The heel of Italy is a land of both magic and misconceptions. Puglia may conjour up images of an undevelopped rural deep south, but no other region in Italy has moved forwards in terms of politics, infrastucture and tourism in the last decade.
In terms of getting there: there is now plenty of choice for flights to and from Puglia, not only from the UK but within Italy and Europe. Direct flights from the UK remain to Bari and Brindisi from Stansted with Ryanair, and to Bari from Gatwick with British Airways, but there is an increasing range of attractive indirect options, especially from regional airports.
Overview of the region
Puglia, the ancient Apulia, forms the heel of Italy's boot, and stretches about 300 kilometers from north to south. The lengthy coastline stretches down the Adriatic and round to the Gulf of Taranto in the Ionian Sea.
Puglia's sandy beaches have long made it an attractive holiday destination for northern Italians, but it remains largely unspoilt.
The south is characterised by a rich but thirsty farmland given over mostly to olives, vines, cherries and almonds. The central area includes the "Murge", areas of limestone heathland often punctuated by steep and dramatic ravines.
Put simply, Puglia remains one of Italy's best-kept secrets.
Puglia enjoys the Mediterranean climate, and has a wealth of natural, historical and cultural features to explore.
The Salentine Peninsula
Almost all the Salentine peninsula is now easily accessible, within an hour's drive from Brindisi airport. The province of Lecce has a great deal to attract visitor: a mix of villas by the sea and rural properties including masserias - ancient farm estates.
Ostuni is a vision of white, among the green olive groves and the intense azure of the sea. The center of the town is the gothic cathedral on the top of the town's hill, and from here, the town extends down through winding narrow streets of white, irregular houses.
The coastland around the town is characterised by endless intets and beaches, crystal waters, and a mix of pure sandy beaches and rocky inlets.
Monopoli, also known as the City of one hundred districts. This was origianlly a fishing village, with several very picturesque beaches. In comparison to the western side of Italy it retains its Italian old town feel and is relatively untouched by tourism. Like so many towns on the Adriatic, Monopoli's history has been thoroughly influenced by its east-facing position and its fortified sea-front walls and castle tell many a story.
Otranto is certainly one of Puglia's most charming towns and is well worth a visit. The imposing castle, thick perimeter walls and robust towers (built after the town was liberated from the Turks in the late 15th century) dominate much of the town, giving way to a small port, a series of sea-front promenades with excellent fish restaurants and the town's very own beautiful white sandy beach and turquoise waters... The delightful Romanesque cathedral, dating back to 1088 and boasting extensive 12th century floor mosaics, is another highlight that should not be missed.
"Beautiful city" - that's what Gallipoli means, and the town certainly lives up to its name! Situated on the west, Ionian coast of Puglia's Salento peninsula, our Gallipoli may not be as famous as its Turkish namesake, site of the disastrous 1st World War battle, but its history is long and varied, its historic centre a delight and the beaches which flank it superb.
The old town centre sits on a tiny island connected to the mainland by a 17th century bridge. It is almost completely surrounded by defensive walls, built mainly in the 14th century. The island heart of Gallipoli is home to numerous impressive Baroque churches and aristocratic palazzi, testament to the town's former wealth as a trading port. A labyrinthine weave of narrow streets all eventually lead to the broader sea-front promenade with its wonderful views.
In the summer months cafes, bars and restaurants proliferate onto the pavements making for an extremely pleasant atmosphere, while the beach, La Spiaggia della Purita, is an attraction in its own right. An evening passeggiata (pre-prandial stroll) around the walls, looking out to sea, is a great way to prepare for a fresh fish dinner. The coastline north and south of Gallipoli is formed by a series of long sandy beaches and transparent waters that have long been attracting sea lovers.
For all of the above reasons - for the almost guaranteed good weather in the summer, for the easy access, the interesting towns and stunning locations Puglia is a great option for a wedding. Here are a couple of locations we offer for your event: