Known as the “heel of Italy’s boot”, Puglia features amazing destinations that highlight the region’s rustic countryside and beautiful coastline, bathing in the azure waters of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. A Puglia tour could include baroque architecture, fairytale cottages, trulli dwellings, olive groves and plenty of sunshine.
- Visit Alberobello and experience traditional trulli culture. This UNESCO site looks like a white-washed hobbit village. Alberobello is also known for its lemon liqueurs as well as a selection of great restaurants.
- Visit Galatina for the frescoes found in the Basilica di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria.
- Have local crafters custom make you a pair of sandals in Ostuni. If you visit on a Saturday you will be able to buy crafts and fresh produce at the market.
- Take a dip in the rustic, rock-beach swimming coves and hidden grottos like the Grotta Verde in the town of Andrano.
- Visit Martina Franca to see the frescoes in the Palazzo Ducale and the baroque architecture of the Chiesa di San Martino.
- Join the locals for a drink in one of the open-air bars in the piazza.
- Visit the churches in Lecce, which is home to more than 40 churches and lots of baroque art. It has even been called the “Florence of the south”.
- Join in the celebration of festa di paese, a village festival Salentine Peninsula where men with tambourines and accordions play while women sing and locals perform an Italian folk dance called tarantella.
- Most of the swimming coves are rustic and don’t feature many services, so make sure to bring your own towel and umbrella.
- Puglia travel can be tricky. Trains and buses are widely available but will take up too much time if you want to see all of Puglia. Rent a car if you want to explore all the small coves and quaint little villages.
- Beware that many of the beaches are not accessible without paying a fee or are private beaches called lidos. It takes some planning, but you can find several free beaches in Puglia like Alimini Beach.
- Stay in a cone-shaped dwelling called a trulli. They can be found all over the Puglian landscape but the trulli-heavy spot has to be Alberobello.
- Avoid taking your Puglia holiday in August because the area will be full of noisy kids on school holiday. For a trip with fewer crowds and cheaper prices, plan your visit for June or September.
- Even though tipping isn't expected in local areas, there's no escaping the coperto! If a restaurant charges a servizio, that's a tip. The coperto is not a tip, but a charge for bread, tablecloth, and silverware.
- Look for restaurants that don’t have English menus in plain sight and you will dine like the locals.
The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has a wealth of amazing coastal paths, incredible beaches, awe-inspiring archeological sites and fantastic cuisine. A trip to Sicily also offers travelers a glimpse into a diverse culture that dates back to ancient times. Visit majestic cathedrals, ancient Greek ruins, small painted churches, stunning vineyards and more to get inspired on your Sicilian vacation.