The castle and town of Acaya represent an extraordinary example of the work of an important architectural engineer, a master royal engineer to Carlo V, Gian Giacome dell’Acaya. The castle is a tangible testimony to feudal power, contributing to the history of this population, one of great but dignified poverty.
Castel del Monte was built by Frederick II in about 1240. Because of his intelligence and learning Frederick was known as the “stupor mundi”, the wonder of the world. Some believe that the castle was built as a hunting residence but Frederick never visited it and it’s true purpose remains a mystery. The castle does not have the defences required to make it a fortress, neither does it have the basic amenities to make it a royal hunting lodge.
Within easy reach of both our Puglia villas one of the most famous Puglia attractions are the celebrated Castellana Grotto. They were discovered by speloeologist Franco Anelli in 1938. The Grotto should be on list of Puglia attractions to visit. A day out to this fascinating Puglia attraction makes a change from relaxing by the pool or on the beach.
A visit to the Church of Santa Maria di Cerrate is something not to be missed. This old church is located in the isolated countryside between Casalabate and Surbo, among vineyards and centuries old twisted olive trees. It’s one of the best examples of Ramanic architecture in Puglia, dating back to the 12th century. The inside is frescoed with beautiful byzantine paintings.
Opened in 1989, “Splash!” claims to be the most famous water and amusement park and a major success on the Pugliese coast – “one of the best amusement parks on the peninsula”. Boasting 78,000 square metres set in natural surroundings, you will find water amusements and swimming pools of various shapes and depth, together with many other attractions.
For us the Zoo Safari was the absolute highlight of the day! As you start to drive around the wild life park you can keep the car windows open. Entrances to the dangerous animal ahead are secured and you close the windows before entering each secure area.
Continuing our explorations of the Salento region in Puglia, we visit Parco Selvaggio and Santa Maria al Bagno. Delightful nature park, crowded beaches and a great lunch.
IThe first time we visited Puglia we drove through the outskirts of Lecce, the traffic was heavy and there was no apparent regard for any highway code! Our impressions of Lecce on that occasion were not good and we struck it off our list of places to visit. It wasn’t until we arranged to look at property in August 2005 that we took a second look at Lecce, and discovered what we had been missing.
Savelletri is a pretty little Puglia seaside resort, located close to the town of Fasano in the region of Brindisi.Savelletri does have a winter population which expands greatly in the summer when second home owners and tourists arrive. Locally many people from Fasano, Bari and Martina Franca have second homes in Savelletri but foreign tourists are now discovering this picture perfect seaside town.
A dramatic opening on a limestone cliff, towering above the crystal clear waters of the Ionian sea, leads to the Grotto Zinzulusa
Alberobello is famous for it’s trulli. Alberobello has over 1500 of these unusual whitewashed limestone dwellings, which stand out dramatically against the deep blue sky and create a beautiful, exotic village. The strange looking houses with conical roofs, called a trullo (trulli in the plural), are white washed every year and gleam in the sun against a bright blue sky. Many are painted with both Christian and pagan symbols.