10 reasons why Puglia is the perfect family holiday destination

Hotels Masseria Montelauro, Otranto Located just outside of Otranto, this recently restored masseria incorporates styles from around the Mediterranean. The main building is an old original fortified farmhouse, while the furnishings are an appealing blend of Moroccan and Italian. The hotel is family owned, and we are bound to feel like guests in a southern Italian home, where hospitality is paramount. It offers guests all the allure of its ancient traditions as well as a wealth of refined details, for an unforgettable stay full of charm, elegance and high quality service, without overlooking the intimacy of a luxury heritage residence. Heated floors and Philippe Starck bathtubs as well as wifi, ensure a comfortable stay. Set in the charming village of Bernalda, the palazzo delights guests with palatial rooms and suites, delicious authentic cuisine and numerous amenities. They even manage to find the hidden treasures and people unavailable to the typical tourist. The walks are generally on flat terrain, along paved and unpaved country roads, as well as coastal trails with occasional steps.

Agriturismo Apulia

Towns in Puglia Ceglie Messapica A beguiling historic town near Ostuni , Ceglie Messapica is often overlooked by those bee-lining for the beaches. That’s a shame because this is one of the oldest towns in Puglia , dating back to the 15th century BC. It also has one of the largest historic centers, which is amazingly well preserved.

Known by the Greeks as Kailia Messapi as a homage to the Cretan colony who settled here and the native tribe that inhabited this land between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Ceglie Messapica is wedged between the low Puglian hills and the plains of the Salento, about halfway between Brindisi and Taranto.

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In an email now deep in the archives, Will wrote: And by the way, not too expensive, my friend […] I have a very spacious apartment in a nice section […] excellent weather and the food almost never disappoints. But before it did, he planted a seed. As our 15th wedding anniversary approached earlier this year, Audrey and I considered a handful of regions in Italy in which to celebrate. While we could have returned to Tuscany, the original scene of the crime , we aimed to explore somewhere new to us.

Along with the neighboring province of Basilicata, Puglia would serve as the setting of a road trip to celebrate the occasion. Equipped with a rental car reservation for late September to early October and no plans other than a bed and breakfast reservation for our first night in the provincial capital of Bari, we set off with a touch of abandon and two maps — one physical, one digital. During our Puglia travel research, we were grateful for and overwhelmed by all the recommendations we received.

Particularly thanks to our Puglian friends Franca and Gianni , there was plenty to sift through. How to use this experiential travel guide to Puglia The following experiences are in chronological order. If you have days, you can conservatively accomplish something similar, or pare back a few destinations to make the trip more leisurely and manageable.

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Here are out top ten suggestions: A perfect hub for eco-tourism and relax. It has a strong identity with its own cuisine, traditions and music, influenced by its Greek past.

Bari (Italian pronunciation: (listen); Barese: Bare; Latin: Barium; Ancient Greek: Βάριον, translit. Bárion) is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in southern is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas.

Apartments in Puglia About Puglia The fertile countryside of Italy’s heel, Puglia is largely flat and characterised by olive trees with huge, gnarled trunks some of them many centuries old , rich red soil, fields planted with tomatoes and artichokes, dry stone walls and a sense of endless space and far-reaching horizons. Our pick of the best places to stay in Puglia will enable you to explore this charming region from an equally charming property, whatever your budget!

Being long and narrow, nowhere is too far from the sea, and if you choose to stay in a location somewhere in the middle of the Salento peninsula, you can reach the splendid beaches of both the Adriatic and the Ionian coasts, as well as the area’s historic towns, within a matter of about 20 minutes. Fasano is a prime example of a little known inland town, with its own little beach offshoot at Savelletri just over 7km away.

The region is dotted with fascinating towns and villages which offer a great deal to see and also make good bases for exploring further afield in the area. They are a great source of wide ranging accommodation including some of the best places to stay in Puglia.

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Busy city on the Adriatic with a port, atmospheric ‘Old Bari’ and useful transport links About Bari Bari is a big port city on the Adriatic coast; the capital of the Italian region of Puglia. It’s not a major tourist destination, but it does have an airport with budget flights from the UK, and as well as having a few sights of interest it is well-placed for exploring this attractive part of Italy.

Bari doesn’t have a great reputation within Italy you’ll be warned to hold your valuables tightly , but it is actually a decent place to spend a night or two before moving on to Puglia’s greater tourist attractions. Things to see in Bari Bari offers about a day’s worth of sightseeing – that is, if you want to explore thoroughly, enjoy a long lunch and visit the local art gallery.

Salento (Salentu in local dialect) is the south-eastern part of Puglia, a sub-peninsula of the main Italian Peninsula, sometimes described as the “heel” of the Italian “boot”.

Friday 31 August Yet, rather than chide yourself for choosing this apparently forsaken land over the guaranteed charms of Tuscany, persevere. Two seas — the Adriatic to the east, the Ionian to the west — have sculpted coastlines of smooth beaches, rocky coves and sheer cliffs. The Gargano National Park 00 39 ; parks. Layered on to the landscape is a hoard of architectural riches left by those who have reached this crossroads of the eastern and western Mediterranean over the centuries — Brindisi above marks the southern end of the Appian Way and was a main departure point for the Crusades.

These plains provide fertile soil for agriculture, cultivating vines and vegetables in abundance, as well as supplying pasture for sheep. Ryanair, which launched the first direct flights from the UK eight years ago, is joined in the summer season by British Airways and easyJet. Two decades ago, when visitors had to take the plane to Rome and go on by train, Long Travel ; long-travel. Now the company has many more rivals, among them Think Puglia ; thinkpuglia.

Natural assets A trip to the beach offers relief from the heat, and there are plenty along km of coast. But the main draw is the Gargano National Park. Cool forest shelters boar and roe deer; its southern valleys nurture a rich variety of wild orchid. And reptiles and birds migrating between Africa and Europe gather at its lagoons, marshes and lakes.

Ceglie Messapica

However, much has changed in recent years. The overall quality of wines from Puglia has improved considerably in the last several decades due to enhanced regulations and, more importantly, more inspired winemaking by a number of Puglian producers that emphasizes quality over quantity. Wineries from northern Italy and elsewhere have made substantial investments in Puglia in the form of land and vineyard acquisitions, capital improvements and infusions of modern winemaking technologies.

Marchesi Antinori and Gianni Zonin are two marquee-name producers that have made substantial investments in wine operations in Puglia recently to great commercial successe. Did I mention the scenery?

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Tourism[ edit ] The coast around Mattinata The coast of Gargano houses numerous beaches and tourist facilities, including resorts such as Vieste , Peschici and Mattinata. The two major salt lakes of Lesina and Varano are located in the northern part of the peninsula. Other tourist attractions include the cathedral, the episcopal palace, the Abbey of Santa Maria of Ripalta and the volcanic rocks dating back to the Triassic Period, known as “Black Stones”, as well as the Sanctuary of San Nazario.

St Primiano and the saint sailing-race on 15 May St Nazario and the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary with the same name on July 28 Gargano Running Week is held in October, the first time in and includes trail running , skyrunning , jogging, ultra distance running and speed running. Several of these animals were subject to island gigantism.

The Gargano Island fauna is known as Mikrotia fauna after an endemic rodent genus of the area. Initially named Microtia, this had to be corrected, because the genus name Microtia was already used for butterflies. The surface features of the ancient karst developed in Mesozoic limestone. In these, sediment accumulated together with the remains of the local fauna, forming thick layers of reddish, massive or crudely stratified silty – sandy clays , known as terrae rossae “red soils “. Through the mid- Pliocene , some of these deposits were flooded, probably due to tectonic movement of the Apulian Plate.

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History Apulia was colonized by the Greeks in the 8th century BC, but when they got there Apulia was already occupied by the Lapigi. The two tribes of Lapigi people, Dauni and Messapi may have been the originators of the traditional Apulian dwelling known as Trulli. These conical stone houses are built without mortar and may have an ancient history dating back thousands of years to these original Apulians, but it is not proven.

The word Apulia is a Roman corruption for the name of these Lapigi, who appealed to the Romans for help against their long-time enemy, the Samnites. Rome finally occupied Apulia but nearly lost it all at the hands of Hannibal at the battle of Canne in Apulia in BC. After the fall of Rome, Apulia was contested between Byzantines, Longobards and Arabs until the Normans conquered all of southern Italy.

Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, is a sun-baked region that has a rich culture of simple pleasures. It’s a favoured getaway within Italy, and so gets packed out in the summer months, with.

A cathedral poised above the sea and a timeless, shabby-picturesque waterfront About Trani Trani is a historic fishing port in Puglia, southern Italy, between Bari and Barletta on the Adriatic coast. It’s on Italy’s mainline railway network so is easy to reach, and it’s a lovely place to explore, wander or relax. The town is reminiscent of s films set in old-fashioned seaside Italy: Trani makes a good day-trip if you are staying in Bari or nearby. It would also make a good alternative base for seeing the area: Things to see in Trani Trani doesn’t have many specific tourist sights; it’s the sort of place to wander along lanes and admire harbour views.

The one really important thing to see is the cathedral, the Cattedrale di San Nicola Pellegrino, which dominates the seashore from a spectacular position at the water’s edge. Dating to the twelfth century, the cathedral is dedicated to St. Nicholas the Pilgrim, a different St. Nicholas to the famous saint venerated in nearby Bari.

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Historically, the town has changed hands many times: Ostuni is built on three hills and is a perfect example of Pugliese town architecture. Its stratified shape exhibits the different stages of architecture added by each ruling civilization. The town is also known for its clay figurines, called fischietti, which are actually functioning whistles! See and Taste for Yourself Stunning, sun-drenched coastline, sumptuous, sauce-drenched food and mile upon mile of soul-stirring rides make our Puglia Biking trip a veritable paradise on wheels.

These caves are a testament to the origins of human life and settlement in Puglia, with evidence dating back to the Palaeolithic era.

Gargano (Italian pronunciation:) is a historical and geographical sub-region in the province of Foggia, Apulia, southeast Italy, consisting of a wide isolated mountain massif made of highland and several peaks and forming the backbone of the Gargano Promontory projecting into the Adriatic Sea, the “spur” on the Italian “boot”.The high point is Monte Calvo at 1, m (3, ft).

Although busy in summer, the region also bursts with life and energy in July and August, with celebrations and food festivals every night. Here are 10 reasons your next family holiday should be in Puglia: Sandy beaches Puglia is surrounded by powder-blue sea lapping pale cream silky sand. Outstanding beaches include the sublime 4km stretch of Torre Lapillo, an arc between two 16th-century watchtowers — the shallow tilt of the bay is ideal for families with young children.

Most of the sandy beaches have free areas and private beaches where you have to pay around per day for a couple of sunbeds and a beach umbrella. During summer these often offer the so-very-Italian, everyone-join-in exercise dance routines in the sea, which some kids will love. Freesurf – Fotolia 2. Polignano al Mare, a whitewashed town that gleams atop wind-sculpted sea cliffs, is famous as the site of the Red Bull Cliff Diving series, an extraordinary annual spectacle in July with world-class divers.

Children will get a thrill being so close to big cats roaming free, with giraffes bending down to peer through your car window and monkeys jumping on the bonnet. Scuba and snorkelling The warm seas of Puglia are a good place to try diving for the first time, and kids can sample underwater exploration via short taster courses at centres such as Scuba Diving Di Levanto Stefano at Otranto, or Orca Diving at Torre Lapillo.

The training that participants receive will count some way towards a full diving certificate at a later date, or older kids and teens can go on to complete the full qualification. These are trulli, peculiar to the region. The epicentre is at the town of Alberobello, where cone-shaped houses huddle together as if gathering for a gnome convention.

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