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Five Essential Reasons to visit Puglia in 2019

Puglia, also called Apulia and pronounced poo-lee-yah, is the region in the spur or heel of the Italian boot. It has a hot, dry landscape more like Greece than the green hills of Tuscany. Even the whitewashed towns are reminiscent of Greece.

It is considered a poorer area where old peasant traditions are still very much alive. This contributes to the easy, simple way of life you will find in Puglia.

1. Amazing food

Puglia is one of Europe’s great agricultural areas with huge plains, rolling hills and a vast coastline. The bulk of Italy’s wine comes from here. Olive oil and durum wheat (used for making pasta) are also plentiful in this region. And then, there is the abundant supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s a veritable hot-house of tomatoes, eggplant, artichokes, peppers, figs, citrus, melons and almonds.

The food is strong, simple and quite different from other parts of Italy. There are more types of pasta here than anywhere else in Italy. It is also famous for its amazing bread.

The seafood is spectacular and they have a tip-to-tail philosophy when it comes to meat, mostly lamb, so if offal is your thing then this is the place for you.

Join us on The Active Gourmet Puglia Tour and learn to cook like the locals.

2. Friendly people

Puglia has been attacked, raided and conquered by the Greeks, Romans, Goths, Lombards, Byzantines Normans and Germans. Despite this, their friendly, welcoming nature still prevails. Maybe it is a combination of the sea, sun, good food and wine that makes them so laid back and yet willing to help.

On our last tour, the owner of our Masseria (Puglia’s version of an old, usually restored, farmhouse) found a traditional band to entertain us. He also roped in some locals to talk about the local food and traditions.

3. Stunning landscape – especially the ancient olive trees

There are over 50 million olive trees in Puglia and many of them are thought to be over 2000 years old. They give you the feeling that they are sentient beings guarding the land around them.

Beautiful whitewashed villages dot the hills that stretch out along the coast. A good way to see them is to take advantage of the great cycling in the area.

Another highlight is the Forest of Umbra. It is a 1000-hectare park of ancient pines, oaks and beech, reminders of how wooded Puglia once was. On The Active Gourmet Puglia Tour you can walk through this ancient forest.

4. Superb coastline

There is over 800km of coastline in Puglia. It feels like you can reach in and pluck fish straight from the sea. You’ll find some coastal towns perched on clifftops above the sea. Others lie along the clean and uncrowded white sand beaches and crystal clear water.

Take a relaxing boat tour to visit some beaches which can only be reached by sea. Also visit the sea caves which you will discover are another highlight.

5. Sun

The sun is an integral part of the success of Puglia. The Mediterranean climate is warm all year round. This provides the amazing food and ripe grapes for the highly regarded Puglian wines – as well as the sunny nature of the locals.

Do you feel like soaking up the sun, savouring the food and enjoying the varied landscape of Puglia?

Join us on The Active Gourmet Essential Puglia Tour Monday 20 May to Saturday 01 June, 2019

Call us on 0800 023 663 or email Gail at

For information on our other 2019 tours click here.

For help with making your holiday plans or getting to an event click here.

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