The region of Puglia (Apulia in English, but I will refer to it as Puglia from here on out) is full of so many hidden gems that so many tourists do not know about because they are so focused on seeing Rome, Florence, Venice, etc. Those are amazing places to visit too but down in the south these areas are less touristy which means you will get a more authentic Italian experience. Puglia has some of the most beautiful beaches, and the Italians have done a good job at keeping that fact from many tourists. I lived in Puglia for almost a year and was able to visit many of these places only because the locals told us about them. Here is a list of 5 of these places. However, there are so many more places that I can not fit them all into one post!
Here we go with five.
Literally translated that is "Beautiful Tree". It is a town of about 10,000 inhabitants and is most famous for its unique homes and buildings known as Trulli. These are the white buildings with the cone top you can see in the pictures. When farmers were settling here they found an abundance of calcareous sedimentary material which they ended up using for Mortar. Businesses, lodging, and restaurants now use many of the Trulli in central Alberobello, but there are still many residents who live in these amazing homes. They are built in such a way that the thick stone keeps warm air in during the winter time, and cool air in during the summer time.
Also known as "The White City", Ostuni is a city that dates back to the stone age. All of the old town has been painted in white. It is quite magnificent to walk around in. During the winter it has around 30,000 inhabitants but during the summer it can have up to 100,000. It boasts many restaurants that serve freshly caught fish from the nearby sea.
Castel del Monte
Castel del Monte is a 13th-century citadel and castle built on a hill in Andria. It was built by Emperor Fredrick II after he inherited some land from his mother Constance of Sicily. It has an interesting octagonal shape to it, making it easy to spot and defending enemies from any direction. It even served as a prison at one time as well. From on top of the castle one can see a very long distance.
Taranto Vecchia (Historic Taranto)
Old Taranto is another amazing sight to see. It is situated on an island with only two bridges leading to it. It boasts a large cathedral, an Aragon castle, and other ancient ruins from a Greek Acropolis. Taranto itself is known as the Spartan City because it was founded by Sparta in 706 B.C. With its rich history, delicious food from the sea, and scenic old town, Taranto is a must.
Known as the "Florence of the South". Lecce is a city full of beautiful churches in the Baroque style which give it that nickname. Its history dates back thousands of years just like many other cities in the area and was originally settled by the Greeks, namely Cretans. Some of the main sites include Piazza del Duomo (featured above), a greek amphitheatre, and the Church of the Holy Cross which has animals, vegetables, and other grotesque figures lining the front facade. Lecce is beautiful at every turn.
So here are just five places that are beautiful sites to see in Puglia. I hope you get the chance one day to experience them all firsthand!
Hey all, Brian here. Welcome to my travel blog. I have had experience traveling around Canada and in Italy so those will be my main topics of interest here. If you ever want to know more about a place, just send me a message and I'll write to you personally about it as well as make a more in depth blog post! Thanks for reading and go travel the world!