Located in Italy’s sunny south, Puglia is a long, narrow region bordered on two sides by the Ionian and Adriatic seas. With a wonderful coastline it has a unique character and charm, little known to outsiders it offers an authentic Mediterranean holiday. The Italians who flock here in the summer keep this laidback playground of blue sea, golden sands and olive groves strictly a family affair. As at all good Italian get-togethers, food takes centre stage: fresh fish, melons, figs, olive oils and wines.
Puglia is home to numerous local specialities and produces almost all of the country’s – in fact Europe’s – pasta.
Although the region may appear Italian down to its boots, the heel of Italy has a very cosmopolitan past; the Greeks, Spanish and Normans all paid visits, leaving a quirky mixture of architectural heirlooms, from Baroque churches and Romanesque cathedrals to whitewashed villages and the traditional conical dwellings called trulli.
The region of Puglia is home to a number of delightful towns and cities, each with its own charming Medieval or Baroque old quarter. Lecce is often referred to as the Florence of the south, with is maze of winding narrow streets and abundance of Baroque style architecture. The Medieval walled town of Ostuni sits high on a hillside surrounded by olive carpeted plains with views to the sea beyond. Clusters of whitewashed houses cascade down the hillside and the enchanting tangle of backstreets lead to the magnificent Gothic cathedral. Also visit the fortified island town of Gallipoli.
Inland, the central Puglian towns of Alberobello, Locorotondo, Cisternino and Martina Franca are famous for their charming old-town centres and their traditional trulli dwellings. The centre of Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the high number of these distinctive buildings and although one of the most touristy spots in the region it is also one of the most unique.
The dramatic Castel del Monte is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Europe's finest examples of medieval military architecture and for nature lovers the Gargano National Park in the north of the region is home to thousands of different species of flora and fauna, including deer and wildcats.
When to go to Puglia
With a lovely Mediterranean climate it is possible to visit Puglia year round with temperatures around the early to mid 20's during Spring and Autumn, rising to around 30°C between the end of May through to September. The winter months can recieve more rain but temperatures are still a comfortable 12-15 °C.
Puglia has two international airports, Bari and Brindisi. Fly with BA, Ryanair, Alitalia and easyJet.