Apulia, in the heel of the boot of Italy, packs in everything you could wish for from a holiday destination: a warm and sunny climate, long sandy beaches, medieval hilltop towns, historic palaces and churches, endless olive groves and delectable culinary traditions.
Strung along its 800 km of sun-baked coast are pretty seaside villages, beaches, coves and bustling port towns, as well as the singular fortified island town of Galipoli, making it a firm favourite among both Italian and foreign holiday makers.
Away from the coast there are wonderful historic towns and cities to explore, from the beautiful Baroque architecture of Lecce, dubbed the Florence of the South, to the unique ‘trulli’ – the stone huts with conical roofs peculiar to the region – that line the streets in Alberobello, a UNSECO World Heritage Site, and the Egnazia Archaeological Park that dates back 3000 years.
Travel inland and you find yourself in the midst of acres of bucolic farmland, vineyards and olive groves. Indeed, Apulia is one of the main olive oil producing regions in Italy – just one of its culinary offerings. Dining out is a highlight in Apulia: this is the birthplace of the rich and creamy buratta, of the curiously shaped orechiette pasta and of ‘fave e cicoria’ a broad bean pate served with chicory – all of which pair perfectly with the region’s distinctive red wines.