Puglia is a treasure trove of art, history and nature. It is the land of sun and hospitality, located in the southeastern corner of Italy, in a strategic position in the heart of the Mediterranean.
Centuries of history and enchanting landscapes make this place unique for a journey in which to live unforgettable experiences.
Geographically, Puglia is bathed by the Adriatic and Ionian sea and is the region with the longest coastal extension: about 800 km draw a varied coastline, with sheer cliffs on colorful backdrops and golden beaches that slope into crystal clear waters. Inland, vast flat lands and gentle hills are the pristine kingdom of nature, where olive trees and vineyards alternate with lush forests and surprising Mediterranean canyons, the ravines.
In the heart of Puglia the Itria Valley, the valley of the trulli, where the alternation of valleys and hillocks, the dense presence of trulli and farms, the fields bordered by dry stone walls, create one of the most beautiful landscapes from all over Italy.
In the ancient villages of whitewashed houses, among the Baroque palaces enriched with noble friezes, hidden courtyards and the maze of cobbled lanes you can still breathe the atmosphere of the past. A truly unique place where countries like Alberobello, Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Cisternino, Ostuni offer dream images and emotions.
At the turn of the three provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto, the Itria Valley is the ideal place for those who are quite demanding in terms of the sea, as it allows easy access to both the long sandy and rocky beaches of the Adriatic, and the crystalline clear ones of the Ionian Sea.
And then there is the Gargano, also known as "spur of Italy" or "mountain of the sun", which is a mountainous promontory whose territory is mostly included in the vast Gargano National Park. The imposing massif that stretches for about seventy kilometers in the Adriatic has environmental characteristics that make it almost an island between the sea and the flat expanse of the Tavoliere.
In the coastal part of the promontory there are cities such as Rodi Garganico, Peschici, Vieste, Pugnochiuso or Mattinata, characterized by golden beaches or white cliffs overlooking the sea.
In this beautiful geographic context you can find evidence of an ancient and glorious past of art through grandiose examples of Romanesque art, superbly represented by the cathedrals of Troia and Lucera.
Still in Gargano, exactly in the province of Foggia, San Giovanni Rotondo is today one of the main centers of religious tourism in Italy. The primacy is due to Padre Pio (proclaimed Saint on June 16, 2002 thanks to the enormous miraculous number of healings attributed to him) the friar of the stigmata, the first Franciscan to receive this very particular sign of God after Saint Francis himself.
But religiosity in the Gargano has ancient roots, and certainly pre-Christian. A remote tradition says that the Archangel Michael appeared in a cave near Monte Sant'Angelo. The appearance of the soldier angel who led the hosts of God in the fight against Lucifer's rebels was probably a metaphor and legacy of the great Gothic-Byzantine war. The sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo was of great importance in the Middle Ages and was an obligatory stop for pilgrims who went to the Holy Land.
To the north of Gargano it opens the archipelago of the wonderful Tremiti Islands, today a marine natural reserve.
Last, but not least, is the area of Salento, known for its wide and sandy coasts bathed by waters of great transparency and variety of colors and many caves that open on the east coast. The area is also important for the fun offered by areas such as Torre dell'Orso, Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca, Gallipoli.
Traveling in Puglia means having the opportunity to find signs and monuments from every era; an ideal trip for those who love art, history and the testimonies of past civilizations that in Puglia have crossed numerous.
Those cultures of East and West that have shaped over the centuries the identity and face of the Apulian civilization, a crossroads between two worlds. Ancient roots that constitute the strength of a very modern project, firmly anchored in the Mediterranean and already reaching out to Europe.
Even through a dense network of events and manifestations, Puglia strongly reaffirms its identity as the heart of the Mediterranean.
Whether it's festivals, folklore, popular religiosity, but also musical festivals or large fairs, tradition and modernity, East and West, ancient cadences and frenetic rhythms, historical parades and literary prizes meet in Puglia.
Among the fairs of international importance we remember the traditional appointment in September in Bari with the Fiera del Levante, the most important exhibition among those held in the fairgrounds during the year.
Among the many cultural and religious events taking place during the year, the following are worth mentioning:
Puglia is the region with a thousand faces also in the kitchen, the typically Mediterranean one that boasts one of the most renowned culinary traditions in the world, the result of a genuine and ancient tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation...
You can taste the authenticity of these products in the trattorias or farmhouses in our area.
In spring and summer, various festivals alternate in Puglia, of all kinds, during which typical products of great value are sold and tasted. Folklore and creativity contribute to making these events a strong point of attraction at both a tourist and local level.
The typical dish par excellence are the orecchiette, queens of the Apulian table... they have a round shape, slightly hollowed out as if they were just small ears that allows you to collect the sauce in an excellent way.
They are typical of the whole region and can be enjoyed with “cime di rapa” or with sauce in two variants: Bari with horse or veal chops (rolls stuffed with cheese, garlic and parsley) and Salento with meatballs.
In the historic center of Bari it is typical to find women who prepare them before your very eyes according to tradition.
Other typical Apulian pasta dishes are the pestaluzze, chiancarelle, troccoli, fenescècchie. In Bari, it was invented the most famous Apulian fish "ragù" called the "ciambotto", which in dialect means mixture, obtained with different specialties of fish caught in the Adriatic Sea.
Walking through the alleys of the villages, it is impossible to resist the smell of hot focaccia. Strictly cooked in a wood oven, it can be thin and crunchy or tall and softer ... do not miss the opportunity to taste it freshly baked in the many ovens and bakeries scattered in our region !!
On the Apulian tables, taralli, simple or flavored, are the snack and aperitif par excellence, accompanied with excellent wine or salami.
If you want to perceive in a single bite the true spirit of Puglia, you cannot taste the panzerotto, the symbol of the Apulian culinary tradition
Ideal for a snack to be consumed quickly on the street or comfortably seated at a table, in the Apulian families their preparation is also a real ritual which creates a real assembly line starting from those who spread the mass to those who fill and fry !!
For some, it is strictly fried, while others prefer the oven-baked version. The classic filling is mozzarella, tomato and oregano but all its variations are excellent, with cime di rapa or minced meat.
The Capocollo of Martina Franca is the quintessence of the skill of the martinese butchers and embodies all the unmistakable aroma of the oak woods and the sparkling air of the Itria Valley.
It is a salami obtained from the muscular belt of the pig located - as the name suggests - between the head and the vertebral area.
In ancient times, the pigs raised in Salento, in the Taranto area and more generally in Puglia, were brought to be slaughtered and processed in Martina Franca. The Martinese workforce, combined with the exceptionally cool, ventilated and dry climate, represented a perfect combination for the processing of sausages. Throughout the Kingdom of Naples and subsequently until today, the meats and sausages of Martina Franca have been appreciated and sought after all over the world.
The ingredients that make this product so delicious are in addition to the type of meat, the local herbs and spices and the vincotto in which it is left to macerate.
The Apulian bowls are rolls of fresh pork stuffed with cheese, salt and These pepper, typical of the Itria Valley area, in particular of Martina Franca. rolls are rounded and small in size (about 3-5 cm) ; the name is linked to the explosion of flavor that is felt by eating them and above all by savoring the filling made tasty by the cheese: Caciocavallo Podolico del Gargano, king of the Apulian cheeses, is usually used, a real delicacy.
The livers (or gnumeredde) are instead typical rolls made from the entrails (liver, heart and lungs).
In the ready stoves, annexed to the butchers of the whole Itria valley, you can taste them comfortably seated at a table and accompanied by excellent wine.
Apulian oil is the real Gold of Puglia. The olive tree is in fact the real cathedral of the Apulian countryside ... the expanses of trees, perfectly cared for and perfectly ordered, parade before our eyes one after the other, creating a pleasant visual contrast between the blue sky and their rounded foliage dark green. The air, and with it the earth, in these areas have an unmistakable scent ... it is the scent of Puglia.