The Best of Italy in One Place
The lure of Puglia is that it captures the true essence of all of Italy yet is a place like no other set firmly in the rhythms of the past. The sun-bleached heel of the Italian boot with endless coastlines, whitewashed hill towns, and centuries-old farmland has a long and rich history that includes occupation by the Greeks, the Romans, the Lombards, the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, and the Nazis. Each invader to come ashore left their mark. For travelers today, we can feel it, see it, and taste it in the Pugliese art, architecture, and food.
You can begin your discovery of Puglia in the port city of Bari, a beautiful modern urban center positioned between two ancient harbors. You can then travel south to the central coast with the awe-inspiring cliffs of Polignano al Mare. Or you can stay further south near the “White City” of Ostuni, perched on a hill with quaint shops and vibrant nightlife. Even further south in Salento, you can choose the active sea and beaches along the Adriatic Sea on the eastern coast or the quiet warmth of the sandy beaches along the Ionian Sea. The southern-most capital is Lecce, known for baroque buildings and Roman, Gothic and Moroccan décor.
The two most distinct reasons to experience Puglia are the accommodations and the food and wine.
Puglia is the only region with the masseria, a welcoming place to stay with gracious accommodations. Think of it as a country beach estate that has been renovated for the enjoyment of guests. Typically they are the restored rustic farmhouses such as Trulli with signature conical wooden rooves, or country estates with glistening pools and gracious staff. Masserie are the epitome of country elegance.
Each region of Italy is distinguished by its food and wine. The culinary history of Puglia is deeply-rooted in cucina povera, a style of cooking that is simple and delicious using the only freshest available ingredients, primarily seafood, local produce, and olive oil. This region of Italy defines the Mediterranean diet. The wines elegantly match the lighter foods. But neither with the food or wine are you sacrificing any flavor or enjoyment! Among the region’s most famous foods are simple plates of pasta served with wilted wild greens, burrata cheese and bread from Altamura, and regional delicacies like Puglian bread salad are enough to justify a direct trip to the area.
A vacation in Puglia is sure to be filled with friendly people, new experiences, and deep relaxation whether you choose to fill your days at the beach or boating or on the golf course, or taking ceramics or cooking classes. You will be transported by the laid back atmosphere and completely removed from the cares of the rest of the world!