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Standing high above the surrounding plains, the gleaming white town of Ostuni epitomises the very essence of Puglia. A magnificent cathedral towers over the houses, and as you gaze out from the 14th century walls, you’ll see endless olive groves and the shimmering Adriatic Sea.
Venturing into the valley
No trip to Puglia would be complete without a drive into the Valley of Itria and a visit to Alberobello. Famous for its Trulli – cylindrical-shaped houses topped with conical roofs – you’ll get to see them up close on a stroll through the town’s narrow streets. For stunning views across the valley, a visit to hilltop Locorotondo is a must. And in the old quarter of Martina Franca, you’ll find atmospheric squares and fabulous flower-bedecked balconies.
Wandering in Lecce
Bursting with Baroque architecture, Lecce is surely the jewel in Puglia’s crown. It’s easy to explore on foot, and a gentle wander will take you past artisan boutiques and workshops where craftsmen create works of art from papier-mâché. Be warned, the temptation to treat yourself is very hard to resist! It’s also worth stopping at one of the enticing cafés for a cappuccino and pasticciotto, a flaky pastry filled with sweet, creamy custard. Delicious!
Puglia’s southernmost point Santa Maria di Leuca, is where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet. This delightful seaside town is dotted with Art Nouveau villas and surrounded by dramatic cliffs. The fabulous views are sure to take your breath away!
Delicious fresh seafood
Built on an island, the fishing village of Gallipoli is linked to the mainland by a 16th century bridge. You’ll want to spend some time strolling through the Old Town’s maze of alleyways, and should then make your way to the harbour. You’ll see fishermen tending to their colourful nets as nearby restaurants serve up delicious seafood specialities.
Did you know?
Your standard Italian stock phrases may not be understood in Puglia. Although the official language is Italian, the local dialects are closer to Greek, particularly in remote rural areas. A friendly smile and a nod usually does the trick!