Puglia, an undiscovered gem in Italy

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Puglia is quite often a point of departure for Greece with ferries taking you across the Adriatic Sea from its ports in Bari and Brindisi. I was fortunate enough to discover this increasingly popular region of Italy last fall while documenting a tour group for L’Esperta (Italian Travel & Lifestyle Expert) to this region.

 

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Awesome group of women!

The area of Puglia is located in the heel of the boot of Italy and is becoming a trendy tourist destination. While in Puglia, we were able to explore many of the ancient towns in the area like Alberobello with its white-washed Trullo houses; Lecce with its Baroque beauty and Martina Franca with its olive groves and orchards.  Of course, you might just want to visit the beach! It is on the Adriatic Sea of course! Wait did I mention the food!  Oh My gosh!!!! Fabulous!

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Prickly Pears

 

As we made our way from the Amalfi Coast eastward we stopped in the ancient cave town of Matera then onward to Puglia.  Our final destination was the impeccable Borgo Egnazia. They say “Nowhere Else” and that describes the beauty of this unique resort and spa. In upcoming blogs we will visit each of these towns as we make our way across Italy!

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Capri – Amalfi Coast- Faraglioni rock formations

 

 

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Matera

 

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Borgo Egnazia

 

 

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Borgo Egnazia entry hall

Puglia has always been basically an agricultural/farming region.  The large agricultural estates have become upscale resorts, spas, etc. I found out the Appian Way which starts in Rome ends in Puglia and is still marked by one surviving Roman column.  The second is found in Lecce.

Much of the region is covered in olive groves, orchards and other crops.  I never saw celery growing before.  My garden is limited to tomatoes, cukes, eggplant and herbs.  Some of these olives trees are over 1,000 years old. The roots of olive trees do not die of natural causes.  The trunk and branches can hollow out and die off many times over the life of the tree.  I have never tasted olive oil like we tasted in Martina Franca and promptly bought a case after we learned how to determine what is “great” olive oil vs. very commercial “not so good” olive oil.

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1000 year old Olive trees

 

So let’s start our journey across Italy.  We started on the Amalfi Coast which was my third trip and boy it never gets old!  Since I have blogged about all the cities on the Amalfi Coast previously I won’t get into that now but here is a link to those blogs.

We began in Pompeii, headed to Matera, then to Savelletri di Fasano in Puglia.  Come join me and discover “the” up and coming tourist destination in southern Italy!

My next blog documents our travels to Pompeii then on to Alberobello, Matera, Lecce and then on to Savelletri di Fasano on the coast. Here is a link to Pompeii. See you next time!

In case you missed my Amalfi Coast series here is a link to the first of that 5 part series: The Ultimate Guide to the Amalfi Coast

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