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Dec 2, 2011 09:47 PM


Has anyone been in Matera, Lecce, Martina Franca or Polignano a Mare during the last two weeks of December? I'm having difficulty finding information about whether or not restaurants and food related businesses (bakeries, cheese shops, wineries) will be closed ONLY on Christmas Day or if they close between Christmas and New Year. Does anyone have any first hand experience? I will be traveling in Puglia from 12/23 - 12/30 and wanted to visit some of the highly reviewed restaurants I've been reading about on this board. Am I in for a disappointing and hungry holiday in Italy?

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  1. In Italy, many restaurants close selectively during the holiday period. Chances are that there will be be some open, others closed.

    there are links to some of the restaurants on the Restaurant pages, with opening days info and, in some cases, website and reservation links. I dont see any with regular vacations noted at this time of year, but like I said above, sometimes a business will just close, especially if , in a touristic area, its a dead season for tourism.

    Here is the search result for Matera. Id suggest checking the choices for your other desitinations, emailing a few that have websites and seeing what you find out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jen kalb

      Thanks for this and ALL your helpful information, Jen. I've begun trying to connect with my top choice restaurants one by one.

      Many thanks for your help!

    2. you will find lots closed Dec 24-26, but should be good other days. lots of pugliesi and lucani return home for the holidays so it is a very busy time for food service. as jen suggests, try reaching out via email now (though don't be surprised if you don't get many replies--following up with a call is never a bad thing and puglia and basilicata have gotten so many british and n american tourists in the past few years you should have no problem making a reservation in english if you speak slowly)

      1. Check out my post about the Osteria dei Mulini in Puglia.

        1 Reply
        1. Generally it is only Christmas Day when everything is closed although closing on Dec 26 is becoming more prevalent now. I can highly recommend Osteria del Vicolleto in the Centro Storico of Mesagne.

          Osteria del Vicoletto
          Vico Quercia, Mesagne, Puglia 72023, IT

          3 Replies
          1. re: LivingInPuglia

            Katie: Thank you for sharing your expertise and insights - and for the link!
            toitoi: Will definitely explore the Osteria.
            LivinginPuglia: This will actually be a perfect spot since we'll be traveling by car from Lecce to Lecce to Ostuni. It appears this is a great mid way stop. Might you happen to know if it's open on Dec. 26?

            On another note: Can anyone recommend a wine bar that has an extensive "by the glass" selection? It was our hope to sample many of the local varietals that we have limited access to in the states. Are there any wine bars that come to mind that might fit this bill? Sadly, limited time will prevent us from traveling to all the Puglian AOC's to do this, so I'm hoping to find one bar with an extensive representation.

            Many thanks in advance for all the invaluable input!

            1. re: blacklicorice

              Not sure if Osteria del Vicoletto is open on Dec 26. You could try emailing them - or via facebook I don't think we will get there again before Christmas.

              1. re: blacklicorice

                We were in Mesagne again on Tuesday, Osteria di Vicoletto was closed for the day. We went instead to Enoteca "Il Connubio", every bit as good and had gone on our list of "must do again".

                Via E. Santacesaria, Mesagne (just inside the centro storico Porta Grande entrance)