About Puglia - Puglia
Puglia (Apulia) forms the easternmost part of the Italian peninsula and has a long coastline facing the Ionian and Adriatic Seas. Puglia is essentially a flatland with wide arid expanses. The coast is often high, plunging steep into the sea; in other areas, it is sandy or rocky, but usually flat.
The region's capital Bari, enjoyed its "golden age" during medieval times and its history can be witnessed by the Cathedral and Church of St. Nicholas. Many cathedral cities were built during the medieval era including Brindisi, Andria, Barletta, Trani, Ruvo di Puglia, Lucera, Troia, Manfredonia, Otranto, and Gallipoli.
A proper visit to Puglia should include the Tremiti Islands, rising off the coast in the sparkling sea. From spring through autumn, the Islands can easily be reached by a boat service from Manfredonia. The Tremiti Islands are an underwater fishing paradise for the clearness of their waters and the vast sea life. Similarly, those preferring to remain on land can enjoy the unspoilt coastline and great beaches such as Torre Canne. The coastal stretch from Gallipoli to Taranto is worth a visit.
For more spectacular history, travel inland from the old Venetian trading port of Monopoli and stop in Castellana Grotte to see the stalactite caverns. The Roman ruins of Egnazia are another highlight while Martina Franca, is a delightful town whose Palazzo Ducale is the only building in southern Italy attributed to the great Baroque architect Lorenzo Bernini.
Puglia also produces an estimated one-tenth of the wine drunk in Europe. A favourite dessert wine is Moscato de Trani, while the best reds are known to come from the Peninsula Salentina. The Trulli area around Locorotondo is home to a pleasant dry white wine (Locorotondo). Coffee-lovers should try an Espressino, which is served in many towns and is similar to a cappuccino with less milk.
HOW TO GET THERE
Puglia is served by two airports at Bari and Brindisi, and most towns in the region can be reached from one of these airports within an hour’s drive. Flights to Bari can be found from over twenty UK airports. British Airways now flies from London Gatwick to Bari. Discount airline Ryanair flies to Bari and Brindisi.