By planning a holiday in Puglia, Italy, you can explore the sun soaked, unspoilt hero of Italy’s south east region.
Stretching from the Gargano peninsula, Puglia is a southern region in Italy that forms the heel of Italy’s boot. Also known as Apulia, Puglia is one of the most beautiful and captivating region. Only a handful of its delights have been discovered so far, yet it doesn’t fail to impress. The whitewashed hills, the centuries old farmlands and winery, the exquisite stone huts with conical roofs, along with the delightful Mediterranean coastlines makes holiday in Puglia, Italy a memorable experience. The town Lecce is even known as the “Florence of the South”, for its exhibition of baroque architecture.
What to See?
The geography of Puglia is quite straightforward. The highlands with hills are in the northeast, and the Alta Murgia National park is on the west. Miles of Adriatic coastline combines with a chunk of Ionian Sea to cover the south, with wildlife-rich lakes on the north. The UNESCO has declared Puglia to be an “irreplaceable source of life and inspiration.” Castel del Monte, a 13th century castle and citadel certainly explain the reasoning.
Bari is the capital of Puglia and one of the most frequently used gateway to the city. Ignore the industrial units near the airport, and you would be charmed by the cobbled streets by the Basilica di San Nicola. The 12th Century Castello Svevo also worth wandering around. For the truly magical experience, take a trip to the town of Alberobello that boasts 1,400 stone hut. It’s a wonderful maze of cone-shaped, Trulli roofs. To explore more of the whitewashed towns, you can also roam around the historic quarters of Cisternino, Locorotondo, Messapica; etc. The Itria Valley is quite charming too, with its olive groves, vineyards and specialty food items.
By the sea, Trani offers the perfect mix of wild coastline and happening spots. This is also the place to taste some local dessert wines. However, the region’s most dramatic spot is the Castellana Grotte, a long labyrinth of passages and caverns.
Where to Eat?
Holiday in Puglia, Italy won’t be as fulfilling an experience, without tasting some of its delicious, authentic Mediterranean dishes. Despite being relatively impoverish; the people take their food quite seriously. Seafood with squid dominates the menu for obvious reasons. It also has some excellent local dishes, with the region famous for its wine, the extra virgin olive oil, fruits and vegetables. UNESCO, in fact, recognized the traditional Pugliese dishes as an expression of a unique culture. The fave e cicoria is a testament to that recognition. It is a traditional peasant dish of warm broad-bean pâté mixed in olive oil, and served with bitter chicory. The ‘Caciocavallo’ cheese from Martina Franca, the sweet Biscotto di Ceglie, the mozzarella and burrata cheese at Gioia del Colle, are some of its other specialties.
Where to Stay?
Among the locals, the best seaside resorts to stay are located in Polignano a Mare, a town located 20-miles southeast of Bari. It has a compact medieval quarter, with a delightful beach lying nearby. That’s the theme across the whole region, with centuries old warehouse and farmhouses converted into modern residences. The Masseria Salinola in Ostuni, and the Lama di Luna in Andria are also quite popular, for its history and acres of olive groves. There are also many 4-star, 3-star facilities in different towns for mid-range budgets. If you are planning to travel with a group tour package, you would probably stay in a few of these places.