by Isabella Perkins
Italy’s Puglia region is occasionally overshadowed by Tuscany and Campania, but with its gorgeous buildings, beautiful coastlines, fine cuisine and hilltop towns, holidays in the region are as memorable as they are enjoyable. To help get your trip on the go, here are a few of the best places to stay in Puglia, Italy.
Many people visiting Puglia will put Bari at the top of their lists of potential places to stay. Yet look a little further afield and you’ll soon discover other hidden gems, like Noci. The city is within driving distance from Bari and still captures Puglia’s beauty, without being at the centre of a throng of tourists.
It was built during the Norman era and comprises quaint cathedrals, white-topped houses and no shortage of gorgeous Italian viewpoints. Once you’ve explored, take the time to drive into Bari, Puglia’s capital. The port city is known for its young population, lively atmosphere and housing some of the remains of Saint Nicholas (aka Father Christmas) in its beautiful Basilica di San Nicola.
Wander through museums, galleries and shopping districts, then enjoy fresh fish, seafood, excellent olive oils and vegetable salads like nowhere else on earth. The Mercadante Forest, a popular spot for hiking and cycling, is located close to Noci. Head here to get to know Puglia’s rural side. Once you’ve done so, relax by the pool of your plush self-catering villa before planning your next trip out.
Image by Kars Alfrink, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)
This Italian commune is situated in the province of Apulia and is known for its nearby nature reserves, enthralling architecture and, of course, sumptuous wine bars. It’s also within travelling distance of the city of Altamura, which sits perched on Puglia’s hilly Murge plateau and makes for an excellent day out.
The city dates back to the Bronze Age and boasts a Romanesque cathedral, a fascinating archaeological museum and the nearby Lamalunga Cave, where a 130,000-year-old calcified skeleton was found in 1993.
A huge draw for foodies, however, is Altamura’s world-famous bread, which is sold across wider Italy, too. Pane di Altamura is made from durum flour and is renowned for its thick crust. It’s best enjoyed dipped in some local olive oil.
Image by Andrea Passoni, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)
There isn’t anywhere quite like Alberobello, so if you’re seeking a one-of-a-kind getaway then look no further. Situated 35 miles southeast of Bari, this hilly town is famous for its trulli, stone huts with distinctive conical roofs bearing daubs of white paint.
In Alberobello the trulli are divided between two areas – the quiet, residential Aia Piccola area, and the more touristy Rione Monti area, where you can visit shops and a museum dedicated to these unique buildings. It’s best visited during the summer months, when the music festivals and balmy weather make it an even dreamier destination.
Regardless of where you stay, holidays in Puglia open you up to a whole horde of attractions. Stay in one of the busier areas and enjoy top-tier sites on your doorstep, or unwind away from the hustle and bustle while taking in scenic Italian delights.
Browse Villa Plus accommodation in Puglia and take the first steps to a holiday you’ll never forget.
Isabella Perkins is a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.