Puglia, also known as the heel of the Italian boot: such a splendid region offers charming towns and villages, marvelous architecture, tasty food, plenty of traditions and folklore. Here we want to present you with what we consider to be the best places to stay in Puglia and among the most beautiful in Italy.
Best places to stay in Puglia
Alberobello is a small yet characteristic town located South East of Puglia in the province of Bari, (in the middle of The Itria Valley). Built on top of two hills; the new town is located on the eastern hill and is characterized by a modern architecture. The western part is occupied by the old town (trulli) and the whole area is divided into two districts: Monti and Aia Piccola, both National Monuments. Alberobello is without question one of the most characteristic towns in Italy and is famous for its traditionally built ancient stone houses called trulli, (which since 1996 have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site).
Castellana Caves (Castellana Grotte) is a small town in the province of Bari. The town bases its economy mainly on agriculture and tourism. It has a very nice historic centre with many ancient buildings dating back to the 17th century. The town links its name primarily to the enchanting beauty of its caves, the largest and most picturesque complex of caves in Italy and one of the main tourist destinations in Puglia.
Polignano a Mare is located 30 kilometers south of Bari and 80 kilometers from Brindisi, two of the main cities of Puglia and and home to the two airports in the region. Its origins date back to the Neolithic period (5th millennium BC), it was known as Neapolis during ancient Greek times and became an important trading center and seaport under the Romans.
Polignano a Mare is a pearl on the Adriatic Sea, the oldest part of the town lies on limestone cliffs and overlooks the sea. Of particular interest are his natural caves scattered around its territory where several remains of prehistoric human settlement have been found.
Lecce may be called the Florence of the South. In this artistic tendency in Italy there is nothing that can compare. This is how that the historian Gregorovius described Lecce. Lecce is the capital of the Lecce province and of the Salento sub-region. Located just 11 Km far from the Adriatic Sea and 23Km from the Ionian Sea, it lies in the middle of fertile plain, surrounded by attractive countryside, seashore and small towns. The city can easily be reached from Brindisi airport and it makes the perfect destination for a weekend break or a holiday as it’s a great base for exploring the Salento Peninsula. Absolutely one of the best places to stay in Puglia.
Otranto is a town in the province of Lecce and is part the Salento area. It is located in a harbour along the east coast on the Adriatic Sea and is the easternmost town in Italy. Its small seaport is mostly used for fishing activity and tourism, especially for the ferry services to Greece. The city also gave its name to the Strait of Otranto, which separates Italy from Albania. The old town of Otranto has been declared by UNESCO as “Heritage witness to a culture of peace”.
Gallipoli is a wonderful town in the province of Lecce and is undoubtedly a must-see in the Salento area. Its name derives from the original Greek name ‘Kalé polis’ meaning ‘beautiful city’. Located along the Ionian coast, the town is divided into two parts: the new and also bigger part is of recent construction and is where the main public buildings and businesses are located. The old part of the town is on a small walled island connected to the mainland by a 6th century bridge. Aside of the bridge there is the Aragonese Castle, it was built in the 13th century and is one of the few castles washed by the sea.
Gargano, also known as the spur of the Italian boot, is a promontory (it’s actually called the Gargano Promontory) that extends into the eastern part of Puglia and is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. It is part of the province of Foggia and is almost entirely occupied by the Gargano National Park which was established in 1991. From a geological point of view the Gargano is a peninsula and is mostly mountainous (its the highest mountain in the region with a peak of over one thousands meters), it was once an island, and is still separated from the mainland by a vast flat tablelands called Tavoliere delle Puglie. By far one of the best places to stay in Puglia.
Ostuni is a town in the province of Brindisi which has a population of about 32,000 people, but during the summer months this mushrooms to a massive 100,000 proving that Ostuni is a must see to any visit in Southern Italy. Ostuni is also known as “White City” (Città bianca) because its historic centre is entirely painted with white lime. It is a very popular tourist destination.
Bari town is the capital of Puglia region. Third largest city in Southern Italy, its metropolitan area has about one million inhabitants. The city overlooks the Adriatic Sea and due to its favorable location and its port (the largest passenger port in the Adriatic Sea) has become over the time one of the largest malls in Southern Italy and a strategic point in the Mediterranean for international trade and politic-cultural contacts with Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Bari town consists of three parts: Bari Vecchia, the old city, the 19th century district called Murattiano and the new city. It’s must see in Puglia and we recommend to spend at least one night.
Tremiti Islands is an archipelago composed of five small islands and is located just 20 km from the Northern coast of Gargano. The five islands are: St. Nicholas (San Nicola), St. Domino, Capraia, Cretaccio and the farthest out, Pianosa; from an administrative point of view they belong to the Foggia Province and are also part of the Gargano National Park.