Puglia is an enchanting region, with something to offer all year round: natural beauty, history, ancient traditions, taste and spirituality.
Its geography is unique: a long coastline and level plains but also brief tracts of wild mountainside covered with thick forest. Fields of wheat and olive groves combine with orchards and rolling hills which contrast with dramatic cliffs and rocky slopes.
These same contrasts also apply to the history and culture.
Puglia is divided into Capitanata, Gargano, Terra di Bari, Murge, Valle d'Itria and Salento each a distinct area with a very different feel and each with their own history, culture and local cuisine.
Those seeking a seaside holiday with sun and unspoiled beaches will never be disappointed - options include: the "Pearls of the Gargano", Vieste, Peschici, and the "Jewel of the Salento", Gallipoli; between Santa Maria di Leuca, where the Ionian and the Adriatic seas meet, and Otranto or the Tremiti Islands. In addition the coast south of Bari has splendid sandy beaches, particularly Monopoli.
Natural beauty of another kind can be found at the spectacular Grotte di Castellana (Bari) and at the Zoo Safari di Fasano (Brindisi) the largest safari park in Italy, where giraffes, monkeys, zebras, tigers and lions live and roam freely.
On a more cultural note Alberobello home of the "Trulli" (ancient and characteristic stone dwellings built without mortar and with conical roofs) is unmissable. Salento home of the "Taranta" and of the "Pizzica" (rhythmic ritual dances which were believed to cure the bite of the poisonous tarantula).
The devout visitor will certainly want to visit San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia), associated with San Pio da Pietrelcina, to see the monastery of the Capucin monks, Santa Maria delle Grazie and the new church designed by Renzo Piano. In Bari the Basilica di San Nicola (Saint Nicholas) dating from 1087 houses the relics of the saint and is a popular destination.