With its hundreds of miles of Mediterranean coastline, whitewashed towns, olive groves and fantastic weather, Puglia is a place like no other. The region is also famous for its cucina povera ('food of the poor’), a cuisine which focuses on using seasonal and local ingredients.
Brindisi is one of the most popular cities in Puglia and it’s not just due to having one of Puglia’s only two airports. The stunning red brick Castello Aragonese, which stands on volcano rock and is accessed by a causeway over the Gulf of Naples, is one of Puglia’s most jaw-dropping locations.
The huge trapezoid Castello Svevo is also a popular location, as well as an ancient Roman pillar, thought to mark the end of the Appian Way connecting Brindisi to Rome.
Three-quarters of Brindisi’s tourism comes from Italians keen to explore the beaches and preserved historic remains from the city’s past.
Bari is a busy port town and the second-largest town in southern Italy. Often overlooked in favour of
, this historic town whose population is dominated by young people and migrants has a fantastic food scene, entertaining nightlife and a huge university.
Begin your day by having breakfast on the impressive Lungomare then visit the bones of St Nicholas (Santa Claus) in the Bari Vecchio old town, followed by a concert in the town’s Teatro Margherita opera house.
It’s not hard to see why tourists love to visit the beautiful Baroque city of Lecce, nicknamed ‘Florence of the south’. Lecce has everything you could ask for in a modern southern Italian city including an ancient amphitheatre, a Roman column, the Baroque-style Basilica di Santa Croce and a 12th-century cathedral.
Lecce is well-known for the production of wine, olive oil and ceramics; another popular pull for visitors.
One of Puglia’s most beautiful destinations, the place known as La Città Bianca (‘The White City’) is a must-visit for tourists. Nicknamed for its whitewashed walls, the historic city centre inside ancient stone walls is known for its labyrinth of streets, beautiful cathedral and the skeleton of a Paleolithic woman.
The town has over 30,000 inhabitants, which jumps to over 100,000 during peak tourist season.
No guide to Puglia is complete without mentioning trulli. These conical-shaped limestone huts can be dated back to the 16th century. With their unique appearance, they are popular both to visit and stay in, especially as some have been converted into holiday homes!
The trulli found in Alberobello are one of Puglia’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Alberobello’s strange dry-stone huts are one of the most distinctive tourist sites in Puglia.