Explore centuries old food culture from the ground up
Agriturismo in Puglia, Italy
• Find a Farming Holiday in Puglia, Italy
If the shape of Italy is often compared to a boot, then Puglia, or Apulia, is the heel, a southern region of the European nation. Puglia stretches along hundreds of kilometres of coastline along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas that has been whitewashed by the warm Mediterranean sun. Here, you'll find a local culture with deep, deep roots. There are farms that have been cultivated for centuries, including, naturally vineyards, and olive groves, producing rich local cuisine that varies from town to town. There are enchanting cities full of baroque architecture and beautiful beaches to explore. This is where savvy travelers are finding an authentic taste of Italy without the crowds of Tuscany or Lombardy.
|Torre Sant'Andrea, Lecce by Freddyballo|
Over the centuries, the area has seen its share of ups and downs, peace and warfare, including getting caught up in Greek and Turkish battles. It was once part of the ancient Arab empire. Puglia is a place of contrasts and a history you can explore in places like the Castel del Monte (literally, Castel of the Mount), built by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and dating back to Byzantine and Norman civilization. But the typical historical buildings of this region are actually the Masserie, originally fortified farms, which are now dedicated to tourists.
In a region so renowned for its agricultural history and food culture, a farming holiday is the natural option. Here, you can abandon yourself to the slow pace of the countryside while exploring Puglia’s agricultural museums and didactic manor farms. These are set amidst broad expanses of centuries-old olive groves and vineyards where Designation of Origin products are made, like PDO extra virgin olive oil and delicious DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) and IGT (Typical Geographical Indication) wines: Negroamaro, Aleatico and Primitivo.
|Traditional trulli (sing. trullo) found only in the Itria Valley|
Bari is the capital of the region as well as a university town, and it's where you'll find the area's trendiest clubs and shops in the contrada Capitolo. This busy port on the Adriatic Sea has a beautifully preserved Old Town section with narrow, winding streets and artisan workshops, and beautiful old churches.
|Castello di Bari, Puglia by Riccardo Cambiassi of London, UK|
|View from Bari, Puglia at night|
|Bari Basilica San Nicola|
In Puglia, land of extra virgin olive oil DOP (denomination of protected origin), fine wines of DOC (denomination of controlled origin) and IGT (typical geographic indication), the bounty of the land in agricultural products and seafood and fish from the turquoise seas merge into a delicious traditional cuisine.
|Gargano, Puglia, Italy|
|Antipasto tipico in Puglia nel Salento by Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Milano|
|Orecchiette al Pomodoro|
|Basilica di Santa Croce in Lecce, Puglia by Paride81 at Italian Wikipedia|
Puglia is a feast for all the senses, best experienced at the relaxed pace of the countryside.