Possibly Italy’s best kept secret, Puglia covers 19,300 square kilometres, and offers an encyclopedic array of terrain – from the coveted sandy beaches and sea caves in the south to the picturesque golden wheat fields covering the north. Spend your holiday exploring Baroque churches, wine tasting at the regions’ vineyards and lazing on the fine-sand beaches. Unbelievably you can do this largely undisturbed as the region is yet to be discovered by the tourist masses.
The beauty of Puglia lies in its variety – the coast is peppered with stunning limestone cliffs, which you can discover via a well-maintained network of national parks, then refresh and refuel in charming towns such as Torre Canne. Here you’ll find a mineral-rich hot spring, and beautiful dune-framed beach. Make your way further down the coast to explore Torre Gauceto’s wild beaches, part of a stunning nature reserve.
If culture is more your thing, you’re in good company. The Greeks, Romans, Normans and Byzantines have all called Puglia home, and each left their own mark on the region. Given its strategically vulnerable position as the heel of the Italian boot, medieval watchtowers remain – a reminder of centuries of invasion threats. The town of Ugento is home to some of the best examples of ancient archaeological treasures – including a bronze statue depicting Zeus, dating from the 5th Century, and Fasano offers pre-Roman churches and palaces, ripe for exploration.