Discover Puglia

Puglia, the peninsula on the heel of the boot of Southern Italy, about as far south as you can go on the Italian main land. So much to see, so much to discover, explore, experience. Sights, smells, flavours.

Long a holiday destination for Italians and now fast becoming a favourite for visitors from throughout Europe and much further afield. Now you can discover the secrets of Puglia, this is your chance to experience Italian life as the Italians live it. If you crave the heat of the southern sun and the warmth of the southern Italians then this is the place for you.

But don’t expect noisy nightclubs, all day breakfasts, fish and chips or roast dinners. This is not Ibitha or Tenerife or other well know tourist hot spots. Neither is it the South of France. Sometimes shabby, somewhat down at heel in places, this is the real Italy. Here you will find acres of peaceful olive groves, sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, amazing architecture, years of history, restaurants from the simple trattoria to the more up-market masseria and excellent food and wine.

With so much to explore, here we have gathered together information about our beloved Puglia to help you plan and enjoy your vacation in la bella Puglia. From beaches up and down both coastlines, sleepy villages, historic centres of Puglia cities and towns, places of interest and much much more.


San Pietro Vernotico

One of our favourite places for a leisurely shopping trip, we can combine supermarket shopping with a stroll through the streets of San Pietro, stopping for a cappucino or a beer in one of the many cafe-bars. Unlike our other local towns, San Pietro does have a long street of shops. Start at one end as you enter San Pietro and stroll along the olive lined street. From designer clothes to jewellery, ceramic tiles and kitchens, newsagents, hardware shops, supermarket Crai, many cafe-bars and geletarias, hairdressers and barbers – something is sure to catch your eye.

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Although Squinzano is as close to our Puglia villas as Torchiarolo we had nver really explored it (except for visits to the Cantina). A guest entry in the Villa Rosa guest book mentioning Squinzano prompted me to say to friends that we did not really know Squinzano very well. Our friend Mino, the Puglia Chef, is originally from Squinzano and his wife Val offered to show us around.

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As we are located in the southern part of Puglia, the peninsula is narrow and there are many interesting places within an easy drive from all the villas. Manduria, in the province of Taranto and on the western side of the peninsula, is one just one of those.

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Santa Maria di Cerrate, Casalabate

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.

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Splash – Water Amusement Park

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.

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Zoo Safari and Amusement Park

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.

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Castro is a nice little seaside village with a harbour. It sits at the top of a hill and overlooking the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. Castro is named for the castle

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Campo di Mare

Campo di Mare has six bays enclosed by walls made of natural stone, making it safe for children and non swimmers. It has a long sandy beach with beach lidos, with sun beds and sun umbrellas, cafes and bars.

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