Apulia covers over 90,000 square kms and is home to more than 4.1 million people. Greece played a big part in Apulia’s history, settling in the 8th century BC and building cities like Taranto. After a series of conquests, the Romans, Normans, Spanish and others all left their own marks on this area. After Mussolini came to power in 1922, he aimed to make Italy self-sufficient food-wise, and as a result, Apulia is rich in farm land and olive groves.
Things to do
Bari is the capital city of Apulia, and the home of the Teatro Petruzzelli theatre and the Stadio San Nicola. Check out the Basilica di San Nicola, a Puglian-Romanesque Norman church. If you’re here in May, the Festa di San Nicola is Bari’s biggest party, celebrating the return of the relics of Saint Nicholas in 1087.
Set on a high plain, the Itria Valley (better known as Valle d’Itria) is full of charming villages with plenty of trulli, traditional white stone buildings with triangular roofs. Apulia’s cities include other historic gems like the Basilica di Santa Croce and Lecce Cathedral.
Apulia is known for chalk-white cliffs overlooking fantastic beaches. The Gargano Promontory has plenty of these seaside views. It’s part of the Gargano National Park, which also includes the Umbra Forest, where forest trails wind through thick tall trees and quiet spots that are great for both silent, thoughtful contemplation and pleasant picnics.
Shopping and dining
Apulia has a stack of outdoor markets that take place throughout the whole year in different locations, including Taranto, Bari and Lecce. At the other end of the spectrum, you can also spend big on high-end designer brands in streets like Via Sparano, Bari.
Because of its agriculture and closeness to the ocean, Apulia has some downright delicious food. Sit back with a plate of fresh mussels, some pizza or pasta, or another Italian favourite nicely complimented by a glass of vino.
Once you’ve picked your Apulia hotel, check out our flights to Bari and get ready to experience the stunning scenery of the Apulia region. You’ll fall head over heel in love.Image credit Jose Goncalves under Creative Commons