Puglia, which is often referred to as Apulia, is a region in southern Italy that, in contrast to many other parts of Italy, does not experience the negative effects of mass tourism.
It is recognized for its rich history, breathtaking architecture, attractive villages, and gorgeous coastline, all of which are located within the heel of the boot-shaped peninsula that makes up Italy. Providing guests with a travel experience that is one of a kind, genuine, and one that they will never forget and which they should not miss.
Discovered everywhere across Puglia’s villages and cities are a plethora of fascinating UNESCO World Heritage sites waiting to be discovered. But the coastline, with its kilometers of sandy beaches and waves that are crystal clear, is where the real beauty of this place may be found.
What is Puglia, Italy, Most Famous for?
In recent years, Puglia has garnered a reputation for producing red wines with lively and juicy flavors.
As one of the most important wine-producing areas in Italy, Puglia has, in recent years, been working diligently to develop the distinctive flavor of its wines, which is a direct result of the region’s many indigenous grape varietals.
Best Places to Visit in Puglia
In this travel guide, we will focus on some of our most recommended destinations in the region of Puglia. This magnificent region of Italy has a little something for everyone, from breathtaking national parks to castles that date back to the Middle Ages.
1. Andria’s Castel del Monte
Castel del Monte is widely regarded as one of the most enigmatic locations in all of Italy and should not be missed if you find yourself in Puglia. On the highest point of a remote hill in Andria, Federico II built the castle around the year 1240.
From this vantage point, one can gaze out over the Murgia Valley, and on the other side, one can take in the expansive view of the Adriatic Sea. It has a distinctive octagonal shape, and there are towers at each of the corners that are also octagonal in design.
In 1996, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added Castel del Monte to its list of World Heritage Sites due to the extraordinary global significance that it possesses. This value stems from the castle’s architectural splendor as well as the mystery that continues to surround it.
2. The Caves of Monopoli and Castellana
Travelers can’t help but fall in love with the small town of Monopoli in Apulia thanks to its stunning combination of natural and historical beauty. The old town is home to several lanes lined with cobblestone and a total of 19 medieval churches.
In addition, the breathtaking rock formations and one-of-a-kind stalactites of Castellana Grotte can be found just a few kilometers away from Monopoli, in an area that is home to some truly remarkable geological characteristics.
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It is estimated that the “Grotte di Castellana” first began to take shape some 90 million years ago; nowadays, it is considered to be one of the most significant tourist destinations in Puglia and a natural heritage site of incalculable worth to Italy.
3. Peninsula of the Salento
Small and picturesque towns such as Gallipoli, Otranto, Lecce, and Santa Maria di Leuca may be found in the region of Salento, which is located in the southern section of Puglia. Take a day excursion to a variety of local sea resorts like Porto Cesareo, Torre Lapillo, Alimini Beach, and the breathtaking “Maldive del Salento.”
The Salento Peninsula is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia and even in all of Italy. Some of the nicest beaches can be found on the Salento Peninsula.
Torre Guaceto is a protected marine area and animal reserve that is around 20 kilometers away from Brindisi. It has a six-kilometer-long stretch of shoreline with typical Mediterranean terrain that includes marshes, sand dunes, Mediterranean scrub, and olive groves that have been around for centuries.
4. The Gargano Peninsula and the City of Vieste
One of the regions in all of Puglia that possesses one of the highest levels of natural diversity is the breathtaking Gargano promontory. It is sometimes described as the spur on the heel of the Italian boot due to its protrusion into the Adriatic Sea and location in the province of Foggia.
Along the coast of Gargano, you may find golden sandy beaches and little historical settlements, despite the fact that a large portion of the inland of Gargano is covered by a national park known as the Foresta Umbra.
Vieste is a small, hilly, and cobbled town that spills down the slope above the sea on the eastern coastline of the Gargano. It is one of the most popular summer destinations in the region of Puglia, Italy.
5. Bari, Italy
Bari is the capital of Puglia and the largest city in the region. It is also a bustling port and a well-known university city. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea and is home to beautiful buildings and churches, as well as a pleasant promenade along the water’s edge.
6. Island Group of Tremiti
The five teeny-tiny islands that make up the Tremitis are San Domino, San Nicola, Capraia, Cretaccio, and Pianosa. It is a small archipelago in the Adriatic Sea that is known for its exceptional beauty and is a popular tourist destination due to the crystal-clear waters and the stunning scenery that can be found both above and below the water.
Because there are so many coves and underwater caves in the waters around the archipelago, the islands are, in fact, a highly popular destination for scuba divers.
Although the Tremiti Islands’ peak tourism season is from May until October, there are a few hotels and restaurants that are open throughout the year.
7. Alberobello, often known as the Trulli Town
Alberobello, also known as Trulli Town, was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1996 due to the fact that it is an extraordinary example of a kind of building construction that derives from prehistoric techniques that have survived intact and are still functioning in the modern world.
The archaic techniques that were used to construct the Trulli date back to the Bronze Age. A “Trullo” is a little limestone house, as the name suggests.
It is constructed with drywall, crudely worked limestone rocks obtained from fields in the surrounding area, and a conical roof. Trulli is emblematic of Alberobello, but you’ll also find excellent examples of them in Locorotondo, Martina Franca, Cisternino, and Fasano, among other towns in the area.
8. The Most Beautiful City on the Salento Peninsula is Lecce
This very attractive city, which is one of the must-see destinations in Puglia, is frequently referred to as the “Florence of the South.” Baroque architecture may be seen all across the city of Lecce, which has contributed to the city’s reputation as a Baroque city.
St. Mary of Providence, the breathtaking Addolorata Square, and the Basilica of the Holy Cross are just a few of the beautiful churches and squares that can be found in this city’s remarkable historical center.
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One of the most eye-catching features of Lecce is the Lecce stone, also known as Pietra leccese, which was used in the construction of many of the buildings in the ancient town.
9. The Itrian Valley
This lush valley stretches through the provinces of Bari, Brindisi, and Taranto, and it can be found right in the middle of Puglia.
It is characterized by flourishing vegetation and a significant amount of olive groves, and it is from these olive groves that they extract one of the most delectable olive oils in all of Italy.
In addition, the Itria Valley is well known for its trulli, its hidden masserias, and its vineyards, which produce high-quality white wine.
10. The Name Ostuni means “the white city”
Ostuni is also referred to as the White City because of the low dwellings and narrow lanes that are characterized by limestone rocks. Ostuni is located in the province of Brindisi.
The old town’s winding alleys and staircases are not only steeped in history but also packed with local businesses and boutiques that keep the nightlife buzzing. Along with its surroundings, Ostuni is home to a number of Masseria, which are historic farmhouses typical of Southern Italy.
Many were deserted in the late 19th or early 20th century, but fortunately, a good number of them have been purchased, repaired, and converted into fantastic lodging options in recent decades.
The province of Puglia, which is located in the heel of Italy’s boot, is littered with attractive tiny villages in tones of white and gold. Many of these towns include distinctive architecture, such as the conical trulli of Alberobello and the lavish baroque of Lecce.
Puglia’s cities are a highlight of a visit to the province and a reason to pull you away from the country’s seemingly unending coastline. These towns are rich in cathedrals and palaces, secret piazzas and twisting alleyways, marketplaces, and trattorias that serve leisurely food, and much more.
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