Tucked between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Puglia is a land of thriving olive groves, golden beaches and ancient villages. Today, medieval palaces and rustic farmhouses play host to inviting boutique hotels and pampering spa retreats hidden away in gentle rolling plains. Should you have an appetite for more active pursuits, the region plays host to a stash of Roman ruins, exuberantly carved churches and a breathtaking Norman cathedral. Leave space in your suitcase for a bottle or two of the prized local olive oil.

When to go

If you’re keen to roam the region, choose the balmy spring over the piping hot summer. Autumn’s mild weather is also ideal for exploring without the crowds.

Food & Drink

Puglia’s picturesque olives groves produce some of the country’s finest oil: dip some freshly baked bread into this liquid gold, or drizzle it over the region’s beloved orecchiette pasta. Sip on a glass of local wine with your meal: the reds in particular are making a name for themselves for their deep and powerful notes.

Not to miss

Learn the difference between stalactites and stalagmites in Bari’s jaw-dropping network of wondrous caves.

Nightlife

For the most part, Puglia has a sleepy evening scene; lounging with a glass of wine by the cliff-lined coast takes precedence over pulsing beats. Fascano deviates from the norm, with buzzing bars and lively nightclubs along its seafront. Brindisi also has its fair share of hole-in-the-wall bars, where waves lapping gently against the dock make the perfect accompaniment to a local tipple.

Where to stay in Puglia

Brindisi’s countryside is dotted with luxurious villas and renovated Renaissance farmhouses. Bari’s enchanting coastline is just the thing for a relaxing spa break or lingering seafood dinners in the bustling port. Stay in unspoilt Gallipoli for a taste of quieter setting and a taste of authentic rural Italy.

How to get there

Brindisi airport serves domestic destinations and seasonal flights to major European hubs. Rural Puglia is best explored with a car, which can easily be rented from the airport.

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FROM THE BLOG

CHIC RETREATS

A week or two in Puglia: What to see, do and eat

Whilst Puglia is not new news to those in the know, its crystalline seas, varied landscape, wonderful food and fantastic wine is placing it firmly on the independent traveller’s map.
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