I’ve explored many of Puglia’s lovely white-washed towns and villages but one that a great impact on me was Cisternino in the Valle D’Itria, Puglia on the south-east coast of Italy. I arrived with a group of friends but decided to wander off on my own to take some photos and get lost in the alleyways.

Exploring Cisternino

Getting lost in the alleys of Cisternino in the Vale' D'Itria in Italy

Much like Locorotondo, another equally lovely whitewashed town in the valley, there’s a maze of narrow streets here that invite you ever onwards to see what is around the next corner. There were few people about in these backstreets despite, it being the time when locals go out for their passeggiata, an evening stroll. As I wandered, the sky turning an ever deeper shade of blue, Cisternino took on a magical air. In the stillness, I heard distant laughter and a bell sounding the hour. I sat down for a while simply to enjoy the moment.






I continue my passeggiata. At times the archways became so low that even I, all 5 foot 1 of me, had to duck.


Piazzo Vittorio Emanuele, the amin square of Cisternino, Italy

Eventually I found my way back to the central square, Piazzo Vittorio Emanuele (pictured above and at the top) and the restaurant where we were meeting up is just around the corner from here.

La Locanda di Zia Rosa

The charm of La Locanda di Zia Rosa is evident as soon as you enter with pretty, rustic plates on the walls and bottles hanging from the ceiling. In the back room a table was laid out for us. Wine flowed and dish after tasty dish of local produce appeared.


My favourite had to be the mushrooms with orecchiette, Puglia’s signature ear-shaped pasta. Our jovial host, Chef Mimmo Lopuzzo, had been out that morning picking wild mushrooms. They were divine.

Wild musroom pasta in Cisternino, Puglia, Italy

Another firm favourite was the bombette, a local speciality of dainty meat parcels filled with mince, ham and cheese. Cisternino is well-known for its butchers, such as Alvecchio Fornello, where you can select your meat and watch it being barbecued as you sit at a nearby table. Olives and bread will be brought to you. Order a few side dishes and a bottle of the house red wine and you’ll soon be tucking in to a tasty treat.

Bombette, a Cisternino speciality of dainty meat parcels filled with mince, ham and cheese.

Back at Locanda, our evening is drawing to an end but we can’t leave without trying some of the chef’s homemade liqueurs. Numerous intriguing bottles are placed in front of us but it’s the chocolate liqueur that really hits the spot for me. A little light-headed (I had to try them all) it’s time to go but I’ll never forget my evening in Cisternino.

Love it? Pin it!

Discover the beautiful Italian town of Cisternino, where one enchanting alleyway leads on into another


Thank you to GAL Valle D’Itria and GAL Alto Salento for hosting my visit to Puglia. While my accommodation, transport, meals and activities were all complimentary I will, as always, give you my unbiased and honest opinions.


Join my 'Behind the Scenes' newsletter

Delivered monthly to your inbox with all my behind the scenes news, latest posts and giveaways exclusive to my subscribers.


Travel Planning Resources

Please note that most of the following links are affiliate links which means that if you click on the link, I may be paid a small commission. You can find out more about affiliate links in my Disclaimer.


Travel Insurance

I never travel without insurance. If something unexpected goes wrong the costs implications are just too high to take the risk. World Nomads provides travel insurance to travellers from over 130 countries. They're the perfect choice for long term travellers or single trip insurance.


Travel clothes for women

Check out my guide to all my favourite travel clothes for women.


Book your hotel or package holiday

TripAdvisor is my preferred hotel search engine. They compare all the top sites to find you the best deal. I also use Airbnb ($31 discount) for booking rooms/apartments.


Book your flight

Skyscanneris my preferred flight search engine. I'd recommend them for finding the best deals on flights.

Rent a car

Discover Carsis a great site for comparing car hire prices to help you find the best deal. They search both local and international rental companies.


Book an experience

When I’m travelling, especially to a new city, I use Viator and Get Your Guide to book tours and excursions. You can't beat a good food tour to introduce you to a new city!


Don’t forget your travel adaptor

Worldwide travel adaptors are perfect no matter where you are travelling from or to. Buy this one from the US or this one from the UKIt’s pretty much the only one you’ll ever need. Please note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Pin It on Pinterest

More in Europe, Food and Drink, Italy, Puglia, Restaurant Reviews
The Crown Liquer Saloon, Belfast
The Best Things to See and Do, Eat and Drink in Belfast

From the magnificent Titanic Experience to fabulous traditional live music and some seriously good food, beer, whiskey and of course...