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Puglia

Italy
Lecce showing general coastal views and a bay or harbour

The heel of Italy’s boot is a sun-soaked region famous for pristine beaches, architectural wonders, glorious national parks and a love for earthy comfort food.

Puglia, also called Apulia, blends the rustic beauty of Italian countryside with Baroque cities, medieval hilltop towns and elegant beach resorts. This delightful tourist region stretches along southeastern Italy. Its coastlines along the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea have about 300 days of sunshine. Puglia also has centuries of winemaking heritage and simple cucina povera cuisine.

Admire ancient churches and the Norman Castle while wandering along Bari’s cobblestone streets. Find innumerable churches, palaces and plazas in Foggia and explore the grandiose fortress of Lucera. View Baroque architectural masterpieces in Lecce. Tour the hilltop towns of the olive grove-covered Itria Valley, revered for medieval whitewashed trulli houses. Alberobello, Cisternino and Martina Franca are also worth visiting.

The white sandy beaches, crystalline water and rugged bays of Puglia’s coastlines showcase an infectious Mediterranean charm. Trani, Polignano a Mare and Monopoli decorate the Adriatic shoreline and are just a short drive from Bari. Go biking, snorkeling and scuba diving at Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve, near Marina di Ostuni. Secluded coves and sea caves characterize the Ionian shores of the Salento Peninsula. Enjoy the beauty of Santa Maria di Leuca, Marina di Ugento and the Gulf of Gallipoli.

Get active on bike, foot or horseback in Gargano National Park, where dense woodland spills down to lively beach resorts. Catch a ferry to the idyllic Tremiti Islands. Discover deep gorges, rocky villages and Byzantine-era relics in Terra delle Gravine Regional Park. Escape the crowds in Alta Murgia National Park.

Satisfy your appetite with hearty cucina povera meals, a concept based on age-old peasant principles of turning simple ingredients into culinary art. Popular dishes include melanzane ripiene (stuffed eggplant), polpi in umido (stewed octopus) and orecchiette pasta. Accompany it with Puglia’s fruity, full-bodied offerings from wineries such as the 17th-century Leone de Castris.

Reach Puglia by flying to Bari or Brindisi from major European cities. Rent a car and travel around this scenic region via meandering coastal and country roads.

Popular cities in Puglia

Bari which includes a coastal town
Bari
Known for Cathedral, Church and Theatre
Organising a holiday in Bari is like entering an ancient southern city guarding a rich collection of art and architecture from its millennia of history. The monuments run the gamut from Romanesque constructions to medieval churches, from Frederick's castle to Venetian and Baroque, Liberty and Art Deco style buildings. Saracen, Byzantine and Norman influences also contributed throughout the centuries to shape the ancient city known as Barium in Latin, today's Bari. Thanks to the holiday offers in Bari, you can experience the unique charm that only such a cultural mixing pot can provide.

Reasons to visit

  • Bari Cathedral
  • Basilica of San Nicola
  • Bari Harbor
Gallipoli Port featuring a bay or harbour and general coastal views
Lecce
Known for Cathedral, Church and Sightseeing
A holiday in Lecce will take you to the heart of the Salento, to the extravagance and exuberance of Baroque architecture, of which the city is the ultimate example.

Reasons to visit

  • Piazza Sant'Oronzo
  • Porta Napoli
  • Holy Cross Cathedral
Vieste featuring rugged coastline, a gorge or canyon and a coastal town
Vieste
Known for Boating, Swimming and Cheese
If you go on a holiday in Vieste you will get to discover this lovely small town and the surrounding Gargano area. Vieste is an ancient town overlooking the sea full of narrow alleys and little white houses, their windows adorned with basil. At the very edge of the cliffs the view is spliced in two by the azure of the sky and the blue of the sea.

Reasons to visit

  • Vieste Harbour
Brindisi which includes signage
Brindisi
Known for Port, Monument and Museum
Seaside fun, ancient history and beautiful old churches are the big draws of this picturesque city on the Adriatic coast in southeast Italy.
Monopoli showing a coastal town
Monopoli
Known for Port, Swimming and Secluded
Embark on guided tours of old churches, inspect artifacts on display in the museums and climb to the castle summit.
Mattinata
Mattinata
Known for Friendly People, Dining and Ruin
Get away to Mattinata! Enjoy the ruins, marina and beaches.