Sometimes known as Apulia, Puglia is also known as the ‘Heel of Italy. It is a land of lush Olive trees and vineyards growing in rich brown and red soils; a land of mild wet winters and hot dry summers, and of friendly, down to earth people, with ready smiles.Olives in October

Puglia’s history is a complex weave of colonisation, invasion and a continual struggle for independence and the Greeks, Romans, Turks, Saracens and Spanish have all laid claim to parts of Puglia through its history.

Puglia historically produced much of Italy’s pasta, and today it still produces over half of it's olive oil. Its rich fruity red wines, particularly those from its Salento region are also becoming popular.

Lunch is something to be enjoyed and lasts from between 1pm and 4:30pm. Most businesses and shops, except for restaurants of course, are actually closed during this period, so you need to take this into account when planning your day.Cisternino old town

The architecture of Puglia is at once simple, yet stunning and the old quarters provide many insights into the different civilisations that have influenced their architecture. Roman, Greco and Messapian features are often seen side by side and Cisternino is particularly pretty. From a distance, many of the towns appear as beautiful ‘walled’ villages. Many of the houses are painted white to reflect the hot summer sun and indeed Ostuni, located between Bari and Brindisi, is also known as the ‘White City’.

Puglia is the home of the Trulli, simple yet beautiful limestone dwellings with conical roofs, many dating back to the 15th century. Highly sought after by both local residents and well to do outsiders, they have almost a fairy tale quality about them. For more about Trulli please see our article Trulli - how did they come about?

Puglia, like mHerding Sheepuch of southern Italy, has in the past been considered a poor relation to the more northerly regions such as Tuscany. Its cuisine, the now delightful Trulli, and even the distinctive style of furniture, known as Arte Povera, all originate from the need to make do with little material wealth. Today however, the picture is very different and the many trendy stores and boutiques tucked away inside most towns and villages attest to the growing wealth of the region.

Today Puglia is flourishing, as improved transport links, its favourable climate, the beauty and unspoilt nature of it’s countryside and beaches, and its warm, inviting people make it a favourite destination for many discerning holiday makers.

This is a condensed version of the full Article on Puglia, its Culture and History. If you would like to read the full article, please click here.

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Trulli - how did they come about?

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Where to eat in Cisternino

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Things to do and Places to see in Puglia

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Where exactly is Puglia?!

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The Weather near Cisternino today - from the BBC

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