Welcome to the land with centuries-old olive trees and beautiful beaches. Also, you will find charming old towns with narrow alleyways and exceptional cuisine. Puglia, also known as the “heel” of Italy, is a region located in southern Italy.
While not as touristy and attractive as Florence, Venice, or Rome, Puglia’s old towns and elaborate churches will charm those tired of endless lines in the popular Italian cities.
It is no surprise that Italy is the most visited country in Europe.
This region is likely to be your first encounter. It is possible to fly from most European cities. Bari and Brindisi are great places to start your exploration of beautiful coastal areas and other hidden gems off the beaten path.
Discover why ancient Greeks built these cities, and visit the most stunning Puglian cathedrals, castles, and other places that will amaze you with their Mediterranean beauty and Mediterranean spirit.
Bari, Capital of Puglia
Bari is the biggest city in Puglia. It is well-known for its Basilica of San Nicola which is a major Catholic pilgrimage. It is located in the center of the old town, with many narrow streets and passageways. Stop by Piazza Mercantile for a cup of coffee.
Bari Cathedral is a Romanesque church that has a stunning exterior. Castello Normanno Svevo, a castle from the 13th century, can also be visited. You can also take a stroll along the promenade to the seaside and enjoy the orecchiette, a local pasta. Relax at Pane e Pomodoro, a large sandy public beach.
You can take a day trip to Bari and visit several places that are worth the effort. Matera, a poor place that was considered “shameful Italy” until the middle of the last century, became a popular tourist spot after the intervention by the Italian authorities.
Matera was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its 12,000-year-old history and the many stone churches and houses carved in the rock. This place is home to many film accomplishments. Matera was named the European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Castel del Monte is also a magnificent castle perched high on a hill. It was built in the form of an octagon with thick walls and an internal courtyard. This castle is known for its vineyards and exceptional wines.
You can get a taste of some of the Italian wines by ordering a few bottles before you travel. Wine.com allows you to chat with experts and choose wines based on your preferences and region. You can view their deals and order your Italian flavors right at your doorstep.
Polignano a Mare has a restaurant inside a cave where you can enjoy dinner with a stunning view of the Adriatic Sea. You can also watch the Red Bull Cliff-diving Competition in this lively coastal town. You must also visit the charming Old Town and enjoy the beautiful beach.
Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi is a charming restaurant in Monopoli that serves local specialties like gelato and pizza.
Trani is also a great option. Villa Comunale, a green oasis by the sea, has a promenade. Enjoy a stroll and admire the view from the harbor, which is home to many small boats used by fishermen to transport their catch to the local markets.
Explore the natural beauty of the Gargano Peninsula
Gargano, a hilly and forested peninsula located in Puglia at the Adriatic Sea coast, is called. It is home to lush forests, sandy beaches, and brightly lit sea caves. Gargano National Park or Forest Umbra are great places for nature lovers. A map can be obtained and you can walk on many hiking trails.
Stop by Vieste’s steep, dramatic shores to take in the stunning sea views. You can take a boat ride to the Tremiti islands from Vieste. This archipelago is made up of five smaller islands and is a great place to practice water sports like swimming and scuba diving.
Peschici is a charming fishing village with a long sandy shore. Castello Normanno (Norman Castle), and Torre del Ponte (“Tower Bridge”) are two of the most visited tourist spots.
The Sanctuary of Monte Sant Angelo is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in the 13th Century in a charming hilltop town.
Explore Valle d’Itria’s Pretty Towns
Valle d’Itria, also known as Itria Valley, is a Puglia region area that is well-known for its vineyards. It is home to the highest quality olive oil in Italy.
Alberobello is the iconic landmark of Itria Valley. This fairytale town is known for its Trulli houses whitewashed, with specific roofs in the form of a cone. You can take a stroll through the town and buy souvenirs or wine from one of the small shops.
Martina Franca is home to beautiful examples of Baroque architecture. Piazza Roma is home to the magnificent Palazzo Ducale. This building is the city’s museum and town hall. Another beautiful Baroque building worth a visit is the Basilica di San Martino. Martina Franca, a well-known name in the music industry, is best known for her grand opera festival that she organizes every summer.
Locorotondo, with its beautiful white buildings and circular shape, is one of Italy’s most picturesque villages. You can enjoy top-quality white wines and a stunning view of the Itria Valley from this location.
Puglia is also home to a unique white town. Ostuni’s white buildings and streets are easily recognizable. The Gothic cathedral Ostuni dominates this medieval town, despite the fact that Puglia is famous for its Romanesque and Baroque architecture. Cisternino, a charming town halfway between Ostuni & Lorocotondo is another popular tourist spot.
Road trip to Salento Peninsula
Salento is located in the south of the Puglia region. Its shores border two seas: the Adriatic Sea to the east and Ionian Sea to the west. Salento is a strong link to the Greek heritage. You can admire stunning places with strong Greek cultural influences, such as Calimera or Corigliano D’Otranto.
Before you travel, you will need to be able to speak at least basic Italian. Babbel will teach you the basics of Italian or help you to become fluent in conversation so that it is easy to travel. Flexible lesson plans allow you to learn the language at your own pace and without having to spend a lot of money. has the best lesson options and deals.
Lecce is considered the most beautiful Italian city. Lecce is often compared to Florence because of the beautiful palaces built after the arrival of the Baroque in the 17th Century. The Basilica di Santa Croce will delight you as you stroll through the old town. It was built over 200 years. Its elegant beauty is a testament to its hard work. The Roman amphitheater remains can be viewed starting in the 2nd Century.
Gallipoli was home to the largest Mediterranean olive oil marketplace in 18th-century Europe. A beautiful Greek fountain greets you as soon as you arrive in this charming town. You will find the old town on the island by crossing the bridge. It is lined with narrow streets and shops. Just below the walls of the old town, you will find a gorgeous beach with golden sand.
Otranto is the most eastern Italian city. It is situated in a strategic geostrategic location, close to the Strait of Otranto where the Adriatic sea and the Ionian oceans meet. Otranto’s most famous sight is a fortress with huge ramparts. It has many cafes, souvenir shops, and boutiques.
Make sure you visit the Romanesque cathedral of the 11th century. It has beautiful details on the facade and a floor mosaic. Enjoy the sunset view from the harbor and the Adriatic Sea by walking along the promenade.
Taranto is situated in a small bay along the Ionian Sea shores. It is the main port and industrial hub of Puglia. Taranto’s main attractions are the Cathedral of San Cataldo, and Aragonese castle (also known as Castel Sant Angelo). This fortification was built by Ferdinand I Aragon of Naples in 15th century. It is now used as a base for the Italian Navy.
Santa Maria di Leuca, a coastal town in the south of the Salento Peninsula is called. The rocky shoreline is filled with many sea caves, making it an exciting adventure. These caves can be explored on a boat trip with local guides.
Where can I find unique Puglia products?
Puglia is the eighth-most-populated region in Italy, and it provides around 40 percent of the country’s olive oil. Puglia is known for its bread and pastry production, and it is one of the most important wine-making regions in Italy.
You can find incredible wine, delicious delicacies, and excellent olive oil here. Here are some unique Puglia products that you can buy if you’re one of those tourists who like to take home souvenirs from your travels.
AquaPulia was founded by pharmacists and perfume creators Paola Azzarone and Maria Elia Perta. They wanted to pay homage to the distinctive scents of their homeland. The company also has a small laboratory in which essences are transformed into genuine exaltations of Apulian history, culture, and landscapes. They aim to create perfumes that will evoke memories and places in people’s minds.
This family-owned company is known for its high-quality oils and is one of the most prestigious in the world. Its kingdom consists of approximately 20 acres of olive trees, nestled between Alberobello Valley and Itria. This amazing variety is home to unique characteristics and forms the basis of the eight Intini labels.
Puglia in Rose
The Puglia in Rose Association, an organization representing Apulian rose winemakers, is the first of its kind. It is based in Bari. Apulia is the largest producer of rose in Italy and the best because of its exceptional pedoclimatic conditions and long-standing tradition.
This enhanced care means that there are no chemical substances or sulfites used in the production process. Wine lovers around the world have become more passionate about the Apulian rose.
Panificio Di Gesu
Panificio Di Gesu, a bakery that bakes a special type of traditional bread in an old oven called the Forno Di Gesu, is located in Italy. Legend has it that Uncle Luca, a 1934-born man, used his bicycle to bring the homemade bread he had baked to Camp 65. Altamura’s bakery is filled with delicious pastries and it is a must-see.
Produttori di Manduria
Produttori di Manduria was established in 1928 and is one of the most important wine exporters and winemakers in Italy. Manduria, home to 400 small-scale growers, is home to the Primitivo grape. Many prestigious awards have been given to the firm for the dedication of its team and the quality of their products.
It is a great place to enjoy wine tasting.
BioOrto is a household name in Europe for organic fruits and veggies. The Passalacqua family’s tenacity dates back to the mid-1900s. They were able to buy the fertile soils which are still used by BioOrto to produce vegetables and fruits. Their dedication and hard work enabled them to do so.
Ceramiche Carella Ostuni
The Carella family discovered that ceramics could be more than just kitchenware. They also had the potential to become refined furnishing items in the 1970s. Ceramiche Carella Ostuni started producing ceramics in its own production lab in the 2000s. The family believes that selling and crafting ceramics is the best way for them to share their Puglia heritage with the world.
Holystic was founded in 2016 by its co-founders. Their vision was to transform T-shirts into sensory T-shirts. Holystic T-shirts only contain fine bamboo fiber, which is sourced from the most beautiful parts of the globe.
All T-shirts are made from bamboo fibers and offer excellent breathability and thermoregulation. They also protect the skin against UV rays and are 100 percent biodegradable.