PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
The southern region of Puglia forms the heel of Italy’s boot, and is one of the most captivating parts of the country. It covers off countryside, beaches, historic cities and quirky villages, and is a famously food-focused area, with an abundance of delicious, locally grown produce. The quiet, scenic roads make Puglia holidays by car incredibly easy – you can even pop across to the neighbouring region of Basilicata for a day in Matera.
The countryside is blanketed with seemingly endless olive groves (more than 50 million olive trees grow here), and dotted with clusters of trulli – distinctive limestone dwellings with conical roofs. You’ll find the biggest collection of trulli in Alberobello, a UNESCO-listed town in the picturesque Valle d’Itria. Nearby, you’ll find beautiful whitewashed towns like Locorotondo and Ostuni, while a half-hour drive will take you to the sandy beaches of Torre Canne and Savelletri di Fasano. Further south, you’ve got the Salento peninsula, home to the baroque city of Lecce, laid-back Otranto, and some of the most spectacular beaches in Italy (think pristine white sands and brilliant turquoise waters).
Flights to Puglia arrive into Bari (BRI) from London Gatwick and London Stansted or Brindisi (BDS) from London Gatwick, London Stansted and Manchester and take approximately 3 hours. Please call our Italy Experts in order to book flights to Brindisi.
Cucina povera, or peasant cooking, is synonymous with Puglia. Dishes are created using fresh, hearty ingredients to produce delicious yet simple combinations to be enjoyed with a slice of focaccia bari - a light baked bread topped with fresh tomato, olives and extra-virgin olive oil. You'll find a lot of dishes use olive oil here - Puglia is dotted with millions of olive trees and produces the majority of Italy’s olive oil.
Those exploring the south of Puglia should indulge in rustico leccese. Popular around Lecce and Salento, these rich puff pastry parcels are filled with béchamel sauce, tomato, mozzarella and pepper and make a delicious savoury treat. They're best washed down with a glass of locally produced red wine, Salice Salentino.