Lecce, Puglia, I kept hearing, was the Florence of the south, but I was skeptical. Every couple of years, another overlooked pocket of Italy is anointed the new Tuscany, or Amalfi, and it’s easy to be wary. Italy has been running out of regional “It Girls” lately and Puglia — the heel of the country’s boot, hugging the Adriatic coast — just seemed like the last possible undiscovered discovery for the travel sites to hawk. But when I entered Lecce on a recent fall day, after a quick drive from the Brindisi airport, my cynicism thawed. The city is a little baroque timepiece — all golden stone and beautiful ruins — and what it didn’t have it didn’t need. There was a trickle of tour groups but nothing matching the trampling Florentine hordes. There were a number of must-see landmarks, but the list wasn’t overwhelming and none were already too familiar or bound to disappoint (like David, Michelangelo’s sculpture in … [Read more...] about Why tourism to Puglia, Italy, is on the rise
Active travel companies Tourissimo and Ride & Seek will partner again this October to offer an eight-day cycling tour of Puglia. A part of their PLUS Tours series, the Puglia and Matera Cycling Tour will traverse Italy’s scenic agricultural region, averaging 25 miles of biking per day. Scheduled for October 10 to 17, the tour will begin with an easy 11-mile day riding along the coast and exploring the Greek ruins of Egnazia. The next day, guests will rack up some distance with a visit to the old Mediterranean town of Ostuni, cycling by olive groves on the way back and even visiting an olive oil producer. Bikers will then make their way to the grottoes of Castellana, where they will take an underground tour of one of Puglia’s more famous natural wonders. After returning to the surface, guests will move on to the UNESCO-recognized town of Alberobello, the home of over 1,000 unique whitewashed stone huts known as trulli. On the tour’s fourth day, guests will bike … [Read more...] about Tourissimo, Ride & Seek to Offer Puglia Bike Trip This October
Puglia as the Maldives: discovered the first (wonderful) coral reef in Italy, in Monopoli Who needs to fly to the Maldives when you've got the crystal clear waters and incredible beaches of Puglia? Italians have long known that the southern region could give any exotic long-haul holiday destination a run for its money. And now researchers have found that Puglia also has the kind of coral reef more usually found near tropical slands. An unusual reef thought to be unique in Europe has been discovered in the Adriatic Sea, close to the popular seaside town of Monopoli. Screenshot: Google Maps Italy's first coral reef is at least 2.5 kilometres in length, though the latest studies estimate that it probably stretches for at least 135 kilometres. Scientists say it could possibly run the entire length of the region's eastern coatline – some 200 kilomtres from Bari to Otranto – forming a reef similar to those found in Australia, the Maldives or the Red Sea. READ ALSO: More … [Read more...] about ‘Like the Maldives’: Italy’s first coral reef discovered off the coast of Puglia.
By Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande on Feb 25, 2019 in Europe, Food and Drink, Italy, Regions, Travel Miscellany, Western Europe Puglia needs little introduction these days. The ‘heel’ of Italy’s ‘boot’ peninsula has emerged as a chic and popular destination for Mediterranean holidays. This once isolated Salentine Peninsula, in the deep south of Europe, is a rural landscape of centuries-old olive groves punctuated with fortress towns, and medieval cities. It is a fashionably desirable destination. Understandably so, with a wonderful climate; glorious sun-drenched Adriatic and Ionian beaches (always a favourite with the Italians); and fabulous places to stay, from elegant ‘Masserie’ manors; unique and historic ‘trulli’ conical round houses; or smart holiday villas. Yet what keeps me coming back is the fresh local produce and the increasingly sophisticated local wines. Whether you eat at a simple beach-side bar or in a rural restaurant … [Read more...] about 5 of the best wineries in Salento, Puglia
By Jo Mackay on Nov 13, 2018 in Adventure Travel, Attractions, Europe, Going Out, Italy, Regions, Speciality Travel, Western Europe Puglia is such a wonderful region of Italy; far enough off the beaten track for it to feel like a real Italian adventure, but yet established enough for it to cater wonderfully for the tourists who do make it there. Located in the south of Italy, you’ll find beautiful weather for most of the year — and a fantastic coastline just begging for afternoon walks. Go on a bike tour Most of the major towns and cities across Italy offer bike tours, and Puglia is no different. Grab two wheels in Bari or Lecce and explore the streets you might not normally wander down, and head further out of the city to the neighbourhoods which you might otherwise overlook. Admire the Tree of Life In Otranto’s Norman cathedral, you’ll find the 800 year old ‘Tree of Life’ mosaic, embedded into the floor. A sprawling beauty, the design is arranged … [Read more...] about 7 adventures to go on in Puglia