Apulia, Italian: Puglia is a region of Italy, located in the southern peninsular section of the country, bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers (7,469 sq mi), and its population is about four million.
It is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, and Basilicata to the southwest. Its capital city is Bari.
Lapped by the waters of the Adriatic Sea is a region of Italy that is often overlooked by visitors who are seeking high-season accommodation. Puglia, however, is a part of the country that is filled with history and culturally important archaeological findings that date all the way back to the settlements in the 8th century B.C. It makes for a wonderful region to explore if you book a stay nearby.
With the peninsula’s long stretches of coast, stunning beaches, and perfect conditions for water sports, it is no wonder that people go here to relax and soak up the sun. But while you should certainly spend time on the idyllic beaches, you should also take a bit of time to visit some of the historic locations in Puglia too. Be sure to not miss the Castel del Monte, the town of Gallipoli, and the Trulli of Alberobello.
Castel del Monte
Located in Andria, this imposing ‘castle of the mountain’ was built by Emperor Frederick II in the 1240s, and was likely less of a fortress and probably more of an accommodation. Puglia is filled with relics such as the Castel del Monte, which is just one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the area. The mathematical and astronomical precision with which the castle was built is seen in its symmetrical shape and the interesting blend of Islamic, European, and Medieval design.
The Town of Gallipoli
Situated in the southern part of Puglia, right next to the Ionian Sea, is the town of Gallipoli, which is a perfect place to find accommodation. Puglia is filled with towns that display unusual historical features, but the new and old towns in Gallipoli are truly an interesting juxtaposition. While the new town has modern buildings and a skyscraper, the old town is reached by a bridge built in the 16th century that leads out to the small island just a short distance from the main coast. Here, you can see the Cathedral of Saint Agatha with its Baroque styled features fashioned in the local limestone, carparo. You can wander the streets of the old town, finding nooks and crannies that are jam packed with 15th and 16th century churches, buildings, palaces and fountains.
Trulli of Alberobello
One of the most fascinating places in the southern part of the region is the small town of Alberobello. With its unique history, including the trulli, it really should not be missed. When you first come upon these small limestone buildings, you may not first think of them as an ancient form of accommodation. Puglia is one of the only places where these small, mortarless dwelling styles are still in use. The prehistoric building technique of cutting the dry limestone roughly and stacking them, with a domed roof made from more limestone slabs, creates a unique outline. Incredibly, these mid-14th century buildings are still in use as homes today.