In this Italian region is difficult to escape the dolce far niente, that is, the pleasure of doing nothing or simply watch the sea while a pasta dish is savored. However, there is a variety of activities to do with family, friends, partner or even alone. The cultural and natural heritage of Apulia covers from the interior to the coast and surprises with corners that preserve the beauty of centuries ago, when the Greeks left their mark on the language still spoken today in the Gulf of Salerno.
1. Discover the best beaches
The coastline of 800 km of Apulia has two types of beaches: the fine white sand and the white rock. Among the most beautiful are the following:
Torre dell’Orso, a fifteenth-century tower overlooking the sandy beach and pine trees. In the municipality of Melendugno.
Baia dei Turchi, white and also lined with pine trees. Near Otranto.
Torre Sant’Andrea, to swim under bridges and rock towers in Lecce.
Pescoluse, called the Maldives of Salento for its fine white sand. Within walking distance of Santa Maria di Leuca.
Baia di Sfinale, windsurfing and diving destination near the Gargano park.
2. Escape to nature
To walk: the National Park of Alta Murgia, with karst rocks canons, and the Gargano, a forested hill looking out over the Adriatic. Birdwatching: the coastal area of Le Cesine (Brindisi), Lake Salso and the marine reserve of Torre Guaceto (north of Brindisi). For vegetation that covered Apulia for centuries: Incoronata Forest Park near Foggia.
3. Visit the inland villages
Itria valley is ideal for traditional peoples, trulli (conical roof houses) and to buy handicrafts on farms or masserie. It includes the towns of Alberobello, Carovigno, Castellana Grotte, Fasano, Noci, Ceglie Messapica, Cisternino, Locorotondo, Martina Franca. Not to be missed, in July, the Festival of Valle d’Itria in Martina Franca.
4. The pleasure of gastronomy
The virgin Road Castel del Monte, in the triangle Barletta-Andria-Trani, passing through historic sites and areas of oil production with 5 denominations of origin: the Taranto Clementine, the Altamura bread, the red Barletta, the Castel del Monte wine, and the Trani Muscat. Gotta try the orecchiette, an ear-shaped pasta cooked in a thousand ways, and fresh fish.
5. To the sound of festivals
Apulia is reborn in spring and summer with traditional festivities in which music and the cooking are the power. The most famous are the procession of St. Nicholas in Bari (May 7), the challenge of Barletta (19 septembrie), a swordfight, and the music of the Taranta Notte (August), in Melpignano and within the traveling festival Pizzica. The Old Aromas Festival of San Donaci (August 6) allow to test wines and the regional dishes.
6. Outputs for sport
The peninsula of Gargano is an ideal place to enjoy the sea (windsurfing and sailing) and the mountains (by bicycle in Gargano National Park). However, the bay of Taranto and the area between Barletta and Trani are preferred for surfing, sailing and diving. The Lecce cliffs are destination for climbers. The city of Foggia is the start of a cycling tour of 12 km to Incoronata Forest Park.
7. Castles and classical ruins
The route includes the fortress of Castel del Monte (Andria), the Aragonese Castle of Taranto and the castle of Lucera (Foggia). The tour of the Romanesque cathedrals to Lucera, Bilonto, Ostuni, Taranto, Trani. To see ancient remains: Lecce (dolmens) and Grottaglie Massafra (settlements of the first century) and Taranto (the amphitheater). In the Gulf of Salento the grika, a language derived from classical Greek is spoken.