We have seen a lot of Italy from the main tourist attractions in Rome and Milan to the wilds of the interior landscapes. The scenery is dramatic and one of the places that left a fascinating impression on us is the region of Puglia. We explored historic cities, places of religious significance, cooked and harvested with family farms and saw the beauty of the country’s most expansive grain production.
Puglia is located in the Southeastern portion of the country. It covers a variety of coast and it has several cities with unique and isolated traditions. Bari, Foggia, Lecce are just the more famous ones, but every town has its attractions and a story to tell. We visited Monte Sant’Angelo a city with an ancient religious cave and shrine with beautiful beaches on the slopes of Mount Gargano.
One of the industrial hubs of the region Foggia is a mid sized city where the agricultural crossroads converge and much of the cultural richness of the region is concentrated. Parks, cafes, nightlife and buildings from every major era represent the longstanding traditions. Palaces and castles built by monarchs nearby show its long time importance.
A host family we journeyed with took us to the remarkable gem. It is just a dot on the rural map, but Troia is constructed on a prominent hillside overlooking the plains of grain in every direction. The buildings, especially the main church manifest a romanesque style atypical of the area in terms of architecture.
San Giovanni Rotondo
This is a shrine known throughout all of Italy and it is probably one of the largest attractions to the region period. It is a modern museum, monastery and church and it is worth a visit to see the beautiful modern works of Italian church making.
Is a beach town on the Adriatic where the waters are turquoise, music and restaurants dot the beach and parking is abundant with beautiful white cliffs as a backdrop. We spent a whole day just enjoying the town and the beach.
Farm to Table
One of the best ways to get into the soul of this landscape is to work and cook with its people. We enjoyed a tour de force in culinary culture and getting products right from the farms, from fresh olive oil, burrata cheese and pasta grown right in the backyard.
Overall Puglia is a fascinating trek in Italy. One that we found immersive in parts wild landscape which houses treasures of nature, panoramic views and small cities with long lived histories.