5 Unique Things About the Puglia Region of Italy
I just returned from a magical trip exploring the region of Puglia. Located in Italy's southeastern region, this area is known for its abundant countryside, olive trees, and its 500 miles of coastline.
It is difficult to put it all into a Blog, but I have summarized below highlights of this spectacular region. You will soon see all the reasons for visiting beautiful Puglia.
Two very unique types of accommodations in Puglia…
Masserias are restored farmhouses in Puglia. They offer luxurious accommodations yet with very charming style. You can find restaurants, pools, spas, and even private beach clubs. Palazzos are restored palaces found throughout the region. Since they are historical buildings, their structures cannot be changed during restoration, so every room has unique characteristics. Staying in a restored Palazzo is simply magical.
Outdoor Activities – The region is perfect for bike tours, hiking, and exploring caves. Seaside Towns & Beaches abound as Puglia is surrounded by two seas. The Adriatic to the East and the Ionian Sea to the West. Both coasts offer beautiful beaches and crystalline waters. Cooking classes are amazing here. The region is very rich in gastronomy and known for cooking with only seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Walking food tours are so much fun and you may even see a local pasta lady making Orecchiette on the streets of Bari.
How important is it for you to learn about local foods and, of course, try them? For me it is an integral part of every trip.
Puglia has 500 miles of coastline, so fresh seafood dishes are always on the menu. They are prepared very delicately to allow the freshness to shine. There are other local dishes known only in the northern and southern regions of Puglia. To name a few, Orecchiette is the local pasta, pasticciotto is a delicious cream filled pastry found in Lecce, and caffè speciale from Polignano a Mare is a delicious drink of espresso, whipped cream and Amaretto. And the wine… I discovered and loved Primitivo which is similar to the Zinfandel grape 🍷
Olive Oil Production
The region of Puglia supplies around 40% of the olive oil production in Italy. An estimated 60 million olive trees are in the area, and some are more than a thousand years old - known by their very distinctive trunks. A visit to Puglia is not complete without experiencing one of the local masserias (farms), visiting their oil mill and, of course, tasting the delicious olive oil.
Alberobello – this is where the trulli are found – the UNESCO listed conical-capped white houses first built in the 14th century. Their design is ideally suited to the local climate. The thick walls ensure the temperature remains at a steady 72 degrees all year long. Today very few locals remain living there. However, many trull have been transformed to B&Bs.
Matera - No longer part of the Puglia region, this city is not to be missed when visiting the area. Depending on where you are staying in Puglia, you can reach Matera in around one and a half hours. This is the oldest city in Europe and third oldest in the world. Matera is famous for its cave dwellings completely carved out of the rocky slopes of a mountain. The history is incredible. And people lived in these caves until the 1950s. Today caves have been turned into museums and some have been converted to very authentic hotels.
Interested in planning a vacation to Puglia? Email me today. I would be honored to help plan your vacation to this very special region.
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