Why you should visit Puglia

Summer is here, and there is still time for you to plan a holiday and visit Europe. If you are still wondering about where to go in Europe, and you are considering Italy, Puglia is the answer!

The heel of Italy, the eastern gate, the Tuscany of the South, are just three names to talk about the same ancient magical place: Puglia. The easternmost region of Italy is the frontier land of encounter and conflict between the West and the East, of invasions and conquests. It has been the home of the Goths, Romans, Byzantines, Normans, and Turks over the centuries. All of them left indelible traces in the region. Thanks to the two seas, that surrounds her (the Adriatic and the Ionian), to the 865 kilometers of sun-kissed coast at any time of the year, to the warmth and work of the Pugliesi, to the villages still in the past. where the hours go by slowly, Puglia has been crowned by the National Geographic the most beautiful region of the world as “it boasts the best of southern Italy: the rhythms of life, the traditions, the beauty of the places “. The New York Times echoes it. The food and wine tourism is an asset for Puglia, (the first Italian region for wine production). In Puglia, you can eat and drink well spending little.

Did you already pack your suitcase? Here are some of the destinations not to be missed for anything in the world.

Bari

Port city and capital of the region, Bari is a pilgrimage destination thanks to the remains of St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus). Third most populous city in southern Italy and a young and university city with a lively nightlife. You will find the most authentic Bari in its historic center, where you can admire the ladies of Bari preparing orecchiette on the street. Try the focaccia, a dough of flour, yeast, salt, and water seasoned with tomatoes, olive oil in abundance and oregano.

Polignano

The hometown of Domenico Modugno, the author of Volare, is the pearl of the Adriatic, only 34 km away from Bari. It is a small village that rises on a rocky spur overlooking the sea, famous for its beaches.  Since 2009 it hosts the Red Bull cliff diving competition.

Lecce

As the queen of Salento, Lecce is the Apulian city that attracts the greatest number of tourists. In the south, it is second only to Naples. Nicknamed the Florence of the South, it is a baroque city that boasts 40 churches, the most famous of which, the cathedral of the Duomo, stands in one of the most beautiful Italian closed squares.

Alberobello

Situated in the heart of the Murgia, Alberobello is a fairy-tale village, whose historic center with its characteristic Trulli, ancient conical stone buildings typical of Puglia, was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is thought that the first Trulli were built during the Bronze Age; however, the oldest ones that have survived until today date back to the 14th century.

Trani

The regal and white Romanesque cathedral of Trani is suspended over the isolated sea in the Piazza del Duomo. It is a view that remains etched in the memory of every traveler.

Ostuni

The white city as entirely painted with a blinding white is a labyrinth of narrow streets and corridors.

Gargano

The splendid Gargano promontory is one of the most luxuriant and surprising natural areas in the whole of Puglia. Stretching towards the Adriatic Sea, in the province of Foggia, it is described as “the spur of the heel of the boot”. While the biggest portion of the inland of the promontory is covered by the Umbra Forest, along the coast there are golden sandy beaches and small historic villages. Vieste, one of the most popular summer destinations in Puglia, is a small seaside town perched on the east coast of the Gargano.

Otranto

It is the easternmost village in Italy, whose village has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010, as well as the setting for Horace Walpole’s first gothic literature novel, The Castle of Otranto. it is the place that most of all preserves tangible traces of the meeting/clash with the East. A must is the Cathedral of Santa Maria dell’Annunziata; built-in 1068 it was the set of the Otranto massacre of 1480. In this cathedral, you will find of 813 martyrs and the largest mosaic in Europe.

Castel del Monte

this octagonal-shaped castle built in the 13th century by Emperor Frederick II on the Murge plateau, is a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1996. It is a mysterious and imposing place full of symbolism that never ceases to fascinate scholars.

Le grotte di Castellana

The Caves of Castellana are considered the most important speleological complex in Italy and Europe, they are located about 40 kilometers from Bari, in Puglia and are the result of the erosive action of an ancient underground river, which has shaped the limestone. For this reason, inside the caves of Castellana, you get lost in natural galleries that wind in two paths. The cavity was discovered in 1938 by the speleologist Franco Anelli who appeared for the first time in the Grave, on January 23rd.

I am a filmmaker and a journalist based out of Berlin. I graduated from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. I have a passion for film, music, and Italian cuisine.

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