8 Things to See and Do in Puglia
The Italian region of Apulia (also commonly known as Puglia outside of Italy) is quite the hidden gem and is often overlooked by the tourists who flock to the country. This is why almost anyone will find it to be the ideal location for peaceful Italian getaways.
This isn’t the only thing that makes this part of Italy an incredible place to visit, though – in fact, most will find that there’s no end to the interesting things to see and do in the region. Puglia has something to offer everyone, so whether you would like to try hiking in Puglia, or take a trip to some of the amazing vineyards; there’s bound to be something here for you.
What landmarks and locations should you visit in Apulia?
Most individuals will likely discover that there is no shortage of incredible things to enjoy in this part of Italy – and in most cases, a vacation simply won’t last long enough for you to see all of the many amazing things that make Puglia so special. There are a whole host of must-see sights and landmarks that you really should make the effort to see however, a few of which are:
1: Duomo di Lecce
Most would agree that the city of Lecce has quite a few interesting things to see and do – and one of the most incredible sites here is Lecce Cathedral (or as most Puglians will call it, Duomo di Lecce, or Cattedrale dell’Assunzione della Virgine). The church’s northern façade is one of the most iconic sights in this location, and is known as a stunning piece of Baroque art. There are so many beautiful details that you’re sure to want to take your time to truly take it all in.
Visitors will find that the interior is just as incredible as the stunning façade; with a total of 12 side chapels, paintings (from artists such as G. Domenico Catalano, Oronzo Tiso, Giuseppe da Brindisi, and more), and even a gold-plated bronze altar – just to name a few of the things that make this church so worth a mention.
2: Torre Guaceto beach
Vacations in Puglia just aren’t complete without a trip to one of the region’s many fantastic beaches – which is why you simply cannot miss out on the opportunity to explore Torre Guaceto. If you find yourself in or near Brindisi, you may want to pay a visit to this stunning marine area and nature reserve, which is known for being a great spot to just relax and enjoy the stunning views and clear waters.
Many people come here to snorkel, mostly because of the incredible coral reefs in residence. The main beauty of the site is the sea and soft sand, ideal for anyone looking for a good place to enjoy the Puglian sunshine. Another bonus is the size of this beach; you’re sure to find a spot to recline in, no matter how many tourists and locals have stopped by.
Why not check out the 16th century tower while you’re here? You won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to get a little historical culture in while you relax!
3: Castello Normanno-Svevo
If you stop by Bari during your stay, you simply can’t pass up on glimpsing the Swabian Castle. This landmark is just one of many in this city, but it’s certainly not to be missed. This stunning and impressive site, which is surrounded by a moat on almost all sides, is well worth visiting; even if you just take in the glory of the castle from the outside.
The rich history of Castello Normanno-Svevo is sure to appeal to a range of tourists; from when it was destroyed in 1156 (and rebuilt nearly 100 years later), to the many different people who have owned it. Most would agree that the story of this castle only makes it a more interesting site.
You could also go inside and see some of the many exhibitions on show too, ideal if you want to do more than just sightseeing during your stay.
4: Port Badisco beach
Located in Otranto, Porto Badisco is a truly incredible pebble beach that offers visitors a number of breathtaking views. If you’re looking for a good place to have fun in the sun, relax in the beautiful waters, or enjoy a nice family picnic, this is the place to be.
Aside from all this, you may also want to visit because of the ancient myths. According to legends told by the ancient Roman poet Virgil, Porto Badisco is a magical location and Aeneas himself (the son of the Roman goddess Venus) once landed on this beach.
Whether you’re interested in ancient myths or not, this spot is certainly worth a perusal, so if you plan to vacation in the Otranto area during your holiday (which you should certainly consider), be sure to stop by and see it for yourself.
5: Alberobello’s Trulli
Some of the region’s most well known landmarks are the Trulli huts in Alberobello. The whole town is a World Heritage Site that draws the attention of most of Puglia’s tourists – and the great news is that it’s not hard to see why.
While these stunning ancient homes certainly have the Puglian charm (thanks to the white washed walls that have become so iconic), most would agree that the huts look as though they’ve come straight from a fairytale. If you want to see them for yourself, you’ll have to head down to the historic neighborhood of Alberobello, as this is where you’ll find row upon row of these stunning pieces of architecture.
The Trulli alone make Alberobello an incredible place to add to your itinerary – and with more to offer, you won’t want to miss out on the chance to explore this fantastic location.
6: Castel of the Mountain
Castel del Monte, or Castle of the Mountain, is a stunning fortress built by Frederick II – and is another incredible landmark that you should consider checking out during your vacation.
Located in Andria, this castle is quite hard to miss – and the perfect piece of architecture for anyone who wants to see some of the region’s finest historic sites. While it was apparently built for defense, the lack of drawbridge and moat lead some to believe that it was never actually constructed to act in this way – which is just one of the many interesting things about it.
Whether you’re curious to explore the stunning castle for its beauty or history, there’s plenty to love. In fact, many agree that this fortress is one of the best castles to have been built by Frederick II.
One more thing that you may be interested to know; you can see Castel del Monte on Italy’s one cent Euro coin!
7: The Faggiano Museum
Some people may overlook the Faggiano Museum in Lecce, but when you consider the city’s rich history, you may see why this site could be worth a few hours of your time.
Also known as the Museo Archelogico Faggiano, this museum is home to a variety of ancient artefacts; with archeological items hailing from the Renaissance, medieval times, and more. Plenty has been discovered from excavations here in Lecce – and many of the pieces have found a home here in the Faggiano Museum.
You’ll find that there are many different things on display; from a stunning Roman altar, to artefacts that are a little less expected, like the bones of corpses that were buried by nuns. If you’re interested in looking further into Lecce’s past, this site should certainly find its way onto your bucket list.
8: San Pietro (part of Bevagna Beach)
There’s plenty of things to love about San Pietro, with the fact that it’s a protected beach, to the peace and quiet you’re sure to enjoy here being just two.
This beach is often empty – which gives you a chance to relax and truly enjoy the white sand dunes and stunning views of the sea. As a part of the fairly popular Bevagna Beach, you’ll likely discover that everything you need is located all but a short walk away; ideal if you don’t want to travel far to get a nice cool drink or snack.
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The best tours of Puglia
Want to enjoy Puglian vineyards and wineries? Our wine tour has you covered. Interested in Puglia hiking? We’ve got an adventure holiday package just waiting for you. With a wide variety of tours and itineraries available, you’ll have the opportunity to pick the ideal one for your unique requirements. If you want to find out more, contact a member of our team; we’d be more than happy to assist you!