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PUGLIA ITALY - TRULLI, WINE AND ART CITIES

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Visitors find lots to see and do on Puglia holidays, according to Alfredo de Liguori, Puglia Regional Dept. of Tourism.

Trulli behind stone walls in Alberobello
Trulli behind stone walls in Alberobello
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Where is Puglia, Italy? Located in the heel of the boot of Southern Italy, Puglia (also called Apulia) sits between the Adriatic Sea on the east and the Ionian Sea to the south.

Puglia flights

The two main international airports in Puglia are in Bari (airport code BRI) and Brindisi (airport code BDS). Flights to and from Bari and Brindisi connect with Rome and Milan airports. With Lufthansa, flights to Puglia depart from Frankfurt and Munich airports.

High-speed trains from Rome and Milan travel to Puglia. You can also drive to Puglia. It takes about two hours to drive from Naples to Bari, Italy. Other highways connect the Puglia region to the north and south.

Puglia art cities

The main tourist attractions in Puglia are the art cities, says Alfredo de Liguori. They include Lecce, Otranto, Martina Franka and Ostuni.

Southern Italy and Puglia are also famous for small villages, called borghi. "They were preserved from development, industry and pollution," says de Liguori.

Puglia, Italy, is known for Baroque architecture, especially in the southern region. The white cities are covered with limestone and painted white.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Puglia. Castel del Monte is one of the castles of Frederick II. Built in the first half of the 13th century, it is famous for its octagonal shape with eight octagonal towers.

Alberobello trulli houses
Alberobello trulli houses
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Another Puglia World Heritage site is the town of Alberobello, with its typical cone-shaped trulli houses. Some of the circular dry stone buildings are trulli hotels and rental apartments.

Puglia hotels

Besides trulli, Puglia is famous for masserie (fortified farmhouses). Many of these beautiful white farm houses are now boutique and designer hotels, surrounded by olive trees.

Masserie accommodations in Puglia are available for all price ranges: agro-tourismo, 3-star, 4-star and 5-star.

Puglia wine

The four main grapes for red wine in Puglia are Negroamaro, Primitivo, Nero di Troia and Aglianico. The wines go well with the region's Mediterranean cuisine.

Puglia food specialties include seafood, vegetables, meats and orecchiette, handmade ear-shaped pasta, often served with turnip tops.

Vacation activities

Puglia weather is sunny and hot in summer. Winters are mild, lasting only two or three months.

With 500 miles (800 km) of beautiful coastline, Puglia has many sandy beaches. Wind surfing, kite surfing and sailing are popular activities at beach resorts.

Puglia golf

Puglia has one 9-hole and five 18-hole golf courses. Most of them are located on beautiful properties, near a 5-star hotel or masserie.

Cycling and mountain biking trails are being developed for sustainable tourism. Hiking and trekking are popular. Puglia has two national parks, Gargano National Park, in the north, and National Park of Alta Murgia.

Cultural Events

Notte della Taranta is a very important festival, held at the end of August, in Melpignano. (Taranta is a dance in Southern Italy.)

Castel del Monte in Murgia
Castel del Monte in Murgia
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Many religious celebrations are held for Easter. Dates and locations for these Puglia processions, as well as modern and traditional music, dance and theater festivals can be found on the pugliaevents.it website.

Puglia tour

A tour of Puglia, beginning in the north, starts at the North Cape with Foresta Umbra, a prehistoric Mediterranean forest with ancient oak and beech trees. Gargano National Park features forests, caves and blue waters.

The islands in the Tremiti Archipelago are being developed for tourism. Imperial Puglia includes Castel del Monte and several unique small towns.

Bari Italy

Bari is the capital city of Puglia. A very beautiful city, with special hotels, Bari is famous for the feast of St. Nicholas (San Nicola) in December.

Renovated trulli house near Monopoli
Renovated trulli house near Monopoli
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Towns, like Mola di Bari, Polignano and Monopoli, have beautiful coastal scenery and cliffs.

Itria Valley trulli

Itria Valley is the valley of the trulli. The Murge region is trendy for Puglia holidays, because of the many trulli and masserie farm houses.

Although Itria Valley is inland, it is only six to 7.5 miles (10 to 12 km) from the sea, so visitors can enjoy the beach and cultural cities. Beautiful towns, like Locorotondo and Marina Franca, are surrounded by vineyards, dry stone walls and small farms with clusters of trulli.

Taranto Italy

The Brindisi coast still has traces of the Appian Way. The Italian National Archeological Museum, MARTA, in Taranto, on the Ionian Sea, is famous for its gold jewelry collection. Grottaglie is the ceramics capital of Puglia, where you can buy pottery.

Trullo with outdoor oven, surrounded by olive trees
Trullo with outdoor oven, surrounded by olive trees
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

With its ornamental Baroque architecture (Leccese Baroque), Lecce is called the art city. Lecce also has a Roman theater and ruins. Lecce, Nardo and Galatina Maglie are built from soft amber-colored limestone.

Salento, located between the Ionian and Adriatic Sea, is famous for its sun, sea and wind. Puglia visitors holiday in Salento for its beach, windsurfing and SCUBA diving.

Stalactites in Caves of Castellana
Stalactites in Caves of Castellana
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Santa Cesarea, on the Salento coast, has many beaches and spas. You can visit the coastal caves in Grotto Zinzulusa, by boat, to view the stalactites and stalagmites.

The Grottoes of Castellana, in Southeast Puglia, are also known for limestone formations. Cave tours are two hours long.

The beautiful walled town of Gallipoli is on a small peninsula, right in the middle of the sea. Regional Natural Park of Porto Selvaggio, a marine reserve, is just north of Gallipoli.

 


TRAVEL INFORMATION

Puglia, Italy: www.viaggiareinpuglia.it/hp/en

Italy Tourist Office: www.italiantourism.com

More things to see & do in Puglia:

Puglia Travel Guidebook