Places to See

Nearby Towns and Villages

View of Locorotondo (official title “one of Italy’s most beautiful villages”)

This area is known for its many little towns with wonderful historical centres: Locorotondo (see picture above), Martina Franca, Cisternino or Ostuni, Unesco heritage sites like Alberobello and Matera, Lecce with its amazing baroque, Otranto with its famous castle. We have put together a list of places which are within easy reach and which are, we feel, definitely worth a visit.


Martina Franca

Martina, as the locals call it, is only about 10 minutes by car from the Trullo. It is a lively little town (about 50.000 inhabitants) with lots of shops, bars and restaurants and a beautiful historical centre. Our tips for Martina Franca:

  • The Basilica San Martina in the heart of the historical centre.

  • A Granita di Caffè con Panna (crushed iced espresso with very dense very sweet whipped cream) at Caffè Tripoli just a few minutes walk from the Basilica.
  • A stroll exploring the rest of the historical centre to work off Caffé Tripoli’s calories.
  • Via Ceglie in case you want to do some shopping.


Lorotondo really does keep the promise of its proud title “One of Italy’s most beautiful villages”. The historical town centre is especially well kept and looked after. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the houses are being lived in which is not the case elsewhere. The lovingly restored facades, the flowers and plants on the balconies, many little restaurants and, mostly, people everywhere and not only in high summer – this all shows that the old town is the true heart of Locorotondo.

Our tip for Locorotondo: Dive into the historical centre and enjoy. There is a lovely bar with tables outside right by the entrance gate. And for lunch you will find plenty of nice little restaurants.


Just 15 minutes by car from the property is Alberobello, an Unesco World Heritage Site and the only town built entirely of Trulli houses. Due to that fact it is unfortunately also quite touristic. We recommend a short visit – about two hours should be more than enough. We haven’t yet found a restaurant there we really like. There is, however, a great place for Ice Cream: Gelateria Arte Fredda, right on the main road (see also our restaurant list).

Getting from the Trullo to Alberobello town centre:

  1. Go out of our gate and take a left. Keep driving on the same road for about 10-15 minutes. There will be indications for Alberobello. Just follow them.
  2. At the end of the country road you will get to a larger road. Take a left here, you have almost arrived. Follow indications for Centro.


Cisternino is a pretty and lively town with lots of little shops and restaurants. It has a somewhat less local flair, due to the fact that Northern Italians and foreigners have been restoring Trulli for their summer holidays for much longer than in the other areas. You can tell by the crowd and by the urban lounge feel of some of the bars and shops.

Our tip for the summer months: Get there for around 5.30 pm and start off with an Aperitivo. In summer many shops will be open until late, so you can take your time. For dinner there are many casual little restaurants serving mostly meat specialties. Beware of the fact that during high season Cisternino will get quite crowded and it might be difficult to find a table if you are more than two.


Materia is the other Unesco World Heritage Site in the area. Its setting is truly spectacular as it is built around a small canyon which has been eroded in the course of time. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities of mankind and world famous for its “Sassi”, houses dug into the chalkstone rocks which are characteristic of this area. Many of these “houses” are really only caverns, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi often are located on the rooftops of other houses. What is especially impressive is the fact that people have lived in those caves up until the 1950s as if time had stood still in Materia since the Middle Ages. It was only then that the Italian government forcefully relocated most of the population of the Sassi to areas of the developing modern city.

Today many of the cave houses are being lovingly restored and turned into shops, bars, restaurants or B&B’s. Because of its amazing scenery Matera is also frequently turned into a movie set. Many films have actually been shot here, among which “The Passion of the Christ” by Mel Gibson and the latest James Bond movie “No Time to Die”.

Our tip for Matera: Book a guide. Of course you can explore the place on your own, but this is much more than just any historical town centre. Matera offers hundreds of thousands of years of history which makes it truly thought provoking. A guide who knows the insights will definitely make this a special trip. This way you will also see a cavern house which today is a museum. 

Plan your day in Matera:

In high summer it gets very hot during the day. So our recommendation would be to book in for a guide tour in the late afternoon or evening.

Out of season or if you take the heat well you can really explore this amazing site by organizing a trekking tour which will also take you to the caves in the hills around the old town. This is great fun for kids as well.

Tour guides: You will find plenty on the Internet. We have had a very interesting tour with Eleonora Sansone (she speaks English).  Cell. +39 328 7614353

She will show you around Matera with great enthusiasm and will answer patiently even the most complicated questions. Even our 8 year old Raffaele didn’t manage to make her lose her temper and he really did try.


Lecce is a proud small city (90.000 inhabitants), about 1,5 hour’s drive away from us, and definitely worth a visit. Set in the heart of the Salento region, in the South of Apulia, it is to many the true capital of baroque.

It is also a very young, creative and vibrant city, home to several renowned fine art schools and with an interesting music scene. The centre of town is breathtakingly beautiful with its richly decorated churches, buildings, arches. There are also several sites from the roman era. And of course plenty of bars and restaurants…

Unfortunately, many churches will be closed in the afternoon, so it is best to get there I the morning, have lunch and then keep the afternoon for Otranto (see next section).


Otranto is a beautiful little town located in the furthest Eastern spot in Italy, right by the Adriatic sea, by car about 45 minutes from Lecce. Apart from the old town and port with its many fun bars we recommend you see the famous Castle built in the 1480’s.


The “White City” as it is called is very close to the Adriatic Sea on top of a hill. This is why you get great panoramic views looking over the countryside and onto the sea. Ostuni with its many lounge-style bars and restaurants has a very laid back Mediterranean atmosphere to it. This makes it also a favourite with Northern Italians in high summer. As it is very close to the Adriatic coast, it is a nice evening option after a day by the seaside.


Grottaglie is close to Taranto and famous for its Quartiere delle Ceramiche, where you can admire (and buy) dishes, beakers, sculptures and lots more made of terracotta. All made and decorated by hand of course. Many of these small businesses have been in the same family for hundreds of years.

We recommend you take the inner country road from Martina Franca to Grottaglie as it will take you through a very beautiful part of this area.