Madrigale!

  12. neha says:

    Well, I have never tasted wine, don’t plan to taste as well. But the food looks absolutely yummy. And the beach is stunning. I wish to be able to visit there sometimes.

  13. Gabby says:

    I love your photography in this! Puglia looks amazing, I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it! Wishing I had a glass of that wine atm!

  14. Your first sentence should have been “warning you may want to read this with a glass of wine and some cheese!” haha I need a glass of Puglia wine and Italy’s finest cheeses now. Great post! This what Italian culture and lifestyle is all about! If your still in this area check out Grotto Palazzese. Its rated as one of the best restaurants with a spectacular view. We went In September and the views truly did not disappoint!

    1. I went the following day for my birthday! It was beautiful – check out puglia day 4 to see my review! https://emmaeatsandexplores.com/puglia-day-4-my-birthday/

  15. utravelshare says:

    I’m italian, exactly from another famous seaside place, Sardinia :), but I’ve never been in Puglia. I know it’s quite similar to my island, I mean about the turquoise and clear waters, and the delicious food..and from your post I can see that’s true :D…Anyway, if you come to Sardinia let us know it 😉

  16. Synz says:

    Haven’t been to any of wine tasting before. Hopefully in the future. I’m drooling over your fruit salad tho. ?

  17. krisdanig says:

    Gorgeous adventure! I have always wanted to go to a wine tasting myself. I’ve read many people’s experiences but your was the most mouth watering! All the great foods and the lovely atmosphere to go with it. What a treat to read, thank you!

  18. Lara Dunning says:

    I’m a huge TripAdisor fan too. This sounds like the perfect day. Starting at the beach and then with wine and food. And, you can’t beat that price!

  19. Fair Dinkum Traveller says:

    A nice diary edition. Puglia looks fantastic and the beaches, just wow. I can tell it will be a place ai would love to visiting as when there is wine tasting, I have to be there.

  20. Looks like a very relaxed day and one that is well spent. It sure is a place i should add to my ‘must visit’.

  21. Looks like you two had a wonderful day exploring. That beach is amazing. That was a lot of meat.. We would have wandered back out! Yikes!

  22. Vyjay Rao says:

    The beach looks lovely and unspoilt. I am sure you had a lovely time. The food and the wine must have been a heady experience after the serenity of the beach.A day well spent and memories to be cherished for a long time, I am sure.

    1. Definitely – that’s what travelling is all about – the memories!! ??

  23. ehsanhaque24 says:

    Emma is out eating and exploring! Haha. Youre living the life I want to be living right now. I miss the waters. I havent quite been to Italy yet, BUT am extremely excited to get there. I have been told by many that its the best country in Europe. Will have to see for myself when I get there 😀

  24. travellingslacker says:

    A beautiful place and the food looks great too. I lke how you mix the joy of eatng wth your exploration. The price you mentioned isn’t much for what it offers but I guess you can go even lower if you come to India ;).

  25. Joanna says:

    I have visited a lot of place in Italy but I have never been to Puglia. It seems like you had a great time there, I would love to do the wine tasting as I am very into wine. Shame it is so hard to transport it by plane. The food looks amazing too. I have had horse meat before, in Slovenia and it was actually really good. It was similar with beef but without any fat. That’s how your kebab was? 🙂

    1. Yeah – I think I probably ate horse then ? oops!

  26. sudiptode says:

    I would really love to do a wine tasting in foreign lands. An oaked wine is more buttery on the palate due to flavours the oak. Do try and take some wine degrees which are usually 1-3 days.

  27. That looks like a real cheap bill for Italy! I’ve always thought of Italy as just expensive, but then again my visits have been very limited.
    So funny how sometimes you know a country on the other side of the planet much better than the neighbouring one (Im from Slovenia).

  28. Ah, I miss summer in Italy all of a sudden! It seems it was a fun and enjoyable day for you. I would love to do wine tasting as well and enjoy it under the Puglia sunshine. I haven’t been in Puglia anyway so this is really a good plan. 🙂

  29. Monica Remsy says:

    Ah, I miss summer in Italy all of a sudden! It seems it was a fun and enjoyable day for you. I would love to do wine tasting as well and enjoy it under the Puglia sunshine. I haven’t been in Puglia anyway so this is really a good plan. 🙂

  30. Mansi Kamdar says:

    Food, wine… food and wine in Italy! There’s something heady about that combination and not just because of the wine (though it does sound fabulous!). Thanks for sharing.

  31. collegeceliackc says:

    What a lovely day! That fruit salad sounds and looks amazing!

  32. Maria says:

    That fruit salad looks so good!!

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