Praise for Pietro in Puglia

By Linda Libertucci
This item appears on page 34 of the January 2020 issue.

During a 7-week solo trip all over Italy, I met up with a friend to take a private 4-day tour in southern Italy arranged through Puglialy (Via Abate Angelo Tambor­rino, 28, 72017 Ostuni [BR], Italy; phone +39 377 3802459,, which I found on Trip­

The cost of our Oct. 18-21, 2019, tour was 1,950 (near $2,150) for both of us, including all site admissions but not meals (except for one) or our hotel.

Prior to the tour, I had gone back and forth with our guide and the company owner, Pietro, via email about his proposed schedule. I have to admit, I kept adding more cities to his original plan, but he was great about making my changes.

Within a few minutes of meeting him, my friend and I realized Pietro was perfect for us. He was very knowledgeable about the area — cities, farms, crops, vegetation, churches, architecture, history and art. And he presented information in a way that was easy to understand, not giving out too much unless we asked questions. In other words, he was never boring! Also, he was smart, funny and a great companion while driving us from city to city.

We traveled at a comfortable pace and never felt rushed. Some guides are in a rut and don’t like changes, but Pietro was adaptable. He also planned everything out, so we weren’t wasting our valuable time.

We had a long list of towns: Monopoli, Alberobello, Gallipoli, Otranto, Matera, Lecce, Polignano a Mare, Martina Franca, Cisternino and Locorotondo. We stayed in Ostuni, which was a great base from which to start, plus Pietro lives there.

We also visited a cheese maker, an olive orchard and the caves in Castellano. Having been to over 50 countries, we’re probably jaded as travelers, but our private tours of the dairy and olive orchard were outstanding! We had lunch at the cheese maker’s (included in the tour price), eating the mozzarella and burrata (fresh cow-milk cheese) we saw being made.

If you’re even thinking about seeing all of these towns and attractions by driving on your own, don’t. Parking was impossible, so Pietro had a driver (who was great) who dropped us off in town and also picked us up. Unless you want to reduce the number of places you visit, get a driver and a guide.

Before leaving the US, I sent Pietro a trip deposit of 300 via PayPal. I was concerned, since I didn’t know him at all, but any worry was groundless. He appeared right on time, and we had a great tour. 

If you’re going to the Puglia region, I highly recommend a tour with Pietro. He will work hard to make sure it is geared to what YOU want to do.

La Jolla, CA