Puglia is one of the most beautiful region in Italy and offers a huge choice of activities to do, places to visit and food to eat.
With so many things to see and to do here in Puglia, here we give you a list of the best things to do, those things you can’t really miss if you are visiting our region.
1. Visit the Old town of Gallipoli
Known as the pearl of the Ionian Sea, its name derives from the original Greek name ‘Kalé polis’ meaning ‘beautiful city’. The town is divided into two parts: the new and the old. Have a walk through the little alleys of the old town which sits on a small walled island connected to the mainland by a 6th century bridge.
2. Descend deep into the Castellana Caves
Castellana Caves complex is one of the world’s largest karst complex that has ever been explored by man. Two different tours can then be taken inside: the classic tour (the shortest one) lasts 50 minutes and is 1Km long. The second one lasts 2 hours and is 2Km long.
3. Eat orecchiette pasta
Orecchiette is a homemade ear-shaped pasta, the most traditional way of serving it is usually with cime di rapa (turnip tops) and garlic, or ricotta cheese and fresh tomatoes. Its name means indeed “little ear”. My granny makes them every Sunday, they are delicious!
4. Get lost in magic Alberobello
Have a scroll and admire the magic of Alberobello, a small yet characteristic town located South East of Puglia in the province of Bari. 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). More
5. Go trekking in the canyon of Terre delle Gravine National Reserve
No need to go to the Gran Canyon when you can visit the Terre delle Gravine National Reserve with breathtaking views. It occupies a vast area called Murge in the provinces of Taranto, Brindisi and Bari.
6. Eat Pucce
An unbeatable dish on the Puglian table in summer time, pucce are a traditional on the go snack in Puglia, in particular in the Salento area. They are made of pizza dough and can be stuffed with meats, cheeses, and/or vegetables. Check out the video, click here
7. Snorkeling along the Adriatic Coast
Go snorkeling in the Adriatic sea, you’ll find many caves, rock formations and hidden bays hosting numbers of fishes, molluscs and urchins between Santa Maria di Leuca and Otranto as well as in the Isole Tremiti, a small archipelago of 5 tiny islands and it is located North of Gargano promontory.
8. Visit Castel del Monte
Castel del Monte is a castle located near Andria and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The building, still perfectly preserved, is characteristic for its octagonal shape.
Photo Credits Flickr
9. Take a boat tour in Zinzulusa Cave
Leaving from the port of Castro Marina you will visit three of the most famous caves of Salento, namely the Palombara, Azzurra and Zinzulusa (from sea side). You will be able to enjoy a swim in the crystal clear blue waters of the sea between Castro and Santa Cesarea Terme.
10. Watch Pizzica live show
Don’t miss to watch a live show of Pizzica, one of the most famous Italy’s folk dance the “pizzica pizzica” is a traditional music and ballet of considerable social and cultural importance which is becoming more and more popular. This ballet is surrounded by religious believes and something mythological which has always fascinated people since old times.
11. Visit the Cave di Bauxite lake
You will rarely find this lake on the traditional tourist guides, however we recommend to visit it. It is located South of Otranto, easily accessible by car, you’ll have to walk a few hundreds meters to enjoy the so called red lake
12. Admire orchids in the Gargano National Park
The Gargano promontory is mostly entirely occupied by the National Park of Gargano. The park hosts the largest number of orchids species, anamely 90, which makes a record for a single region.
13. Mould ceramic in Grottaglie
The School of Art in Grottaglie was created in the 18th. Still open and in business today, it operates in the old district located in the old town. The school houses its own souvenir shop which is open daily, you can see the masters as they work the clay
14. Eat a Panzerotto
Panzerotti are made with the same pizza dough and then deep fried for a crispy taste! The filling may vary, but the most popular is a mixture of chopped tomatoes, mozzarella and ham. Check our panzerotti recipe to prepare them any time you wish!
15. Go ciclying in the Itria Valley
This area extends South of the Murge plateau and includes the towns of Alberobello, Locorotondo, Martina Franca, Ceglie Messapica, Cisternino and Fasano. The ideal place to spend holiday as it is strategically located in between the two coasts, being within easy reach both of the long sandy rocky shores of the Adriatic Sea to the North, and of the crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea to the South.
16. Visit Ostuni, the White City
Ostuni is also known as “White City” (Città bianca) because its historic center is entirely painted with white lime. It is a very popular tourist destination. Don’t forget the walk to the highest part of the city were you’ll find the Santa Maria Cathedral which dominates the entire surrondings
17. Swim in Campomarino
There are many beautiful beaches in Puglia, however Campomarino deserves particular attention from a naturalistic point of view for its dunes. Driving south-east from the little village along the road that brings to San Pietro in Bevagna, we find the Park of the Dunes of Campomarino. The dunes are up to 12 meters and for a natural barrier between the beach and the road. The shore is characterized by sandy stretches which alternate with rocks; the water is crystal clear with colour ranging from blue cobalt to green.
18. Visit Lecce
If you like architecture and history, don’t miss to visit Lecce. Lecce may be called the Florence of the Baroque. In this artistic tendency in Italy there is nothing that can be compared. This is how that the historian Gregorovius described Lecce. It is the Baroque masterpiece of Italy and stupefies tourists with its little-known magnificence, its noble palaces and undeniable beauty of its numerous churches. In 2010 the city has been listed in “Best in Travel 2010” by Lonely Planet.
19. Drive along Gargano rocky Coast
The Gargano promontory is also known as the spur of the Italian boot, it extends into the eastern part of Puglia and is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. Drive the spectacular 140 km long coastline which are characterized by the presence of ancient forest (mainly pine woods), bays, sandy beaches, limestone cliffs, calcareous caves, and the famous faraglioni, white rocks emerging from the sea in the Mergoli Bay and the Zagare Bay (Baia delle Zagare).
20. Eat taralli
The taralli are small and circular crackers that are commonly consumed as an aperitif in Italy. Try the savory version —made with olive oil and flavours like fennel, black peppers or poppy seeds— or the sweet one, with sugar and white wine.
21. Wake up in Daunia Mountains
The Daunia Mountains include 30 charming villages and the area is well known for being the green heart of Puglia. Rich in lush forests and valleys, the Daunia Mountains offer their visitors astonishing views of landscapes, medieval castles and architectural beauties. We highlight the village of Bovino (listed as one of the Borghi piu’ belli d’Italia), Sant’Agata and Troia.
22. Eat a Frisella
Try a Frisella, its literal description is: bagel-shaped toasted roll. It looks like a durum hard bread biscuit, cut horizontally in half and toasted again in the oven. Originally seen as a poor food, Frisella is today very popular on the tables of Puglia as well on the street food markets. Soak it in cold water for few seconds, dress it with fresh tomatoes, oregano, salt and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy its taste!