One of the most startling impressions of Puglia must be the contrasting colours of azure and white, enhanced by the green of olives and vines. Typical sights in Puglia are the trulli, the low lying white-washed houses with beehive-like conical grey roofs, flat fields of grain, olives and vines and here and there perfect examples of mediaeval castles or splendid Byzantine-influenced Norman churches and cathedrals. Red chillies can be seen drying from the wrought-iron balconies of white-washed houses in the villages, whilst broom and mint grow wild in the fields. The coastline of Puglia is noted for its long sandy beaches and the beauty of the hilly Gargano peninsula with bays sheltering beneath dramatic cliffs - a stunning location for your holiday.
Our favourite hotel for a luxury holiday in Puglia is the Borgo Egnazia, a luxurious five star resort village in a traditional Puglian style.
Cultural Highlights in PugliaThe cultural highlights of Puglia are to be found in the quality of the Norman religious and secular architecture and the Baroque of Lecce in particular. Highlights include Lecce's church of Santa Croce begun in 1549 by Gabriele Riccardi and with a magnificent 17th Century facade, the loggia of the 15th Century Palazzo Vescovile, the Duomo rebuilt by Giuseppe Zimbalo (lo Zingarello) and the church of Santi Nicola e Cataldo (the most important Romanesque church in the Salentine). Bari possesses the Basilica di San Nicola, one of Puglia`s first great Norman churches.The 15th Century frescoes in the church of Santa Caterina d`Alessandria in Galatina are of particular merit. In Bitanto`s Romanesque cathedral is an Ambo by Maestro Nicola dating from 1229 with a bas-relief showing Frederick II and his family.
Festivals in PugliaMartina Franca holds the Festivale della Valle d`Itria in late July/ early August. Bari holds a historical parade of St Nicholas on 7-10 May and a procession on the sea. Galatina has a curious tradition coinciding with the Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul on 28-29 June as tarantism has survived here. Lecce has a feast for the patron saints of the city on 24 to 26 August.
Gastronomy in PugliaOlive oil is produced in enormous quantities and this together with local fruit, wine and seafood feature in the regional gastronomy of Puglia. Specialities include Foccacia bread flavoured with olives, fennel and chicory, Panzerotti (pasta with anchovies, capers and strong ricotta cheese), Tiella di Cozze (rice, potatoes and mussels), Melanzane alla campagnola (aubergines roasted and soaked in oil, garlic and basil). Dried pasta of all shapes and sizes is also a regional speciality. Puglia also is a great wine producer. A light red is produced at Cerignola and a robust red at Bari. Red Primitivo del Salento or di Manduria are well known.
We include a hire-car with all our holidays to Puglia. Explore the Gargano peninsula with its dramatic coastline of coves and cliffs, beaches and forested interior. Take a boat trip to the Tremiti islands off the coast of the Gargano. The Salentine peninsula should be discovered for its vineyards and olive groves, megalithic remains and grottoes including the Grotte di Castellanata.
By Air: There are airports at Bari and Brindisi. The closest airport for a direct flight from London is Bari with British Airways. 'No frills' airlines fly into Bari and Brindisi. Hire-cars: We include a hire-car with all our holidays to Puglia. There is no additional charge for collecting your car from one place and returning it to another.
Borgo Egnazia has a village-like atmosphere of hotel and villas amid olive groves.
Canne Bianche Hotel is a 4 star hotel with a picture perfect exterior, set against the azure Puglian sky.
Undoubtedly one of the finest hotels in Puglia, Il Melograno is owned by Camillo Guerra, who has restored t
Masseria San Domenico is a truly beautiful property in Puglia just five hundred metres from the sea.
Located just outside of the town of Savelletri, about three kilometres from the sea and a ten-minute drive
The Hotel Patria Palace is an elegant hotel right in the historic heart of Lecce.
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CapitalRome AirportThere is a very good scattering of international airports in Italy, with the main ones being Venice, Pisa, Milan, Rome, Bologna, Naples, Genoa, Turin and Bari; on Sicily, Catania is served by several airlines from the UK and on Sardinia you fly to Cagliari or Olbia.CurrencyEuro (£1 = Euro 1.30) SizeItaly is roughly 650 miles long, but only about 100 miles wide Population60 million Average temperatureItaly's temperature varies dramatically, from about 4 degrees in Turin in winter to 33 degrees in Sicily in summer, with snow year-round on the summits of the Pyrenees and Alps National holidays in Italy Some tourist attractions as well as banks etc may close on the following days: 1 January 6 January (Epiphany) Easter Monday 25 April (Liberation Day) 1 May (Labour Day) 15 August (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) 1 November (All Saints) 8 December (Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Christmas Day Boxing Day There are a number of local feast days that can affect conditions locally. In addition to the above days, museums are often closed on Mondays in Italy.
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