Puglia Area Guide
Apulia (Puglia) is the spur of the Italian Boot, bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. Sun and sea reign supreme here, with some of Italy’s most crystalline waters lapping at the region’s coastline. At Santa Maria di Leuca the calm and crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea mix with those of the intense and azure Adriatic. Sea lovers have multiple options in Apulia, from Gallipoli, the “Gem of Salento,” to Gargano Peninsular, “Italy's Buttress,” which protrudes out into the clear sea, where one finds the beautiful Tremiti Islands. For those who want to travel through history, Apulia offers a wide range of places that testify to the ancient origins of this land: from prehistory to Magna Graecia, from the Imperial Age to the Renaissance and the Baroque splendor of Lecce and of Salento. The trulli, for example those of Valle d'Itria, offer an evocative testimony to the rural past of the region. Meanwhile, numerous castles dot the coasts of the southern coast, hinting at an era when both perils and commerce landed on these shores.
The most devout - but not only - should not miss a trip to San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia), to visit the places of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, the monastery of Capuchin friars of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where Padre Pio died in 1968, and the new church designed by great architect Renzo Piano, open since 2004. For a full immersion in history and tradition, Alberobello is a must. The town of the trulli - ancient and peculiar stone houses with a conical roof, built without mortar- is so unique that it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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