Holidays in Puglia
Holidays in Puglia
The 10 most Beautiful Places to Visit
Crystal-clear sea, white sandy beaches, extraordinary underground caves, hills covered with centennial olive trees, dotted with trulli, farmhouses, historic villages and dry-stone walls that smell of vineyards and almond trees: Apulia is a multifaceted paradise to discover.
Twice awarded the qualification of “most beautiful region in the world” and with as many as 4 recognized UNESCO World Heritage, there are several prestigious magazines that recommend an experience in Puglia to get to know it and explore it at least once in a lifetime. For this reason, we have prepared a list of the 10 most beautiful places to vist, to which we would like to add a valuable piece of advice, namely to get lost along, the way stopping only to take pictures.
Polignano a mare is a spectacle of nature. Its labyrinthine center is built on the top of a 20-meter high limestone reef, jagged with countless caves that fall into azure waters and white pebble beaches. Walking through its narrow streets you will read poems that fill walls and stairways with colors, from which you can easily enjoy glimpses of the blue horizon of the sea that touches the sky.
Trani is called "the pearl of the Adriatic Sea": its majestic cathedral in white stone, overlooking the sea and dedicated to St. Nicholas the Pilgrim, is an outstanding example of Apulian Romanesque style and a symbol of Apulia itself. Not so far away, the Swabian Castle, built by Frederick II, and the Jewish district of Giudecca, built on the highest part of the old city. Here, you can stroll among ancient synagogues and craft stores along the vibrant fishing port.
Bari is the regional capital of Puglia. Its most famous district was built in the 19th century, at the behest of Joachim Murat, the French general who succeeded Napoleon, who planned a modern, orthogonal urban development. The "Murattian Bari" is renowned for its historic shopping streets, the architecture that evokes the artistic and cultural splendor of the belle époque, the seafront and the theaters Piccinni, Margherita and Petruzzelli, all of which overlooking the sea.
Next door is Bari Vecchia, the old town. Wander through the small stone streets reaching the Romanesque Basilica of San Nicola and the
Ostuni is, for everyone living in Puglia, “the White City”: its peculiar color derives from an ancient practice of washing the city with white lime, which in medieval times would help lighten the dark and labyrinthine streets of the village. A multitude of houses spread around the hill, colored only by craft stores, local restaurants and geraniums and, high up, protected by its white houses, the imposing Gothic Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria dell'Assunzione, which dominates the entire highland of olive trees of the bassa Murgia area.
Alberobello & Valle d'Itria
Itria Valley is located in the heart of Puglia: a fertile valley that stretches among Bari, Brindisi and Taranto. The lush vegetation of olive groves and vineyards, from which they extract oils and fine wines, trulli and hilly landscapes moved by winds, make it an extraordinary land. If in the valley there are only a few, Alberobello is the real city of trulli: small stone houses built with dry stone walls and characteristic cone-shaped roofs, made from limestone blocks collected in the surrounding fields. It is believed that its characteristic decorative pinnacles, with symbols linked to religion and popular tradition, had the function of keeping away evil spirits. In the whole city there are more than 1500 of them, all in a perfect conditions and since 1996 UNESCO heritage.
Lecce e la Penisola Salentina
Lecce is the capital of Salento. Its historic centre is sculpted by the best examples of Baroque art in the south: the Basilica di Santa Croce, piazza Duomo, the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Campanile, the Episcopio, piazza Sant’Oronzo and the Roman amphitheatre from the Augustan age. But there's more: the Salento, with over 170 km of coastline, is recognised as one of the most beautiful seaside areas in the country, and is associated with the evocative title of “Maldives of Italiy”. Gallipoli, Porto Cesareo, Torre Lapillo and Santa Maria di Leuca in Pescoluse, are not to be missed. . Also not to be missed is the Grotta della Poesia, one of the most beautiful natural pools in the world.
Otranto is located in the most easterly part of Italy, not far from Lecce, on a rocky spur falling sheer into the sea. Its walls and Aragonese manor, the picturesque Lungomare degli Eroi (Heroes' Promenade) which lights up the sea it overlooks, and the old town, with its maze of stone-paved streets, will enchant you with their beauty and age-old history. Outside the town, the green water lake that has found its place in the huge rust-red crater of a disused bauxite quarry, the lighthouse at Punta Palascìa, the most easterly point in Italy, and the beach of the Faraglioni di Sant’Andrea.
Castel del Monte
Castel del Monte is one of the most mysterious places in Italy. There are numerous stories aboutFrederick II's ancient fortress, linked to the legends of theTemplar order and its particular architecture, conceived with and its particular architecture: an octagonal plan, eight imposing octagonal towers to protect it, eight rooms on the ground floor and even, in ancient times, an octagonal pool in the inner courtyard. Moreover, its position, on top of the hill overlooking the Murgia valley on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other, is designed to create special effects of light and shadow during the solstice and equinox. It all suggests symbolism that has fascinated scholars for centuries and which, since 1996, has earned the castle recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Gargano is known as “the spur of Italy”: surrounded by the Adriatic, it is full of extraordinary seaside resorts and has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the town of Monte Sant'Angelo with the Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo and the beech forests of Umbra Forest. Among the most beautiful towns is Vieste with its town centre and Castle perched on the eastern most part of the promontory. Not far away is the beach of Pizzomunno with its giant monolithic rock more than 25 metres high around which legends have been nurtured for centuries, and the Bay of San Felice, with its beautiful Natural Arch. Don't miss the historic centre of Peschici and a spectacular lunch on a Trabucco.
San Nicola, San Domino, Cretaccio, Capraia and Pianosa are the five islands that make up the Tremiti archipelago, just 22 kilometres from the Gargano promontory. The uncontaminated pine forests, rich seabed, hundreds of bays, beaches and sea caves are part of a protected area, managed by the Gargano National Park, aimed at safeguarding the incredible biodiversity of this area. A small paradise in itself, where you can dive, experience the sea by boat or go hiking.