Italy’s sun-soaked south is scenic and romantic, where a beautiful coastline is paired with perfect summer weather for total rest and relaxation. Beyond wonderfully lazy villa days, Puglia is a southern belle with a wealth of culture and history, full of UNESCO-listed towns, sweet trulli houses and rolling hills scattered with olive trees. Throughout the region, you can expect incredible views, and freshly handmade, soul-stirring food. In this week’s blog post we’ll explore our top reasons to visit fairytale Puglia, whether it be the sumptuous focaccia, grand masserie or picture-perfect rows of trulli.
1. The Beaches
Boasting around 800km of dreamy coastline, it comes as no shock that Puglia’s beaches are some of the best in Italy. Enjoy pristine stretches of sand on the Ionian and Adriatic coasts, beautifully clean and unspoiled. Gaze upon stunning coastal scenery in the north, where wooded hills melt into white cliffs, coves and crystalline waters. Or head south to Polignano a Mare and Monopoli, where lovely sandy spots stand out among the dramatic rocky coast.
Where to stay
Masseria del Faro is the perfect base for coastal exploration, a peaceful and spacious property with a heatable pool and crisp, uncluttered style. The historic town of Morciano di Leuca and the seaside town of Torre Vado's magnificent sandy beaches known as the 'Maldives of Salento', with clear, gently sloping beaches, crystalline waters and lively beach clubs with bars and restaurants are a very short drive away. Boat trips can also be organised to further explore the beautiful coastline and sea grottos.
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2. The Trulli
The most unique contributors to Puglia’s charm are its famous trulli houses. These authentic Puglian homes are simple yet dramatic conical structures, built with local materials. White-washed and finished with lovely curved roofs, you can find rows upon rows of trulli throughout the Itria Valley, and over a thousand in the UNESCO-proclaimed town of Alberobello alone.
Where to stay
Dimora Pomona is an enchanting property situated in Puglia, characterised by its charming conical trulli that stand out brightly among the green countryside. The interiors are furnished with chic, contemporary decor, paired with classic, whitewashed brick walls. The trullo villa features brilliant outdoor living spaces, and is located within easy reach of Cisternino and Locorotondo.
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3. The Food
As expected in Italy, Puglia’s cuisine is incredible. Pasta and bread are staples here, whilst typical street food includes fried panzerotto, focaccia barese and the deliciously cheesy rustico leccese. Most visitors will spot signs for the Puglian orecchiette pasta, translating literally as ‘little ears’. You will also find plump, ripe tomatoes and a variety of grilled vegetables drizzled with local olive oil wherever you choose to eat.
Where to stay
Keen foodies will adore Dimora Dieci Coni, a luxurious ABOVE villa designed for large groups of friends or family holidaying together. Here, guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast service including a choice of cakes, toast, eggs, meats, fresh ricotta with honey, fresh fruit and juices. You can also opt for cooking classes and wine tasting for an additional cost, to truly immerse yourself in Puglia’s gastronomic culture.
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4. The Towns
Puglia is well known for its rustic, pretty towns. Traditional trulli, dense olive groves and cliff-top homes are prominent throughout the region, each offering a glimpse of rural, local life. Alberobello is a must-see spot, characterised by its trulli-lined streets and rich history. There are plenty of lovely restaurants here, and nice little trinket-selling shops. Polignano a Mare boasts centuries-old churches, delicious coffee and wonderful beaches. Other towns of interest include hilltop Ostuni, medieval Monopoli and serene Lecce.
Where to stay
Villa Bianca is located on a beautiful hill overlooking Polignano a Mare, a stylish and modern property with breathtaking views and a secluded feel. Outside, guests can enjoy al fresco suppers on an expansive veranda gazing out to sea. The villa is within easy driving distance of Polignano a Mare, Monopoli and Alberobello.
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5. The History
Italy’s heel exhibits a wealth of fascinating history, since its strategic position and fertile soil has been attractive for colonisers throughout time. Puglia has been the home of Greeks, Romans, Normans, the Napoleonic French, and many more. Gallipoli’s well-known fortified walls are thanks to the Byzantines, whilst Lecce - ‘the Florence of the south’ - transports you back to the Baroque period through its art and architecture.
Where to stay
With panoramic views over silvered olive groves to the shores of the Adriatic, Masseria Torre Pinta is an historic villa brought beautifully into the present from its 11th century origins. Incredibly welcoming and bright, a far cry from its forbidding past as a Norman fortification, the villa was also the 17th century home of a Maltese Knight. A stunning private pool and plenty of towns nearby make this property one to remember.
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If you're feeling inspired by this beautiful region and would like to speak with one of our Specialists, make an enquiry or browse our Puglia villa collection today.