19 August 2011

Dining in Caves & Underground Exploration in Puglia

ostuni late night gelato
Late-night Gelato in Ostuni

Between beach visits, we also visited the city of Ostuni where we sought out La Candina de Seppe Tise based on the quasi-review of the Frugal Traveler from The New York Times. We were there a couple of weeks after the Frugal Traveler visited on his summer tour of the Med on a budget, and the owners and chef had no idea that he was writing for the NYT; I suppose he does travel mostly incognito. We liked it there. The food was fresh and well prepared. Our waiter was very accommodating to Young One, who usually has an idea of something not listed on the menu. (We are creating a monster, I know.) And the setting . . . eating in a cave, essentially, was unique enough to be fun.  Richard shared the article on my iPhone once we finished dining, and they were all (even the chef came out) extremely pleased with the publicity. As it turns out, this is a fairly newly-opened restaurant.

Grotto Castellana, Puglia (Summer 2011)
Entrance to Grotte di Castellana

We also visited the Grotte di Castellana where we took a short, albeit, heavily-monitored tour of a system of caves. In our party of eleven, there were two guides, with the second guide watching every. single. move. we made. I suppose not everybody follows the cave rules thus necessitating her presence. Jeeesss. The heavy surveillance nonwithstanding, the caves are a magical underground world worth a visit. Should you be interested in a visit to hell, a performance called Hell in the Cave, based on Dante's Divine Comedy runs periodically in the cave. Looks cool, but not for me.


By the time our departure day arrived, I was checking out real estate on the Internet. Puglia is purported to  still be "cheap" compared to other places in Italy . . . "cheap" is, of course, very relative, but a girl can dream.


  1. Dinner in a cave sounds like a lot of fun! I think I would enjoy seeing Hell, but certainly with out the bambini!

  2. If you buy a summer home in Puglia, we could get together for that coffee for sure! :-) So nice to see my region being appreciated!

  3. Daisey -- It seems entirely too frightening to me. The pitch darkness, cool temps, spooky sounds would be way to much for me to handle.
    Sara - How lucky you are! i love that place. Really. Love it.

  4. These caves are beautiful, and I think that I would pass on the play too!