Discover Puglia, the complete guide

From Gargano to Salento passing through Bari, Taranto, the tremiti islands, fishing villages and coves dream, rediscovering the imperial history of Frederick II and the vestiges of Magna Grecia Puglia is a region that offers one of the most engaging experiences, from cultural attractions to natural beauty to the renowned local cuisine and traditional festivities. Here is Puglia in pills! 

The Puglia Region is located in the south-eastern part of Italy and is an area rich in history, culture, natural beauty and much more. Whether you are looking for relaxation on the beach or the opportunity to immerse yourself both in the crystal clear waters and in the history and culture of millennia in Puglia will find what you are looking for. 

Puglia in pills is the complete guide to know this wonderful region and to have all the information you need to organize a holiday.


The history of Puglia 

The Puglia region is rich in history and culture, which boasts an artistic and architectural heritage of great value. Its geographical position, in the middle of the Mediterranean, has always made it an important point of cultural and commercial exchange. 

The first traces of human presence in Puglia date back to the Paleolithic, but the true Apulian civilization was born with the Greek colonization in the sixth century BC. The Greeks founded numerous cities, including Taranto, Brindisi and Otranto, which became important cultural and commercial centers. 

During the following centuries, it was dominated by the Romans, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Saracens, the Lombards and the Normans and the first forms of Apulian architecture developed, such as the trulli of Alberobello. 

After the Swabian and Angevin phases, it was ruled by the Bourbons, who promoted the construction of numerous palaces, churches and castles. In this period also agriculture developed, with the cultivation of olive trees, almonds and vines.


From the fifteenth century onwards, the Aragonese, Venetians and Spaniards followed one another, giving great vigour to trade. 

In the nineteenth century, Puglia became part of the Kingdom of Italy and underwent a process of modernization with the construction of new infrastructure and the development of industry. 

During World War II, it was the scene of major clashes between the Axis and Allied forces, due to its strategic location. 

What to see and do in Puglia  

History, art, nature, sea and food: Puglia is an ideal destination for everyone, offering unique experiences. Here are some of the most interesting activities:

  • City of art – The region is known for its cities of art, such as Lecce, Bari, Taranto, Brindisi and Trani. Each of these cities offers a unique combination of history, culture and architectural beauty: for example, Bari boasts a charming medieval old town, the Cathedral of San Sabino and the Swabian Castle while Lecce is famous for its baroque architecture, churches and squares.  
  • Archaeological sites – The archaeological sites scattered throughout the area allow you to discover the history of the region, which dates back to the times of the Romans and Greeks. There are many testimonies of this past, including the Castle of Frederick II in Castel del Monte, the archaeological sites of Egnazia and the baroque city of Martina Franca. 
  • Trulli di Alberobello – Alberobello is a small village in the Itria Valley famous for its trulli, the characteristic conical houses built in stone without the use of mortar. The city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. 
  • Coastal towns – The picturesque coastal towns are popular tourist destinations because of their uniqueness and charm. Among the many pearls stand out Gallipoli with its old town located on an island connected to the mainland by a bridge; Polignano a Mare with its spectacular cliffs overlooking the sea and the old town consisting of a maze of streets and squares; Otranto with its old town surrounded by imposing walls and composed of alleys, squares and ancient churches; Trani with its historic center overlooking the port and its cathedral built of white stone. 
  • Nature – Mediterranean scrub, wildlife and sandy dunes, Puglia also boasts spectacular and unspoilt nature with the Gargano National Park and the Regional Natural Park of the Coastal Dunes. 
  • Sea – Puglia is also sea. In its 800 km of coastline there are some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy: in Salento, for example, there are the famous beaches of Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli, with their crystal clear sea and golden sand. The Adriatic coast offers suggestive cliffs and sea caves, including the famous Grotta della Poesia. 


Puglia and food and wine tourism  

Puglia is one of the most famous Italian regions for its cuisine, rich in flavors, scents and colors that make it unique.  

Among the local products not to be missed are burrata, caciocavallo, ricotta forte, soppressata and taralli with wine. Also the focaccia from Bari is a must taste.


Among the most typical first courses we find orecchiette with turnip tops or orecchiette with fresh tomato and ricotta forte and broad beans and chicory. How not to be tempted by tiella potatoes, rice and mussels? 

The second ones based on sea and land promise to tickle the taste buds: anchovies alla tarantina, pescatrice all’otrantina, octopus alla pignata, bombette pugliesi and braciole with sauce. 

Puglia boasts many famous desserts, among which the sigh, the pasticciotto, the mostaccioli, calzoncelli, the sporcamuss, the rosé almond and the copeta. 

It is a land that produces several fine wines, such as Primitivo di Manduria, Negroamaro, Salice Salentino and Moscato di Trani.


Traditional events and festivals 

It is a region rich in traditions, history and culture. Every year, many festivals and events are organized throughout the region, offering visitors the opportunity to discover and appreciate local traditions. 

Among the most characteristic events there are the Feast of San Nicola in Bari, the Feast of Sant’Oronzo in Lecce, the night of Taranta in Melpignano, the carnival of Putignano, the octopus festival in Mola di Bari and the feast of San Martino in Manduria.


How to get to Puglia 

Puglia is located to the south-east of the peninsula in what is called “heel of Italy” and really just look at the conformation of Puglia on a map to appreciate its unique location. Bathed by the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the south and bordering to the north with Molise and to the west with Basilicata and Campania,  

You can reach the “heel of Italy” using different means of transport, including plane, train, bus and car.  

Bari Airport and Brindisi Airport are the two main ports of entry for the region, served by numerous national and international airlines.  

In addition, Puglia is crossed by several railway lines that stop at numerous stations in all provinces.  

The bus is a convenient and economical alternative to reach Puglia and move between the provinces to discover what are the main cities of Puglia, to visit unique villages and to enjoy breathtaking landscapes. 

You can reach and discover the territory by car, ideal if you want to have more autonomy and freedom of movement. 

In last it is possible to land in the region also by sea, taking a ferry and arriving in the ports of Bari, Taranto and Brindisi. Reach Puglia in the way you prefer and be seduced by one of the most fascinating regions of Italy.

Copertina: quandovisitare

Write a response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your custom text © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.