Puglia

Where is Puglia located?

Puglia compared to Italy geographically

Within southern Italy (excluding the islands), Puglia is the largest region with the most developed coastline, extending for about 865 km. Along the coast, rocky areas alternate with cliffs (steep rocky shores) and sandy beaches; in 2010, the Ministry of Health declared 98.6% of the Apulian coasts to be bathing.

What to see in Puglia?

Within the country, most of the territory is flat and hilly, with no pronounced contrasts between the regions. The Gargano and the Monti della Daunia (the latter also called Subappennino Dauno) are the only mountainous areas of Puglia and respectively reach 1,065 and 1,151 meters in height. The Tavoliere delle Puglie, with an area of about 3,000 km2, is the largest Italian plain after the Po basin. Located between the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto, the Valle d’Itria alternates valleys and undulating areas and is dotted with particularly large settlements (the area of greatest concentration is that of the trulli). The Ionic arch of Taranto extends along the entire coast of the state, from the Murgian system in the north to the western part of the Salento peninsula in the south, and includes an extensive flat coastal area dotted with hills and “valleys”. Salento, in turn, is divided into Tavoliere di Lecce and Serre Salentine, an area of gentle reliefs, which culminates in the Cianci mountains at 196 meters. (a.s.l.).

The archipelago of the Tremiti, to the north-east off the Gargano coast, the small Cheradi islands, near Taranto and the island of Sant’Andrea in front of the coast of Gallipoli belong to Puglia. From a geographical point of view, the Apulian physical region also includes the Pelagosa archipelago, as part of the Tremiti Islands, ceded together with most of Venezia Giulia and Zara to Yugoslavia following the peace treaties at the end of the Second World War.

Puglia written with Ostuni in the background

What to eat in Puglia? Where to eat in Puglia?

The Apulian recipes have a proud Mediterranean character, born from the combination of the best fruits of the earth: the cereals and vegetables of the fertile countryside, the extra virgin olive oil, produced with passion for generations, and the fresh fish of the expanding seas. along the Apulian coast. The result is a proud Mediterranean character.

ricci di savelletri
pan of focaccia from Bari
turesi cherries

Puglia is above all synonymous with raw materials and extraordinary products such as the burrata from Andria, the bread from Altamura, the capocollo from Martina Franca. The flavors are those of peasant dishes such as broad beans and chicory or as “ciceri e tria”, pasta and chickpeas from Puglia, the ingredients follow the seasons with tomatoes and aubergines that triumph in summer dishes. Orecchiette, strascinati and cavatelli are the emblem of the Apulian art of fresh pasta. The olives in brine according to the Apulian recipe with wild fennel, the bombette of meat and the tiella with mussels are the demonstration of how the culinary story of the region extends from the hinterland with the Valle d’Itria and the Murge, to the coast, from the Ionian to the Adriatic. From focaccia from Bari to rustic Lecce to puccia from Salento, every capital and every territory has its own specialties, with friselle and taralli that have conquered all of Italy.

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What to do in Puglia?

What to see in Puglia? Between beaches, natural parks, unspoiled landscapes, UNESCO sites and authentic villages, you are spoiled for choice.

Puglia is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating regions in the world, as confirmed by National Geographic.

The region is visited by many tourists every year and offers a wide range of travel opportunities suitable for families, seniors, groups of young people and solo travelers.

The diversity of landscape and resources, the cultural and food and wine richness are able to satisfy every desire and taste.

Different panoramas follow one another along it from north to south, changing the scenery of traditions and rural realities depending on whether you are in the Gargano Park or in the Salento peninsula.

ostuni beach

The history of Puglia:

Human settlement in Puglia dates back to at least 250,000 years ago, as evidenced by the fossil remains of man from Altamura, an archaic form of Homo neanderthalensis. There are numerous finds from prehistoric times, including several menhirs and dolmens. Around the first millennium BC the Iapigi settled in the territory with the tribes of the Dauni, Peucezi and Messapi, as well as the populations of the Calabri and the Sallentini (both settled in Salento); later, in the Hellenic period, the Magna Graecia colonies were quite numerous, especially in the southern part of the region, including the Spartan city of Taras (Taranto).

castle of mola di bari

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Transports

Autostrade
motorway A14 Bologna-Taranto motorway: also known as the Adriatic motorway
Autostrada Autostrada A16 Napoli-Canosa di Puglia is also called the Autostrada dei due mari, because it connects the southern part of the Peninsula from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic coast;

Bari-Taranto road. It connects the two most populous cities in the region, providing a free alternative to the A14 motorway. It is called Strada Statale 100 di Gioia del Colle from the ring road of the Bari capital in Palagiano, where it joins the Strada Statale 7 Via Appia. Very busy, it has separate carriageways up to Gioia del Colle.
State Road 106 Jonica. It runs along the coast of the Ionian Sea from Taranto to Reggio Calabria. The Apulian section, with separate carriageways and two lanes in each direction, is easy to travel.
Taranto-Lecce. It is of great importance for Salento and the extension of the 4-lane stretch is being planned.
Bari-Matera-Potenza. The main communication route from Bari to Basilicata is called SS 96 which connects Bari to Tolve (PZ). In Altamura it is possible to take the SS 99 towards Matera. Continuing for Gravina in Puglia you go in the direction of Potenza. Lecce-Santa Maria di Leuca road. Together with the Lecce-Gallipoli highway (SS 101), it is the main north-south axis of the Lower Salento. Up to Maglie it has separate carriageways and maintains the name of SS 16.
Otranto-Gallipoli road. It cuts the Lower Salento in an east-west direction, from the Adriatic to the Ionian.
State road 172 dei Trulli. It connects Casamassima with Taranto along the Itria valley and passing through Turi, Putignano, Alberobello, Locorotondo and Martina Franca.

itria valley mosaic

Railway lines

Bari central station
State railway lines
The connections of the State Railways are:

the Adriatic railway Ancona-Lecce with the Foggia-Bari sections, (section suitable for high-speed transport) and Bari-Lecce, with double track;

the Bari-Taranto railway with double track;
the Taranto-Brindisi railway;
the secondary lines are the Barletta-Spinazzola, the Foggia-Manfredonia and the Rocchetta Sant’Antonio-Gioia del Colle;
connections with Campania are ensured by the Naples-Foggia railway and the disused Avellino-Rocchetta Sant’Antonio line;
the connections with Basilicata and Calabria are ensured by the Foggia-Potenza railway and the Jonica railway.
Railways under concession
In Puglia, the network of private railways exceeds that of the State Railways by extension: four different railway companies operate in the region:

Ferrovie del Nord Barese (formerly Bari Nord)
they wind along the Bari-Barletta line, connecting numerous inland centers to the Apulian capital, with a catchment area of about 700,000 inhabitants. The company that manages the railway network and passenger transport is Ferrotramviaria Spa. They are indicated with the initials FNB or, according to the old name, FT (Ferrotramviaria). The line, 70 km long, crosses the territory of the following municipalities: Bari, Bitonto, Terlizzi, Ruvo di Puglia, Corato, Andria, Barletta. Currently the first section of the railway constitutes a metropolitan city line and connects the stations of Bari (Bari Centrale, Q. Sella subway, Via Brigata Bari, Cimitero, San Girolamo, with a deviation towards the San Paolo district). The Railways also manage a bus service along the same routes.
South East Railways
they reach the internal municipalities of the province of Brindisi, of the province of Taranto and those further south of the province of Lecce. The railways extend from the Bari Centrale station to Gagliano del Capo, near Santa Maria di Leuca, in the extreme south of Salento. In Salento this railway is known with the name of Littorina. The first section open to traffic was the Bari – Locorotondo line. The initial section of the railway constitutes a metropolitan city line and connects the three stations of Bari (Bari Centrale, Bari Sud Est and Bari Mungivacca).
Railways of the Gargano
(FdG or FG) is a company that manages the railway line of almost 79 km (from San Severo to Peschici), with 11 stations and seven stops, which connects the centers of the northern Gargano to the national railway network. The Ferrovie del Gargano also manage the Foggia – Lucera line and also offer a road service that ensures numerous extra-urban connections by road, both at a regional and national level.
Appulo Lucane Railways
they operate on the railway line that connects Puglia with Basilicata. The railway lines present are not electrified, so the service is carried out with Diesel engines. In Potenza, the FALs connect to both the FS network and the FCL.

seafront at night in Bari

Ports
The port of Bari is merchant, commercial and tourist (cruise terminal).
The main connections are for Albania (Durres), Montenegro (Bar) and Greece (Corfu, Igoumenitsa and Patras). The multiple operational functions of the port of Bari can count on docks equipped for the handling of all types of goods and on an excellent network of connections with each mode of transport. Thanks also to these characteristics, the Port of Bari has been indicated as a “western terminal”.
The port of Brindisi is mercantile, commercial, tourist and military (MARISTANAV Brindisi, Command that depends on the Third Naval Division – COMDINAV 3 of the Italian Navy). It makes connections with Albania (Vlora), Greece (Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Kefalonia, Pass, Zakynthos, Patras), Turkey (Çeşme).
The port of Taranto is mostly military (COMDINAV 2), commercial and industrial. It is one of the most important ports in Italy and in the Mediterranean and is the second Italian port by number of goods. It makes connections with other Italian ports and with those of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and China.
The port of Manfredonia. Manfredonia has 3 ports: one fishing, one industrial and one tourist (“Marina del Gargano”).
The port of Polignano a Mare: Polignano has a tourist port located in San Vito and inaugurated in June 2015, which has 316 berths between 5 and 40 meters.
The port of Mola di Bari: Mola has a fishing and tourist port: in addition to 350 pleasure boats, it hosts 115 fishing boats for a total of 2 616 gross tonnage, which make Mola the second navy in the metropolitan city of Bari is among the first in the entire Adriatic.
The tourist port of Rodi Garganico has 310 berths from 8 to 45 meters and is equipped with a yacht club. Daily hydrofoils sail there for the Tremiti Islands and weekly for Dalmatia.
The mainly commercial port of Barletta is one of the most popular in the Adriatic Sea for its breadth of basin and safety.
The Port of Trani, mainly for tourism and fishing, occasionally there are connections with the Croatian coast.
The port of Bisceglie is a fishing and tourist port. Mainly fishing boat, recently adapted to accommodate about 500 pleasure boats.
The port of Molfetta, mainly a fishing boat
The port of Monopoli.
The port of Otranto is commercial and tourist. It makes connections with Vlora (Albania), Corfu, Igoumenitsa (Greece).
The port of Gallipoli is commercial and tourist

Airports
Bari “Karol Wojtyła” international airport: located in the Palese – Macchie district, north of the capital. The passenger terminal, inaugurated in 2005, is sized for 3 600 000 passengers / year, with a peak of 1 400 passengers / hour. Thanks to the introduction of various new routes, including international ones, both with traditional and above all low-cost carriers, in recent years the annual traffic has increased steadily and significantly, arriving in 2011 at a flow of 3 725 629 passengers (9.60 % more than the previous year). The railway connection with the center of Bari has been active since 2012 and the expansion works of the passenger terminal have been completed, with the doubling of the area intended for passenger traffic and commercial activities. However, passenger traffic increases more and more every year, in fact in 2019 the Bari Airport reached 5,535,000 passengers, therefore 5,535 million. The destinations are over 50 during the winter but during the summer they reach 80, there are 4 “intercontinental” flights, namely: Sharm-El Seikh, Egypt; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Tel Aviv, Israel

Brindisi airport
Salento International Airport: it is located on the outskirts of Brindisi (in the Casale district: it is also called “Papola Casale”) and serves the whole of southern Puglia, with an annual traffic of 2 058 057 passengers in 2011, which has grown strongly in recent years (+ 28.10% in 2011). The terminal has recently been modernized. The presence of two runways with different orientations guarantees the operation of the airport even in adverse weather conditions. The airport is also used for military use and hosts a UN logistics and humanitarian emergency base.
Foggia “Gino Lisa” airport: used for national flights and for connections by helicopter to the Tremiti islands and the tourist resorts of the Gargano.
Other airports:

The Taranto-Grottaglie airport, serving the nearby Alenia Aeronautica factories, has a runway long enough to allow the landing of the enormous Boeing 747-400 LCF cargo, engaged for the transport of the fuselages of the Boeing 787 under construction.
The airports of Gioia del Colle, Lecce-Galatina and Amendola, near San Giovanni Rotondo, are for military use only.
Lecce-San Cataldo Lepore airport is a third-level civil airport used for private and emergency use.

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Where to sleep in Puglia?

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Why visit Puglia?

The beautiful sea (or rather two)
To eat well
For landscapes
The traditions
For cities
For Art and History
To have fun
For the paths
Because it is cheap
To see unique places

Within southern Italy (excluding the islands), Puglia is the largest region with the most developed coastline, extending for about 865 km. Along the coast, rocky areas alternate with cliffs (steep rocky shores) and sandy beaches; in 2010, the Ministry of Health declared 98.6% of the Apulian coasts to be bathing.

A long list to scroll through to build your wonderful holiday in Puglia. Lots of things to see and do in this beautiful region.
What to see in Puglia? Between beaches, natural parks, unspoiled landscapes, UNESCO sites and authentic villages, you are spoiled for choice.

Puglia is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating regions in the world, as confirmed by National Geographic.

collage of the most beautiful places on the coast of the trulli

Different panoramas follow one another as you move from north to south, and depending on whether you are in the Gargano Park or in the Salento Peninsula, the panorama of tradition and rural reality changes.

In short, the places to visit in Puglia and the cities to see in Puglia are many

Puglia is one of the most beautiful and visited regions in Italy. Located on the southeastern tip of the peninsula and overlooking the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, it offers visitors a wealth of attractions. So, a trip to Puglia really has many strengths.

Puglia is a vast land and here all types of settings can be combined. In fact, it is very easy to go from the beautiful beaches of Salento to the wild hills of Val d’Itria. You will also find the lush Umbra Forest in the Gargano and the rocky landscapes of the Parco delle Gravine. Finally, in Puglia, history and architecture take on a thousand different facets. We will thus travel from the sumptuous baroque of Lecce to the trulli of Alberobello, from the archaeological discoveries of Taranto to the medieval art of Altamura and Castel del Monte.

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Puglia is a southern region which constitutes the “heel” of the Italian boot. It is famous for its hilltop villages with characteristic white stuccoes, ancient colored countryside and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coast. The capital, Bari, is a lively port and university city. On the one hand, Lecce is known as the “Florence of the South” for its Baroque architecture. Alberobello and the Itria Valley host the traditional “trulli”, stone buildings with characteristic conical roofs.

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