Puglia, the gorgeous region in southern Italy, is becoming quite popular among luxury travelers, thanks to its charming atmosphere and well preserved authenticity. Nestling between the Ionian and Adriatic seas, Puglia is also called ‘the heel of Italy’.
Noticeably, more and more people are interested in traveling to Puglia and eager to discover the special features that make this Italian region so unique. Mostly praised for its natural elegance and luxurious simplicity, Puglia is now considered a new exclusive travel destination. In this lovely region, life goes on at a relaxed pace, offering bountiful exclusive possibilities to live an indulgent and pampering holiday in Puglia.
Recently, more and more luxury travel magazine and eminent newspapers such as Huffington Post Travel, Condé Nast Traveller, The Guardian and The New York Times featured Puglia as the hidden gem that has to be visited before it becomes too famous among tourists.
Here are the top 5 reasons why Puglia is the perfect destination for any luxury traveller.
- Art and culture:
Most travelers consider sightseeing a significant part of their holiday, so art and culture enthusiasts will be thrilled to discover the countless beauties scattered all over fascinating Puglia.
When visiting Lecce, the baroque jewel of Puglia, it will become absolutely clear why it is called the ‘Florence of the South’, since its historical centre will simply leave anybody speechless by its splendour.
Alberobello, the city of fairy-tale trulli – homes built with dry stone walls and conic roofs – is an absolute must-see of Puglia for those who are after a truly authentic luxury holiday experience. Both the white city of Ostuni and the enchanting coastal town of Polignano a Mare are spectacular spots which every traveler will treasure in its soul for a long time.
To fully immerse into the fascinating world of the rich Pugliese culture, there are a myriad of captivating sites that are definitely worth visiting, such as the cathedral of Otranto, Castel del Monte in Andria, the basilica di Santa Caterina in Galatina and the Ionian sea pearl, Gallipoli.
- Food and wine of Puglia:
The exquisite food of Puglia and the vigorous Pugliese wines are two more elements that will make the Pugliese holidays so enjoyable. The authentic cuisine of Puglia, based on the Mediterranean diet, boasts a huge creativity and a vast choice of typical recipes. Foodies will love Orecchiette, a type of handmade pasta in the form of small ears. Ciceri and Tria is another traditional recipe of Puglia: it is long-shaped handmade pasta with chickpeas. Half of the pasta is traditionally boiled in the chickpeas cooking water and the other half is fried, giving this recipe a unique taste and texture.
The Puglia region offers also both fresh and seasoned cheese varieties: famous creamy burrata and valuable spicy Caciocavallo del Gargano are a must-try for all cheese lovers. Lying between two seas, Puglia naturally has an abundance of seafood, cooked using many traditional methods.
The favourite seafood appetizers of Puglia are fresh sea urchins, oysters, scampi, mussels and gamberi rossi (red shrimps), a type of shrimps typical of the crystal clear sea surrounding Gallipoli. Producing plenty of eminent DOC and DOCG wines, Puglia has an incredibly prosperous wine culture. Some of the most popular white grape varieties of Puglia are Chardonnay, Malvasia bianca, Verdeca and Sauvignon, while among the red grape varieties of Puglia it is worth to mention at least Malvasia nera, Merlot, Negroamaro and Primitivo di Manduria. Nowadays, wines of Puglia are associated with high quality and exceptional taste.
- Beautiful beaches:
Puglia is an ideal place to discover the natural beauty of Southern Italy. The Pugliese coast is the longest in Italy – more than 800 km long – washed by both the Ionian and Adriatic seas. The sea defines Puglia, not only because it is hardly ever more than 20 kilometres away, but also through the rocks forming its backbone.
The coastline of Puglia is known to be one of the most picturesque in Italy with amazing natural parks, white sandy beaches, rocky coastline with aquamarine waters and astonishing grottoes. The scenic promontory of Gargano, in the north of Puglia, offers a breathtaking view on rocky coves, high cliffs and crystalline sea. Beach lovers will feel in heaven on sandy beaches located in the south of Puglia like Pescoluse, Porto Cesareo, or Torre San Giovanni.
The marvellous beach in Torre San Giovanni, in particular, is going to become quite popular this summer, thanks to the UK romantic musical ‘Walking on Sunshine’. In fact, Torre San Giovanni is the glorious background for several scenes of the film starring the famous pop-star Leona Lewis. Divers from the whole world will be amazed by idillyc azure sea, picturesque sea bottom and marvelous grottoes like Grotta Zinzuluza near Castro, Grotta della Poesia in Roca Vecchia or Grotta Tre Porte close to Santa Maria di Leuca. With 10 Pugliese beaches awarded by Blue Flag eco-label in 2014 (for sustainable development of beaches and for water quality), Puglia takes pride in being an ecologically and family-friendly coastline.
- Luxury and authentic local services
Those who like to mix luxury and authenticity during a holiday will have a variety of Pugliese experiences to choose from. Extra virgin olive oil lovers will have a great time in Puglia, visiting the ancient underground olive mills, used to keep the oil temperature stable, and the modern olive mills, which supply around 40% of the Italian olive oil production. Extra virgin olive oil of Puglia is surely one of the best in the world, and it is definitively a pleasant and unique experience to have an olive oil tasting while visiting Puglia.
Wine enthusiasts can visit some of the most eminent Pugliese wineries and taste the bold red wine of Puglia, the fruit-flavoured rosé and delicious white wine of Puglia skilfully paired with some of the tastiest delicacies of Puglia cuisine. There is no better way to savour a good Pugliese wine than matching it with some typical local products! Foodie travellers can join gourmet Pugliese cooking lesson and learn how to cook a complete menu of traditional recipes of Puglia. Golf lovers will surely enjoy playing in the stunning Pugliese countryside or golfing surrounded by breathtaking sea views. The scenic golf courses of Puglia welcome players all year round thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate of the region. Romantic travellers will make their stay truly memorable experiencing a candle light dinner in a 16th century castle. The fabulous castle is located in a gorgeous area including vast vineyards, a wine cellar and a wine museum, where visitors will go through wine tasting paired with typical local appetizers. Fishing with professional local fishers, luxury cruises and many other amusing activities will make any luxury holiday in Puglia even more exceptional.
- Luxury accommodations in Masseria
Voyagers looking for an authentic luxury holiday have one more reason to visit Puglia: staying in a sophisticated masseria. What is a masseria? It is a typical ancient farmhouse of Puglia, often restored and converted into an amazing luxury villa with swimming pool and spacious garden. The mix of its rustic architectural style, elegant interiors and stylish furnishing results into a luxury holiday home with an opulent internal and external design.
Villa Amaranto in the south of Puglia is a perfect example of a typical luxury masseria for rent. Surrounded by endless vineyards and olive trees, this rural villa with a panoramic terrace, a stunning pool and a Mediterranean garden is ideal for a relaxing and indulgent holiday in the beautiful Pugliese nature. Magnificent Villa Mediterraneo is another embodiment of a typical rustic farmhouse of Puglia beautifully renovated into a lavish holiday villa.
Located close to the Adriatic Sea and near Otranto, the most eastern city of Puglia, this deluxe masseria boasts a large swimming pool, a fancy al fresco patio and a splendid garden of 20,000 square meters. This superb masseria, now converted into a luxury villa with exceptional first class facilities, allows its guests to fully relax and enjoy their holiday in the peaceful charming countryside of Puglia. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, lodging in a luxury masseria is the best way for a traveller to enjoy their stay in the authentic and alluring Puglia.
Countless historical masterpieces and an ageless culture, delicious food and eminent wines, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, plenty of luxury holiday services and superb accommodations in exclusive villas, who needs more reasons to visit Puglia? The Puglia region is the perfect luxury holiday destination for high-end travellers looking for a pampering and lavish holiday with immersive experiences and a perfect mix of adventures and chilling out.
Aria Luxury Apulia, a trading name of Aria Luxury Villas Ltd, is the tour organiser located in United Kingdom purely focused on Puglia, the gem of southern Italy. Aria Luxury Apulia is the expert in individually tailored luxury holiday in the region, thanks to an extraordinary depth and breadth of Pugliese expertise, including well established connections with some of the most experienced local suppliers. To find out more information about Aria Luxury Apulia, visit the website. www.arialuxuryapulia.com
Author: Kristina Fedorova