My dear friend Stephanie comes from the lovely town of Cisternino in the Southern Italian region of Apulia. Last July, I spent a great week in her trullo (also for rent here) eating delicious local food and drinking spritz by the pool. I asked her to provide you with her best tips to eat and drink in Cisternino.
Emilie: What would you advise people visiting Cisternino and Puglia to eat?
Stephanie: There are so many amazing delicacies to be discovered in Cisternino and Puglia in general! It’s impossible to choose but I can share with you a few of my personal favourites: taralli with fresh ricotta, pasta orecchiette with ragù meat and polpette topped with cacioricotta grated cheese, delicious BBQ meat from the little restaurants in the old town (you have never tasted meat like that elsewhere, believe me!), auricchio cheese, focaccia topped with tomato and mozzarella, etc.
Emilie: Can you give us a few names of restaurants where you can eat all of these succulent specialities?
Stephanie: Again, there are loads of amazing restaurants in Cisternino but these are a few of the places I love the most: for any type of pasta dish (orecchiette, ragù, etc.) go to Osteria Bell’Italia or Osteria La Valle, for focaccia, taralli and fresh ricotta you really have to go to Panificio Vignola, for barbequed meat I love going to Trattoria Bère Vecchie or simply La Locanda del Ristoro in Casalini for a variety of local dishes.
Emilie: Now that our stomachs are full, where can we go for a nice drink?
Stephanie: That’s what’s great about Cisternino (and many other cities in Puglia), you have the traditional side with the authentic architecture and the local delicacies, but you also have this very modern aspect with many cool bars and a lively atmosphere in the evenings. The town comes alive with people coming together in the many trendy bars to enjoy delicious cocktails and aperol spritz. I would suggest visitors check out Pharmacy Bar, Bar Remix or 20m2 for really tasty, and cheap!, cocktails. Or Bar Mezzofanti for a drink in a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere.
Emilie: And after the drinks, time to party! Any recommendations in the area?
Stephanie: If you want to party you won’t be disappointed in Puglia either 🙂 There’s something going on every day in the summer but I personally LOVE going to Bosco Verde on Sundays to dance on the sandy beach while sipping cocktails from 4pm, or you can go to the very stylish club White Beach, Il Trappeto (whether in summer or winter as they have an indoor and outdoor venue), Purple Beach or for a more simple but very fun night of dancing at Torre Caffè, which has no entrance fee. These places are all about 20-30 minutes’ drive from Cisternino. I miss it already just thinking about all this 🙂
Emilie: Many thanks for your great advice Stephanie! See you for a spritz in Cisternino!
Cisternino is one of the 49 Italian villages that should be in your bucket list according to Buzzfeed.