Amid the hype about Puglia as the "new Tuscany", thanks to Ryanair flights to Bari and Brindisi, Manduria is a typical Pugliese town off the tourist trail through the likes of Alborobello and Ostuni, but within easy distance of both, and also Lecce, the "Florence of the South". A typical Pugliese town, it offers classical history in the shape of the "Fonte Plinano", a well mentioned by Pliny the Elder, archaeological sites highlighting this part of Italy's Grecian influences, a Romanesque cathedral, an old town and ancient Jewish Ghetto unpolished by tourist-traps, but welcoming to the visitor, and wonderful local cuisine in the shape of the typical dish of "Orichette Rape" (ear-shaped pasta with broccoli) and "Primitivo di Manduria", rustic red wine. Only 10km away is the Ionian coast. A worthwhile trip off Puglia's beaten track.
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