Puglia, Italy: A Perfect Family Destination in 2024

O que fazer e visitar em Puglia, Itália.
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2024-01-25

Discover Beautiful Puglia, Italy, a Perfect Family Destination Blending Sunshine, History, and Charming Towns.

From the historic towns to the breathtaking natural landscapes that stretch along the 850 kilometers of coastline, Puglia is a region that promises an unforgettable journey of discovery.

Start your adventure in the captivating town of Alberobello, where the iconic Trulli houses stand as unique symbols of the region’s history.

Cycle through the picturesque landscapes of the Itria Valley, immersing yourself in the beauty of olive groves and vineyards. And don’t miss the underground oil mills in Ostuni, where the secrets of traditional olive oil production come to life.

Nature enthusiasts will be enchanted by the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve, a haven of tranquility where egrets and wild ducks roam freely. At Cesine’s WWF Oasis, observe the biodiversity of the wetlands and embrace the harmony of nature.

For those seeking a swing on the green, Acaya awaits with its world-renowned golf course set amidst the heart of Salento.

Delve into the magical world of sea caves in Castro and witness the breathtaking meeting of the Ionian and Adriatic Seas in Santa Maria di Leuca.

Unwind at Marina di Pescoluse, fondly known as the “Maldives of Salento,” embrace the rich architecture of Lecce, the “Florence of the South,” and be charmed by Bari’s nonas as they handcraft fresh pasta with love.

Savor authentic Pasticciotto, a delightful pastry, and toast to life the Italian way with an Aperol Spritz on a terrace.

For the romantics at heart, Puglia is the perfect destination to say “I do.” Celebrate your love amidst the stunning backdrop of this captivating region.

If you’re still wondering “what to see and do in Puglia?”, then read on and let your wanderlust lead you to a journey filled with unforgettable moments.

Discover a Stunning Region: What to See and Do in Puglia, Italy

As promised, here’s a list of what to do and see in Puglia. Explore the wonders of Puglia with this itinerary of tourist attractions and unmissable experiences in the region.

In this guide, I will present a selection of the main attractions and activities to inspire your trip to this southern Italian paradise.

While I haven’t explored everything there is to do in the region, I’ll highlight the places I had the opportunity to visit, as well as those that are on my list for future trips.

Each subheading below provides a detailed look at a specific attraction or experience, allowing you to customize your itinerary to suit your interests.

So, although Puglia is vast and diverse, this guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of its most glittering gems.

Now, let’s start this journey through the stunning Puglia, Italy!

Discover the Trulli in Alberobello

Conhecer os trulli em Alberobello.
Trulli in Alberobello.

The Trullo, or trulli in the plural, are typical constructions of the Puglia region, in Italy, and one of the symbols of this region.

These constructions are mainly found in Alberobello, but I have also seen trulli in other rural areas of the Itria Valley.

Since 1996, Alberobello has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to the unique construction of the trulli, which are truly unique in the world.

The trulli’s conical shape is due to the fact that they were initially considered as “temporary” constructions, which allowed owners to avoid paying local taxes. To do so, they resorted to ingenious strategies.

Thus, the abundant limestone in the region was broken into square blocks and placed one by one, forming a circle.

Later, they built an outer circle in stone, leaving a blank space. The void between the stone circles was filled with crushed stones and other materials, forming thick and resistant walls, without the use of fixing materials.

For the ceiling, the stones were placed in rows, slightly inwards, creating the characteristic conical shape of the trulli.

The last stone served to finish off the house, which, as it did not have any material connecting the stones, was not considered a permanent construction, thus avoiding taxation.

In Alberobello, there are more than a thousand trulli, which today function as shops, restaurants, as well as private holiday homes and local accommodation.

Stay overnight in a trulli in Alberobello.

The word trullo comes from the Greek word “tholos,” which means dome, thus describing its self-supporting system, a fascinating feature of these unique constructions.

You can only see them in Puglia, so don’t miss the opportunity to visit this fascinating region.

Embark on a Cycling Adventure through the Itria Valley!

Ciclying Tours em Puglia, Itália.
Antonio, from Puglia Cycle Tours.

Get ready for an unforgettable journey as you pedal through the heart of the Itria Valley, surrounded by the timeless charm of trulli, ancient olive trees, and rustic dry stone walls.

Puglia Cycle Tours offers an array of cycling adventures tailored to different types of travelers.

Whether you prefer the guidance of a knowledgeable tour guide or the freedom of a self-guided bike tour, you can explore the region at your own pace.

For the ultimate cycling experience, opt for the multi-day tours with carefully selected accommodations, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of Puglia without worrying about your luggage.

Andar de bicicleta em Itália.
Best things to do in Puglia, Italy: Cycling at Itria Valley.

One of the highlights is the Ciclovia dell’Acquedutto, a scenic circuit along the ancient aqueduct trail that once served as a donkey path connecting Cisternino and Martina Franca. Starting from Trulli di Figazzano, you have a choice of ten mesmerizing routes to explore.

These circular circuits are perfect for families, offering safe and enjoyable adventures for all.

Ready to pedal your way through the captivating Itria Valley? Reach out to Puglia Cycle Tours at info@pugliacycletours.com or call +39 080 205 11 87 to book your cycling adventure today.

Prepare to be enchanted by the stunning landscapes and cultural treasures that await you in Puglia!

Uncover the Hidden Secrets of Puglia, Italy: Explore the Underground Oil Mills in Ostuni!

Lagar de Azeite na Masseria Valente, em Ostuni. (Puglia, Italy).
Underground Oil Mills in Masseria Valente, Ostuni.

Journey back in time to discover the centuries-old tradition of olive oil production in Puglia, Italy.

At Masseria Valente in Ostuni, a great experience awaits as you delve into the Underground Oil Mills hidden beneath the ancient cellars.

Step into the world of the 18th-century “masseria,” where history blends with modern comforts. Surrounded by 37 hectares of land, this farm offers more than just accommodation – it boasts a refreshing swimming pool, a delectable restaurant, and one of the region’s most intriguing highlights: the Hypogeum wine press.

The mills were ingeniously concealed in cellars to protect the precious oil from theft, and Ostuni is home to an astonishing 105 verified underground mills.

Visita guiada ao lagar de azeite subterrâneo na Masseria Valente, em Ostuni. (Puglia, Italy)
Guided tour in Masseria Valente, Ostuni.

As you embark on a guided tour, marvel at the ingenuity of this safeguarding technique and descend down the steps carved into limestone rock to reach the mill’s hidden chambers.

Once inside, transport yourself to the 15th century when olives were poured into a ground-level hole that served as the press’s entrance. Thanks to the natural limestone’s insulating properties, the temperature remained a constant 20ºC, ensuring optimal oil extraction.

Immerse yourself in the history of olive oil production as you encounter historical artifacts, from pots and filters to ancient mugs used in the process.

For an authentic and unforgettable experience in Puglia, a visit to Agroturismo Masseria Valente is a must. Book your stay at this charming oasis in Ostuni, Italy, and connect with them via email info@masseriavalente.it or phone number +39 392 6777406.

Discover Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve

Reserva Natural Torre Guaceto. (Puglia, Italy)
Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve in Puglia, Italy.

Stepping into the uncharted territory of the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve was like venturing into a hidden paradise.

Our spirited guide, Sonia, ignited our excitement as she unfolded the wonders this region beheld.

The Reserve’s organization and vital role in supporting local communities came alive through Sonia’s passionate storytelling, and we were captivated by the legends that shaped its rich history.

Transparent waters kissed pristine beaches, undulating dunes whispered in the breeze, and meandering paths beckoned us through lush bushes and rejuvenating springs.

Visita guiada à Reserva Natural Torre Guaceto.
Sonia, our guide, near the lake at Torre Guaceto Natural Reserve.

We even scaled the majestic Torre di Guaceto, rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views.

Nature’s symphony unfolded before us as Sonia shared the marvel of migratory birds, like the weightless swallows that gain double their mass before bidding farewell to the reserve.

And who could forget the mesmerizing dance of starlings painting the skies with obsidian strokes in October and November?

A moment that nestled deep in our hearts was encountering turtles up close at the rehabilitation center. Their resilience touched us profoundly.

Our Torre Guaceto journey culminated with a delectable lunch provided by Azienda Agricola Calemone, savoring the authentic flavors of the region (highly recommend their online store!).

Produtos locais da Azienda Agricola Calemone
Local products from Azienda Agricola Calemone.

To immerse yourself in a similar experience, reach out to Cooperativa Thalassia, offering enriching tours of the reserve. Contact them at phone +39 331 9277579 or email info@cooperativathalassia.it.

And, if you seek independent exploration, embrace the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve year-round, from sunrise to sunset, on foot or bicycle (note: cars are not allowed).

Discover Ostuni: The Lovely White City and the Miracles of Sant’Oronzo

Ostuni, a cidade branca em Puglia, Sul de Itália.
Ostuni, the white city in Puglia, Italy.

Located in the heart of Salento, Italy, Ostuni has emerged as a favored haven for travelers seeking both coastal beauty and timeless allure.

Legend has it that Ostuni earned its name “White City” during the 1656 plague epidemic.

In a desperate bid to ward off the disease, locals painted their houses white, hoping for divine protection. As fate would have it, the miracle of Sant’Oronzo unfolded nearby at a mystical spring, endowing the patron saint with even greater reverence. And thus, the timeless bond between Sant’Oronzo and Ostuni grew, leaving the city awash in ethereal white streets.

To fully embrace the magic of Ostuni, embark on a journey starting at Colonna di Sant’Oronzo, a central landmark where the city’s charm unravels before your eyes.

Meander through the historic center, where the graceful Ostuni Cathedral, Arco Scoppa, and labyrinthine streets and alleys whisper tales of bygone eras.

Ascend and descend the ancient quarter’s age-old steps, immersing yourself in the spirit of the past.

Finally, follow the path to Porta Nova, a gate that leads to the city’s heart, preserving centuries of stories within its walls.

Play Golf in Acaya, at the Heart of Salento

Campo de golfe de 18 buracos no Acaya Golf Resort & Spa.
18-hole golf course at Acaya Golf Resort & Spa.

Step back in time as you visit the town of Acaya, one of Italy’s oldest settlements dating back to the 16th century.

Located within the province of Lecce, this town may have less than a thousand inhabitants, but it offers a treasure trove of history and experiences for your Puglia itinerary.

Acaya’s most prominent landmark is its fortified castle, a testament to the locals’ resilience against centuries of Turkish attacks.

Beyond the captivating history, Acaya has something special in store for golf enthusiasts.

The Acaya Golf Resort & Spa boasts an impressive 18-hole course that caters to both seasoned professionals and those curious about the sport.

After witnessing the beauty of the courses, you may find yourself eager to try your hand at golf.

The resort itself offers an oasis of comfort, with excellent spa facilities to pamper yourself and an inviting pool to unwind after a day on the greens.

Savor the region’s delicacies at the noteworthy restaurant, where you’ll taste the authentic flavors of Puglia.

So, indulge in an unforgettable experience, combining history, golf, and the warm hospitality of Puglia, Italy.

Don’t miss the opportunity to book your stay at Acaya Golf Resort & Spa, at the heart of Salento.

Watch Egrets and Wild Ducks in the Natural Habitat of WWF Le Cesine Nature Reserve and Oasis

Reserva Natural e Oasis WWF Le Cesine.
Cesine Nature Reserve and WWF Oasis.

A mere 5 km from Acaya lies the extraordinary WWF Le Cesine Oasis, a protected area of remarkable beauty and ecological significance.

Meet Paolo De Giovanni, the guide at Le Cesine Nature Reserve, who has been leading tours since 2007.

He enlightened us about the reserve’s history, once a swampy terrain, now reclaimed and preserved while maintaining its untouched marsh areas.

Within this sanctuary, a vibrant ecosystem thrives. Thousands of butterflies and damselflies grace the skies, while reptiles, such as turtles, lizards, and snakes, traverse the grounds.

Over 180 species of birds call this oasis home, including herons and wild ducks often spotted from the observation tower, a peaceful refuge to absorb the serenity.

Though I didn’t catch a glimpse of them this time, the natural beauty of the reserve was an enriching experience, a stark contrast to the bustling Italian towns.

Besides its avian and reptilian wonders, Le Cesine is a sanctuary for rare orchids, adding a touch of allure to this unspoiled haven.

To visit Le Cesine Nature Reserve, call +39 329 8315714 or send an email to lecesine@wwf.it. Embrace the chance to explore this untouched Italian paradise, where nature thrives in harmony.

Embark on a Castro Cruise and Marvel at Adriatic Sea Caves

Passeio de barco em Castro, Puglia, Itália.
Boat trip in Castro, Puglia, Italy.

Located along the enchanting coast of Puglia, Italy, the village of Castro beckons you to embark on an unmissable adventure: boat trips!

Whether you’re with family or friends, this unforgettable experience will create lasting memories on your trip.

As I sailed on the boat in the clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, I was amazed by the beautiful views of the coast and cliffs.

The tour’s highlight was exploring numerous captivating caves, and Grotta di Zinzulusa stole my heart. Its stunning stalactites and stalagmites created a magical place.

Sunlight inside the cave painted a beautiful display of blue colors, an unforgettable sight.

To make it even more special, we had a celebration with Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) and enjoyed delicious local foods, which made the experience even better and unforgettable.

Putting this activity on your Puglia itinerary is a must.

While there are various tour operators, I can personally vouch for In barca nel Salento, a fantastic choice for this adventure. Contact them at +3925560120 or via email at info@inbarcanelsalento.it.

Discover one of the most charming beaches in Puglia, Italy: Marina di Pescoluse, also known as the “Maldives of Salento.”

Marina di Pescoluse, ou "Maldives of Salento".
Marina di Pescoluse, or “Maldives of Salento”

Marina di Pescoluse, or le Pescoluse, is renowned for boasting some of the most stunning beaches in Puglia, with some even claiming they are the most beautiful in all of Italy.

I haven’t explored all the beaches in the region, but the ones I’ve seen left me wanted to return.

With a nickname like “Maldives of Salento,” you can already imagine the allure that awaits you: powdery sand, crystal-clear waters, inviting beach chairs, vibrant umbrellas to shield you from the sun, and refreshing cocktails in hand.

Indeed, if you revel in this type of beach holiday, you’ve discovered the perfect spot in the province of Lecce, Italy.

During my visit, I spent delightful hours at Lido Maldive del Salento (+39 349 8520580; info@maldivedelsalento.com), and despite the weather not being at its finest that day, I fell in love with the experience.

Taking a dip in the sea, I can vouch for the excellent water temperature, and the lunch at the restaurant was absolutely delightful!

What is a Lido? A Lido is a concession area of the beach, that is, it is subject to an entrance fee. It can include various services such as sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, restaurant, bar and parking, among others.

Santa Maria Di Leuca: See where the Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea meet

O que fazer em Puglia: ver as Bagnarole di Leuca em Santa Maria Di Leuca.
What to do in Puglia: see the Bagnarole di Leuca in Santa Maria Di Leuca.

It’s not every day that we have the possibility to see where two seas come together, so if you want to have this experience, take note of this place: Santa Maria di Leuca, in Lecce, Italy.

Santa Maria di Leuca is one of those super picturesque towns that you must visit at least once in your life! I know the statement is strong, but so is the energy of the place!

In Santa Maria di Leuca the main tourist attractions are the lighthouse (Faro di Santa Maria di Leuca), the Santuario di Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae, the promenade, the villas that served as a holiday home for the upper class and the caves, such as the Cave of the Three Doors (La Grotta delle Tre Porte) and the Devil’s Cave (La Grotta del Diavolo).

Also, next to the port, you can visit the Bagnarole di Leuca, which are constructions on the beach that were used by rich people to bathe in the sea, protected from prying eyes.

I already mentioned that it is in Santa Maria di Leuca that the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea meet, but the exact place is in Punta Ristola.

In fact, on certain days, you can clearly see where the two seas, the Ionian and the Adriatic, meet.

This is because the salinity of the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea are different, and as a result, the colors are also different. It really is a spectacle of nature that is worth seeing in Punta Ristola!

Discover the Art of Papier-Mâché in Lecce

Papel Machê em Lecce.
What to do in Lecce: Discover the art of Papier-Mâché.

Here’s something truly distinctive to explore in Puglia, Italy: the art of papier-mâché!

I uncovered that papier-mâché is one of Italy’s oldest craft forms, with historical origins tracing back to ancient Pergamum (now Turkey). This technique was passed down by the Egyptians and eventually found its way to Europe.

Traditionally, this artistry was employed to craft sacred pieces like figurines of saints, as well as whimsical creations like carnival masks and puppets.

The process involves layering paper and glue, resulting in impressively durable pieces once dry.

An intriguing aspect of papier-mâché statues is their incorporation of clay hands, feet, and heads.

In essence, this method offered an economical means of producing intricate artworks.

While this art form might be fading elsewhere, Lecce maintains its presence through shops like La Casa dell’Artigianato Leccese.

Maria and her husband stand among the last torchbearers of this craft. I was truly amazed by the attention to detail and quality of the papier-mâché pieces they offer.

When you’re in Lecce, don’t miss the chance to visit their shop:

La Casa dell’Artigianato Leccese Address: Via Giacomo Matteotti, 18, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy Contact: (+39) 0832 306604.

They are preserving a piece of history, and your support will contribute to the continuation of this incredible art form. Make sure to pay them a visit and be inspired by their creations.

Purchase Ceramics in the Quartiere delle Ceramiche, Grottaglie (Taranto)

O que fazer em Puglia: Explorar o Quartiere delle Ceramiche em Grottaglie.
What to do in Puglia: Explore the Quartiere delle Ceramiche in Grottaglie.

Located around 20 km from Taranto, in Grottaglie, lies a ceramics district known as Quartiere delle Ceramiche, an absolute must-visit during your Italian itinerary.

Grottaglie, a charming town featuring the exquisite Castello Episcopio, captivated us primarily for its ceramics craftsmanship.

This place is renowned as the city of ceramics and even boasts a Ceramics Museum, offering an opportunity for exploration at your leisure.

Interestingly, Grottaglie remains a hidden gem, yet to be discovered by mainstream tourism. Hence, make the most of this opportunity to explore before it gains widespread recognition.

I must admit, I hadn’t anticipated stumbling upon a place as captivating as Casa Vestita in Grottaglie!

Mr. Maximo Vestita, Mimo for friends, known for his hospitality, recounted how he acquired the house. During the construction of a bicycle garage, he uncovered archaeological relics dating back to the 15th century.

Maximo Vestita da Casa Vestita, em Grottaglie.
Maximo Vestita from Casa Vestita, in Grottaglie.

We were treated to a view of the secret garden adorned with ancient ceramic pieces, and a collection of more ceramics unearthed from the site.

However, the true highlight, in my opinion, was descending into a crypt with historical ties to the Templars.

Mimo provides guided tours of his home, as well as operates a pottery shop where he crafts exceptional ceramics. These pieces are truly captivating and serve as splendid mementos of your travels.

Don’t forget to request access to the terrace, offering one of Grottaglie’s finest vantage points to appreciate the Castello Episcopio.

Bottega Vestita, Via Santa Sofia, 23, 74023 Grottaglie TA, Italy, Phone +393461572422.

Witness Nonas (or Grandmothers) Crafting Orecchiette in Bari, the Traditional Pasta.

Nunzia Caputo, "The Pasta Lady" em Bari.
Nunzia Caputo, “The Pasta Lady”, in Bari.

In the historic quarters of Bari, nonas still devote their days to the craft of making orecchiette, a delicate pasta variety.

These skilled women not only supply local restaurants but also cater to curious tourists.

Crafting orecchiette is no easy feat – the smaller the dough, the more intricate the process, with its uneven texture designed to capture sauces perfectly.

Their mastery, dexterity, and patience are awe-inspiring, and this endeavor often supplements the family income.

One standout nona among them is Nunzia Caputo, widely recognized as the “Pasta Lady.”

Her expertise reached such heights that she became a part of Dolce & Gabbana’s advertising campaign and was even featured in the New York Times.

Having acquired the art of pasta-making from her mother at the tender age of 5, Nunzia has dedicated around six decades to this craft.

Undeterred by time, Nunzia continues to run her stall in Bari Vecchia with unwavering determination, thus preserving the tradition of crafting orecchiette.

Besides Nunzia, my interactions extended to other nonas in Bari, including Angela and Rosa, who tirelessly juggle their tasks while graciously fielding inquiries from curious visitors like me.

This captivating experience is undoubtedly a must-add to your list of activities in Puglia, Italy.

Indulge in the Pleasure of an Aperol Spritz on a Terrace

Aperol Spritz.
Aperol Spritz.

The Aperol Spritz stands tall as one of Italy’s most beloved beverages.

Comprising prosecco, Aperol liqueur, and sparkling water, it’s a drink often savored as the day winds down, ideally accompanied by a light bite.

This Italian tradition has absolutely captivated me, and I’ll admit, I’ve become quite the enthusiast!

Therefore, whenever the opportunity arises, I encourage you to seek out a terrace and confidently order a revitalizing Aperol Spritz, perfect for relishing at your leisure.

The burst of citrus notes and the lively effervescence create a symphony of flavors in every sip, truly a celebration for the senses.

Its unique blend of ingredients and distinctive orange hue not only catch the eye but also deliver an irresistible taste, effortlessly transporting you to sun-kissed Italy.

So, hesitate no more in embracing this simple luxury and relishing in the delight of an Aperol Spritz on a terrace that suits your fancy.

Lastly, permit yourself this singular pleasure on the go and raise a toast to life with a drink that encapsulates the essence of Italian relaxation. Salute!

Taste Pasticciotto Leccese: A Traditional Delight with a Unique Flavor

Pasticciotto no Caffè Alvino, em Lecce.
Pasticciotto at Caffè Alvino in Lecce.

When it comes to typical Italian food, many envision pizza and pasta, but there is a lesser-known culinary treasure worth mentioning: Pasticciotto, or Pasticciotto Leccese.

Although this sweet is loved throughout Italy, its birthplace is the charming town of Galatina, near Lecce, where Andrea Ascalone created it with leftover pastry dough and egg filling.

Pasticciotto is a unique cake, usually served warm for breakfast, which enhances its texture and flavour. Traditionally stuffed with egg custard, each bite is a sensory journey into the history and genius of the local cuisine.

However, creativity has no limits and in Puglia you can try very interesting variations of Pasticciotto.

The Nutella filling is a safe bet for chocolate lovers, while the ricotta cheese adds a touch of indulgence. For fans of more refined flavors, the pistachio option is an irresistible experience.

My suggestion is that you sit in a cafe, order one or more fresh Pasticciotto and savor each piece.

In other words, whether you want to start your day with a sweet touch or prefer a comforting snack, Pasticciotto is a symbol of Puglia that leaves a good impression on everyone lucky enough to taste it.

Celebrate Your Wedding in the Heart of Puglia

Casar em Puglia. Noiva na Basílica de São Nicolau, em Bari.
Bride in the Basilica of San Nicolas in Bari.

Were you aware that Puglia has become a sought-after haven for wedding celebrations?

Increasingly, couples from various corners of the world are selecting cities and towns within this region to intertwine their destinies.

Imagine pledging your vows amid a backdrop that spans from authentic masserias—century-old olive grove-adorned estates—to graceful mansions, commanding fortresses, abbeys, and Renaissance residences dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, not to mention the exquisite seaside resorts along the coast.

Among the most coveted wedding locales in this corner of Italy are Bari, Lecce, Taranto, and Foggia. Each of these cities offers a distinctive allure and a storied history that contribute a unique touch to every ceremony.

For instance, at Bari’s Basilica of San Nicola, it’s common to encounter a waiting list extending up to three years for prospective weddings.

This demand may be attributed to the fact that Saint Nicholas serves as the patron saint for those seeking matrimony, infusing this choice with deeper meaning and enduring tradition.

Opting to exchange vows in the Province of Puglia extends beyond the union of two hearts; it is an immersion into the tapestry of traditions, splendor, and history that this remarkable region is renowned for.

Exploring UNESCO Heritage in Puglia, Italy

O que fazer e visitar em Puglia, Itália.
Alberobello, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UNESCO World Heritage signifies cultural, natural, or mixed sites acknowledged by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for their exceptional universal value to humanity.

In simpler terms, these sites epitomize the diversity of our planet’s cultural and natural legacy. Preserved for the coming generations, the exciting news is that Puglia hosts several of these captivating sites awaiting your exploration.

While I may not have personally visited every UNESCO-designated site in Puglia, I deem it crucial to include them within this article. This way, your itinerary can truly flourish with enriched experiences.

Among these sites are:

  • The Trulli of Alberobello (Bari, Italy)
  • Castel del Monte (Contrada Castel del Monte Ex, Strada Statale 170, 76123 Andria BT, Italy)
  • Sanctuary Of San Michele Arcangelo (Via Reale Basilica, 127, 71037 Monte Sant’Angelo FG, Italy)
  • Sassi of Matera (75100 Matera, Province of Matera, Italy)
  • Castel Fiorentino (Strada Provinciale Km 7, 71017 Torremaggiore FG, Italy)

Venturing into these locales immerses you in the timeless allure and splendor that Puglia generously offers.

Make certain to incorporate these internationally acclaimed UNESCO treasures into your itinerary, ensuring an unforgettable journey.

Exploring More of Puglia, Italy

Apart from the places I’ve already mentioned, there’s a treasure trove of captivating spots that couldn’t quite fit into this one-week journey.

To ensure your itinerary is brimming with enriching experiences, I’m pleased to offer recommendations for other must-see destinations in this region of Italy.

Let’s organize them based on different interests:

For Beach Enthusiasts: Polignano a Mare, Carovigno, Pescoluse, Monopoli, Gallipoli.

For History and Culture Aficionados: Unveil the charm of Locorotondo‘s historic center (often dubbed the round city), delve into the Baroque wonders of Martina Franca, explore the ancient ruins of Egnazia in Fasano, step back in time in the medieval streets of Cisternino, immerse yourself in Otranto‘s rich history with its Castello Aragonese, and discover the allure of Castello Alfonsino in Brindisi.

Accommodation Choices in Puglia, Italy

Throughout my journey across the picturesque Puglia region, I had the privilege of experiencing various types of accommodations, each unveiling remarkable locales that I am excited to wholeheartedly recommend.

Indulge in Luxury at iH Hotels Bari Oriente in Bari

Alojamento em Bari: iH Hotels Bari Oriente.
Accommodation in Bari: iH Hotels Bari Oriente.

Discover the exquisite iH Hotels Bari Oriente (4 stars), located in the heart of Bari and conveniently adjacent to the Petruzzelli Theater and the historic center.

Experience unparalleled comfort within its well-appointed rooms and the added convenience of on-demand parking.

Elevating your stay is the rooftop bar, offering panoramic views of Bari that are simply breathtaking.

My dinner experience at the hotel was nothing short of outstanding, receiving my enthusiastic approval.

Rest assured, iH Hotels Bari Oriente promises a truly memorable stay.

Embrace the allure of its comfort and elegance for an unforgettable time in Bari.

Explore Masseria Valente in Ostuni, a Centennial Farmhouse

Masseria Valente, em Ostuni.
Masseria Valente, in Ostuni.

Located in an idyllic location, Masseria Valente harmoniously resides between the azure waters of the sea and the heart of Ostuni.

This enchanting 18th-century farmhouse is cocooned within a sprawling 37-hectare garden.

It boasts air-conditioned studios with private entrances and fully equipped kitchenettes, along with an inviting outdoor pool.

Kick-start your day with a delectable buffet breakfast, brimming with local delicacies, elegantly served in the dining room or amidst the fresh air of the outdoors.

As you set out for your adventures, the charming city of Ostuni awaits just a short drive away, approximately 7 km from the property.

At Masseria Valente, tradition elegantly intertwines with modernity, creating an experience that seamlessly blends historic allure with contemporary comfort.

My overnight stay at this farmhouse was truly delightful, leading me to wholeheartedly recommend this rural retreat for an authentic and serene escape.

Embark on a Luxury Journey at Acaya Golf Resort & SPA in Salento

Acaya Golf Resort & SPA.
Acaya Golf Resort & SPA.

Merely 3 km from the Cesine Nature Reserve and a leisurely 5-minute stroll from the Salento coastline, lies the haven of sophistication – Acaya Golf Resort & SPA (4 stars).

This sanctuary boasts an 18-hole golf course, a spa dedicated to complete rejuvenation, and not one, but two outdoor pools for invigorating indulgence.

The opulent rooms are a symphony of comfort and opulence, offering panoramic vistas of the golf course, tranquil gardens, or the idyllic Puglia countryside.

Prepare yourself for an escape where each detail has been impeccably curated.

This establishment is not solely a place to rest, but an entire destination brimming with captivating activities.

Whether you’re craving a round of golf, a pampering spa session, or simply savoring the serenity of thoughtfully designed spaces, this resort is an absolute essential.

So, surrender to your desires and partake in an unforgettable sojourn at Acaya Golf Resort & SPA, where luxury and exploration converge to forge indelible memories.

Marenea Suite Hotel CDS Hotels, Maritima: Uncover Paradise by the Sea

Marenea Suite Hotel CDS Hotels.
Marenea Suite Hotel CDS Hotels.

Located just 1.3 km from Castro Marina Beach, the Marenea Suite Hotel CDS Hotels (5 stars) promises an opulent escape that transcends every anticipation.

Imagine rooms that epitomize comfort, an ever-present reception, a restaurant that elevates meals to extraordinary experiences, complimentary private parking for your convenience, and a breakfast that bestows a royal indulgence. Yet, these luxuries are merely the outset.

Within this idyllic sanctuary, you’ll discover a beckoning pool that entices for a refreshing plunge and verdant gardens enveloping in tranquility.

Let the local beaches enchant you as they boast a singular beauty, offering indelible experiences in soft sands and azure waters.

Adding the final stroke of perfection, the hotel lavishes guests with a beach shuttle service.

Take this chance to enjoy an experience that goes beyond what you expect.

Mon Rêve Resort: Relax by the Sea in Talsano

Mon Rêve Resort.
Mon Rêve Resort.

Discover the peaceful Mon Rêve Resort (4 stars), located only 10 km from Taranto. This resort offers a perfect blend of comfort and tranquility.

One of its main highlights is the private sandy beach, where guests can unwind and enjoy the sea breeze.

The resort also features spacious pools, creating a serene atmosphere that’s perfect for a leisurely vacation.

While some rooms may need a bit of modernization, the focus on guests’ comfort and well-being remains top-notch.

As I mentioned earlier, the region is quite vast, so I recommend selecting two or three accommodations as your base for exploration.

This approach will reduce the inconvenience of changing hotels daily. To make your selection easier, take a look at the map below to find the hotels that best suit your preferences.

Travel Tips for visiting Puglia, Italy

Before ending this article, I would like to add some final tips to help you plan your trip to the region.

The Best Time to Visit Puglia, Italy

Calle dell'Acquaviva em Marina di Marittima.
Calle dell’Acquaviva in Marina di Marittima.

To be straightforward, Puglia is a fantastic destination throughout the year.

However, I understand that this might not be enough to make a decision. Here’s a more detailed insight: the high season, from mid-June to late August, attracts the most tourists, leading to higher prices.

For budget-conscious travelers, the “shoulder months” of May and October offer more affordable options.

If you’re after the beautiful beaches of Salento and beyond, July and August are perfect. But if you prefer fewer crowds, consider June and September.

I personally visited in June, and it was wonderful – sunny days and manageable tourist numbers (though Alberobelo was quite busy by 11 am).

I hope this helps you determine the ideal time to explore Puglia.

How to get to Puglia, Italy

Voo Porto - Bari na Air France.
Traveling to Bari with Air France.

Discovering the region of Puglia is simpler than you might imagine, thanks to its well-connected airports.

For those traveling from Europe, flying is the most convenient option. Puglia has several airports, such as Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport and Brindisi Airport. Major airlines operate direct flights to these hubs from various European cities.

For instance, if you’re embarking from London, British Airways, Ryanair, and easyJet offer direct flights. Similarly, if Frankfurt is your starting point, Lufthansa has direct connections to both Bari and Brindisi.

Another avenue is train travel. Italy’s robust railway network seamlessly links with the rest of Europe. You can board high-speed trains to key cities like Milan, Rome, or Venice, and then transition to a regional train heading for Puglia.

Take Paris as an example. A high-speed train (TGV) transports you to Milan, where you can hop onto an Italo or Trenitalia train bound for Bari or Brindisi.

Moreover, journeying to Puglia from the USA often entails a layover in a major European city.

If departing from New York, you may find direct flights to Rome, Milan, or Frankfurt, followed by connecting flights to Bari or Brindisi.

Airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, and Lufthansa provide these routes. While it extends travel time, this layover can be a chance to explore a European city.

In essence, Puglia is excellently connected to multiple European and international destinations, ensuring accessibility from both Europe and the USA.

Whether you opt for direct flights or connecting paths, planning your trip to this Italian haven is simple and easy.

How Many Days to Spend in Puglia, Italy

Visitar Lecce, em Puglia - Sul de Itália.
Visit Lecce, in Puglia – Southern Italy.

Determining the ideal duration for your Puglia adventure is a subjective decision, considering that each traveler has their own pace.

Nonetheless, I’ll make an earnest attempt to offer some insights into how much time you might consider spending in Puglia.

Speaking from my personal experience, my week-long exploration of Puglia allowed me to see a considerable amount.

However, even with this time frame, there remained an array of unexplored destinations that piqued my curiosity.

With this in mind, I’d recommend dedicating a generous span of 10 to 15 days for your exploration of this mesmerizing region in Southern Italy.

As you can gather from the length of this article, Puglia unfolds with a myriad of captivating attractions and activities.

If you can’t spend a lot of time because of your schedule, don’t worry.

You can still get a short but exciting experience in just 3 nights. If that’s the case, I recommend planning your trip carefully.

Spend one day exploring Bari, another day visiting Alberobello, Locorotondo, Martina Franca, and Ostuni, and keep your last day for discovering Lecce, Otranto, and Leuca.

Remember, while the duration of your stay shapes your Puglia experience, the magic of this region can be savored regardless of the time you have. Safe travels and happy exploring!

Getting around Puglia, Italy (Transport Tips)

Alugar carro em Bari, Itália.
Driving in Puglia, Italy.

When it comes to exploring Puglia, renting a car is the most convenient option.

Find out how much it costs to hire a car in Hire a car in Puglia.

To secure a car rental in Italy, you’ll need your ID card (or passport) and a valid credit card to cover the deposit. Keep in mind that the credit card must be under the driver’s name.

The roads and highways across Puglia are diligently maintained and clearly signposted, ensuring a smooth navigation experience even if you’re not familiar with Italian. This makes getting around easy and enjoyable.

For those wondering about speed limits in Italy, here’s what you need to know:

  • In towns: 50 km/h
  • Outside towns: 90 km/h or 110 km/h
  • Highways: 130 km/h

Another crucial point to note is the blood alcohol limit. Exceeding it can lead to license confiscation and, in severe cases, imprisonment. It’s essential to stay well below the limit if you plan on driving.

Law enforcement officers are authorized to issue traffic fines on the spot for any violations, so it’s wise to adhere to road rules diligently.

However, if renting a car isn’t your preference, rest assured that alternative options are available. You can explore bus services, such as those provided by Flixbus.


*I traveled to Puglia at the invitation of Puglia Promozione as part of a press tour that included international journalists and travel bloggers. Throughout the journey, I received valuable assistance from Giovanni Guadalupi, an Official Tourist Guide in Puglia, from AYN – All You Need Puglia. You can reach out to him at info@ayn-allyouneed.com or contact him via mobile at +39 360 255 353.

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We are a Family traveling around the world and sharing our journey and experiences at passaportenobolso.com. Here you can find plenty of family budget travel tips as well as practical information about numerous destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and America. We have visited 30+ countries and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Follow our adventures on YouTube / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter / Facebook.

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