Located in the heart of Puglia is the Itria Valley, a vast area of central Puglia that extends between the province of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto. Known as the Itria Valley, this area does not look exactly like a real valley, it is in fact an extensive karst depression at the bottom of the Murge. The area extends South of the Murge plateau and includes the towns of Alberobello, Locorotondo, Martina Franca, Ceglie Messapica, Cisternino and Fasano.
The name derives from the Byzantine Itria, in honor of Our Lady Odegitria, protector of travelers. The valley is characterized by the presence of numerous caves including the famous Grotte di Castellana (Castellana Caves). The landscape of the valley is unique and definitely one of the most beautiful in Puglia or anywhere in Italy. The whole area is a blend of rolling hills intertwined with fertile valleys and it is divided into small plots that are bordered by the typical dry stone walls built with stones that have been mined from the land to make way for pastures and crops.
Itria Valley is characterized by a flourishing vegetation where ancient olive groves stand (fine extra virgin olive oil is produced in the valley) but the flora in the valley also includes stretches of forest and Mediterranean scrub, alternating with numerous vineyards from which they get a white wine of excellent quality. The valley links its name to the famous trulli houses, it is definitely the land of trulli par excellence as thousands of small trulli are immersed in the low vineyards and surrounded by oaks. Whitewashed cones made of limestone held together without mortar are scattered and visible across the whole valley.
Born as temporary shelters for shepherds and farm tools, they eventually became permanent residences for farmers. They are surely an architectural symbols of the rural culture, but their use has evolved over time. Today most of them are being finely restored and transformed into luxury holiday houses and small charming hotels, the ideal place for travelers looking for peace and quiet in the countryside.
Best example of this type or architecture is Alberobello, a village entirely made up of trulli. Another symbol of valley is the presence of the Masserie, manor houses of the ancient bourgeoisie, now a splendid example of ancient architecture. Usually surrounded by towering walls they often present examples of sculpture, few of them can also have small private chapel. There are many Masserie in the valley and they are often surrounded by large land and forests.
They are seen as nature reserves and of peace, for the perfect combination of nature and tranquility. Itria Valley, a stay which offers the possibility to live a relaxing and unique holiday, among a thousand colors of nature, away from the routine, the chaos. 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.