The Apulian products are renowned for their fine flavor and freshness. A typical dinner in Bari starts with a magnificent variety of hors d’oeuvre: tomatoes, eggplants (aubergines), beans, locally grown onions with a slightly bitter flavor, known as lampasciuni, mushrooms, lupin seeds, pickled fruits, and sausages, octopus and mussels. The landscape of Apulia always leaves a strong impression on people’s minds. Here we are unmistakably in the south. The sun blazes down on sparse vegetation, caused not only by the climate but even more through the fault of man, who for centuries has waged a war against plants, cutting them down senselessly as if he loathed their shade. A hundred years ago, shepherds ruled the countryside of Apulia. Then wheat was sown, and the region now resembles a huge tablecloth of green and gold. Within the greenery the vegetables of Apulia are to be found, especially fine in the area around Tavoliere – turnip tops, cauliflowers, green, red and Savoy cabbages, broccoli, onions, aubergines, beans, sweet peppers and tomatoes – the raw materials of a cuisine which consists essentially of a mixture of pasta and vegetables. The Apulians are the champion pasta eaters of Italy. In addition to the usual noodles and lasagne, they have a number of their own: orecchiette, made with semolina worked into a thick stick and cut into small pieces, which are the squashed with the thumb to look like small shells; minuicchi, small gnocchi made with flour dough; and laganelle, small stuffed lasagna. Macaroni is, of course, very popular, and cooked in several ways. The pasta dough is also used to make several kinds of pizze and small pies. One of these is panzerotti, a wrapping of dough filled with Ricotta, Mozzarella or onions according to taste. Fish and shellfish are both abundant and varied in Apulia. Some are caught by fleets of trawlers or by offshore fishermen, others are cultivated in inland catchments and between piers in structures resembling glasshouses. In Taranto, for example, oysters and other mollusks spawn in the very heart of the city in the “Mar Piccolo” and “Mar Grande”, where they remain for eighteen months until they have fully matured. These, incidentally, are the oysters served in many expensive Italian restaurants, but here they are eaten raw with only a squeeze of lemon. Another favorite dish, a speciality of Bari, is polpi arricciati (curled octopus). Triglie coi baffi (red mullet) is enjoyed in Polignano, and fish soups, stuffed mussels and squid stew are other delicacies of this wonderful region. Apulian cooking is of a simple nature, giving the housewife a fair amount of work, but also a lot of satisfaction because of the excellence of her raw materials. Meals often revolve around one main dish, perhaps some pasta and vegetables, a tasty dish of fish, a coratella or lamb’s fry roasted on skewers, or even just a stuzzica appetito, an hors d’oeuvre of vegetables pickled in vinegar or olive oil. Like Tuscany, Apulia owes much to the quality of its unique olive oil. This being a region where almonds grow as well as olives, the oil has a distinct aroma of bitter almonds. The finest comes from the district of Bitonto, Andria, Barletta and Molfetta, and is a bright golden color with streaks of green. Cheese plays a leading role in the cooking of the region. Mozzarella, Scamorza, Bocconcini, fresh Ricotta and Caciocavallo are used to flavor many of its splendid dishes, as well as being delicious to eat on their own. Apulia is one of the richest wine-growing regions of Italy. The heavy wines of Cerignola, Squinzano, Canosa, Andria and Barletta are widely used for blending and improving many other Italian wines on account of their body and high alcoholic content. Sansavere del Tavoliere (a dry, straw-colored white wine) is a local specialty, as is Santo Stefano, a bright red wine from the same district. Torre Quarto comes from the area round Cerignola. Primitivo, a red wine, is produced in Gioia del Colle, and a variety of wines, red, white and rosé, come from Castel del Monte. Malmsley, Aleatico and Muscatel conclude this list, which is by no means a complete one, for every village prides itself on producing a wine of distinction.
In the previous articles, we talked about where to spend your holidays in Puglia first in a generic way, and then targeted to a specific kind of holiday. In this article we want to start a series of texts that tell the beauty and holiday opportunities of some unique locations. To speak of our stunning region, we were undecided about where to start. So, we chose a large territory with the shape of a Peninsula….well, actually the Salento Peninsula is one of two places where to go on holiday that we quoted in Puglia’s most beautiful places.
Salento is the ideal place for those people who like running and spending a relaxing holiday by the sea. Our offers are wide and varied, ranging from holiday villages to cottages, from hotels to graceful or luxury houses.
These are some places and activities you can find when you decide to visit this lush Peninsula.
Girocantine is a group tour to discover the most distinctive vineyards and cellars of Salento. Guided by expert sommeliers we will taste the new wine and participate to the Wine Festival in Leverano. The last organized tour was done between the 4th and the 6th of November 2016 at a cost of € 199.
Salento and Pizzica
A tour for those who decide to extend their stay in the land of Salento for 7 more days. It starts from the arrival in Puglia for the first day of vacation and a bus transfer to a hotel in the Salento area. The first day of your stay you can do the most variegated activities to spend your free time, to dine and stay overnight. Read here all the program of your 7 days in Salento.
Full Day to discover Salento
Here you have the details of the Full Day in Salento: the first stage is Otranto with a guided tour of the historic city center. Otranto is the gateway to the Eastern world. Here you can discover the wonderful mosaic floor of the Cathedral and the story of the martyrs of Otranto. Then you’ll go to Castro Marina to spend free time and have a lunch.
Afternoon transfer to Santa Maria di Leuca. Guided tour of the end of Italy, which is located on the southernmost tip of Puglia. Visit the “Ciolo Path”, a nature trail in the green of the Mediterranean scrub. We will stop in Specchia, a small city cited among the “most beautiful villages in Italy”.
Ok! You decided to do your great Apulian holiday, but Apulia is full of beautiful places so you don’t know how to extricate among several destinations and offerings that hotels and accommodations provide for.
Besides being the easternmost region of Italy, Apulia is one of the Italian regions with greater coastal development, with about 800 km of coastline. Along the coast alternate rocky stretches (like the Gargano), cliffs (rocky coasts from sheer walls), but also sandy beaches (such as along the Gulf of Taranto).
The interior of the region is mostly flat and hilly, with no obvious contrasts between one area and another. However, there are eight different sub regions: the Gargano and Daunia Subapennine are the only mountainous regions of Puglia (with rise above 1000-1100 meters above sea level); the Tavoliere, spread over 4810 square kilometers, is the largest plain in Italy after the Po Valley; the Murge, a plateau of limestone located south of Tavoliere that runs down to the Salento greenhouses; the Land of Bari, between the Murge and the Adriatic sea, is a flat area or slightly wavy; the Itria Valley, located between the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto, is characterized by alternating between valleys and undulations and above all by a very high population spread (it has the highest concentration of “trulli”); the Ionic Arco tarantino follows the coastline of the entire province, extending from the Murgia system, to the north, to the Salento peninsula to the south, embracing a hilly area and a large flat coastal areas.
From a geological point of view, Apulia is made up almost 80% of limestone and dolomite in all their variety. In middle and lower Jurassic, what later became Apulia was submerged islands and cliffs that fragmentation of Pangaea was forming.
The progressive deposit on the bottoms of the shells of marine organisms formed a layer of calcareous sedimentary rocks and dolomite, often on average hundreds of meters. Thick layers could be formed not only for the duration of the sedimentation process, approximately 125 million years, but also as a result of their gradual subsidence.
Herein we share our offerings for your holidays, which have been selected according to the following criteria:
Type of holiday
In addition to this distinction, you will find offers for your Apulian holidays matching these criteria:
Apulian Holiday: villages
Holidays in Puglia: where to go
Apulian beach holidays
Apulian Holidays: hotels
Apulia is one of the regions of southern Italy which can offer tourist experiences of diversified and non-trivial quality. In fact, thanks to its large territory, you can choose among seaside resorts to dive in the crystal clear sea, or mountain destinations and countryside lost in its stunning scenery. You can make an unforgettable experience walking across small villages or a relaxing adventure thanks to the several structures scattered on the Apulian territory. We have often been asked about where to go to spend the best Apulian holidays, but the question should be differently arranged…. what does Apulia offer me to spend free time?
The tourist question is open to any solution: long trips, short tours, wine tasting tours … Here is what we recommend to the tourist who wants to go on holiday to Apulia: the places we recommend to visit and the hotels to stay.
Holidays in Apulia: where we recommend
Every holiday should be structured according to the tourist’s tastes and features. Apulia is a perfect choice to offer custom-tailored holidays to all types of tourists and therefore has many attractions.
For those who, at any time of the year, want to spend a holiday in Apulia, we recommend the Caves of Castellana and the Trulli, or to immerse yourselves in one of the most beautiful sport in the world with a Golf tour in Apulia. The two experiences fit perfectly in the tourist who want to hike over Apulia and in the meantime to engage in other activities.
In addition to these two activities, we recommend to visit the surrounding cities, because every Apulian city is rich in culture and has excellent typical delicacies to taste.
Apulia’s most beautiful places
When you choose to go on holiday to Apulia, it is good to have a clear idea of the wonderful places our Region is full of. You could spend your whole life doing only vacations and trips in Puglia, and die without having the opportunity to visit its nice places. Among the most beautiful places of Apulia we certainly include:
Valley of Itria
Most people believe that Apulia is a place where only the young people can spend their holidays, as a result of the web forums which are full of questions like “where to go on vacation to Apulia for young people”, or “Apulia fun to go” … Not only the guys, however, try to find fun places where to spend unforgettable moments, and Apulian accommodations seem not to have fully implemented. In fact, there are hotels on the beaches of Salento which are not to be missed and offer unforgettable holidays for all budgets and ages. Apulia is a top tourist destination for any type of tourists. You can choose to go on vacation to Apulia with your family, alone, in groups, being 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 or 90 years old!
We start our journey to discover Apulia, writing an article about the places to absolutely visit during your Apulian holidays. We begin recommending you the locations you can’t miss while visiting our wonderful Region. Today we want to talk about the best places to visit, or those destinations that have been most positively reviewed by tourists from around the world. Among these unmissable places we chose two that have remained in the heart of all the tourists who visited them.
Those who choose to go on holiday to Apulia have often been asked what are the most beautiful beaches in Apulia for a short or long holiday. This happens because many people think that this wonderful region can offer only crystal blue sea and golden beaches. That’s the reason why we chose to show you a different beauty, other than the sea.
The two most beautiful places in Puglia
Castellana Grotte is located a few kilometers from the town of Monopoli, a small and charming town, overflowing with natural and historical beauties that will leave speechless visitors from every corner of the planet. If you choose to visit one of the most beautiful places in Apulia, i.e. Castellana Grotte, we recommend you to also visit the city of Monopoli, that will leave you breathless. Castellana Grotte is dating back to more than 90 million years ago and is a UNESCO heritage; a tourist treasure that must be absolutely preserved in its entirety.
The Salento is the part of the Apulian Region, and is located on the southernmost tip of the “heel”. The Salento Peninsula is literally strewn with small but charming villages to absolutely visit even if you choose to do only a quick tour across Apulia. The most beautiful places of Salento are the cities of Gallipoli, Santa Maria di Leuca and Lecce. The cities listed above may smoothly fall in an organized trip for those who want to visit Apulia only in 5 days. The Salento is not only a land of charming towns, but it is also the peninsula that boasts several beaches renowned for their beauty. The resorts of the most beautiful sea of Puglia are Porto Cesareo, the Alimini beach (the “Maldives of Salento”) and Torre Lapillo.
“Tailoring cut”. This can be read on the elegant labels put by the companies, even hand tailored, to cannole the quality of a dress sold into a department store. It often works and we could persuade it is just so: we buy a series product, thinking it is a tailored dress just for us! Probably because, in people’s memory, the adjective “tailoring” is still alive, reminds and carries us to a by now far world, where abundance was only for a few people, where a dress had to last many seasons, had lo be carefully chosen starting by purchasing the material. At that lime there were so many tailors in any town of the province; skillful professionals, who learnt this job when they were still children, as it was used, in the shop where the master often worked also as barber. On the other hand only a job was not sufficient to gel by. Actually, the tailor’s job was linked to a very poor society, where people often could allow only a “good” dress in all their lives. That one right for festivities and weddings, but also for mourning and funerals … even their own’s. Tailoring for man in Puglia has always had a great tradition, perhaps for the echoes coming from the near Neapolitan school, from lime immemorial teacher of style, perhaps for the innate elegance and the great dignity of Apulian people, who like dressing well, even when they are not real nabobs. Tailoring in Puglia was and is still a vital field in the economy. Surely it passed through periods of crisis, above all when it could not resist the temptation and turned into industry, therefore losing that high handicraft peculiar characteristic characterizing it. The “master” tailors, those who wear the metre around their neck, are not many. Finding a workshop where you can see them while tacking a jacket or stitching the collar of a coat neck is more and more difficult; probably because little, or almost nothing, has been made to convince the old masters to hand down the art of transforming a piece of cloth into a dressl However, fortunately, there is now a new generation who has rediscovered the tailoring dress; surely they are much less poor than those who used to go to the tailor also to have the beard had …… but it goes well in this way: it is the sign of times. Probably it will make trend and, above all, will allow these new professionals, that now can rightly consider themselves artists, to perpetuate a tradition always part of the social tissue of our land. The new Apulian tailors, heirs of the Masters of the workshop, are now fashion makers, appreciated on the most important walks; they are trendy in the exclusive salons, they dress the most important managers. Therefore seemingly tailoring is still vital in Puglia, a significant and important vehicle through which channelling the so many energies of those young people looking for a “creative” job; providing that they have patience, learn a job, because the art of cutting and sewing still has to be learnt in the workshop …….. fike in the past. .. like for ever!
On the opposite side of Gargano, you can admire the marvellous landscape of the mountains of Subappennino. In this area there are a great number of churches, castles, palaces and other monuments to visit. Turning into the national road 17 in diredion of Lucera, you can stop in Carlantino, a little town, which overlooks the Lake of Occhito. A short distance there is Pietra Montecorvino, in which you can admire the Norman Tower and the Ducal Palace. Going back through Lucera or Troia you can go on to the southern Subappennino, in order to visit a lot of characteristic little town, such as Bovino, where there is an impressive Castle; Orsara di Puglia, to visit the Cave-Sanduary of San Michele and the Fontana dell’Angelo; Deliceto which is rich in monuments and Ascoli Satriano, where you can admire a lot of Roman monuments and the Romanesque Cathedral. Near Lucera you con visit some naturalistic areas such as Alberona, Volturino, Roseto Valfortore, Biccari and Faeto. This area includes the part in which there is the highest mountain of the province Monte Cornacchia 1231 metres, whose top is covered with snow in winter. You con also admire the Lake called Pescara and natural underground passages of San Marco La Catola Lucera lies on a hill, which falls sheer to one side, and it is surrounded by the mountains of the northern Subappennino Dauno. Its toponym may be attributed to Luceres, an Etruscan tribe, which in ancient time populated the woods and valleys of this area. Its origin is uncertain: it is said that Lacero di Ardea founded Lucera in the 7th centwy BC. Someone else refers that its origin dates back to ltalioti of Magna Graecia in the 8th or the 7th century BC. Under Roman dominion it was the main town of Apulia and Molise and, after the rule of Byzantine, Frederick Il built an impressive castle. Lucera is one of the most historical towns of the province and this is what earned the appellation of Città d’Arte (City of Arts).
WHY TO COME
It is possible to admire the Swabian Castle surrounded by imposing boundary walls; the Roman Amphitheatre, in which many cultural activities take place in summertime; the Municipal Museum Rarelli, containing old and precious piece of pottery and terracotta, ancient coins, paintings and busts. It is also worth visiting the Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral, in which there are a lot of beautiful frescos; the church ofSan Francesco; the Municipal Ubrary Bonghi, which is the most ancient library of Puglia.
“Se uei bidi nu signore, uardane subbra lu pede”. A gentleman can be acknowledged by his shoes (ancient saying … ) and if a building lives, is protected, is like a human body, the “coherent” building can be acknowledged by its flooring. The job of the architect is hard, and if the work is recovering an ancient construction … In the Apulian territory frequently aristocratic palaces, convents, entrance halls or courtyards in the historical centres as well as churches and cathedral can be found, whose floors are made of ceramics or grès, sometimes a kind imitating the Trani marble, or cold and insignificant esplanade of stone smoothed by pieces of equipment. Nevertheless floors used to mean, tell, not only when they offered to the eyes looking downwards church messages (in the cathedral of Otranto) or to make the shown wealth admired (in the palaces of the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie). They told also the places, the jobs, the faith and the time, the lite. At that time floors were places of lived or represented stories. In the towers, farms, Apulian aristocratic houses the steps of the stairs were so worn aut that support was looked far at the edges along the walls, since the centrai part was by now as smooth and continuous as the bed of a stream. And also the floors made of cocciopesto were consumed, marking house paths connecting the sink with the bed in the other room, and the main and back door. They were traces of a lived lite, In the heart of Salento (the furthermost South strip of Puglia), is a land of wide historic and artistic range, whose importance has to be measured by using the parameter of millennia. (A. Antonaci). The first archaeological testimonies dating back to VII-V centuries B.C. can be referred to an indigenous, lapigean built-up area, made of scattered groups of huts. In the IV century B.C. the built-up area turned into a urban centre with houses regularly lined along the streets. City walls made of squared blocks still visible along 4 km, establishe the range, a few more than 100 hectares. By then Muro was one of the most important and strategie town of Messapia. The most ancient and presently the most known monumental testimony of the medieval period is the small church of Saint Marina, which at the very beginning, the Byzantine period, was dedicated to Saint Nicholas. The fortification of the urban nucleus dating back to 1400 is a real example of fortified village, with orthogonal streets and regular blocks still perfectly kept in the village “world” of the modern reality. However Muro Leccese is also art that can be admired in the evocative niches of Saint Domenico, in the churches of the Virgin and of Our Lady of Annunciation, real expressions of the Lecce baroque.
That is easily said mosaic. But just easily, if we think about the idea, to say the least winning, made in Puglia, indeed just Ugento. A new technique to make the mosaics, an innovative and ingenious, almost incredible invention upsetting those who are expert in ceramics working, but not only … , and it comes just from Ugento, a small centre south of Gallipoli, in Salento. We are talking about a 7x7cm tile made of ceramic, whose thickness does not exceed 2.00 millimetre, but it is not all … only pressing the fingers is sufficient to properly break, to have differently shaped, practically perfect tesseras: squared, rectangular, but also triangular, it depends on the engraving grill. Actually the tile is made of two sides: one with engravings, being the easybreaking lines using which tesseras can be obtained, and the other one is enamelled, with a range of 40 colours, more gold and platinum made with more than 90% of pure gold and platinum. Before this important invention, mosaics, to have the desired chrome effects, were created with a long and complex work consisting in fragmenting different materials: glass, common tiles of ceramics, marble, differently coloured calcareous stones. Now this is no more necessary and also those who are not expert can enjoy … Moreover, the innovative peculiarity of this product has been confirmed by the “lnternational Search Report” of the European Patent Office that granted the licence to the inventar of this new tile, the Apulian Gianni Ria, admirable for his tenacity, fond of a creative passion born in his family. Some explanations, but no declaration about the secret of this “magical” sheet which is commercialised in ltaly and abroad and “it has not to be either too soft or too dry” and is manufactured using handicraft procedures making each piece unique.
The night of Tarantula is a festival of popular music, which takes places in Salento, precisely in Melpignano. For this event 300.000 spectators participate. An element which composes this tradition is “pizzica”, a music which is accompained to the sound of drums. The tradition tells about a dangerous spider, said “tarantola”. Continue reading Ligabue: Night of Tarantula