Do you fancy seeing an alternative Italy that offers exciting undiscovered locations? Puglia is an amazing region on Adriatic Sea coast that allows you to enjoy entirely unusual landscapes. At Epicwander we suggest you to visit the following locations of Puglia.
Wetland of Southern Italy
Riserva Naturale Le Cesine is one of the best-preserved wetlands of Southern Italy. In fact, it is the last surviving portion of what was once a wetland area ranging from Brindisi to Otranto. After a brief welcome, staff will guide you along the nature trails equipped with observation points. This Natural Reserve is a perfect opportunity to spend a day surrounded by nature and unusual plant species.
Slow Food Holidays
Orsara di Puglia is an untouched gem of the Italy. With sand and rock color palette it has much more to offer than you would have expected. In 2007 it was officially recognized as a slow food town. It means that Orsara di Puglia is a must visit the city for any gourmand, who enjoys natural local ingredients. After trying out products from local farmers, you can spend a while strolling around the village discovering authentic regional churches. For instance, a very important Byzantine Abbey of Sant’ Angelo.
Authentic Italian Barbecue
Puglia has several different faces and Cisternino is one of them. Entirely white city of Cisternino embraces a feeling of regional accent. Charming whitewashed hilltop town attracts its visitors with beautiful and yet undiscovered old town district and especially central piazza that fills up with people in restaurants and cafes. However, what makes Cisternino truly unique are barbecuing butchers. In the butcheries of this village, you can choose a preferred meat and the butcher will barbecue it for you. Perhaps it will be your opportunity to try locally famous bombette?
Day in the Spa
Terme di Torre Canne is one of the most prestigious spas of Apulia complex. Locals discovered thermal waters of Torre Canne in the mid-nineteenth century, but in the postwar period after construction of the Spa, real exploitation began. This visit can be your perfect recreational opportunity on a road across Puglia region. Not only will it make you relaxed, but also undeniably healthier.
The city of Monte Sant’Angelo is famous in particular for local Sanctuary. Monte Gargano is the oldest shrine in Western Europe under the protection of Archangel Michael and has been an important pilgrimage site since the early Middle Ages, as though according to the legend, St. Michal appeared here three times in the 5th century.
However, apart from the sanctuary, you can also visit the castle, which is known as a home of the Bianca Lancia ghost, or you might find interesting to take a look at the Tomb of Rothari. The tomb has notable beliefs with Biblical stories and can perfectly enhance your religious sightseeing trip. Lastly, consider spending some time for a visit of Pulsano Abbey, located 8 kilometers from the city. Over the centuries Monte Sant’Angelo has attracted saints, kings, pilgrims, tourists and popes, which makes it an important point on the map for analyzing Italian religious side.
Alberobello is a strange and picturesque destination, which is becoming an important fixture on the travel itineraries of tour operators as well as independent travelers. In fact, the small town of Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unusual architecture trulli. Trulli is a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof. Trulli houses are very different from what we perceive thinking about Italy, they showcase an undiscovered part of the region. Therefore, visiting Alberobello is crucial in understanding all sides of the country.
Ancient Fishing Village
On the Adriatic Sea, perched like a bird’s nest on the edge of a sharp cliff over 20 meters high, Polignano rises above the sea. In fact, if you are looking for a destination with the best water, Polignano is a place to go. It has been awarded several times with the prestigious European Union Blue Flag. Its naturalistic marine heritage stands majestic and impressive.
Discovering Clay Area of Italy
Grottaglie area is very rich in clay and it is, therefore, a fertile ground for the emergence of a flourishing pottery crafts. In fact, pottery was so essential in the region that it was always possible to find an entire pottery set in each house. Today it possesses merely ornamental function, nevertheless equally beautiful and authentic. Moreover, when visiting Grottaglie take a look at balconies, they feature something known as Pumi, from the Latin name pomum, fruit. Locals place rounded ceramic objects on both ends of the balcony and symbolize new life and prosperity. It protects the house from evil and is an essential part of every family.
City of Love
Are you thinking about arranging a romantic weekend, but you are looking for something less known than Paris or Rome? We would strongly recommend taking a romantic trip to the city of Vico Del Gargano. Patron of the city is no other than Saint Valentine himself and every year on the 14th of February there is a big love celebration. In fact, you can take your other half to the narrow street of Vicolo Del Bacio, famous throughout the ages as the rendezvous street. Whereas if you are still looking for love, Vico Del Gargano is your perfect option for a dream come true. It is being said that the orange juice, which is blessed by Saint Valentine, acts as a love potion. With these attractions and the stunningly beautiful city itself, Vico Del Gargano is one of our strongest recommendations in Puglia region.
Italy is a country rich in cuisine and no matter where you go there is an interesting set of dishes. For instance, in the southern half of the Italian Peninsula, there is a very common snack Taralli. This snack is very similar to the German pretzel and it can be either sweet or savory, with very different flavorings. Secondly, you might want to try Orecchiette Cime Di Rapa, which is perhaps the most popular dish from Bari. Cime di Rapa, or simply turnip tops, is a very popular vegetable in Southern Italy during the winter. If you are trying out different pasta options while on holidays in Italy, pay attention to the Cavatelli. They are shaped as small hot dog buns and some people perceive as the most delicious pasta shape.
Surprisingly, if you are on a lookout for a new and original Christmas snack, Italy, in particular, Puglia, also has something to offer. Purcedduzzi is small pieces of dough either deep-fried or baked and then covered with honey and sugar sprinkles that are traditionally served on the Christmas table in Southern Italy. In this region, you can also try an originally looking cheese Caciocavallo. Locals make it out of sheep’s or cow’s milk and you can immediately recognize this type because of its tear-drop shape. Such cheese will be your perfect accompaniment to an exquisite glass of the Italian wine.
With so many locations it is hard to decide where to try out one of the previously mentioned fabulous dishes. Puglia is a paradise of slow food culture, and at Epicwander there are locations that you might especially enjoy. Consider having a brunch at V-ita Vivere Italiano. They serve delicacies from local organic products and each weekend they also organize a farmers’ market if you consider buying any local ingredients. One of the hidden regional gems is Masseria Il Frantoio. All the ingredients are produced right there on the farm and are as freshest and customized for the season as possible.
As you may see, there is a lot to enjoy in Puglia. It is very different, yet authentic and surprising part of Italy. You can find a new undiscovered love city, try Christmas delicacies, or take a look at unusual rooftops in Alberobello.