PUGLIA, ITALY: Why you must visit & the BEST PASTICCIOTTO in LECCE

By Brian Lemay 35 comments

Hi, friends! So one of the best things about living in London is its proximity to all of the other incredible places there are to visit in Europe! I’ve got friends in Italy, so I found myself twice there already, hanging with Maria and Nicola, and of course Connor, in the north of Italy, in Friuli, at Nicola’s family’s gorgeous vineyard. (Comelli wines shout out!) Last week I was in southern Italy, warmly welcomed in Lecce, by Jeremy, Michelle and Domenico. The people of Puglia are proud of their specialties, from local coffee Quarta, to how they make their bread, “Here it’s hard outside, and hard inside.” To their beloved pasticciotto. Here are my top 5 highlights. Number one: the beach! From a damp, gray London, this felt like heaven. We went to Punta della Suina, near Gallipoli. Number two: the gelato! Here, I had pistachio with fondente, a.k.a. dark chocolate. Number 3: linguine alla vongole. My favorite dish that I had in Puglia, from the restaurant L’Ostrica Ubriaca. This is Ciccio. He’s the pal of Michelle and Dominico, and she showed us a delicious time at his restaurant. Number 4: the history. The local limestone, the cathedrals, the Roman amphitheatres, the stories of what happened in that very spot thousands of years ago. And number 5: THE FOOD. This is kind of redundant to number 3, but c’mon, we were in Italy! And ALL of the food was so good! And Dominico’s family welcomed us into their home, and we had a feast! And, of course, pasticciotto, which takes me to our dessert adventure. Pasticciotto… It’s funny, the first time I tried it was like, “Ehh, I don’t know…” But you have to find the right pasticciotto, and it’s delicious. The best pasticciotto in Lecce, Michelle says she knows where it is, it’s not in a touristy spot, it’s right behind me: Caffè L’incontro. This bakery is a family-run business. Let’s meet the family! – Tonia – Simone – Noemi – Laurio Pasticciotto is the undisputed king of pastries in Salento, which is this part of Puglia. Chef invited us into the kitchen to see how it’s done. Thankfully, I had Michelle with me to translate! He went on to say that he’s from Lecce, that he’s eaten pasticciotto for as long as he can remember, and he’s been making pasticciotto since he was 15 years old. And lucky for us, he shows us how it’s done. This is a creamy custard, which is then piped into the shortcrust pastry, and topped with another oval of the dough. He then seals it over top and removed the excess dough. You can tell these fingers have been doing this a very long time. They’re then brushed with an egg wash for a beautifully browned top, and they’re ready for the oven. Laurio, the head pastry chef, is at the helm of the oven to determine the exact right moment to take them out. The time is right when they’re beautifully golden on top. This bakery serves them still warm, straight from the oven. You wouldn’t be able to find pasticciotto very easily in Rome or Milan, you’d have to go to a special Pugliese pastry shop to find them. They have so much pride for the pasticciotto, as they should! It is a creamy, warm, buttery delight. Let’s eat! So good!! It’s really good. Big thanks to Michelle for being translator extraordinaire and pasticciotto navigator. Where else in Europe do you want to see me go? I want to go so many places and I would like YOU to help me narrow it down. Ok, leave a comment below please, thumbs up this video if you liked it, and as always, keep it quirky!!!



May 5, 2017, 9:50 am Reply

I wish I was there! D`: Looks like you guys are havin' a great time!

Anywhere you go in Europa is special. 🙂

Carlijn De Nijs

May 5, 2017, 10:18 am Reply

Ohhh how nice! I am Dutch but live in Brindisi for 3 years now. Cool to see that you've enjoyed yourself in Puglia. Will share your video on our B&B Facebook page. Ciao ciao!

Renata Franco

May 5, 2017, 10:59 am Reply


Connor Boals

May 5, 2017, 12:31 pm Reply

Omg what an awesome adventure.

El Nino

May 5, 2017, 1:13 pm Reply

belgrade or even better Nis, serbian or even balkan food culture is incredible!!

Vangelis B

May 5, 2017, 1:39 pm Reply

That looked delicious! I hope you guys go to Greece!

Steph J

May 5, 2017, 3:08 pm Reply

ur cool

Aldrei Rios

May 5, 2017, 3:19 pm Reply

Wow.. super delicious!
I'd like to see you in Málaga!


May 5, 2017, 4:19 pm Reply

Those pasticciotto look divine, yum!

Alice Potaufeu

May 5, 2017, 4:43 pm Reply

Marseille in France, you have to come to Marseille and visit me!! That would be soooooo amazing!!! Shamefully enough I have to confess that I have never been to Italy (though so close from where I live) but it has been a dream of mine to visit this beautiful country and thanks to your video, that desire has increased a bit more!! Thank you so much for your work and what you do!! 😀

Janelle Bryan

May 5, 2017, 4:45 pm Reply

Looks amazing! Great video


May 5, 2017, 6:11 pm Reply

That looks so good!! It would be cool if you went to Barcelona, somewhere in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Europe is so beautiful though so go everywhere you can!!! 🙂


May 5, 2017, 8:27 pm Reply

I loved my visit to Italy… and just to go and get to eat! Wonderful! Thanks


May 5, 2017, 9:47 am Reply

I'm voting for Slovenia 🙂

Michelle Fix

May 5, 2017, 8:53 am Reply

Great video! We had so much fun together in Lecce! Come back sooooon!!!

Madalin Tudor

May 5, 2017, 7:26 pm Reply

I dont know if you would go,but Sibiu,Romania is my recomandationto you.From here you can go to Brasov,Romania,Cluj Napoca,Romania and Sighisoara,Romania,you wont be desapointed.

Sebastian Held

May 5, 2017, 10:20 pm Reply

Katie please come to Switzerland!! I can show you around in the capital ??

TD Moore than just ORCHIDS

Jun 6, 2017, 6:36 pm Reply

Love Lecce…Salento


Sep 9, 2017, 3:03 am Reply

Come on everybody in Lecce knows that the best pasticciotto is in Alvino bar!!!

Cook With Dina

Nov 11, 2017, 9:17 am Reply

Omg Katie! Pasticciotto! ?? I need them in my life!

AYYUB khan

Feb 2, 2018, 6:29 am Reply

Any hotel job there

Antonio Antro

Apr 4, 2018, 9:50 am Reply

La mía terra <3

Bruce White

Sep 9, 2018, 3:46 am Reply

Can I put your pasticciotto video up on my web , wineandfoodtraveller, and take a look at where else we go in Italy.

Rabbi Shekelberg

Sep 9, 2018, 11:13 am Reply

What an awful voice you have.

Synth Reaction

Oct 10, 2018, 11:38 am Reply

I love Galatina my origin 20 km from Lecce there where the pasticciotto is born. Favoloso! Wikipedia: History The invention of pasticciotti is credited to Andrea Ascalone, a chef in the town of Galatina in Lecce, who in 1745 used ingredients left over from full-sized tortas to create a smaller cake. The name pasticciotto allegedly comes from Ascalone himself regarding his creation as a pasticcio, or "mishap".

Don Amigo

Oct 10, 2018, 11:04 am Reply

Have you been to other places in puglia? Lecce stand out?

El Pueblo Unido

Nov 11, 2018, 12:28 am Reply

Ma i leccesi che nella cartina del Salento tolgono tutta la parte nord? Patetici lol

Michelangelo Lisi

Jan 1, 2019, 1:37 pm Reply

Lecce m…


Mar 3, 2019, 3:23 pm Reply


Diana Noemi

May 5, 2019, 12:57 pm Reply

Have you been to Bari in Puglia? I'm curious how that city is… Thinking of going to school there.

Aniello Salzano

May 5, 2019, 10:12 am Reply

w l'italiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa the best in the worlddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!

Kate Mahar

May 5, 2019, 8:17 pm Reply

Ciao, Katie! Your ode to pasticciotti inspired us to make a beeline for Caffe L'intorno when visiting Puglia a few weeks ago. I've tagged you in my travel blog — www.weheartricksteves.com. Hope you enjoy it – and grazie!

Bene Fio

Jul 7, 2019, 8:48 am Reply

"linguini"? Mi HAI APPENA UCCISO

vat 69

Aug 8, 2019, 7:49 am Reply

….why not try Afganistan?

Anna Abrams

Aug 8, 2019, 7:55 pm Reply

Hey pasticciotto where have you been all my life? ❤️

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