5 reasons why you should visit Puglia once in a lifetime

Have you ever heard of Puglia, or better known as Apulia in English? 
Well, that’s probably why Puglia is still an authentic destination which keeps its secrets from cursory glance and hurriedly tourists. 
You should definitely visit Puglia: Puglia stands for slow experiencing and plunging in the real Italy.
Puglia is one of Italy’s best undiscovered gems. Among all the regions Puglia can be easily spotted on the map: as it rolls down to the east coast into “the heel of the boot”. And trust me, Puglia has it all!

If you’re seeking a pristine destination, away from the crowds of Venice or Rome, then it is the perfect location for you! Puglia is more relaxed, friendlier, and familiar than other touristy places in Italy.
In this article, we will tell you 5 reasons why you should visit Puglia once in a lifetime.


1# Its fairy-tale villages and fairs

Wandering through the white and ocher villages in Puglia is one of the best experiences ever: stroll without hurry through the maze of alleys and feel the sense of history as you walk through the hidden corners of old towns. Here you will be surrounded by amazing sights, cozy corners, welcoming atmosphere and the bustle of everyday life.  Make yourselves at home in the heart of Puglia's historical hamlets!

From bustling cosmopolitan maritime ports to silent countryside villages, in the evening and especially in summer, streets are teeming with life. Traditions are at the heart of Apulian culture and every day there is something to celebrate: a saint, a miracle, an historical recurrence, or simply a particular Apulian dish that is prepared in every possible way through the food stalls. Fairs, folk festivals, music events are lighting up the life in Puglia! Cities and villages are embellished with the so-called “Luminarie” lights, each one competing to have the brightest and grand ones!

Puglia Luminarie lights

2# Its olive-treed and dry stone-walled countryside 

Behind the villages, you can admire the unspoiled landscape of Apulian countryside, a slightly hilly tableland area sloping towards the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea, where the atmosphere is frozen in time.

Endless views show a sweeping landscape, with dry stone walls that break the gentle continuity. 
Olive trees, almond trees, and vineyards give a touch of color to the vast stretches. Here you can find ancient “Masserie”, the real hamlet of Apulia’s rural tradition, ancient buildings dating back to the XVIII century, now changed over in farm businesses, B&B, and restaurants.
Peppering the area among olive groves and vineyards, you will discover another symbol of the Apulian countryside: its “Trulli”, conical-roofed stone dwellings which date back to the Middle Ages which gave the countryside a real magical and fairy-tale atmosphere.

Apulian countryside

3# Its gorgeous and rustic food 

Food in Puglia means: the joy of life and sharing. It’s a real family affair: grandmothers in Puglia don’t ask their grandchildren: “how are you today?’”  but “have you eaten today?”, and while eating at lunch “what do you want for dinner?”. Food crosses every aspect of Apulian life and enters linguistic expressions and cultural imagination, too!

Puglia region was and is still predominantly agricultural leading to a rustic cuisine, with many traditional recipes handed down from a generation to another. Apulian dishes are based on the produce by land and grown in sunlight: tomatoes, fava beans, olives, eggplants, chicory, turnip greens will lead you through a journey of Mediterranean flavors.
Simplicity, passion, a lot of extra virgin olive oil, and pasta are the basic ingredients of this amazing land: you haven’t tasted the real Italian cuisine until you eat in Puglia!

cooking with nonna Puglia

4# Its baroque and rural art & architecture 

From the rural and countryside architecture to the magnificent and grand Baroque and Romanesque style, Puglia is the testimony of unparalleled history and heritage. With 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Puglia is one of the top regions of Italy considering its priceless architectural jewels. 
A legacy that dates back to rupestrian civilization archeology and ancient craftsmanship housed by museums, which stands for realms of collective memory and shared traditions.

Lecce is known as the Lady of Baroque: a compendium of Apulian architecture, characterized by the color of the local sandstone which gives a warm hue to the whole city. Must-see of your visit: Piazza del Duomo, beating heart of Lecce. You’ll be enchanted by the historic and noble buildings, the Baroque Cathedral which frames this historic town square.

Lecce baroque art

5# Its smiling people 

Apulian people are passionate, dedicated, hospitable, and very serious about spending their time together. Sharing and socializing is done around the table in a typical local restaurant or café in the villages’ centers.

Here life unfolds slowly: try to live a day as a real Apulian local, buy bread at old-fashioned bakeries and visit artisans' workshops. Then stop at the butcher and at the dairy store. Experience an incredible glimpse of local life. Relish while people smile at you, and probably some of them will invite you over for a coffee! 
People in Puglia haven’t lost this kind of authenticity: you’ll be part of this family!

Puglia holiday

Live these exact feelings during our small group tours to Puglia! You will fill your eyes and your heart with beauty and hospitality and refresh the body and the spirit with some amazing food and wine!

And when you’ll be home, on a gloomy day, your thoughts will throwback to the people’s smiling faces, to its heady scents and tastes, to its gaudy colors and wonderful nature. You will fall in love with this land!