Puglia Property
Property in Puglia
Property Location Guide
Property Hotspots
Living in Puglia

An introduction to Puglia

Puglia - the Apulia of ancient times – is the jewel of the Mezzogiorno, the Italian south. Fought over and colonised by the Messapians, the Greeks, Romans, Normans and Spanish, it has passed through many hands in its turbulent history. Its culture and architecture demonstrate its importance as a crossroads of Mediterranean civilisations, Greek and Roman, East and West, Europe and Africa.

But until recently the “heel” of Italy has been off the beaten track for most British tourists. All this changed in 2004 with the introduction of Ryanair and British Airways flights to Bari and Brindisi. Now the choicest areas of the region are within easy reach of both international airports, and there will not be a better time to sample Puglia’s delights, or to find a home here.

Why come to Puglia? Well don’t come here if you just expect a warmer version of northern Italy. The landscape and culture is definitely Mediterranean, and this is reflected in the relaxed lifestyle, the agriculture and the architecture.What you will find is a wealth of small towns to explore, each with their individual character and history. Here you will find Conversano, a town built around a Norman cathedral, towns like Cisternino and Ostuni with a maze of whitewashed alleyways reminiscent of a Moorish kasbah or a Greek town. Martina Franca has an eighteenth century elegance, and Alberobello boasts World Heritage status as the capital of the trulli.

For cities Lecce is hard to beat. Dubbed the “Florence of the Baroque” this cultured city has a wealth of architecture on show, from a Roman theatre and amphitheatre to extravagantly decorated churches. The region’s capital, Bari, is also fascinating with a historical centre dominated by its evocative basilica devoted to the city’s patron saint St Nicholas (Santa Claus). The southern port of Taranto is full of south-Italian character.

A glory of Puglia is the length of its coastline, with many fine beaches on both the Adriatic and Ionian coasts. In some areas you will have to share the beaches with north Italians who come to enjoy the coasts in summer, but it is possible even in the height of summer to find small family beaches, or glorious sandy beaches backed by sand dunes, which avoid overcrowding.

Beach in Salento

Puglia produces a high proportion of Italy’s olive oil, wine and wheat for pasta, and coastal regions are devoted to market gardening. This rich agricultural production makes it a gastronomic delight. The wines are now gaining international recognition, especially the white wines of Locorotondo and the reds of the Salento region, many based on the delicious Primitivo grape. The olive oil is superb and there are many tasting opportunities for this as well as wine. The local markets are full of local produce in season - mostly organic, even if not officially declared as such - and vegetarians will have many feast days, with a mouth-watering variety of crops to savour, including many we do not even have a name for in Britain. The long coastline means fish and seafood lovers find a huge variety to tempt them.