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Some interesting facts about Puglia, Italy's heel

AN INTRODUCTION TO PUGLIA

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Welcome to Puglia (poo-lia), Italy's south-easternmost region, the heel of the boot we learn about in our earliest geography lessons!

In many respects, Puglia is the perfect holiday destination, offering not only some of Italy's loveliest beaches but also a sublime climate, a series of fascinating towns, a number of important archaeological sites and, last but certainly not least, an excellent culinary tradition bristling with local specialities!

With over 800km of coastline, Puglia is well-loved by those with a penchant for beaches or life on the open sea! Whether you spend time on the Adriatic shores around the Straits of Otranto or the enormous stretches of sandy beaches on the Ionian Sea in the south-west, you will never have to go far to find an ideal spot. All this with a climate as warm and sunny as anywhere in the Mediterranean!

Puglia's history is inextricably linked with those of other Mediterranean countries and the invaders who came from afar: the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Normans, Emperor Fredrick II and the Spanish Bourbons. All left their imprint in some tangible way.

...Puglia is the perfect holiday destination, offering not only some of Italy's loveliest beaches but also a sublime climate, a series of fascinating towns, a number of important archaeological sites and...an excellent culinary tradition bristling with local specialities!

The main towns and cities include northern Foggia, Bari, the regional capital, Brindisi, a bustling port town, Taranto, one of Italy's most important naval ports and beautiful Lecce. Each has its own significant attractions and splendid baroque or mediaeval old town centres. Puglia is also home to some uniquely delightful small towns, such as all-white Ostuni, sea-front Otranto, the fortified island town of Gallipoli and, on the southern tip, Santa Maria di Leuca, with its opulent Liberty-style sea-front villas.

The central Puglian towns of Alberobello, Locorotondo, Cisternino and Martina Franca are famous for delightful old-town centres and their trulli, traditional circular stone houses with conical roofs. The centre of Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to the high concentration of these distinctive constructions.

Local and international festivals add a little spice to life, especially in the summer with events such as the Otranto Jazz Festival and La Notte della Taranta, where the area's traditional dance, the Pizzica is celebrated.

So much to explore, so much beauty to contemplate and so many things to do!

Renting a villa with The Thinking Traveller is the best way to experience Puglia in style!

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