Welcome to Puglia
Puglia is where Italians go for a holiday. Relatively unknown abroad, Puglia is a hidden gem that is slowly being discovered by more visitors each year and for good reasons. Puglia boasts kilometres of beautiful beaches on two seas on the Mediterranean, fascinating cities and villages like the trulli capital of the Itria Valley of Alberobello, the ‘Florence of the South’ that is Lecce, the crown jewel of the Salento, or Ostuni the ‘White City’ in the Alto Salento. These cities were often founded by the ancient Greek, and acquired their distinct cultures and histories and gastronomy from the succession of invaders: the Romans, the Normans, the Venetians, the Spaniards and even the Turks.
There are countless beautiful and significant sites from where to experience Puglia; from the Gargano in the north, Bari and Imperial Puglia, the Itria Valley to the Salento at the southern tip of the peninsula. Each area is unique and each offers a taste of life in this sun kissed land.
The Itria Valley is known for its trulli, only found in Puglia, a conical shaped buildings originally built without mortar, thought to facilitate their dismantlement when the taxmen came to collect property tax. The Itria valley is also where you find the whitewashed hilltop towns such as the Alberobello (the trulli capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site), Ostuni, Locorotondo, Cisternino and Martina Franca which are a short distance to Puglia’s beautiful sandy beaches and coves on the Adriatic sea.
Rightfully famous in Puglia for its magnificent beaches, Salento is where you can find the Barocco Leccese (Lecce-style baroque) architecture. Taking advantage of the maleability of pietra leccese (Lecce stone), palaces and churches were adorned with intricate and wildly imaginative sculptures and designs. Lecce in the Salento is the best place to see examples of this architectural style, but it can also be found in Gallipoli, Otranto, Nardò, and several other smaller towns in the Salento peninsula.
Puglia is a place where you can easily spend countless hours doing nothing. Walk aimlessly among the small alleyways of Puglia’s charming towns that open into a little piazza filled with the aroma of a freshly made Italian espresso and the chatter of friendly locals speaking in the local Puglian dialects, have a leisurely lunch of fresh seafood and freshly made pasta by the sea or just lay on a sandy beach under the sun, letting yourself mesmerized by the sight and sound of the waves. It’s an authentic experience of Puglia that’s becoming difficult to replicate elsewhere in Italy. So what are you waiting for? Come to explore and experience Puglia for yourself!