We are talking about an Italian region that in recent years has seen the number of its visitors grow in a surprising way, becoming one of the most coveted destinations among tourists. It is Puglia: the famous heel of Italy, land of the south, washed by the Adriatic Sea to the east and north and the Ionian Sea to the south. Sea towns rich in history, ancient villages and lush countryside, Puglia offers landscapes and experiences for all tastes. If the New York Times has included it among the 52 regions to visit in 2019 a reason will be there and confirmations come from the number of bookings always growing from every corner of the world.
If you are planning a holiday in this beautiful region, you will find here some useful advice on where to go, what to see and of course what to eat. Let's try to imagine an itinerary for you to discover the places not to be missed during your Apulian tour.
We start from the northern part of Puglia and in particular from the promontory of Gargano, a place where you can get lost between sea and nature. It is one of the most surprising natural areas of the territory, here you can enjoy beautiful sunsets over the Adriatic Sea and organize excursions in the lush Umbrian Forest that covers much of the hinterland. Do not miss Vieste, Peschici and Mattinata.
We continue our journey with Castel del Monte, a few km from Andria. Built at the behest of Frederick II in the 13th century, the imposing octagonal building dominates the valley. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is worth visiting both for its surprising architectural features and for the mysterious stories surrounding its history, linked, it seems, to the Order of the Knights Templar. Going further south we find the town of Monopoli: immersed between sea and sky, with its characteristic port and the rocky coast that becomes golden sand in the hamlet of Capitolo. Not to be missed is the historic centre, well kept and very characteristic.
Going inland, stop and discover Alberobello with its Trulli. These are small conical buildings once used by farmers and now transformed into little shops and b&b. Treat yourself to the thrill of spending a night in a trullo: a unique and romantic experience. Going towards the sea do not miss Ostuni: the white city. A charming old town full of life, restaurants, trendy clubs and art shops just a step away from a sea that you can't blue!
Continuing to talk about the sea, a must are certainly the famous beaches of Salento. From Gallipoli to Porto Cesareo, Otranto and Porto Selvaggio, you will find a coast of unparalleled beauty and a wide variety of services. Extra-luxury massages or adventurous camping, welcoming b&b and farmhouses immersed in nature. In addition to the sea you can book excursions and visits to the small villages and very beautiful of course in the city of Lecce, called the "Florence of the South". Apulia offers beauty and vitality throughout the year, so whether you decide to visit in summer or winter, you can choose from many activities and original experiences. A fundamental part of your trip to Puglia is food. Here there is a real cult for cooking and wine.
Each city or small town has its own typical dishes, but everything is united by the search for excellence and authenticity. High quality cold cuts and cheeses, meats and vegetables at km 0, freshly caught fish, extra virgin olive oil and important wines. Speaking of wines, we suggest you to taste the Primitivo di Manduria (a town in the heart of the Ionian Sea) or the Negroamaro del Salento. Among the tastiest dishes are orecchiette: homemade pasta seasoned with turnip greens or full-bodied meat sauces. The Capocollo and Bombette di Martina Franca should be tasted: the first is a really tasty sausage, the second is a local meat speciality. If you love fish, you will find high quality products, especially in the restaurants of Gallipoli or Porto Cesareo: taste the raw purple shrimps and you won't regret it! If you like baked goods, don't miss the focaccia from Bari, the taralli and the legendary fried panzerotti.
The list could be endless, so you just have to plan your trip to Puglia. You will fall in love with the places, the food and the welcome of the locals. What are you waiting for?