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Puglia – Leisure, recreation & magic

Travelling is always a good idea…

The region Apulia (Puglia in Italian) forms the spur and heel of Italy. Rich in beautiful landscapes, coastline, history and culture, Puglia is now one of the most popular destinations for holiday rentals. Luxury self-catering villas with pool and apartments near the sea are spread along the region, offering plenty of choice to take a break from the everyday life and to explore the area.

Apulia is a land of pristine nature. It boasts vast and diverse natural landscapes, starting with the National Park of the Gargano and the Murge, the marine reserves of the Tremiti Islands and Torre Guaceto. The countryside is dominated by gentle, fertile land where tasty vegetables, grapes and olives are grown.

Apulia is a land of history and art. Many towns and villages are the expression of Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque eras and they are not short in museums, historical buildings, archaeological parks, and castles. The most famous among them is the Castel del Monte, the 13th-century castle constructed by the Emperor Frederick II and declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Apulia is a land of devotion and old traditions. From cathedrals and sanctuaries to patron Saints with feasts and festivals, Apulia will not lack to enchant you with suggestive traditions and local customs kept alive with pride. The patron saint's feast is celebrated in each town with processions, illuminations, fireworks and air balloons. Devotion brings pilgrims to Monte San Michele, along the ancient Via Sacra Langobardorum, or to San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio’s hometown.

A closer look to Puglia

Blessed with an average 300 days of sunshine per year, Apulia has a wonderful climate. The hilltop towns in the Itria Valley always offer a sweet breeze, even in the hottest months of the year and the humidity is generally minimal. It is a lovely dry heat that warms you, either whilst sitting in a piazza enjoying an ice cream, or on the beach soaking up some rays before taking a dip in the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Rainfall is scarce and generally concentrated in the winter months. Clement weather in the autumn often permits swimming in the sea late into October.

Apulia is a paradise for food lovers. Challenge yourself in the kitchens of our self-catering accommodations, cooking the tastiest vegetables of Italy with the glorious oil coming from the cultivation of magnificent olives! Orechiette pasta (little ear shape, handmade pasta) is the signature pasta of Apulia. Not to be missed are the mouth-watering burratacheese, a fresh and delicate type of mozzarella, and the smoked caciocavallo and scamorza cheese, delectable with a spoonful of onion chutney or honey.

With so many miles of coastline, Apulia does not lack great seafood, such as mussels, prawns and clams, cod and sea bass. February is the time of the sea anemones, treasured for the delicate red flesh and eaten either raw or cooked in a classic pasta dish.

We invite you to taste the Altamura bread before leaving the region, widely renowned for its unmistakable taste and yellow color derived from wheat flour. Not to be missed are the glorious Aleatico, Primitivo di Manduria and Negroamaro wines!

Our self-catering private villas with pool and our apartments closer the coast are ideal starting points to explore the rest of the region and discover the beauty of SALENTO. Salento is the southeastern extremity of the Apulia region, the proper "heel" of the Italian "boot". Salento peninsula is a rock of limestone dividing the Adriatic Sea from the Ionian Sea and it boasts a number of remarkable places such as the Alimini Lakes and Porto Selvaggio. Here the coast can be sandy or rocky, it features pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, and it is dotted with Norman watchtowers.

Experience Puglia by choosing a private tour

  • Street food walking tour in Bari

Once in Italy, one must explore the Italian cuisine. Discover the tastiest food in town on a 3-hour, private food tour to Bari. With your own personal guide, you’ll explore Bari’s enchanting Old Town while discovering the best places to eat and exciting food to try. Sample focaccia, gelato, and burrata; try the craft beer and of course the fine wine and don’t forget to explore the Basilica of St. Nicholas. The tour starts in the Old Town of Bari where you will meet your guide. Your first stop will be at a pastry bakery where you will first sample a very delicious focaccia. You will also learn a lot of things about the way they make cheese and salami, while you will sip a big glass of the local wine. The entire experience costs 49 Euros and it is the best way to get a feel of the Old Town in Bari.

  • Bari bike tour with a chance of experiencing a Pasta Making Class

Join a private and customizable tour, back to ancient times and far from stereotypes and then meet a local lady and have a pasta making class in a typical house of the old town. Cook and taste your own home-made pasta with a glass of local wine, in a family atmosphere and live a unique experience while you enjoy the real southern Italian home-stay. The tour begins by visiting the main attractions of the old town such as the Basilica of Saint Nicholas with its precious Crypt, the ancient Cathedral of Saint Sabinus and the millenarian Swabian Castle. The tour moves on with discovering the modern French part of the city along with the famous sea-side, with its fish market, opera theatres and luxury shopping streets. This tour ends at Signora Maria’s House where you will learn how to make orecchiette, the local home-made pasta, and you’ll find out the secrets of the Italian tomato sauce. Drink the genuine Primitivo red wine while you cook and taste the home-made pasta feeling like a native. The tour starts in Bari and it costs 44 Euros.

  • Boat tour for visits to S. Isidoro, Porto Selvaggio and Punta Lea

For the sea lovers, this is an excursion to one of the most beautiful regional parks of the Southern Italy. Take a boat trip from Porto Cesareo to Santa Caterina. Dive stops provided during the trip are Torre dell'Alto, Punta Lea and Bia di Uluzzo. Snorkeling masks, a fresh drink and a snack will be provided during your tour.

Enjoy a boat trip from St. Isidore up to Santa Caterina. Planned stops are located in Porto Selvaggio: - Uluzzo Bay: Bathroom and snorkeling (optional) in the beautiful bay, also famous for the importance of its archaeological sites. - High Tower: stop and swim with the possibility (unless adverse sea conditions) of a guided snorkeling in the caves that characterize this beautiful stretch of coast. - Punta Lea: third stop bath and snorkeling (optional) with the possibility to admire a rich and colorful marine life. Included in the price: a nature guide who will give information detailed along the route, masks for snorkeling, fresh drinks and an appetizer. Such a wonderful afternoon costs 35 Euros and the experience is absolutely fantastic.

Where to eat in Puglia

Puglia’s specialties

Puglia’s typical pasta is orecchiette (“little ears”, after their shape), but the region is home to a host of other varieties that you will not find elsewhere, like troccoli, cavatelli, stacchiodde, curti, gruessi and more. Most are made with flour and water, eggs having once been considered a luxury. Meat is usually lamb (agnello), but horsemeat (cavallo or carne equine) is also eaten.

Lots of sheep means good cheeses. The most celebrated is canestrato pugliese (after the canestri, or baskets, in which it is aged), which is often grated on pasta. Also, look out for cheeses that should be eaten fresh, preferably within 24 hours, notably burrata di Andria, fallone di Gravina, and pampanella (partly flavoured by the fig leaves in which it is wrapped).

Puglia has always produced a lot of wine – its output is around half of Australia’s total production, and almost the equal of all wine produced in Germany. In the past most of its wine was sent north, either to fortify other wines or to make vermouth. Now, though, standards are improving. Lots of sun and robust traditional grape varieties such as primitivo (a close cousin of zinfandel) often make for powerful reds – look out for the primitivo from Manduria and Gioia di Colle.

1. ORECCHIETTE

This is the type of pasta made in Puglia. In front of Castello Svevo, in the “Old town”, you’ll find a street where a lot of old ladies sell handmade orecchiette. It’s really nice because they show you how to do and they can prepare it in the moment.

2. FOCACCIA - one of the most famous kind of food in town.

FOCACCIA is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product, made by flour, water, salt, oil and yeast, with tomatoes, olives or herbs (sometimes with potatoes), and other delicacies.

3. PANZEROTTI

Similar to POPIZZE, but filled with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese or minced meat or what you like most.


Puglia’s best places where you can wine and dine

  • Gia Sotto L’Arco

In Carovigno, Puglia, there is a special restaurant that you might want to try because of the tradition of several years which made it become the top dining place that you can find in the area. The interior is very elegant, and the cuisine offers the pleasure of experiencing so many flavors. This is probably the only restaurant which has been faithful to local tradition in dishes such as pasta with ricotta and wild fennel on a base of sour tomato sauce and pigeon with redcurrant sauce. The menu also includes a wide range of delicious desserts and the bill at the end will make you spend almost 30 Euros for a full menu.

  • Torrente Antico

Located in Trani, this restaurant will offer you the chance to explore and taste the longest wine list while you experience the delicious Italian meals. Inside, a few tables are laid out in a small, barrel-vaulted room with bare sandstone walls. The menu varies according to the day's catch; raw oysters with walnuts could as antipasto; a primo consists of a delicate tagliolini with courgette flowers, mussels and mint, while secondi are dominated by fresh grilled fish and seafood. For 40 Euros, let yourself explore the best of the Italian cuisine.

  • Trattoria Le Zie

This fantastic restaurant in Lecce is actually a private house which is run by some friendly women, always giving you the feeling that you are at home. The restaurant serves cucina povera specialities which are all superb. Dish after dish appears: blanched chicory in white bean purée; home-made oreccheitte with greens; potatoes baked with mussels and cheese. Before eating, have a glass of the local wine and an espresso, and prepare yourself for dishes starting from 15 Euros.

Things that you should never miss in Puglia

  1. Enjoy fresh marmalade, some olive oil and also the organic nuts

  2. Take a walk along the beautiful beaches while admiring the unique coastline.

  3. Discover the magnificent tradition of the 13th century Castel del Monte

  4. Explore the streets filled with Baroque buildings in Lecce

  5. Drink a glass of prosecco in the medieval town of Trani.

  6. Take a ferry boat in order to explore the islands

  7. Never miss a chance to sample on the local wines

  8. Eat the local delicacy called burrata, a pouch of hot mozzarella cheese filled with cream

  9. Walk through the strangely shaped network of underground caves known as the Grotte di Castellana.

  10. Explore the bustling fish market during one day spent in Taranto

Puglia – the never ending voyage

Bari and the Valle d’Itra

Bari is the main gateway to Puglia. The nearby Valle d’Itria, a rustic valley of olive trees, vineyards, and hill towns, is one of the most popular destinations in the region, known for its iconic trulli, circular stone huts found dotted around the countryside

Alberobello

This is another enchanting place, unique and worth viewing for several hours. One side of the town is full of tourists and souvenir shop trulli, but head across the road to Aia Piccola and you’ll find trulli that are real homes without the crowds.

Locorotondo

Locorotondo is a labyrinth of whitewashed buildings; its quiet streets kept pristine by residents who decorate their balconies and staircases with pink geraniums. There are no major sights, but this means it doesn’t get many visitors, so it’s a delightful place to enjoy a leisurely lunch and stroll the streets.

The Salento

The Salento is a hot, dry peninsula in southern part of Puglia. Its geographical isolation made it develop as a strong identity with its own cuisine, traditions and music, influenced by its Greek past. Along with some of Italy’s best beaches, there are many fascinating towns to explore.

Lecce

Lecce is known for its exuberant Baroque architecture in the golden Leccese stone of the area, having churches decorated with cherubs, gargoyles and griffins, and delicately carved columns and cornices.

Otranto

Otranto has a very stunning coastal location where you can start your morning admiring the beautiful sunrise and ending with an afternoon swimming in the clean, turquoise sea.

Once you step in Puglia make sure you admire the historical and natural beauty that is going to capture your heart from the beginning. Explore the interesting architecture of the churches and of the countless cobblestone alleys. At the end of the day take your time to walk along the nice seaside promenade, admiring the sea and taking as many photos as you can.

Accommodation in Puglia

Discover with us a great variety of villas for rent in Puglia, available throughout the year. Our villas are located close to each destination you might want to visit. The selection of villas in Puglia will bring you comfort and a mix of distinctive and unique feelings, in order to transform your holiday into your best experience. With surprising views and with stunning comfortable interiors, no matter if you are on a relaxing or on a business trip, the experience will be far beyond your expectations.

It is also very important to add the fact that each villa is designed with a pool, which will provide a lot of satisfaction. We make it our mission to offer an outstanding experience for our guests, so we invite you to explore a variety of places where to stay in Puglia.

Here are some of our recommendations:

CASA ARGENTINA




This lovely apartment is not too far from Castro a town which rests on the rocky shore of the Adriatic, on the stunning Salento coast. Located south of Lecce, it's referred to as the "pearl of the Salento". The marina is a main attraction though, with good reason. The coast is riddled with caves and coves, where wooden fishing boats are harboured and where tourists sun lazily. The caverns are interesting to explore and boats can be hired to visit them or to spend a day in a secluded cove. The biggest of the caves is the Grotta Zinzulusa, which is decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, and even an internal lake. The largest cavern room is called the cathedral it's so large. Other caves are frequented by scuba divers, and for divers and snorkelers this area is a fascinating one.

VILLA FONTANA




Located half-way between Brindisi and Taranto, Villa Fontana is less than 35 minutes' away from the beautiful sandy beaches of Apulia, with some of the most beautiful beaches on the coast below Manduria. The area is surrounded by flat fields of olives, almonds and grape vine, with the house being only 1km from shops, restaurants, banks, chemist etc.

VILLA LELLA




This lovely property is set close to Lecce, a city famous for its riot of cherubs; the Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy. Sometimes described as the 'Florence of the Baroque' or the 'Rome of the South', Lecce is really the only city destination in mainland Italy south of Naples which is appealing enough to attract large numbers of tourists, surrounded by attractive countryside seashore and small towns.

TRAVELING. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

 
Events in Puglia

Events

When

Where

Details

Festival of the Itria Valley July - August Centro Artistico Musicale P. Grassi Palazzo Ducale - 74015 Martina Franca (Taranto) Tel. +39 080 705100
Fax +39 080 705120
www.festivaldellavalleditria.it
Bari SAGRA di San NICOLA 7th May Bari (Apulia) Historic procession in costume.

Taranto PROCESSION of the MYSTERIES Good Friday Taranto (Apulia) Renowned for its costumes and solemnity.