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Puglia is Cool… Like the High Heel of a Boot

Posted by Sabrina Barbante on 13/12/2015
Acquaviva di Marittima wikipedia

What’s the coolest and hottest part of an elegant high heeled boot?

I guess that most of you think it’s the heel… and I perfectly agree with you. Maybe that’s one reason (well, the less credible actually) why so many travelers have recently discovered and loved Puglia, a South Region of Italy, also named finis terrae (the end of the earth) by the Ancient Romans.

Now I’m going to list the 10 reasons why this area recently discovered by those travelers fond with beauty and perfection, is definitely worth visiting as soon as possible, moreover because it’s perfect at any time of the year (amazing seaside to enjoy in Summer, that lasts from April until mid October, mild winter time and peculiar Christmas Markets…)

Before starting, it’s the case to remind that Puglia was awarded twice as one of the 10 best destinations in the world by the National Geographic and Lonely Planet.

 

Let’s go now with my 10 reasons why you should definitely visit Puglia.

1 – Because of the adventure

Best known for its beaches more than for its hiking trails, Puglia hides wonderful trails of Mediterranean maquis, natural parks and protected areas of great environmental importance. You can join several organized adventure hiking tours with coaches and instructors and challenge rocks climbing.

There are in Salento (the very end of the heel of the boot), places such as ‘Le grotte della poesia’ (the poetry caves) that despite of their very romantic name and amazing landscape, are the place where the bravest divers jump down the high rocks. Another place where you, adventurous travelers, can dive into adrenaline, is the Devil’s caves in Leuca.

seaside of puglia
image source: salentodolcevita.it

2 – Environment friendly

Perfect destinations for environment lovers and green travelers, Puglia offers natural protected areas where you can breathe a bit of healthy air and learn more about the local geology and nature, guided by park’s expert guides. An interesting example of it are the itineraries proposed by the Regional Park Dune Costiere, (http://www.parcodunecostiere.org/newsite/ita/index.php ) huge and beautiful space that extends from Torre Canne to Torre San Leonardo (BR). They also organize hikes and educational moments in the green for kids and adults.
Moreover, Lecce and the surrounding area are full of cycling paths and bike lovers can have their visit by bike.

3 – On a budget

Puglia is very cheap. If compared with other more popular and traditional Italian destinations such as Tuscany, Naples, Milan and Venice, prices here are incredibly low.

4 – Luxury (on a budget!)

If you really want to taste the absolute beauty of the sea and drink a typical Italian coffee on a private terrace, you can do it here tasting the cuddles of luxury accommodations, for prices that are unknown in other places of Europe.

You can enjoy here the real Italian dolcevita not just in summer (the lowest prices and the milder season is from April until mid-June. Find here some luxury offers for any season - http://www.salentodolcevita.com/immobili.asp?lct=Otranto&lang=en

luxury villas Puglia
image source: salentodolcevita.it

5 – Art lovers

Have you ever heard about the baroque? Well, here in Lecce, the southeast city of Puglia, there is a peculiar kind of baroque art, characterized by a soft and particular stone that becomes golden colored over the years.

There is a very ancient art tradition here in the Heel of the Boot, where clay and stone are crucial; what is even more interesting is the fact that there’s plenty of practical experiences that you can do with the help of local craftsmen.

You can find here some tips for art experiences. (http://www.salentodolcevita.com/pagina-scat.asp?id=18&lang=en

puglia art
image source: salentodolcevita.it

6 – Gourmet

Puglia is the Italian Region where the Mediterranean diet expresses its highest level. Healthy and tasty, local food is mostly made with local organic products. The local food is defined ‘poor’ since this region was mostly populated by farmers until the 50′ies. From north to South the specialties change a bit, i.e. in Bari you must taste sea fruits and fresh fish. Octopus is an aspect of local culture, since the moment it’s fished, in the way it’s killed by local fishermen, until the way they eat it, raw (rizzato, that means ‘curled’, because once dead, the tentacles of the octopus become like curly hair) or cooked.

orecchiette food of Puglia
image source: salentodolcevita.it

7 – The perfect destination for street food lovers

For the fans of street food, Puglia is the right place to be, at any time of the year.
In Bari, for instance, you should go in the oldest part of the city and have your small sack of sgagliozze, fried pieces of polenta, made by local women. Search for local religious or civil celebrations all over the region and you’ll find so many different tasty street food such as focaccia, pittule, cupeta, parmigiana, fried local fish.

8 – Many home restaurants

Hospitality is a social must! Maybe that’s why Puglia is one of the areas where you’ll find more home restaurants in Italy. You can book via ‘Gnammo’ website and choose the place. You can either pay (very very little) for your social dinner or contribute to the dinner expenses. It’s a very easy and good way to find local friends and improve your Puglia experience. In Tricase Porto, a very peculiar seaside village definitely worth visiting, a group of local moms have organized a network of social home restaurants called “Le mamme del borgo”: they prepare typical food at home, you ring and buy and take away.

home restaurants Puglia
image source: salentodolcevita.it

9 – Veg friendly

Nobody ever talks about this aspect enough. I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years and my appetite has always been gratified by any restaurant and local festival. (mind the names of restaurants: names such as Lo scoglio, il vecchio pescatore, terra-mare will probably be based on fish).

Typically you can be satisfied by the simple starters, without the need to specify that you are vegan or vegetarian (eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, fave e cevcore, sgagliozze, pittule, fried vegetables, frise… and I could go on forever)

10 – Very good wine

The climate and the very old wine tradition make the wine of Puglia one of the best in the world. The most popular here is the Negroamaro, quite strong actually. A more sweet one is the so called Novello, the first wine produced after the grape harvest. If you come here, don’t lose the occasion to taste the local rosé: local producers have been investing a lot in this local excellence.

Do you some other good reason to come to Puglia? It will amaze you! 

Featured image source provided by wikipedia