Very few languages other than Italian are spoken in the South of Italy. In Puglia and in the Salento there are a lot of different dialects making understanding even more difficult. The elderly may well only speak their local dialect. The younger people will speak Italian as we know it and also some English. Don’t be put off. If you try a little Italian from your phrase book the locals will be very happy to help you.
If you want to take the opportunity to learn /improve your grasp of Italian while you are on holiday how about a lesson or two?
Private Italian language classes in your villa or at a location close by that you can easily reach. Your teacher will focus on your needs and teach you this lovely language in a very amusing and informal way. The classes are integrated with walks following the pattern of the daily Italian lifestyle: local street markets, cookery classes and more activities with locals speaking only Italian.