The region of Apulia, or Puglia, is the heel of the boot of Italy. For twenty years I continue to be amazed at the wonderful difference and specific characters of Italy’s regions. I always try to find the one sentence or even one word, that captures my sentiments about an area of Italy. For Puglia it is impossible to settle on a single term — magical, relaxed elegance, diverse, and inviting are all apt descriptions.
This region is long and narrow, so you have a constant sense of being on the water. The water is clear and warm and inviting. Like so many beach-front areas, the beach is a part of every day. People walk their pets along the water. They picnic at the water. They may eat lunch on a workday at the water. Of course, there are two special times of day, sunrise and sunset, each of which sets off a blast of colors that capture you. Best of all, it’s all accessible to you within a few hours from our well-chosen locations.
If you want a romantic getaway, during the day you might want to go to one of the beaches lining the entire region and at night enjoy a romantic roof-top dinner and stroll along the streets of Monopoli or Trani or take in the nightlife in the White City of Ostuni.
For families, in addition to the beach, you can visit the old town of Bari with its winding walkways or go to Castel Del Monte and see what has been called the crossroads of the Roman, Byzantine and Arab worlds in the 13th Century. There is the very individual trulli in Alberobello, just one of the Unesco World Heritage sites in the region. These structures are white-washed limestone with conical roofs, and vital to the history and development of this area.
Down the coast, Lecce is called the Florence of the South due to its baroque architecture and wonderful mixture of influences in food and culture from Spain, Greece, Rome, and the Byzantine world. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, Lecce was renovated and now stands a wonderful walking city with piazzas lined with shops and cafes and restaurants. You have 40 churches to explore great architecture and art. And all of these locations include very friendly people who would love to help you know the area of which they are so proud.
I’ve heard it said that you can’t get a bad meal in Italy so many times. But, when I told some of my Italian friends that I was recently in Puglia, their first response is, “Oh, the food there…” Yes, my Italian friends are complimenting food from another region. It’s that good. The food is fresh, simple, lighter than in other parts of Italy with emphasis on vegetables and fish. It’s the real Mediterranean diet with wonderful pastries that can only be had in the south.
Puglia is not on the way to any of the more customary Italian destinations up north but it is only a 45-minute plane ride from Rome. A wonderfully busy location in summer, it is warm and enjoyable ten months of the year.
A Puglia vacation has the stimulation of all the great sites in Italy but there is a lure to the more relaxed people, the warm weather, and even warmer people. Clelia and I can put together this new experience and we have Manuela in the north and Pierpaolo in the south to make sure that your experience is special. You will stay in a Masseria, a special brand of accommodation, that uses the surroundings to make for a peaceful and inviting environment. If you want to see Puglia from a yacht, then there is Greta. No matter what, we have it covered so you can relax and enjoy this special part of the world.