Where is Puglia?
Puglia, or Apulia, as it is otherwise known, is located in the south of Italy, the ‘heel’ of the country, if you will. It is known for its characteristic whitewashed hill towns, traditional Trulli homes and a rich culture of both food and wine. Bari is the capital city and where the main airport is located; wherever you choose to visit, there is plenty to keep you entertained on a trip to this part of Italy.
Where to visit
There are an almost endless amount of points of interest to visit in Puglia, so we have picked out just a few of our favourites to share with you today:
Cisternino is a small yet charming old town which is simply beautiful. When visiting in the morning, there is a bustling market on between 7 am and 12 pm on a Monday, and then once the clock strikes two, the town is largely deserted as the locals head off for their afternoon siesta. The town really comes to life in the evenings, however, around 8 pm and beyond. As the sun sets, the dramatic landscape created by the historic churches, whitewashed buildings and panoramic views is a truly breath taking sight. The central piazza is the life and soul of the town , with a range of fantastic restaurants, bars and gelaterias to fill your evenings. Take your time to wander through the quaint whitewashed streets and explore all that is on offer.
Ostuni is one of the main attractions in Puglia and is otherwise known as “The White Town”. The traditional whitewash buildings have a characteristically Greek look to them, which is unsurprising as it sits just 45km away from Greece! The market runs every Saturday from early morning until round 12.30, where you’ll be able to pick up freshly baked goods, local olive oils and many other trinkets and treats. This is the perfect place to visit for those with an interest in history, with a fifteenth-century Romanesque-gothic cathedral forming a bold focal point in the centre. There are plenty of museums, churches and elegant houses which will capture your imagination and transport you back in time to what life once would have been like. The architecture here is particularly impressive, and you will never tire of the beautiful sights seen whilst wandering the streets. Stop off at the main piazza to enjoy a range of refreshing gelato, quaint craft shops and fine restaurants to refuel.
Martina FrancaMartina Franca is one of the larger towns, located in the heart of Puglia. Its maze-like layout means that a day spent exploring here will never be a bore. You’ll be met with sights of sheer Baroque and Rococo elegance, whitewashed walls and tiny alleys, which all make for the perfect photo opportunities. The shaded park offers a pleasant area to relax for an hour or so, and then you can stroll through the pathways to the centre. The evenings again are when the town really comes to life; particularly during the summer months where you’ll often see live music on the stages in the centre of the town for all those eating in the surrounding restaurants to enjoy. Be sure to sample the local red wine in this town, as it is one of the locals’ ‘hidden secrets’.
The food culture in this southern region of Italy is primarily focused around high-quality meats – although the closer you head towards the sea, the better range of exquisite seafood you’ll find. Lunch is eaten strictly at 1 pm, where a plethora of fresh pasta dishes will be widely available, as well as classics such as caprese salad and fresh bread and cured meats. The evening meals are rich and indulgent, paired with delicious wines to make for the most enjoyable experience. Don’t forget to sample some local wood-fired pizza with mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella) for a true delight.
What to Eat
If you are visiting Puglia in the summer months, be ready to enjoy highs of up to 38°C, so ensure that you have plenty of high factor sun cream to save your skin. Bring along a vibrant silk shawl and a large sun hat too, to keep yourself protected in the hours of the day where the sun is at its peak!
What to Pack
You’ll want to wear light, airy and comfortable clothing for your day-trips and our luxury silk travel clothing is the perfect option. The laid back nature of this region means that effortless outfits are a must. Bring along an elegant luxury silk kimono for the evenings spent watching the sunset, and a pair of luxury pareo trousers paired with a simple white t-shirt for exploring the many museums and architecturally stunning churches and cathedrals!
Some comfortable sandals are also a must, as you will likely do a lot of walking, with all that is to be seen in Puglia. Don’t forget a pair of simple strappy heels too for those nights where you want to dress up a little more. For more advice on what to pack, take a look at our summer suitcase essentials guide!
Where is your favourite travel destination in Italy? We’d love to hear from you!