road trip puglia italia © Will Travel for Food

The view along the Puglia coast {photo mrb404}

Gallipoli –> Otranto
100 kms / 2 hours 45 minutes
Stops: Punta della suina / Torre San Giovanni / Santa Maria di Leuca / Santa Cesarea Terme / Porto Badisco
Dinner: L’Altro Baffo
Accommodation: Hotel Palazzo Papaleo


I started the day with a little tour of Gallipoli that included a visit to the Basilica di Sant’Agata and another to La Purità church, both very pretty in very different ways. The first is a jewel of Leccese Baroque architecture with a very intricate façade while the latter looks plain from the outside but is surprisingly detailed inside. Both are must visits if you’re in Gallipoli.

puglia italy road trip © Will Travel for Food

Turquoise waters, turquoise Fiat 500 along the Puglia coast {photo mrb404}

The rest of the day was mostly a beach day, or more precisely, a coast day. We drove along the sea front from Gallipoli all the way to Otranto, stopping whenever we saw a nice view or appealing beach. The coastline is a mix of edgy rock formations and white sandy beaches. The gorgeous Ionian turquoise waters have a striking resemblance to the Caribbean–or the Maldives. Most beaches were very crowded today since it was Sunday so keep that in mind if you ever visit. Locals set up camp wherever they can near the water, even bringing their own chairs and setting them up on the razor sharp rocks. Cliff jumping and cave diving are popular activities, although I didn’t have time to indulge in either today. I loved cave diving when I was on the Amalfi coast and I will try and do that here in the next couple of days.

This part of Puglia is known for its sea urchin and we stopped by Porto Badisco, a small port famous for its urchins to snack on some fresh ones in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, since sea urchins are fished in the early morning, they are sold out by about 2pm. No worries though since they serve ricci all over the coast here and I am planning on getting my fill!

best restaurant otranto puglia italy © Will Travel for Food

Degustazione di pesce crudo del giorno at L’Altro Baffo in Otranto, Puglia

where to eat in puglia © Will Travel for Food

Orecchiette is the local pasta specialty in Puglia

Dinner tonight was at the exquisite L’Altro Baffo in Otranto’s center, about a 2 minute walk from our beautiful hotel. L’Altro Baffo serves elegant, re-imagined local specialties and of course, fresh seafood. The degustazione di pesce crudo del giorno (fresh raw seafood platter of the day) consisted of several local fish and seafood like white and red shrimp, sea bass and anchovies. Everything was so fresh and if you ever get the chance to taste raw red shrimp, don’t hesitate for a second! We also tried the anchovies with almond pesto and a bitter orange compote and the eggplant parmigiana with swordfish and a tomato and ricotta velouté. Both were just delicious, perfectly balanced, fresh and flawlessly executed. The appetizers were followed by two primi: a sea urchin carbonara that was earthy and delicate, and a dish of orecchiette with turnip tops cream, anchovies and burrata. Orecchiette, the small, ear shaped pasta (orecchiette means little ear in Italian) is the local specialty here in Puglia and both pasta dishes use nothing but local ingredients.

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

Share the love!

Related Posts: