Whitewashed hill towns and centuries-old farmland
Puglia is situated in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south with its 828km coastline. Here you will experience the vibrant green of olive trees and the shimmering blue of the sea characterising a region whose traditions are strongly rooted in the ocean.
The Capital Bari boasts whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmlands, a vibrant port, and a university town, while Lecce is known as “Florence of the South” for its baroque architecture. Alberobello and the “fruitful Valle d’Itria” (Itria Valley), just 50km outside of Bari, are home to “trulli,” 1500 beehive-shaped, whitewashed limestone structures, with distinctive conical roofs.In the 16th century, families built their houses from dry stone without mortar, to avoid being taxed.
Apulia is an enchanting region that spreads lengthwise along the sea, with beaches from the sandy Torre dell’Orso and Porto Cesario, to the rocky, boulder-encrusted Riviera of Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca. Here, the calm and crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea mix with those of the intense and azure Adriatic. Beach lovers have multiple options in Apulia, from Gallipoli, the sunbaked “Gem of Salento,” to Gargano, “Italy’s Buttress,” where one finds the beautiful Tremiti Islands.
In the north, the Gargano promontory extends out into the Adriatic while in the south, the dry Salento area forms the ‘stiletto’ of Italy’s boot. Home to two national parks,the Alta Murgia National Park and the 120,000 hectare Gargano National Park, which could qualify as a region in itself. This large expanse of territory covers several protected areas, including the last remaining portion of the Foresta Umbra in Italy (which is over 1000 years old).
Home to two national parks,the Alta Murgia National Park and the 120,000 hectare Gargano National Park, which could qualify as a region in itself. This large expanse of territory covers several protected areas, including the last remaining portion of the Foresta Umbra in Italy (which is over 1000 years old).
Castel del Monte, citadel and castle, built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II between 1240 and 1250 in Andria. This 13th century castle stands in the National Park of Alta Murgia, 20km from Andria, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cuisine plays an important role throughout Apulia. Key locally produced farm-to-table ingredients include olive oil, artichokes, tomatoes, eggplants, asparagus and mushrooms. Flavours of Apulia include peace, tranquility, undiscovered food frontiers and great wine.
Apulia, with some of the oldest cities in Italy, boasts rich archaeological regions, as it was first colonised by Mycenaean Greeks. The centuries-old hill towns and farmlands can be visited all year round and offer soothing respite from the masses of tourists in the rest of Southern Italy.