Puglia or Apulia as it is also known, is situated in the heel of the boot shape that is Italy. It is often overlooked for more famous Italian destinations in the north such as the Amalfi Coast, Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Venice and Milan. That in itself is a big plus as towns are smaller, tourists are fewer, and driving is easier. Its warm, coastal and is at the heart of a huge olive and wine growing region. Flying in to Bari, Puglia’s capital city, I had no idea what to expect. That evening Bari’s Old Town came alive with families strolling through the delightful rabbit warren of tiny streets seeking out restaurants, bars, hidden piazzas and some of the best ice cream shops in the country. Further down the east coast Polignano a Mare with its crystal clear waters was a relaxing tonic after a great deal of previous travel. From there Alberobello with its round white ‘trulli’ houses was like stepping back into a different age and nearby Lecce was in itself a baroque architectural wonder. Rounding the boot we came across unspoilt seaside villages and stayed in the delightful town of Gallipoli on the west coast. Foreign tourists were few in Puglia as it just wasn’t on their ‘Italy in 7 days’ itinerary. I’m hoping it remains that way for a long time to come!
Thoughts on Travel, Photography and Life from Ian Lloyd