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Ostuni - The White City - Puglia
Beautiful  Puglia, Italy
Alberobello - Puglia
Otranto - Puglia
Ostuni
Incredible Puglia, Italy

Puglia

Cities and Towns in Puglia

Imagine Italy as a shapely leg whose foot is shod by a Manolo Blahnik high-heeled boot.  Puglia (Apulia), rarely visited by English-speaking travelers, is Italy's elegant stiletto heel.  The southern reaches of the Salentine Peninsula are virtually surrounded by the immemorial waters of the Adriatic on the east, the Ionian Sea to the south east, and the Gulf of Taranto, across which lies the Region of  Calabria.  In the mountainous north, Puglia is bordered, in clockwise fashion, by Basilicata, Campania, and Molise. Albania is a mere 80 kilometers (50 miles) across the Adriatic.

Puglia is exceptionally sun-soaked and dry, with a scarcity of fresh water, so water is carried by aqueduct and pipeline from Campania, largely drawn from the Sele River.

Originally settled by early italic tribes, Puglia was colonized by the Greeks during the 5th and 6th centuries BC.  However, as with the rest of southern Italy, it was subjugated by the Romans in the 3rd and 4th centuries BC.  The Goths, then the Lombards held sway in their turn, followed by the Byzantines, then the Normans.

For a time, the Puglian City of Melfi was the capital of the Norman territories, but when Robert Guiscard conquered Sicily to establish the Kingdom of Sicily, with Palermo as its capital, Puglia fell into provincial status, a status it retained when the Kingdom of Sicily transmogrified into the Kingdom of Naples.

Ultimately, during the 12th and early 13th centuries, Puglia was absorbed by the Holy Roman Empire.  Then the Turks, and Venetians had their turn.  Finally, Puglia was incorporated into the modern state of Italy, in 1861.

The modern English-speaking traveler will find Puglia exotic in many ways, partly due to its historical evolution, but also because socially and culturally, Puglia is just now catching up to the rest of Italy.  Throughout it's history, up until recent times, feudalism persisted.  Agrarian and social reforms, which were begun in the late 19th century, only really started to take hold in the mid 20th century.

While the official language is standard Italian, among themselves people in different areas will speak dialects not heard elsewhere.  In the north, a version of Neapolitan Italian, in the far south, a Sicilian variation, elsewhere dialects that are heavily Greek or Albanian in flavor.

As you explore Puglia's cities and towns, and outlying areas, you will encounter Greek and Roman ruins, paleo-christian ruins, and public and ecclesiastical buildings done in every major style from Romanesque, to Gothic to Renaissance.  You will even encounter a local architectural style called "barocco leccese", a fanciful, almost hyperbolistic strain of the Baroque, found in Lecce and other towns and cities.

In Puglia, and no where else, you will also find a very peculiar type of building - the trullo - a beehive-shaped, whitewashed, mortarless structure made of stone, usually used as barns in farming areas within the Val d'Itria, but also used as housing in fairly large-scale communities like Alberobello, where over 1000 Trulli are situated on terraces.  The original Trulli date back hundreds, if not thousands of years, but the curious style has been revived by modern homeowners and not a few resort owners who have created Trulli tourist villages.

Apart from mountainous areas in the north and north west, Puglia is mostly a plain where farmers produce olives (and olive oil), grapes (and wine), cereals, almonds, figs, tobacco, and livestock.  It is reliably said that Puglia produces 10% of all the wine consumed in Europe - which is pretty staggering when you think about it.  Or perhaps not when you consider that until recently that Puglian wine (and olive oils) were used to dilute finer products grown elsewhere.  However, vintage wines and olive oils of some repute are increasingly being produced in the region.

Not surprisingly, fishing is another main support of the regional economy, although tourism is increasingly important.  Industrial activities include the manufacture of chemicals, cement, iron, steel, and plastics, and the production of refined oil and gas.

Visit in summer for clear blue skies and beach-life (average Jul and Aug temperatures can get above 30°C and sometimes as high as 40°C or 50°C.  Spring and autumn are moderate, and therefore more climactically accommodating to  Northern Europeans and North Americans.  Winter is cooler with temperatures usually above 0°C, and only occasionally rising above 15°C.

 

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Casa Deva

Castellana Grotte is situated in one of the most enchanting places in the whole of Apulia on a calcareous plateau at an altitude of around three hundred meters which reveals an extraordinary location..

Villa Bianca

Crystal-clear waters and rocky walls hollowed out by the sea are the distinctive features of Polignano a Mare which is known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”..

Villa Mimma Puglia

Villa Mimma is decorated in traditional Puglian syle, preserving the heritage of traditional Trulli houses. The 15m (40ft) long swimming pool with Venetian glass times is surrounded by sun loungers, umbrellas, patio and a sun shade pergola.

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Client Testimonials

Dear Guiseppe and Jesse,
We just returned from our most wonderful vacation to Italy and wanted to first thank you for putting together such a wonderful trip, and second to provide some feedback for the future.

Hotels
1. Hotel Sovestro in San Gimignano was wonderful. The staff were very friendly and helpful and made the first portion of our journey very stress free. They made us feel like we were part of their family. I would recommend it to anyone and would specifically ask for it if we were to make a return visit.

2. Hotel La Baia in Monterosso was nice and it's location was very good especially for us older folks humping luggage from/to the train station.

3. Hotel Lucchesi in Florence- what can I say expect FANTASTIC. The rooftop view at sunset is well worth it. Again very friendly and helpful staff. Would recommend it to everyone.

Wine Tour
Money well spent. We had a great time overall. The driver Mario was OUTSTANDING. He had lots of local knowledge as well as about winemaking. USE HIM AGAIN!!!

The various wineries we visited on tour:
Altesino- fantastic and they were not cheap on their pouring. Great experience.
Azienda Agricola Patrizia Cencion Sloaria- Again a great tour by one of the owner's daughters. We felt like we were the only thing on their mind although there were other customers there. A great way to complete the day.

Again we had a fantastic time and are very appreciative of everything you booked for us. We wish you continued success and if our travels should bring us back to Italy, we know who to call.

- Ron and Deb Crosby Read More

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