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Puglia – the Soulful South of Italy

by Travelive Team

Welcome to Puglia, and we will not call it the “heel” of Italy but a much more deserving name – the country’s stylish stiletto! It’s a region that welcomes you with open arms, inviting them to experience a rich tapestry of culture, flavors, and landscapes. This sun-kissed region, bathed in the warmth of the Adriatic and Ionian seas, is a treasure trove of unforgettable moments. Join us as we embark on a journey through Puglia, discovering its best experiences and places that capture the essence of Southern Italy. Warning, this will be a long post because we just could leave anything out!

Whitewashed Wonders of Alberobello:

Begin your Puglian adventure in the fairytale-like town of Alberobello, where the iconic trulli houses await! These whimsical cone-shaped abodes look like something right out of a hobbit’s dream, and to think that they were built centuries ago as a way for the local nobleman to avoid paying taxes! Forget trolls under bridges; here, it’s all about Instagrammable moments in these quirky, ancient dwellings. #TrulliNotTrolls

Coastal Charm of Polignano a Mare:

Perched on limestone cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Polignano a Mare is a coastal gem that effortlessly blends natural beauty with historical charm. The old town’s narrow alleys lead to “get your camera ready” views, while the famous Lama Monachile beach offers a perfect spot to bask in the sun or dive into the azure waters.

Battle of the ice-creams in Otranto

Otranto’s old town exudes a timeless charm, where cobblestone streets lead to quaint cafes, artisan shops, and hidden courtyards. The Otranto Cathedral, with its mesmerizing mosaic floor, stands as a testament to the town’s rich history, inviting visitors to step back in time and marvel at the intricacies of its medieval architecture. While in the city, take part in the battle of the frozen treats and sample both the gelato and the local delicacy granite so you can pick a winner. It’s a chilly competition you won’t want to miss.

Lecce: Time to Baroque n’ Roll!

Known as the Florence of the South, Lecce is a baroque masterpiece with its ornate architecture, sun-drenched squares, and intricate facades. From the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta to the Basilica di Santa Croce, every building in the old town is a testament to the craftsmanship of a bygone era. Wander through the narrow streets, and you’ll discover artisans preserving age-old traditions creating papier-mâché masterpieces and intricate lacework.

Olive Oil – The Liquid Gold:

Puglia is to olive oil what Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is to sweets – an absolute wonderland. Olive groves stretch as far as the eye can see, and locals produce olive oil which is so good even the Pope has it shipped to Vatican City! Visit a local masseria (traditional farmhouse), embark on a tasting tour, and learn the art of sipping liquid gold – it’s like a spa day for your taste buds.

To Bari or not to Bari?

That is a rhetorical question, and the answer is, of course, a resounding YES! Start with Bari Vecchia, the historic heart of the city, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the local markets filled with local produce and vendors that are, to put it mildly, “quite vocal”. Turn your attention then to the Lungomare Nazario Sauro, a seafront promenade that captures the essence of Bari’s maritime soul. Feel the sea breeze, say hi to the fishermen mending their nets, and join the locals in the Italian tradition of “passeggiata”, a leisurely walk, often with your hands behind your back, with the sole purpose of watching the world go by. Finally, if you happen to be in town, enlist for the Bari Barefoot Run! This quirky race is a testament to the city’s unique spirit, where footwear is optional, and laughter is mandatory. Don’t be shy – kick off your shoes and join the barefoot brigade!

Culinary Delights: From Sea to Table:

In Puglia, pasta isn’t just a dish; it’s a love language. Orecchiette, the ear-shaped wonders, is practically a food group here. If you can’t say “orecchiette” without an Italian accent, you’re doing it wrong. And did we mention the seafood pasta? It’s so fresh that the fish are practically still doing the Mambo-Italiano on your plate. The whole region welcomes you with a cuisine that is a celebration of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Don’t miss the chance to experience a traditional Puglian feast with a variety of antipasti, handmade pasta, and mouthwatering desserts accompanied by local wines.

The Language of Hands:

Puglia is the birthplace of the “pizzica” dance – a traditional dance where locals move their hands faster than you can say “I’ll have another gelato, please.” Don’t be shy; join in the fun and embrace the language of hands. Warning: May cause excessive laughter and an inexplicable desire to break into spontaneous dance moves at inappropriate times.

So, there you have it – Puglia, where pasta is a hug, trulli are a twist, and every day feels like a scene from an Italian rom-com. Pack your stretchy pants, your dancing shoes, and a sense of humor, and get ready for a trip that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

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