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Perfect Italian Weekend

A Perfect Italian Weekend - Puglia

A perfect weekend in Italy without the limitations of time, budget, or distance. Every week we ask interesting and inspirational Italians, or Italians at heart, to take us along for a perfect, local weekend. This week Marcella Cazzato from Tre Gioie dalla Puglia takes us along to a perfect local weekend in Puglia!

Marcella Cazzato

My name is Marcella Cazzato. I am an editor at the well-known Dutch magazine "De Smaak van Italië" and the founder of Tre Gioie dalla Puglia. I established this company two years ago with my mother, with a mission to preserve the traditional arts in Puglia. We collaborate with local artisans who are often overlooked due to mass production. We embrace this slow method of production and create collections that are not only vital for preserving traditional crafts but also uniquely translate the timeless and elegant style of Puglia.


My ideal Saturday in Puglia begins with a coffee at the local bar near my father's childhood home. The view of the sea here is spectacular. Occasionally, I indulge in a warm pasticciotto, but I prefer to pick up some fresh fruit from the greengrocer on my way to the bar. I love to spend my days in Puglia searching for antique and vintage items. I find Puglia's antique ceramics to be the most beautiful in all of Italy, and collecting them also allows me to learn more about the traditional crafts. The vintage and antique markets are held on Sundays, so I save that for tomorrow, but a place where I am always welcome on Saturday is Le Icone in Cisternino. This amazing shop near Ostuni offers a unique selection of antiques from across Italy and a small selection from Tre Gioie's collection.

For lunch, I find Taverna del Porto to be a beautiful spot. As a vegetarian, I come here more for the atmosphere and the view, although seafood lovers will find plenty to enjoy. The restaurant is located on the coast in Tricase Porto, where it's also delightful to swim. After a late lunch and a small break, I love to swim here. A local's tip for Tricase Porto: if you swim at the harbour near the pink villa, walk all the way to the end. There, you'll find a narrow gate in a large stone. Walking through it leads you to a charming little hidden bar where you can enjoy delicious frise (a local dish). I usually order the frise with burrata and a crodino.

In the evening, I prefer to head to Lecce. This beautiful city is full of great restaurants. Last year, I lived here for just over a month and compiled a guide to the best spots in the city. For a coffee in a more modern setting, Doppio Zero is a great choice. The location is perfect, and the caffè in ghiaccio con latte di mandorle, a delightful sweet coffee, is perfect here. One of my favourite local dishes is polpette di melanzane, which is deliciously prepared at La Cucina di Mamma Elvira. My visit to Lecce is not complete without buying a notebook at Manufactus, where you'll find the finest stationery and the friendliest owners.


Sunday is usually dedicated to family, but to still offer some tips, I'll take you on a Sunday outing. We start the morning early in Ostuni, where the antique market is held on Sundays. On the blog of Tre Gioie, you'll find a list of the dates for the best antique markets throughout Puglia. For great food and drink, head to Acquasanta in Ostuni. This bar offers delicious sandwiches and salads that pair wonderfully with their natural wines. In the afternoon, I prefer to take a small tour along the eastern coast of Salento. From Otranto to Leuca, you'll find the most beautiful rock beaches. When I'm in the mood for a sandy beach in the summer, I go to Lido Bambù, the beach club owned by my cousins in Pescoluse. The beach here is known as the Maldives of Salento, which says it all, doesn't it?



Shopping: Tre Gioie dalla Puglia | Tableware, Table linen, Bags, Olive Oil & Lecce travel guide | Online shopping | instagram: @tregioiedallapuglia

Shopping: Le Icone in Cisternino | via San Quirico, 19 – 72014 Cisternino (BR) | instagram: @le_icone_furniture_decor

Shopping: Manufactus | beautiful notebooks | instagram @manufactus_lecce


Morning Coffee in Lecce: DOPPIOZERO |  instagram: @doppiozero_lecce

Lunch: Acquasanta in Ostuni | great food and natural wines | instagram: acquasanta_dispensaevino


Restaurant Taverna del Porto | instagram @tavernadelportotricase

Restaurant La Cucina di Mamma Elvira | instagram @la_cucina_di_mamma_elvira


Antique Market in Ostuni: Find the dates for the best antique markets throughout Puglia here

Beach Club: Lido Bambù | The beach here is known as the Maldives of Salento | instagram: @lidobambu


*Photos credits and text by Marcella Cazzato 

Ellen Grandjean