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Puglia, also known as Apulia, stands in South Italy. It is the heel of Italy's boot, between the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. The land, rich in charm and culture is a wonderful holiday resort. Everyone arriving in Puglia finds something familiar so that he feels at home. In Puglia, you can taste delightful traditional dishes and admire picturesque cliffs falling sheer to the crystalline sea, suggestive sea grottoes, enchanting sandy bays covered by shady pinewoods, a beautiful rural lanscape surrounded by Trulli, olive groves, vineyards and whitewashed houses among alleys offering breathtaking views on the sea. If you are looking for an holiday home in Puglia, but you don`t know Puglia region and you don`t speak Italian language or simply because you don`t have time to make the search, HelloPuglia will be more than happy to help you and to take some of the stress away! We make every effort to ensure your stay is a pleasant one. Our aim is to offer to you the best information service about Puglia.

TOWNS IN PUGLIA
Places to visit in South Italy
ABOUT PUGLIA REGION:

Puglia, also known as Apulia, stands in south Italy; it is the heel of Italy's boot.

Puglia is the only region on the Italian mainland with a coast, between the Adriatic to the east and the Ionic Sea to the west, that stretches for 800 kilometres; the costal nature is varied: wide low-lying stretches of sand alternate with high rocky walls falling sheer to the sea. Puglia region is divided into six provinces: Foggia, BAT (Barletta-Andria-Trani), Bari, Taranto, Brindisi, Lecce.

It is, also, divided into five geographical territories: Daunia, Gargano, Tavoliere, Murgia and Salento.

DAUNIA and TAVOLIERE IN PUGLIA
The Daunian Subapennine marks the northwest boundary of Apulia and is characterized by few mountains, rocky hills, medieval towns, fields of windmills, poppies and sunflowers while the Tavoliere with the Candelaro river marking its boundary to the north and the Ofanto river to the south, is one of Italy`s largest "breadbaskets". It stretches out like a carpet with its changeable colours, and offers an excellent shelter to a rich fauna; here, in fact, the WWF has set up a reserve for the protection of wild geese and, at down and dusk, there is a breathtaking view, when thousands of birds take off, migrating from Africa to the Balkans.

GARGANO IN PUGLIA
Gargano promontory, called the "spur of Italy", is a huge mass of limestone, caves, dolines, sinkholes and gorges, but also an amazing scenery of green Aleppo pines, orange groves, olive trees, tiny inlets covered with fine white sand, suggestive grottoes dotting the shores, rocky arches and sharp-edged monoliths rising out of the sea. In the middle of the Adriatic Sea, you can see the Tremiti Island, scattered like pristine splinters of coloured rock; Vico del Gargano town is a good starting point for trips to the beautiful Foresta Umbra, an impressive forest, that covers 11.000 hectares, with tall beech and oak trees, a thick undergrowth, a rich fauna, some natural and artificial ponds and sports facilities.

MURGIA IN PUGLIA
Murgia is an internal area composed of limestone hills, in the centre of Apulia, from the Ofanto river to the Messapian isthmus, from the border of Basilicata to the Adriatic shores; it is divided into coastal Murgia, higher and lower Murgia. The little valley sloping gently down to the Adriatic are called "lame", whereas those directed to the Ionian Sea are steep gorges called revines "gravine". Apulian farmers removed from this area an immense quantity of rocks; driven by hunger and with indescribable sacrifices and loving care, they trilled a land, otherwise condemned to eternal squalor. Today, thanks to them, Puglia is renowned for its fabulous deep green olive oil and produces more grapes, both for eating and wine-making, than any other region in Italy; it produces one-tenth of the wine consumed in Europe but also oat, wheat, barley, artichokes, broccoli, cabbages, fennels, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, sugar beets, citrus fruits, almonds, aubergines, peppers, figs and tobacco. Eating is a favourite pastime in Puglia and the apulian dishes are delicious; they are finely and accurately prepared, respecting the old recipes of the Mediterranean diet. A landscape rich in vineyards and olive groves is the Itria Valley; it stands in the lower Murgia and splits among Locorotondo, Cisternino, Alberobello and Martina Franca. The area is famous for its spontaneous rural architecture constitute by dry-stone walls marking the field boundaries and the Trulli, cylindrical buildings with conical roof. These dwellings were built from the farmers to clear the fields and make the rocky soil suitable for cultivation. Today, the old town of Alberobello is recognised as a World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. In the coastal Murgia stands some suggestive towns for their artistic heritage, favourable climate, unpolluted sea, traditions, hospitality and natural beauty. Here, the adventurous course of history has left its indelible signs; the Greeks, Romans, Lombards, Byzantines, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, the House of Aragon up to the Bourbons have left cultural treasures. The Cathedral of Trani is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful Romanic-Apulian churches and the most suggestive in Italy while Polignano a Mare, suspended on the horizon that divides the blue sky from the clear sea, is a pearl of Apulia. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the great Adriatic coast thanks to its particular reef along which open natural grottoes and its network of alleys winding among whitewashed houses and terraces offering breathtaking views on the Adriatic Sea.

SALENTO IN PUGLIA
Salento is a vast plain stretching from the Messapian isthmus, between Taranto and Brindisi, to Santa Maria di Leuca. The landscape is characterized by picturesque cliffs fall sheer to the sea while Salento`s west coast is low and sandy, with vast and shady pinewoods, occasional carsick grottoes and a promontory lashed by the sea, the port town of Gallipoli. The seabed along the Puglia coast have always played a vital role for the shore populations, testified by the great number of well-developed sea towns and the character of Apulians, their way of thinking and acting, is a perfect reflection of this age-old relationship between man and sea.
TOWNS TO VISIT IN PUGLIA
Places to visit in Puglia - Itria Valley

ITRIA VALLEY IN PUGLIA

ITRIA VALLEY IS AN INLAND AREA OF PUGLIA AND IT IS ONE OF THE MOST ATTRACTIVE SCENERIES ALL OVER THE REGION. THIS AREA, ALSO CALLED MURGIA, OFFERS A BEAUTIFUL RURAL LANDSCAPE SURROUNDED BY TRULLI, CYLINDRICAL BUILDINGS WITH CONICAL ROOFS. MURGIA IS A CHAIN OF LOW CARSICK HILLS WHERE STONY GROUND ALTERNATES WITH MEADOWS, NUMEROUS SPECIES OF WILD PLANTS, SHEEP TRACKS, SOFT ROADS OF DRY-STONE WALLS AND LOW WOODLANDS. TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN THIS PART OF PUGLIA, SORROUNDED BY OLIVE GROVES, VINEYARDS AND SNOW-WHITE FARMHOUSES (SMALL AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES, ORGANISED AROUND A MAIN BUILDING) ARE AMONGST THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN SOUTHERN ITALY.

Puglia - Itria Valley Map
Places to visit in Puglia - Alberobello

ALBEROBELLO
Alberobello is the best known village of the Valle d'Itria because the buildings are mostly trulli. Alberobello has been recognised as a World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Only here become the famous "trulli", which are widespread in this area, a single architectural complex, alive and throbbing. The trulli have very ancient origins. They are quadrangular buildings with a conical roof of "chiancherelle" or tiles of limestone rock, built of dry stone without any mortar. They are stone dwellings that have their place in the great family of Mediterranean architecture and they are unique for their position and originality. Another characteristic is the decoration of symbols on the conical roofs of the trulli. Originally considered to have propitious magic, pagan and Christian qualities, they are worth a careful look. Alberobello in Puglia - Map
Places to visit in Puglia -  Locorotondo

LOCOROTONDO

Following the winding roads among almond, olive trees and vineyards we see a hill crowned with walls and white houses. The Latin toponym, Locus Rotundus, expresses the circular sense of the narrow houses with steep, curiously Dutch roofs, the typical "cummerse", which are numerous along the panoramic street Via Nardelli. The Valley of Itria, in Locorotondo, dominates with 4.700 hectares of land. The walk through the town centre is characteristic for its numerous alleys, churches, bars and restaurants where you can taste the apulian delicacies washed down with the fragrant local wine (DOC). A monument of notable historical and architectural interest is the Church of the Madonna della Greca; it is a Brazilian building dating back to 1100 and declared a national monument. Locorotondo in Puglia - Map
Places to visit in Puglia -  Cisternino

CISTERNINO

Cisternino stutted with trulli and notable for its popular architecture, it might be looked upon as the "balcony" of the Itria. Recently declared one of the most beautiful villages of Italy by the National Association of Italian Municipalities, Cisternino has a tiny historical centre of whitewashed houses. It rises up out of the Itria Valley at 394 metres above sea level. The town centre has an oriental look and is characterised by the construction of houses that are almost built on top of each other in streets that are often narrow and tortuous.

Cisternino in Puglia - Map
Places to visit in Puglia -  Martina Franca

MARTINA FRANCA


Martina Franca is a splendid and cheerful little town on the southern ledge of the Murge. The city`s historical centre is unique, with tall houses, narrow streets and charming and unmistakable trullo homes. The Baroque churches make the landscape more heterogeneous. Of all the events held in Martina Franca, the one that stands out, for international visibility, is the Festival of the Itria Valley. It is an opera festival held in July and August.


Martina Franca in Puglia - Map
Places to visit in Puglia - Zoosafari di Fasano in South Italy

FASANO - ZOOSAFARI

The Zoo Safari is the first wildlife park in Italy and the richest in Europe in terms of species that is contains. This naturalistic paradise holds nearly three thousand exotic animals roaming free against the unlikely background of olive trees and Mediterranean plants. Next to the Safary Park there is a fun-park called Fasanolandia; here, you can visit, by train, other animal areas, but also pavilions, attractions, shows, bars, restaurants, self-service, sandwich bars, picnic areas, discos, a theatre, an internet café, "Apulia in miniature", which displays some of the most famous apulian monuments, and the Dolphinarium, one of the biggest in Italy.

Fasano - Zoosafari in Puglia - Map
Places to visit in Puglia - Ostuni

OSTUNI

Ostuni, known as the White City, is definitely one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. The city was originally whitewashed in defence against the plague and is still snow-white and softly settling on a hill, with houses nestling one on top of the other. It overlooks the Adriatic Sea and offers itself to the visitors in all its luminous beauty; it presents a view of the landscape that contains a thousand suggestions. Closed and fortified by the town walls, the old town spreads here and there with airy terraces that reveal charming views.

Ostuni in Puglia - Map
Places to visit in Puglia - Castellana Grotte in South Italy

CASTELLANA GROTTE

Castellana is famous in Italy for its wonderful grottoes where you can admire white stalactites and stalagmites, small underground lakes and pinnacles of lucid stone. The grottoes of Castellana are the biggest Italian carsick grottoes ever explored. You can visit caves and cavities with their mythological or imaginary names. The tour is three kilometres long and lasts about two hours. You can reach the White Grotto passing from the Grave (chasm) to the Black Cave, through the Little Owl Cave, the Snake Corridor, the Precipice Cave and the Small Paradise. The White Grotto is the most beautiful and brightest grotto in the world. The physical and chemical effects of water running underground create beautiful stalactites and stalagmites: a wonderful underground world. Castella Grotte in Puglia - Map


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