I thoroughly recommend picking one of the small, whitewashed hill-top towns in the beautiful Valle d'Itria area of Puglia as an exploration base. I happened to pick Ceglie Messapica which is known for its excellent regional cuisine. It is less expensive than the better known towns, such as Ostuni or Alberobello but close enough to explore a range of places like Martina Franca, Cisternino, Locorotondo, Ostuni and Alberobello, as well as the lovely and sandy Torre Canne beach. A car is essential and driving through ancient olive groves with dark red earth dotted with trulli is an absolute pleasure - but make sure you have a satnav!
About 40 min. drive from Brindisi airport.
Google map: bit.ly/TgM6Fe
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