A weekend in Nardo

Sarah and Nigel, new converts to the joys of Further Afield, came across wonderful Nardo through the collection and headed there for a few days earlier this year, staying at Vincent’s NardòSalento apartments. Here they share their tips and their love of this fabulous town in Southern Italy.

Italy has always been top of our travel list and while we’ve spent many trips winding our way through Tuscany; cruising up the coast or stomping through cities we’d yet to discover the South. Images of Puglia have been a constant fixture on my instagram feed, and the beautiful beaches, whitewashed villages and giant gelatos paint a picture of the quintessential holiday experience and we wanted in on the action.

While the secret is definitely out, and some of the towns are now on a slightly more well-trodden path, you can still experience a taste of the real Puglia in many of the pretty towns and villages that are dotted around the region’s coast and countryside. We spent a few days in Nardo at the end of our trip around the region and instantly fell in love.

In the heel of Italy’s boot, Nardo is just south west of the beautiful city of Lecce and approx an hour from Brindisi or two from Bari’s airport.

Where did we stay?

Nardo Salento offers stunning boutique rentals in the heart of the town. If clean lines, exquisite detail and interesting spaces are your bag, then you’ll be living the dream in these private hideaways just steps from the centre.

We stayed in Agrumento, a beautiful two bedroom oasis with lush garden, private plunge pool and pretty terraces. The main house housed the master bedroom with vaulted ceiling and epic en-suite; a retro-modern kitchen and a bright cosy living space. External stairs led up to the second bedroom suite and private roof terrace. We also took a look around La Corte, as the two houses can be taken together to form La Casa Grande, and instantly started planning our dream team for a gathering in this ultimate entertainment space.

Further Afield also sports the wonderful Il Cubo and Loft2A, both stunningly designed spaces.

What was Nardo like?

In a word: unexpected. It was our last stop in a tour of Puglia and we were definitely feeling a bit of the ‘seen one seen them all’ when it came to pretty towns but Nardo blew us away. While there is no denying it’s postcard-like charm, it was quite different to the other places we stayed with an authentic local feel.

Days were spent exploring the incredible churches, botanical gardens and indulging in a little retail therapy; followed by long lazy lunches and maybe a walk on one of the beautiful beaches… or just chilling in our gorgeous house.

Decent eating and drinking?

Yes.. and lots of it. You’re in the heart of olive oil and wine country and we in foodie heaven taking our pick from unfussy wine bars; home-like trattorias and top-notch restaurants. There is a great guide in each of the houses with some fantastic recommendations. The guys have really done their homework and we had some of our best meals of the trip based on their suggestions and a few highlights:

The Cardinal Aperitif & Bar – really beautiful little wine bar with a great drinks list and a mix of simple classics (charcuterie etc) and interesting well executed plates.
Antica Trattoria Salandra – the Hairy Bikers visited a few years ago and it’s still exactly the same. Simple (super) cheap home cooked food – proper Italy.
La Bottiglieria – cute and simple wine bar. Perfect for an Aperitif.
Schola Sarmenti – lovely winery just on the outskirts of town centre. You can do tours, tasting or just sit and eat and drink in their pretty wine bar / restaurant.

What’s close by?

If you want to venture further afield, then it’s a great base to explore the region. The beautiful town of Lecce is just 25 mins away and even off season (mid November) it was still buzzing with plenty of great restaurants and places to explore.

The beaches on the west coast are 10 mins away and are some of the best we came across on our tour of Southern Italy – great to combine with a seaside lunch or a stop in Gallipoli.

And if you do want to tick off some of Puglia’s ‘must see’s’ then all of the big hitters are within 1-1.5 hours, or better yet take your time winding down from the airport with a night or two along the way.


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