Surrounded by light blue seas and powdery sands, Puglia blends a vast and stunning coastline with a wealth of picturesque towns filled with unique sights and unusual buildings. A luxury holiday in Puglia offers you the chance to relax on breathtaking beaches, to wander through whitewashed villages like the iconic trulli of Alberobello, and to enjoy fine Italian cuisine.
Located between the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea, at the heel of Italy, the Puglia region is blessed with a stunning coastline and rolling green vineyards that are home to some of the most celebrated Italian wineries. Wander sunkissed cities like Foggia and Altamura with their Gothic and medieval architecture. Enjoy activities like fishing, scuba diving, horse riding and learn how to cook Apulian specialities.
Of course, you'll also want to spend time exploring the region's many lavish beaches. At the beautiful port town of Bari, stroll the narrow streets of the old quarter and watch the locals make orecchiette pasta by hand. Visit the awe-inspiring Basilica di San Nicola, the resting place of Saint Nicholas - the inspiration behind Father Christmas. Amble along the soft sands of Pane e Pomodoro beach and in the evening, enjoy an operatic show at the Teatro Petruzzelli opera house, the fourth largest theatre in Italy.
Known for its Baroque architecture, Lecce deserves its nickname, the 'Florence of the South'. Discover a wealth of must-see attractions like the Basilica di Santa Croce, the Castle of Charles V, the Church of Saints Niccolo and Cataldo, the Roman amphitheatre and the Piazza del Duomo. Visit the nearby town of Otranto and explore the setting of Horace Walpole's pioneering gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto.
With little rainfall, Puglia is a year-round holiday destination. In the summer, you'll find the weather is perfect for relaxing on the beach. The most popular time for luxury travellers to visit the region is from June to August when the temperatures are typically around 25 degrees Celsius.
In autumn and spring, it's slightly cooler with temperatures from 15-20 degrees Celsius. These are ideal months for city sightseeing. In the winter, the weather is mild and well suited for treks inland and for exploring the interior.
As with any holiday, it's a good idea to carry some identification with you and keep a photocopy of your passport on your person. British passport holders don't need a visa to enter Italy. Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports, visas and travel.
The cuisine in Puglia is superb at utilising simple ingredients to create exquisitely fine dishes. The region is renowned for its agricultural prowess and produces a large number of Italy's fruits, vegetables, wines and olive oils.
You'll find fresh seafood, Mediterranean cuisine, pizzas and traditional Apulian dishes like baccala alla salentina, baked salted cod covered in breadcrumbs and pecorino cheese. The focus is on locally sourced produce and seasonal specialities, from mushrooms to snails. Enjoy the region's main pasta, the 'little ear' shaped orecchiette and try the delicious local cheeses.