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The Top 10 Reasons to Visit Puglia, Italy (Take It From a Local!)

A passionate traveler, Suzanne has spent time in different regions of Italy and now lives in Puglia, where she's studying Italian.

Puglia is full of delicious eats and gorgeous sights, like the trulli di Alberobello.

Puglia is full of delicious eats and gorgeous sights, like the trulli di Alberobello.

The Puglia (pronounced pool-ya) region—or Apulia, as it is known in English—is one of Italy's loveliest undiscovered gems. Among Italy's 20 different regions, Puglia is easily identified on the map, as it runs down the east coast of the country from the Gargano Peninsula all the way into the “heel of the boot”.

Puglia borders the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea, and in the south, it kisses the Gulf of Taranto and the Strait of Otranto. It has a population of just over 4 million within an area of 19,345 square kilometres.

Six provinces make up the Puglia or Apulia region on the southeast coast of Italy.

Six provinces make up the Puglia or Apulia region on the southeast coast of Italy.

Interestingly, Puglia is one of the largest and most populated of the 20 regions, yet it remains an enigma to many outside of Italy. The region is divided into 6 different communes, all of which harbor many reasons to visit. This made selecting just 10 reasons to visit quite difficult for this writer whose love affair with the area began 5 years ago.

The area saw increased interest from foreign buyers worldwide starting in the 1990s, and the percentage of foreign residents now equates to approximately 2% of the population.

The 10 Best Reasons to Visit Puglia

In no particular order of preference, here are 10 of my favorite reasons to visit Puglia.

  1. The Gargano Peninsula Is Stunning
  2. It's Less Touristy and Less Commercial
  3. Bari, the Capital of Puglia, Has It All
  4. The Trulli of Puglia Are Beautiful and Unique
  5. Lecce, Pearl of the Baroque, Is an Architectural Wonder
  6. The Rustic Food Can't Be Beat
  7. Puglia's Beaches Are Breathtaking
  8. The People Are Vibrant and Hospitable
  9. Ostuni, the White City, Is a Historical Treasure
  10. Otranto Is Perfect for Sun and Sightseeing

1. The Gargano Peninsula Is Stunning

One of the lesser-known places in the region, this peninsula is one of the most important, interesting and varied areas in Puglia; it also boasts the area's most stunning vistas. Within the commune of Foggia, this sub-region is the most northerly part of Puglia.

A Paradise for Nature Lovers

With something for everyone, particularly the nature lovers, the peninsula includes the Gargano National Park (Parco Nazionale del Gargano), the Umbra Forrest (Foresta Umbra) and the Tremiti Islands.

The Gargano peninsula has lakes, hiking tracks, protected wildlife, medieval towns, historic sites, stunning beaches, caves and wonderful traditional food. The aroma of citrus is one you will not be able to avoid, as hundreds of lemon trees grow in abundance alongside the olive tree groves. Spending a week here is easy, and even then, you still may not see everything.

This is heaven for orchid lovers, with the largest amount of species growing in one place in all of Europe. Many varieties are unknown—such is the extraordinary number of these beautiful flowers here.

This area is, without a doubt, a must-see spot in my opinion. A visit to this former island is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

2. It's Less Touristy and Less Commercial

My reasons to visit here have to include it being less commercial. Yes, it has a tourism industry and gets busy in summer, but I still find Puglia to be so much more relaxed, friendlier and less commercialized than a vast many places I have seen in Italy.

Everyone is different and wants different things from travelling, but I find stepping outside my comfort zone refreshing and so much more beneficial. Puglia has unspoilt, beautiful beaches free of commercial businesses such as restaurants, shops, towering hotels and sun loungers.

Be Sure to Learn a Little Italian Before Visiting Puglia

Very few Italians in this region speak English. The bigger cities and towns will have more English speakers, but still not as many as you might expect.

My biggest tip is to be prepared and learn some basics; I know I did, and my pocket phrasebook was permanently in my handbag as I explored the region and certainly looks well used! My choice was the Lonely Planet phrasebook, and I find their books on Italy are excellent—a must for getting to know the place you are visiting.

3. Bari, the Capital of Puglia, Has It All

Bari is the largest city in Puglia, with an international airport, a major port and a wealth of reasons to visit. Situated in the commune of Bari, the city is a seaside gem that boasts an interesting historic centre which is constantly busy with visitors.

Within the historic centre (identified by its ancient city walls) lies a wealth of churches, monuments, piazzas, theaters and narrow cobble-stoned streets.

Architecture, History, Shopping, and More

A highlight includes Basilica di San Nicola, or The Church of Saint Nicolas. Regarded to be the resting home for Santa Claus, this is Bari’s top attraction. Built in 1087 to house the remains of the saint, the church features many different architectural styles, beautiful artwork and mosaics.

For shopping enthusiasts, head to Corso Cavour, Via Sparano and Via Manzoni.

A Great Home Base From Which to Explore the Rest of Italy

Bari makes a great base from which to explore the Gargano or venture further south down the coast to Lecce or Taranto.

It also has a busy train network which makes connecting with all parts of Italy very easy. A mere 4-hour train journey west will have you in Rome if you fancy a day trip or want to divide your holiday time between the east and west.

Being a port, travel to nearby Greece, Turkey and The Balkans is an ideal opportunity to avail of visiting a new country, so keep it in mind.

4. The Trulli of Puglia Are Totally Unique

These conical-roofed stone dwellings are unique to Puglia. Originating in the town of Alberobello in the 16 century BC, the trulli spread throughout the nearby towns of Martina Franca, Conversano, Locorotondo and Cisternino.

Alberobello is known as the capital of these unusual and interesting limestone dwellings, with over 1,000 in existence, making it a must-see destination.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1996, it was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. I have been inside a variety of trulli, and it is amazing to think entire families would have lived inside these tiny stone houses. Today many are restored and added to in order to make them more functional for modern living.

Properties may have a single cone or be multi-coned, with up to 10 "turrets". We looked at different properties to purchase in a trullo style, as we love their quirkiness, uniqueness and structure.

You Can Stay in a Trullo!

If you are visiting Puglia, you should avail of the opportunity of staying in one or renting one out. The experience will be unlike anything you'll find anywhere else in the world.

History of the Trulli in Alberobello

5. Lecce, Pearl of the Baroque, Is an Architectural Wonder

Another favorite place is the town of Lecce in the south, part of the Salento peninsula. Lecce is often referred to as the Pearl of the Baroque or the Florence of the South due to its staggering amounts of spectacular baroque-style architecture.

The beauty with Lecce is that it has everything—unparalleled history, architecture, great food and shopping. It is also near an international airport and port in Brindisi, making it a great base to explore the southern parts of Puglia.

Some of the best beaches in Puglia are located around Lecce, and where else can you enjoy a leisurely cappuccino within arm’s reach of an ancient Amphitheater, still partially buried?

Lecce is a popular holiday destination for many celebrities; Dame Helen Mirren even owns a property here.

6. The Rustic Food Can't Be Beat

The Puglia region is predominantly agricultural, and many of the locals continue to produce their own food and live off the land. They take a lot of pride in their traditional recipes.

40% of Italy’s olive oil production comes from Puglia, and the region is one of the main wine-producing areas of Italy. We have 15 mature olive trees that produce the olives suited for olive oil production which I cannot wait to use. My very own beautiful product homegrown and an essential cooking ingredient! We even have some grape vines growing on trellises. I would be more than happy with having some grapes to eat, never mind a bottle of vino.

An Abundance of Fresh Produce, Meat, and Seafood

With the amount of produce available, most of the cooking is good, rustic country food, with many recipes handed down through the generations. Ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, fava beans, durum wheat, courgettes, artichokes, chilies, peppers, beans, fennel, herbs, lamb and beef are commonly used.

Being a coastal region, the fishing industry is big in Puglia, and seafood comprises an important part of the diet here. Cuttlefish, mussels, anchovies, sea bream, red mullet and sea bass are regularly featured in recipes.

Orecchiette—A Point of Pride

Pasta is naturally a big favorite, but in Puglia, they take particular pride in their orecchiette pasta. These small, ear-shaped shells are made daily by hand by the Italian ladies and can often be found on a table outside their home in the towns.

If you wander up a side street in the morning, you are bound to see this. Why not stop and have a go? Many of these signoras will be only too delighted to show the art of making them. Traditional Puglia pasta is made with water, salt and durum wheat flour. No eggs are used.

Homemade Bread Worthy of a DoP Classification

Homemade bread is another favourite in Puglia. In remote villages, communal wood-burning ovens are still used by the locals for making bread; it comes in many shapes, sizes and varieties and accompanies every meal here.

Altamura, a town in the west of Puglia was the first place in Europe to be granted the prestigious DoP classification (Denomination of Origin of production) for its bread.

Rosticceria and Local Vino

Another speciality in Puglia, particularly in the town of Cisternino, is a tradition performed by rosticceria butchers. You pick out the cut of meat and watch while the butcher cooks it immediately on a charcoal grill or in a wood-burning stove. This dish is definitely worth trying, and it's an ideal time to try one of the locally produced wines.

Wine and Desserts of Puglia With Antonio Carluccio

The Almond- and Ricotta-Based Desserts Are Irresistible

Desserts feature strongly in Puglia. Friends of ours who are Irish and Welsh get up early to go to town and buy fresh pastries for breakfast. We have been to their home for coffee, and the delicious, fresh-from-the-bakery pastries are hard to resist.

Almond-based deserts are common, as almonds are widely grown here. Ricotta cheese is another ingredient featuring heavily in sweets.

Puglia Is the Place to Sample Real Italian Cooking

The food in Puglia has opened up our eyes to truly authentic Italian cooking. It may not be the most famous throughout Italy, but it is full of natural goodness, quality ingredients and age-old traditions.

The friendliness we have received has been one of the most charming reasons we love this area. You have not tasted real Italian cuisine until you eat in Puglia.

Learn About Puglia's Burrata Cheese

7. Puglia's Beaches Are Breathtaking

Running along the east coast, it should be no surprise to hear that beaches in Puglia are numerous and beautiful. No matter where in Puglia you find yourself, you are never far from a beach, which is a big advantage of this region.

The weather here is hot in summer and often still warm and sunny up until November and even December. We have been in November expecting it to be more like our own weather in Ireland and have been pleasantly surprised by how warm it was.

In between Casalabate and San Cataldo down in the south of Puglia lies a stretch of beach which is rarely busy. Turquoise waters gently lap the golden sands, and this beach hides a special secret in the dunes. Hidden in the water 50m from shore is a shipwreck. The ship was sunk by the British Navy in 1941.

How cool would it be to take a deep breath and dive down to wander around the hull and beams? The water is not too deep, so it's a great opportunity to do something different and make a lasting memory.

On the map below are more great beaches highlighted and some places I have found; they were so small and deserted that I have no idea what they are called.

Puglia's Best Beaches

8. The People Are Vibrant and Hospitable

Italian people are passionate, warm, hospitable, family-oriented and very serious about their food. The Pugliese people are no different and love celebrations and socializing, which for them usually is done around the table at home or in a local restaurant.

When a family goes out to eat, what I love is to see the entire family, all the generations from small children to elderly grandparents included. No matter the time, children are always welcomed and never turned away.

The piazzas (or squares) in the villages, towns and cities are the focal point for many Italians to meet, socialize, and go for their age-old Italian custom and tradition of la passeggiata.

The pub culture many of us are familiar with does not exist in Puglia. It is replaced by cafes and restaurants, and I don’t remember seeing one person rowdy, aggressive and stumbling around the streets from too much alcohol.

Our Neighbor Grazia: A Wonderfully Kind and Friendly Person

I love the cafe scene, and a Saturday night in Puglia is very different from one spent in Dublin. An example of the local hospitality is the first time we met our new neighbor Grazia (Grat – zee – ah).

As with many rural properties in this area, families own a large amount of land that has been sub-divided into separate properties for the children over the years. Our property was owned by a guy whose sister owned the adjoining property.

One morning as we were cleaning the place, I heard someone calling “Ciao”. I looked outside to see a small middle-aged lady waving energetically at me. I waved back and walked towards her across our land into hers. She wanted us to come for coffee, which she conveyed in charade-like gestures and Italian as she spoke no English. So off we went—phrasebook in hand—into her small, traditional house, which turned out to be her “summer house”. She lived 10 kilometers away!

That was to be the first of many memorable coffees and lunches we would share with Grazia and her elderly brother. The meals were always freshly prepared with produce she grew or made, and watching her whip up pasta from scratch was very special.

We would often find bags or plates of fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts—all homegrown—that she had left for us. It has truly been an eye-opener into the culture and traditions of Puglia, and seeing Grazia is one of the things we most looked forward to as we prepared to move permanently.

9. Ostuni, the White City, Is a Historical Treasure

Ostuni—known as The White City—lies high up in the hills and is an awesome sight from the coastal road. A mere 11 kilometers from where we live, it is a place we love visiting, with a wonderful mix of sights, shops and restaurants.

We have been in the winter months when tourists are sparse, and it is a delight to wander around the ancient cobblestone mazes and stumble upon some unexpected and very memorable moments.

Keep an Eye Out for "Hidden" Restaurants in Ostuni

Ostuni is popular with tourists and a favorite bus-trip venue to stop at. With its hilltop location, it provides breathtaking views across to the Adriatic. The old, historic center is full of beautiful churches and buildings. In my opinion, it is a very artistic place. Wonderful craft shops with locally made crafts are there and well worth a visit.

We prefer eating off the beaten track, so we go where the locals eat in Ostuni. Often, they do not appear to be restaurants to the untrained eye, which we found to be interesting. Once inside, though, these restaurants are a hive of activity with wonderfully rustic cooking, friendly faces, no English spoken and sometimes no menu!

We just say si grazie (or yes thank you) and see what appears! Sometimes we have no idea what we are eating, and sometimes it may not be to our taste, but you know what? It is still amazing, and course after course will appear in Italian fashion (up to nine courses is not unheard of).

10. Otranto Is Perfect for Sun and Sightseeing

In the commune of Lecce in the south of Puglia, Otranto boasts 10 kilometers of beautiful beaches with turquoise blue waters and well-known diving rocks. This town is extremely popular with Italian tourists and a sprinkling of foreign visitors annually, looking for sun, sea and a bit of sightseeing and nightlife.

Originally known for its breed of horse, Otranto is also a historic port town which was originally busier and more important than the closeby port of Brindisi.

The cathedral is worth visiting to see the amazing mosaic floor, and like every Italian town, Otranto has a castle. The Castello Aragonese was rebuilt in the late 15th century.

Capa Palascia—or Capo d’Otranto, as it is known—is the most easterly point in Italy and home to a lighthouse that is one of five Mediterranean lighthouses protected by the European Commission.

More on the Best of Puglia

Must-See Places in Puglia

© 2013 Suzanne Ridgeway

Comments

Glen Rix from UK on August 27, 2016:

Lovely photographs. I love Italy and all things Italian. So sad to hear of the recent devastating earthquake in the Puglia region.

TJ on August 13, 2016:

Hi, thanks for the great review. One question. We have been in Lendinoso for a week and with the kids looking for the shipwreck. Even asking the locals, nobody seems to be able to find it....have you seen it yourself? Maybe someone who can guide us?nthx, TJ

alba on July 28, 2016:

this article is wonderful. I am from Bari and I love the way you discovered my region is such a beautiful and not touristic way, you discovered the real Puglia, you met the authentic people and went in the right places to find the truly best side of it, I read it all even if was long but really complete of every aspect of my region and all the most important thing to do and to know and what is more impressive is that you went in not touristic season that it is even better even if is difficult to go to the beach in november, but once i ve been the 3rd of november because was around 20°, anyway i was really happy to read your experience because you saw it with our eyes and i am really glad you gave the most realistic photo of the region you coul, and I could not have done that good, so congratulations and thanks to let other people knows about the beauty and the richness of this Region. Have a good day. Alba from Bari

Mary Ann on July 27, 2016:

Luv the article. Which airport do I fly into

Mary Ann visco

mikewren on July 27, 2016:

Very informative article that brought back wonderful memories of our visit there last September. We flew in to Bari and immediately drove down the coast to Polignano al Mare and Monopoli. We spent 4 days in a Trullo in Alberobello, taking day trips to Ostuni, Cisternino, Martina Franca, Lecce and Galatina. It wasn't a long enough stay. Next time it will be a week!

Beth Perry from Tennesee on April 29, 2014:

What an informative Hub! One of my in-laws spent some time in Puglia and always had such compliments about the area. Glad to be able to understand more clearly now why she was enchanted!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on November 07, 2013:

Hi Charlie,

Wow, I am thrilled and jealous! We have not moved yet unfortunately, how cool it would be to meet up there. When are you planning, this winter? So many great places and I hope this has helped. Will talk more in a email if you like about it! Congrats on your wedding by the way, delighted to hear!

Charlie Cheesman from England on November 06, 2013:

Hi Suzie How you doing i was goggling Puglia and your hub came up,

I not sure if i said before but we are going traveling, we were going to go next summer but now we are married. and the winters here we can't wait to go so Puglia is going to be our first port of call as i want to go to italy and soe where warmer,

Great hub as always. cheers stuart x

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on July 16, 2013:

Hi tastiger,

Thanks so much for your great interest in Puglia. I really hope you get the chance to visit there someday, it is such a beautiful Italian region with so much to offer. Appreciate your comment and thumbs up :-)

tastiger04 on July 16, 2013:

Wow! What a fantastic hub! Someday when I make it to Italy I will need to go to Puglia....the beaches look especially appealing :) The architecture also....I'd love to see a trullo building. Thank you for the wonderful information and beautiful photos! voted up !

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on June 06, 2013:

Hi epbooks,

Lovely to have you visit and for commenting. That is the beauty of this region in Italy, it is less commercial and more "grass roots" and not very touristy. English not widely spoken so having basics in Italian phrases is very handy. Appreciate you voting this up ++ cheers for your interest :-)

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 06, 2013:

Great hub! I like that Puglia is less commercial. Smart advice to bring a phrase book too. Those pictures look beautiful- definitely a place worth considering! Voted up as useful, beautiful and interesting.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on June 06, 2013:

Hi Kathryn

Many thanks for adding Puglia into your trip folder! Be great to catch up with out there sometime!!

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on June 06, 2013:

That would definitely be a trip of a lifetime!!! I'm going to file this away in my "trip" folder. I put any idea for a vacation into it, just in case we have the opportunity in the future.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on June 06, 2013:

Hi Kathryn,

So pleased you enjoyed this one, i love this region so much I could go on and on . . . I will do more on the wonderful area so hopefully you will check them out and maybe get over to see us once there!!! Two Bill's, Simone and anyone of my friends here could kick up a storm or two!!

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on June 06, 2013:

I really enjoyed reading this. I have never been to any part of Italy, so seeing photos of it, and hearing about it is fascinating. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on June 06, 2013:

Hi Elisha,

Welcome an many thanks for popping by! I love doing exactly that, go off the beaten track! Some of our most amazing adventures are realized this way and certainly I have found amazing places, had incredible experiences and met wonderful people. Cheers for your interest!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on June 06, 2013:

Hi JAS,

Great to see you, i know what you mean and in fact that is what has happened with us I guess as it is in our future to live there permanently and build a new life. Thanks so much for your comments,, votes, share and for pinning! Much appreciate it my friend from Ontario :-)

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on June 06, 2013:

Hi Alicia,

So good of you to comment on my favorite spot in Italy This region has so much to love about it, hope you get to visit someday! Appreciate your comments and sharing!

Elisha Jachetti on June 05, 2013:

This is gorgeous! Wow! Thanks for sharing. It seems like you experienced Italy in an off-the-beaten-path kind of way, which is great.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on June 05, 2013:

It's always been my dream to visit Italy. I think if I ever did though I wouldn't want to ever leave. Loved your hub. Sharing, pinning, and voting +++

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 04, 2013:

This is a wonderful hub, Suzie. I would love to visit Italy and enjoy learning about the country. Your article contains so much useful and interesting information, and the photos are lovely! I'll share this hub.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on June 03, 2013:

Hi Elias,

Delighted you enjoyed this look at my favorite area of Italy. So many reasons i could pick so another few hubs are definitely on the cards to spread the word on Puglia! Appreciate your support!

Elias Zanetti from Athens, Greece on June 03, 2013:

Wonderful travel hub about a very beautiful place. Enjoyed your virtual tour and the excellent photos!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on May 03, 2013:

Hi traderjim,

Welcome and thanks for visiting and commenting! Wow, delighted to hear you are from Puglia, a wonderful region I and my partner love. Appreciate your words!

traderjim on May 03, 2013:

Thank you for appreciating my region so much! :)

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 05, 2013:

Hi Spy,

Yep, Wine would be number 11 or as you say the vineyards!! The amount of properties there with rows and rows or acres of vineyards is staggering. We have inherited a few vines but as we have not moved officially yet, they have not be tended. So many great things in this region, simple things too like the chocolate souffle at Fabrizio's restaurant in Ostuni (to die for!), the ritual of Passeggiata round the piazza and the amazing colored stone found in the area. Maybe I will have to do another follow up! Thanks spy !!

Life Under Construction from Neverland on March 04, 2013:

this is soo ahhmazing!! i really wanted to see miles and miles of vineyards in italy..

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 24, 2013:

Hi Mike,

Many thanks for visiting and taking a ramble to Puglia. I am sure you will love it and if you can visit from Greece, do!! Appreciate your lovely comments and votes!

Mike Robbers from London on February 24, 2013:

What a great place to go to! I enjoyed it a lot, can hardly wait to go there one day! Thank you, Suzie, for sharing this wonderful hub! Voted up & awesome!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi Prasetio,

Appreciate your visit my friend. Glad you enjoyed learning about a new part of Italy. It is a beautiful part and hopefully the photos show a glimpse of this. Thanks for your votes and comments.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on February 23, 2013:

Wow.....you have wonderful hub here. Very well written and I really enjoy all pictures here. Actully, I have never heard about Puglia before. What a truly beautiful place you have found. I'm sure those who visit must feel a serenity and peace to be surrounded by such color and beauty. Voted up and take care!

Prasetio

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi Tricia,

Many thanks for visit, I hope you enjoy the trip to Italy, you should check out my friend bdegiulio above on a great selection of useful Italian hubs which you will find excellent resources for. Happy travels!!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi torrilynn,

Many thanks for your lovely comments! If you get the chance to travel I really think you would enjoy all it offers. Hopefully Italy will be on your list as it is an amazing country. Cheers for the votes!!

Tricia1000 from South Africa on February 23, 2013:

I will be travelling to Italy later this year and found this article really interesting.

torrilynn on February 23, 2013:

hi suzie, i would like to say what a great article you have written here. the pictures and the overall article is a bit amazing. i love to travel so reading your article has persuaded me to maybe visit italy one day. thanks and voted up.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 22, 2013:

Hi MPG,

Many thanks for dropping in! Wow,you must have grown up with great traditions, recipes and stories. Hopefully you will get to visit this area of Italy. I love photos of local people as it often shows character and a life lived. Puglia is funny in that it has the modern living and also the really untouched beauty spots. The shopping, Italian design and artwork is amazing and something i also love. So advanced in many ways and then very traditional stuch in the past . . .I enjoy the mix! Many thanks for commenting and your input, always very interested to hear peoples stories on Italy and family connections. Cheers for the votes!!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 22, 2013:

Hi Gordon,

Great to see you! As a foodie and fish lover you would enjoy this region I am sure! I love fish and have had many dishes i have no idea of but have loved them. Even pizza tastes totally different and so fresh and tasty. The lateness in eating is something we found strange to get a handle on. Sometimes not sitting down at restaurants until after 9pm and still eating at 11. Being on the coast, fishing is easily done. many restaurants in small fishing villages have seafood restaurants dotted along the harbor and it seems the fish comes straight off the boat and onto your plate, it is that quick and fresh! The markets are great here and everything is much cheaper than in other parts of Italy. If you are a wine drinker you will be in heaven, it is a ritual here to drink red or white at every meal and costs so much less with grapevines everywhere!

Hopefully you will get to visit this wonderful region and sample it all firsthand. Appreciate your input and interest as always Gordon!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 22, 2013:

Hi Bill,

This was an article I could have kept going with as there are so many great spots and reasons to visit. Martina Franca, the festivals, celebrations, the value for money . . .and the list goes on! Yes, the loive trees are our property as are the little grapevines. We have a small 2 bed villa which has an old (the original house) cottage which we will be renovating back to the original stonework which is stunning. it is so quirky and ideal for visitors and for rental income. We are close to the small town of San Michele Salentino about 3 km away and are only 15-20 mins away from the sea. Brindisi airport is 30 mins away so the location is great, a bit of everything. we had hoped to be there before now but things happen but hopefully by next summer, we will have moved. As I said before, you will be most welcome when we move and have the cottage fully functional (it is very old and we want to retain the character as much as possible). What fun it will be to meet and explore more of our favorite country! Appreciate your lovely comments, votes, shares etc. . .

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 22, 2013:

Hi Om,

Many thanks for your visit and comments, always lovely to see you. Glad to know you enjoyed this lesser known region, it is one I continue to learn about each time we visit. Appreciate your vote and pin greatly!

Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on February 22, 2013:

Hi Suzie, the Pulgia is a place close to my heart because my parents grew up in the Campania region which is very close to Pulgia. This hub shows how untouched the Pulgia is, and the photos of the old man and 'signora' remind me of my grandparents. This hub is beautiful with great information on a beautiful part of Italy. Voted up.

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 22, 2013:

Hello, Suzie and wow! What a fantastically informative Hub and even though - I freely admit - when I started reading, I was waiting for the food, drink and fishing section, I loved the whole piece. I was intrigued by the whole Hub but particularly loved the bit about McDonald's being ousted - not many true foodie cultures left but this is clearly one. Italy remains a culinary/fishing dream of mine and I'm really hoping to realise that dream this summer. You may just have given me the answer to my question of which bit to visit - thanks! :)

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on February 22, 2013:

Suzie, all I can say is WOW! This is unbelievable. As you know this is one area of Italy that we have not explored yet. I will have to add this to our must see places. No wonder you are moving there? When does this happen by the way? Is that picture of the olive trees your property? Beautiful.

This is why we love Italy. What a life style and surrounded by all this natural beauty, culture and history. Some day we are going to be knocking on your door. Voting up, sharing, pinning, tweeting, and whatever else I can think of. Great, great job.

Om Paramapoonya on February 22, 2013:

Wow, what a gorgeous place! I just added Pulgia to my must-visit list. Rated awesome and pinned!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 22, 2013:

Hi Vinaya,

Delighted to see you! I am glad to read you enjoyed the variety which is what I wanted to portray. It really does have everything you would want. For us it is certainly ticking all the right boxes! Thanks for your welcomed comments.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 22, 2013:

Hi Natashalh,

Many thanks for taking a stroll down Puglia. It is a wonderful part of Italy with many great reasons to put it on your to-do-list. Appreciate your comments!!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 22, 2013:

Hi Bill,

Many thanks my friend, your so kind!! I do love this region and it will certainly be an experience we are looking forward to. Our door is always open for you dear friend and while you write your hubs I will be making sure you have a limitless coffee flowing!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on February 22, 2013:

Hello Suzie,

Your travel article is wonderful, you cover every aspect of the place, landscape, vegetation, culture, lifestyle and many more. Puglia looks like heaven on earth.

Natasha from Hawaii on February 22, 2013:

Beautiful! Not just the landscape, but those cherries, too. Mmmm.

I haven't been to Italy, but it's on my to-do list. Thanks for the sneak peek!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 22, 2013:

You left out the most important reason for visiting there......you! :)

Loved the pictures. It is obvious that you love this region. Maybe some day I will knock on your door. :) Have a great weekend my dear friend.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 22, 2013:

Hi Carol, You are a fast reader my friend!! Many thanks for your prompt comment, so good to see you. It was hard for me to limit to 10 and it went on longer than intended but hopefully it gives a good picture of this wonderful region. Appreciate your votes and pin!!

carol stanley from Arizona on February 22, 2013:

Great hub and so enticing. You did a fabulous job and covered everything. Love the photos...I am ready to check out airplane flights. thanks for sharing all this. Voting up and pinning.