Bari and Lecce, get off the tourist trail

Food is what characterizes our adventures into Italy and of course the most famous Italian foods need no introduction. Pizza and pasta rule here, not to mention the best coffee and gelato (ice cream) you’ve ever had. Italy, or moreover the South of Italy is a foodiesparadise. 

We explore Puglia, in the south of Italy. If Italy was shaped like a boot we are firmly in the heel. The cities of Bari, Lecce and Otranto are our playgrounds, and amazing food awaits. This is off the beaten track, far from the bigger cities and airports of Italy. What we love about here are a) no tourists b) everyone is Italian c) amazing local food that doesn’t break the bank.
Alle Due Corti – pasta as it was supposed to be 

Constantly held as the finest local food in the region and even appraised by the local university, Alle Due Corti offers cheap food that is incredible, hearty and filling. Order a primi (pasta first course) and secondi (a meat or fish second course) and you won’t be disappointed. Perhaps a marker of its culinary prowess, the service is deplorable. We seem an inconvenience and our requests return a simple nod. They obviously don’t need to try hard, as the food does an excellent job! 

This is pasta as it was supposed to be, hand made, decorated in a rich sauce, the meatballs smokey and succulent. The fried pasta, ciceri e tria famous for the region is exquisite. The place has a family feel of a trattoria, in fact half of the customers appear to be kids, little do they know what fine fare they are eating. I think back to the misery of Italian restaurant chains in the UK, Pizza Express or Zizzi (move aside!).

The meal finishes with a Spumone, a frozen hazelnut and chocolate ice cream, it is divine. Like all good Italian food it comes at a great price, just €30 ($33) for two including wine, this is unheard of. London would see food half the quality for double the price. This in itself is worth the plane ticket out here, what are you waiting for? 

Alle Due Corti – Corte dei Giugni, 1, 73100 Lecce – 7.45pm to 10.30pm


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