6 Things You Should Know Before You Come to Puglia
If you’re looking to spend some time in a peaceful Italian location, we’re certain that you’ll just love a trip to the breathtaking region of Puglia. Also known as Apulia, this incredible place has so much to offer its visitors and since it’s often fairly quiet here when it comes to tourists, you can have an amazing experience without having to deal with all the holiday makers. Here’s a small selection of things that you should know before you visit.
The way of life is slower and more relaxed
While visiting this beautiful location, it’s understandable that you’ll want to see all the wonders that are on offer. A large part of what makes this area so truly magnificent is that the past, culture and traditions are all close to the heart of the community (and this is plain to see). One part of the Italian way of life is being more laid-back, as well as taking long siestas.
Shops tend to open early in the mornings, close for a while and then open again in the late afternoon – which in a number of cases can be frustrating for a tourist who wants to make the most from their holiday. Going along with this can be the best solution though. Take the time to see the sights in the morning, relax while locals are off work and enjoy your afternoon however you want later on. If you immerse yourself in the Puglian lifestyle and embrace it, you’re certain to enjoy your holiday more.
It’s an Italian tourist hotspot
Most parts of the country see many, many visitors from around the globe every year. Apulia often enjoys holidaymakers from other parts of Italy instead – perhaps some of them are looking to relax in a peaceful and traditional area for a holiday, while non-natives enjoy their exploration of the more popular locations (like Cinque Terre or Rome, for example).
So, while there are likely to be a few tourists, you’ll still get to embrace the way of life and avoid the crowds.
There are a variety things to do in Puglia
If you’re looking for the perfect destination to learn more about the Italian lifestyle, explore ancient cities, try delicious foods, go for a hike, or almost anything else; Apulia has you covered. A few things that we’re sure you’ll want to do include:
- Take in the beauty of Ostuni
- Check out Castel del Monte in Andria
- Relax on the Torre Lapillo beach in Porto Cesareo
- Visit the Terra delle Garvine Natural Park in Taranto
- Spend a few hours at the Castellana Caves in Bari
- See Lecce’s Cathedral, or the Olivetani Monastery
- Wander through the town of Alberobello and see the world-famous trulli huts
- Take a tour of the ancient, rock carved churches in Massafra, Taranto
This is just a small selection of the wide range of things that could make your holiday here truly memorable.
The old towns are stunning
If you didn’t already know, each town across the country has its own “old town”, which is essentially an area full of the ancient beauty that has been kept as it was while the rest of the location has evolved and changed over time. From the many winding streets, to the architecture that’s full of history; it’s not hard to see why these places tend to be a must-visit. Be sure to stop by the ones in Locorotondo, Ostuni and Gallipoli if you’re hoping to see some of the most incredible old towns Puglia has to offer.
The rich history of the region
As mentioned above, old towns are a wonderful way to see the past of this beautiful part of Italy – and the reason why it’s such a great idea to visit these types of areas is because of how rich and complex the history is here.
From what we know, it was first developed during the ancient Greek times before being invaded by Romans. They held control over the land until their empire fell and this was when the Byzantine period of Apulia began – but they soon lost control of it to the Normans. This is just a small and abbreviated section of the interesting past that you could discover during your time here.
The amazing foods…
There are a wide variety of regional specialities you simply must try, such as:
- Burrata – This is an Italian cheese made from cow milk (although some make it with buffalo milk) and you’re likely to find that it’s often best when it comes from Apulia itself
- Puglian olives – The olives grown here are simply divine, so make sure that you try a few during your stay. Whether you try the candied ones for desert or delicious olive oil, you’re going to be impressed
- Orecchiette – This is one of the most common kinds of pasta in this part of Italy and you’re likely to find it almost anywhere you go!
- Panzzerotti – Take the time to try panzzerotti in Bari if you’re a lover of pizza. These are fried stuffed pizza dough balls and they’re delicious
- Pittule – A speciality in Salento, pittule is fantastic. Generally, they’re wafers stuffed with vegetables, meat and fish – although in certain instances, they’re not stuffed at all (either way, they’re still great)
These are only 5 examples of the many delicious meals you simply can’t miss trying for yourself during your travel to Puglia.
… And wines
Tuscany may often be called the “wine region”, but none can deny that a large quantity of the country’s greatest are produced right here in Apulia – just try one and you’ll see why. Some wineries and their alcoholic beverages include:
- Cantina Due Palme – Founded in 1989, Cantina Due Palme was created when three large producers came together to form one incredible company. One of their best drinks is “Selvarossa” Rosso Riserva Salice Salentino 2012
- Carvinea – Just outside of Ostuni is the Carvinea winery, a site that grows a variety of grapes (from primitibo to Negroamaro) to produce award-winning beverages. If you get the chance, buy a bottle of Negroamaro Salento Rosso IGP 2013, you won’t regret it!
- Tormaresca – This winery was founded in the late 1990‘s by Marchesi Antinori, who is one of the most famous names in the Italian wine industry. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that they’ve been making amazing varieties since its founding. “Bocca di Lupo” Aglianico Castel del Monte 2011 is only one of many of their great options
Puglia actually produces the largest amount of wine out of any of Italy’s regions, contributing to 17% of the overall amount that the country makes, so you definitely won’t want to pass up the opportunity to try a couple of these beverages.
You could see so much in the space of a week
If you’ve only got 7 days to explore, you’ll be glad to hear that this is plenty of time to see some of the many amazing things that are on offer. From visiting incredible towns like Ostuni, Bari, Lecce and more, to relaxing on one of the absolutely fantastic beaches; there are a wide variety of options available to you.
If you want to make the most of your time, it might be worth considering visiting with a tour group. Our team have several trips and itineraries ready to ensure that you can make the most out of your stay, whether you opt for a weeklong trip to Puglia or even a longer stay of 2 weeks.
There are several stunning towns to explore
A lot of tourists who stay stick to the east coast and don’t travel much further – but there is a lot more to love about Apulia. A few of the most well known locations include Ostuni, Otranto, Lecce and Alberobello and, while these are areas that you’re definitely going to want to explore, keep in mind that these aren’t the only options. You might want to spend a little time looking into the history of Bari for example, or perhaps visit one of the excellent vineyards in Salento.
There really is so much to love about each and every part of the region. You can often see traces of the past wherever you go, meet friendly and welcoming locals, try delicious foods and so, so much more.
Take a camera!
This is more something that you should keep in mind. If you don’t have a camera on you, you’re likely to regret it when you come across a breathtaking sight – of which there are likely to be several. From medieval castles, to the glittering sea; there are so many things that you might want to snap a picture of, so make sure you have the right tools to capture them.
Of course, if you have a good enough camera on your phone, it may not be as much of a necessity to purchase one. But typically, it’s good to keep in mind that you’re likely to want to take pictures during your stay.
You could visit a variety of beautiful beaches
Apulia is located right on the “heel of Italy’s boot” and because of this, visitors will find that there are quite a few beaches here. You’ll see that that the coastline is huge, often much larger than most people realise at first glance on a map. Not only is there often excellent weather in this part of the Mediterranean, but there’s also the sea and sand for you to properly enjoy a peaceful holiday in the sun.
If you want to check out some of the beaches for yourself, we’d suggest visiting:
- Torre Guaceto (Brindisi)
- Baia dei Turchi (Otranto)
- Dune di Campomarino beach (Maruggio)
- Pescoluse (Leuca)
- Porto Badisco (Otranto)
You could go on a tour of the region
Now that you know what makes this part of Italy so special, you may be considering coming for a visit yourself. One excellent way to make the most out of a trip to Apulia is to take a tour and fortunately for you, our experts here at Travel Puglia are waiting to make your time here truly special.
There are plenty of amazing things for you to take part in here – and whatever it is you want to do, we’ve got an itinerary prepared for you. From Puglia adventure tours, to trips catering to wine lovers (visiting traditional vineyards and wineries, and tasting classics are both on the menu), we’ve got something for everyone.
If you book your next Puglia holiday with us, we’re sure you won’t regret it, so why not get in touch with a member of our team to find out more about what our tours have to offer?