Welcome back to Ask a Local, a series of posts in which I interview locals all over the world about what to see, where to go, what to eat, and how to fit in in their city or town.
Today’s interview takes us to Brindisi in the south. So, what do the locals recommend we do, see, and eat there? Gianluca, a Puglia tour guide has the answers.
If someone is visiting Brindisi for the first time, what do you recommend they see or do?
Stroll through the historical center, take a boat to the Casale area, visit the temple of St. John at Sepolcro, and eat seafood and good gelato.
Let’s talk about day trips…what nearby places should everyone make sure to visit?
Lecce, Ostuni, Alberobello, and Natural Reserve of Torre Guaceto are my personal favorites.
Tell us about the local dishes. What should people try here?
Orecchiette (homemade local pasta), turcinieddi (lamb intestines), and watermelon in the summertime.
Is there anything tourists do that locals find rude or strange? What can we do to better fit in with the culture?
The area is still low-key for tourism, so the locals love anything weird and different.
What is the best way to meet locals and make friends?
Hang out in the evenings near by the Verdi Theater or spend an afternoon on one of the local beaches.
Why should people make sure to visit Brindisi?
It is the gateway to the east; it has been this way since Roman times. It is easy to reach (airport, train station, and port are all within few kilometers). The food is genuine. Everything is reachable on foot. You’ll get an authentic experience as a local, unlike the usual tourist spot.
What is the best place to go take beautiful photos of the city?
On top of the sailor monument in Casale district.
Anything else you want us to know?
It is the gateway to Salento, the new off-the-beaten-path of Italy. You must stop here before discovering the rest of the region.