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Best things to do on holiday in Puglia
If you’re thinking of taking a holiday in the beautiful region of Puglia in Southern Italy but aren’t sure how to fill up your time yet, this article will tell you all about Puglia’s main and best attractions, and how you can make the most of your time in this lovely region.
Puglia is full of beautiful towns and cities in which you can spend your days. One of the biggest in Puglia is the city of Lecce. Bursting with Baroque architecture, it is the perfect place for all your sightseeing needs and even features an ancient roman theatre (it’s a little tricky to find but is great for tourists looking for something off the beaten path).
Another wonderful town is Altamura. According to an old myth, Altamura was founded by Antellus, who deserted the famous city of Troy after its destruction. For fans of architecture, Altamura offers the great Altamura Cathedral, hundreds of years old with beautiful white towers. Fans of history will be aware of the Altamura Man, a Paleolithic skeleton discovered in 1993 in a cave near Altamura, and one of the most complete skeletons to ever be found in Europe. Altamura is also home to the thriving festival of Federicus (in homage to the times of King Frederick II), and Pane de Altamura (a famous local bread made from remilled durum wheat somola).
Other important towns to be visited in Puglia include Locorotondo and Ostune, famous for their shining white streets, Otranto, a beautiful seaside destination perfect for families, and Gallipolli, home to St. Agatha’s Cathedral.
The towns of Puglia are a brilliant place to find local dishes, including unique cheeses and pasta. With many areas famous for their breads, including Pane de Altamura, Focaccia Genovise, and Focaccia Barese, it is easy to find tasty food in the region. Additionally, Puglia is a brilliant area for vegetarians, renowned for its inventive and unique ways of preparing vegetables.
Parco Nazionale del Gargano is a huge attraction for Puglia. It’s the regions biggest national park and is host to a cluster of five islands and thriving forests. The islands can be reached via a quick boat trip, with each offering a slightly different experience ranging from sandy beaches, quaint villages, or ghostly monastery stories. Forestra Umbra is also worth a visit. As a UNESCO heritage site, it hosts a wonderful range of life and is home to 2,000 plant species!
If you love national parks, another to consider is Parco Nazionale dell’Alta Murgia. It’s home to one of the most renowned castles in Italy. Castel del Monte was created in 1240 by King Frederick II, an important historical figure in the history of Puglia. The castle is so famous because it is featured on the Italian one-cent Euro coin and has a rare octagonal shape. The Parco Nazionale dell’Alta Murgia also contains a site known as the Valley of Dinosaurs, where over 30,000 dinosaur footprints were uncovered in 1999. It remains a site of huge interest and research.