best road trip italy puglia © Will Travel for Food

Scenery on the road from Rome to Puglia {photo mrb404}

Caiazzo Rome FCO –> Gallipoli
630 kms / 6 hours and 15 minutes
Lunch: Autogrill / Dinner: La Puritate
Accommodation: Palazzo Mosco Inn Dimora Storica


After my passport woes yesterday, I finally arrived at Rome’s FCO airport around 1pm and headed straight south all the way to Gallipoli, in Puglia, after having my first cappuccino on Italian soil, of course.

best road trip italy © Will Travel for Food

Byebye Campania, hello Puglia! {photo mrb404}

The road was long and tiresome, especially after having spent the night on the plane. After a quick lunch at an Autogrill on the side of the highway, we arrived to quaint and lovely Gallipoli around dusk and were greeted with a pink sky shining some dying rays over dozens of bobbing fishing boats.

I thought I would find a sleepy little town and nowhere to eat this late at night but instead discovered a happening Saturday night scene; families out and about, kids playing in the streets, shops open late and restaurants still buzzing with customers. Gallipoli’s centro storico (historic center) is actually an island that’s attached to the mainland by a little bridge. We took a short walk around the center and ended up at La Puritate, a lovely trattoria in the city’s historic center that specializes in fish, and even more specifically, shrimp, or so it seems. We started with two delicious pasta primi with tiny, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth shrimp. The shared secondi included delicate fried totani (similar to baby calamari) and gamberoni al sale or shrimp cooked in salt. The freshly fished shrimp are coated in coarse salt and olive oil and barely cooked and the result is worth the drive from Rome and going out to dine at 10:30pm with jet lag tightening its grip on me. Out of this world!

best restaurant gallipoli puglia © Will Travel for Food

Gamberoni al sale at La Puritate in Gallipoli

Tomorrow we’re driving along the coast of the Salento peninsula where the beaches allegedly look like the Maldives!

To read the rest of my Puglia road trip adventures, click here.

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