Perceptions of Puglia

Steve Jack, 28 November, 2017
Steve Jack didn’t know what to expect from Puglia, when he headed off to Italy’s ‘heel’ with his wife Rachel recently...

Although I’d travelled to Italy many times before, I’d never ventured south of Rome, and although I knew it would be different, I wasn’t quite sure how, or why...

But what I discovered came as a wonderful surprise: a region that felt closer in many ways to its neighbours across the Adriatic (Croatia, Montenegro and Greece) than to Milan or Turin; and a proud local culture – with its roots in rural thrift, and eking out a living from both the land and sea – that seemed to sit well with the timelessness of the countryside. This seemed to chime perfectly with our Inntravel philosophy of Slow Travel: I found that I could allow the sleepy charms of the ‘Deep South’ to reveal themselves to me, without having to do very much at all.

Here I found a deeply rural landscape characterised by rich, red earth and carefully tended olive groves; an alluring coastline lapped by the deep-blue waters of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas; a simple-yet-mouthwatering cuisine, drawing from the fruits of the land and accompanied by robust and great-value red wines; and, delightfully symbolic of what’s so special about the region, Puglia’s wonderful masserie: Roman villa estates that have been lovingly converted into stylish and comfortable ‘farmhouse hotels’ – each quite unique, but united in their commitment to offering a warm welcome and authentic local produce in harmony with such beautiful natural surroundings.

In short, I fell in love with the area, and wondered why I’d taken so long to get there.

Related holidays

Pathways of Puglia
Walk from the tip of Italy’s ‘heel’ to its easternmost point, passing pristine coves and places to swim, and staying in hotels of character serving good food and wine.
More about our walking holiday in Puglia >

A Journey through Puglia
Our touring holiday by car enables you to discover the natural and man-made treasures of Italy’s ‘Deep South’ – a land of olive groves, picturesque coastal scenery and splendid Baroque architecture.
More about our journey through Puglia >

Pedalling through Puglia
This wonderful cycling holiday (one of our most popular) concentrates on Salento – the southernmost portion of Puglia and the very ‘heel’ of Italy – and takes you along stunning stretches of coastline and across a rustic and deeply atmospheric hinterland.
More about our cycling holiday in Salento (Puglia) >
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