We were sad to leave this amazing agriturismo, Torre dei Preti, on the Gargona peninsula in the Puglia region of Italy; it’s such an unspoiled, hidden treasure! We would love to have had more time eating the spectacular food, looking out across the glorious view, and being spoiled by the unfussy, thoughtful, warm and friendly service — three days simply didn’t seem like enough!
Maybe its location near the quaint, whitewashed hilltown of Peschici along the northern edge of the Gargona — the spur on the boot that is Italy’s shape — and the difficulty reaching it over winding, narrow roads is what has kept Torre dei Preti such a fantastic value (our room with an outstanding breakfast and unforgettable dinner each night cost less than most rooms alone, even in Puglia). But let me tell you, it’s worth the effort to seek this place out, as the many Italians who keep it busy can attest. (The well-to-do couple seated next to us at dinner each night made the eight-hour drive from Milan to spend a week.)
What makes Torre dei Preti so amazing is, First and foremost, the food! Forget menus and wine lists, this is an agriturismo where you have two choices for the primo and secondo each night–one seafood, one not–and three choices of wine: bianco, rosato, and rosso. (There may be a menu and a wine list, but no one in his or her right mind would bother with them here.) For those willing to go with the program and give up the “choices” of a menu, the rewards are extraordinary! Without describing the meals in detail, let me just say that we were dazzled each and every time by the abundance, the authenticity, the sheer deliciousness, and the craft of each dish. Simply amazing!
But it wasn’t just the food that dazzled us. The warmth and friendliness of the staff, from the owners– she as beautiful as an Italian movie star, he a cool hipster with a gracious, hospitable manner–to the lovely wait staff who were consistently warm, gracious, and kind, was truly remarkable and made the stay a delight. The setting was spectacular, with glorious views. The placement of the simple cottages around the acreage means that each room is a quiet oasis, simply but completely furnished with all the modern conveniences.
Until we can return to this hidden treasure, we will remember with gratitude and great joy everything about our stay, from the outstanding food to the warmth of our hosts to the incredible value! Truly spectacular!