PUGLIA, south of italy
The cocktail for the perfect vacation is Sun, Beach and good food and wine! Who agrees?
Where in the world can you find all of these elements combined together? Italy, of course!! (Promise we are not bias even if Karen is from here)
Italy is diverse, multifaceted and every region has its own story, culture, architecture and dialect that reflect the many sides of the Bel Paese!
Follow me, I want to show you one of the hidden treasure of this beautiful country: PUGLIA.
Whether you land in Bari-Palese (Carol Wojtyla Airport) or Brindisi-Papola Casale (Aeroporto del Salento) the best way to go around is to hire a car. Transportation in Puglia is not very efficient and there are so many little towns that it is hard to connect all of them with one service and you can get lost or really late (in any case, Italians are not very judgmental on being late and they will be very happy to help you find your way) and if you’d like an adventurous experience, feel free to enjoy the ride of trains and buses.
THE 6 MUST SEE LOCATIONS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS:
1. POLIGNANO A MARE
Boat cave tour, old town, Grotta Palazzese Restaurant (world famous restaurant in a cave)
Have you ever seen a town completely built over caves on a cliff? Polignano a Mare is a unique town, a hidden gem in the south of Italy. Incredibly touristic and still raw and fascinating for the incredible position. (2-3 days) Food is absolutely delicious every where. We recommend fish but meat and veggie selection are also very good and fresh. You might remember this place for the famous “Red Bull Cliff Diving” and if you are here around July you don’t want to miss it!
2. ALBEROBELLO Trulli, old town
Located inland, Alberobello is a small characteristic town in the Bari area and province. Its peculiarity is given by the typical structures of the area, called Trulli, which are conical architectural structures unique in the world recognized in 1996 as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. A must see in any season of the year. (estimated visiting time 6-12 hours) – see picture above
3. CASTELLANA GROTTE, Cave tour, Grotte di Castellana
Le grotte di castellana sono un complesso di cavità sotterranee scoperte un centinaio di anni fa che hanno dato vita a dei cunicoli fatti di stalattiti e stalagmiti. Puoi ririservare il tuo biglietto per un tour giornaliero da fare con una guida specializzata che vi porterà all’interno di un percorso magico e surreale. (estimated visitng time 6-12 hours)
The castellana caves are a complex of underground caves discovered a hundred years ago. These natural tunnels gave birth to beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. You can reserve your ticket for a day tour to do with a specialised guide who will take you on a magical and surreal journey. Highlight of this excursion is the famous White Cave, which as the name suggests, is completely white and bright and provides a real jaw-dropping experience. (estimated visitng time 6-12 hours, guided tour is about 4 hours)
With the nickname “Città Bianca” (White City) is known for its white painted walls and for being built on top of a hill. Ostuni represents one of the most beautiful hidden treasures of this region. You can walk around the town and visit monuments, stunning architectures and breathtaking cathedrals. (1-2 days)
5. MATERA “The city of stones”.
In the landscape of this gorgeous old town movies such as “the Passion of Christ”, “Ben-Hur” and “Wonder Woman” have been recorded. Having been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, Matera is a time travel machine that gets its visitors back in time to a Greek-Roman Era.
6. TORRE GUACETO, natural reserve
If you love adventure, far from the city and infrastructure experience, Torre Guaceto is what you will love. A super green natural reserve, with sand and sea. Nothing else. Perfect to enjoy some hours of sun and relax or a long walk along the shore. You will need to get there with your car and once you are there a little buggy will take you there to prevent car pollution. Do not forget to bring water and food with you and the most important thing of all, a beach umbrella!
If you have already visited these places or you have some more tips to add, please leave a comment with your precious contribution!