I am known in the office as being slightly obsessed with Puglia. With Italy and Greece currently vying as our most requested destinations, I am very keen to send clients to Italy's south-eastern region, an area known for its abundant countryside, olive trees and a gentler pace of life. However, with so many other famous cities and regions front of mind with potential travelers (think Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Amalfi Coast, Venice, the Lake region...) it's a tough sell, especially to first time visitors to Italy. Well, this week I'm going to try to convince a few of you to trust us with Puglia. You'll not meet the crowds of the other listed locations, you'll enjoy more value, and you will possibly have a life-changing experience.
Here's the Puglia Top 5.
Top 5 - Puglia
1. Duvine Bike Tours (above and below)
Don't take my word for it, but how about this "poetry" from Arien Coppock, guide and former pro cyclist, with DuVine cycling and adventure company.
"You’re riding through fields full of bright-red poppies, and there are these little whitewashed trulli houses. But what’s most impressive are the olive trees; they’re hundreds of years old, and there’s just this aura when you’re cycling by. It’s a feeling of peacefulness, and also like you could be going back in time a hundred years. You look around as you’re pedaling through that landscape and think to yourself, 100 years ago this would’ve looked exactly the same!"
2. Borgo Egnazia, Savelletri, Italy (above and below)
Borgo Egnazia is a visionary interpretation of a Puglian village, a "nowhere else" place embodying the true essence of Puglia. Located in Savelletri di Fasano, among millennial olive groves beside the blue Adriatic Sea, it is open all year and offers a beguiling portfolio of rooms, casettas, and villas. It features Vair, the tradition-based spa, and San Domenico Golf Club, one of the best courses in Italy. With four sparkling pools (two heated), nearby beaches, paddle and tennis courts, cookery school, kids' and teens’ clubs, and "nowhere else" experiences, this hotel offers something for all types of travelers.
3. Palazzo Margherita, Bernalda, Italy (above and below)
Palazzo Margherita is the realization of renowned director Francis Ford Coppola’s dream to convert a 19th-century palazzo in his grandfather’s charming hometown into a luxurious boutique hotel; the restoration took five years. Guests can choose from nine uniquely elegant rooms and suites with original details such as stone walls, frescoed ceilings, clawfoot tubs, and handpainted tile floors. Amenities include a screening room with 100 Italian films personally selected by Coppola, an eat-in kitchen where guests are taught to make pasta by hand, and a delightful café overlooking Bernalda’s town square.
4. Abercrombie & Kent - the day tour
Visit Alberobello which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing the heart of the Itria Valley. The city was founded in the 15th Century by the Counts of Acquaviva. The image of the Trullo in Alberobello has always been associated with Puglia, where the deep roots of Alberobello act as one of the most typical expressions of the area.
Afterwards head to Locorotondo (above) where you will see the architecture typical of the region with an historical centre containing white washed, stone buildings with cool, shaded, cave-like interiors, narrow streets and churches. The town also features several community squares, each of which are built on the edge of the hill allowing for some spectacular landscapes.
Then you will enjoy a visit to a local cheese production (below) where you will see the different phases of how several cheeses are made. After the visit you will enjoy an informal cheese tasting with a buffet where you will taste the local products.
Then visit Polignano a Mare, a shining gem on the coast of the Valle d’Itria, perched atop a 20 metre-high limestone cliff above the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, Polignano a Mare truly lives up to its name and literally could not be any more ‘at sea’!
5. Masseria San Domenico, Savelletri Di Fasano, Italy (above and below)
Dramatically housed in a 15th-century watchtower, Masseria San Domenico is set on the picturesque coastline between Bari and Brindisi. Today, the stunning whitewashed hotel blends Eastern and Mediterranean cultures in a golf and thalassotherapy spa paradise. The spa, where treatments are based on the therapeutic effects of seawater, is on-site, offering everything from seaweed therapies to marine scrubs. And the San Domenico golf course, set as close to the sea as the rocky coastline will allow, offers remarkable Adriatic views. Dine at La Nassa, which serves fabulous seafood delicacies using only the freshest of local ingredients.
If you're ready to start planning your own perfect Puglia let us know by clicking the button below.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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