The heel region of Italy spreads over 19,300 km2, its long sandy coastline runs for around 800km and is bordered by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. With fishing and farming at its core this region is a foodie haven.
The Gargano uplands in the north-east, where beautiful Vieste and Tremiti Islands offer a blissful private boat escape.
The Valle D’Itria is quintessential Puglia with the Cittá Bianche – literally white towns - each on its own little hilltop rising up from the plain. Meander slowly around Cisternino, Martina Franca and amazing Alberobello which has approximately 1,400 beautifully preserved trulli in its maze of narrow streets.
South of Lecce, in the Salentine the landscape flattens and the sky opens out. All around are olive groves, wild beaches and clear seas, and old towns full of baroque buildings, such as Lecce, Gallipoli, Galatina and the gorgeous Otranto, with its stunning cathedral where the pavement is a huge mosaic representing the Tree of Life.
Escape the towns to traditional villages with their local food and festivals, where men play the tambourines and women sing the tarantella. Puglia presents a powerful fusion of European and moorish styles, traditional and sleek contemporary, countryside and coast.