When I posted a picture of this beautiful Airbnb in Puglia it was an instant success – Airbnb contacted me for a collaboration, top Instagram accounts reposted it on their feed and I got dozens of comments asking me to share the link to this fabulous property. It’s truly a unique place to stay in southern Italy and makes for a memorable, and photogenic, travel experience. The apartment is located in Gallipoli, a charming seaside town on the western shore of Puglia that is having something of a moment. You wouldn’t know it from the price of this rental, though: I paid €60/night when I stayed – and it sleeps up to six people.
The apartment is tucked into the centro storico of Gallipoli, just a short distance from the main beach Spiaggia della Purità. It’s located inside Palazzo Doxi Fontana, a historic residence built in the 18th century, and is an excellent example of Pugliese Baroque style: it is highly decorative and ornate, with a balcony that gives way onto the street below. The palazzo’s grande salon has since been converted into the master bedroom and makes for a truly wondrous space to sleep: I went to bed each evening feeling like Marie Antoinette and couldn’t believe the size of the room, and intricacy of the frescoes, when I rubbed my eyes upon waking up each morning.
With its pale limestone buildings and tiny alleyways, Gallipoli is a quaint little city with a thriving party atmosphere in the summer that brings DJs like David Guetta and Benny Benassi to play at beach clubs along the sea. Italians like to complain that Gallipoli isn’t what it used to be but if you travel outside of August, you’ll find that the town is really charming and not overcrowded yet. The historic center sits on a promontory and you can flag down rickshaws to drive you to the nearby beaches along the Baia Verde and to Lido Punta della Suina, with its straw umbrellas and crystalline water.
There are dozens of cafes and restaurants overlooking the sea but my favorite trattoria was tucked inside the historic center: dine al fresco at Alla Putìa which serves wonderful pastas, fresh seafood and transmits that great rustic feeling of a midsummer night’s meal in southern Italy.