Visiting Italy? Why You Need to Add Apulia to Your Bucket List

September 28, 2015,

“Everything you can imagine, nature has already created it.” – Albert Einstein

When Albert Einstein said that, I’m pretty sure he was talking about Italy. If you’ve been to Italy (or dream of visiting Italy), it’s likely you’ve been to the likes of Rome, the Vatican, Florence and Venice. These are the spots where most tourists spend the bulk of their time while visiting Italy and with all of the history, art, culture and romance, who can blame us?!

Italy is a relatively small country but it is chock-full of ancient ruins, modern cities, scenic old towns, beaches, mountains and green land, art, culture and is world-renowned for fashion and food. Apulia (Puglia in Italian) is one of the lesser-known and less visited regions in Italy – it’s a best-kept secret. Located in the southern tip of Italy (the heel part of the boot), Puglia should be on your bucket list.

Why You Need To Add Apulia To Your Bucket List

Apuglia: Alta Murgia National Park / Photo by Cosmo Andriani                                                                                                                                Photo by Cosmo Andriani (via Parco Alta Murgia)
Alta Murgia National Park
One of Apulia’s national parks, Alta Murgia spans across two of its six provinces, Bari and Barletta. In the parks 680,770 square meters you will find unique flora and vegetationreptiles and an endangered bird species, beautiful valleys but also caves and grottos. Another national park that might be of interest is the Gargano National Park


Alberobello and Its Trulli: Apulia / Photo by                                                                                                                               Photo by
Alberobello and Its Trulli
A UNESCO World Heritage Site (one of 50 in Italy), the Trulli of Alberobello are housed in the provinces of Barletta, Bari and Taranto. Built in the 15th century by Ottoman Turks (who attempted to invade Italy but defeated, stayed in Italy to become part of the army), the Trulli are truly (see what I did there?) a sight to see.


Matera in Apulia / Photo by                                                                                                                               Photo by
The City of Matera
Okay, so Matera isn’t technically in Apulia but it is located right next door, in the region of Basilicata. While in Apulia, take a quick drive to the neighbouring Basilicata and visit another one of Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the historical centre of Matera called “The Sassi” . The city of Matera was literally built inside a mountain, with stacked homes made of local rock.
Fun fact: Matera was the site for the 2004 film, “The Passion of the Christ”.


Lecce in Apulia / Photo by thethinkingtraveller                                                                                                               Photo by The Thinking Traveller 
The City of Lecce
Florence or Lecce? It’s hard to tell – what with its varying shades of yellow, Baroque architecture and richness in art and culture, Lecce is often referred to as “the Florence of the South. The historic city of Lecce is located in the province of Lecce (the repetitive naming of province and city is often done in Italy). There is no shortage of things to do, see and eat in Lecce. This brings us to our next (and last) point.


Olive Trees in Apulia / Photo by The Thinking Traveller                                                                                                              Photo by The Thinking Traveller
Olive trees (i.e. fresh olive oil)
Anyone who has been to Italy knows that there is something special about fresh, Italian olive oil – use it for cooking or simply pour it over warm, fresh bread as an antipasto (even if dipping bread in oil is apparently against the Italian Food Rules). The Thinking Traveller tells us that there are between 50 and 60 million olive trees in Puglia. Can you imagine all of the other natural riches Puglia has to offer? I, for one, can’t wait to find out for myself in November! 


Happiest When Exploring wants to hear from you!
Have you been to Apulia? What’s on your Italian bucket list?Why You Need yo Add Apulia to Your Bucket List // at

Featured image by Cosmo Andriani via Parc Alta Murgia

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  • Reply Ilena September 28, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I didn’t know it wasn’t cool to dip your bread in olive oil! I can understand why though…but it’s soooo goooood!

    My mother tells me that when she was a little girl growing up in wartime and post-war Southern Italy dessert was a slice of dry bread sprinkled with water, oil and a little bit of sugar. Pure heaven!

    I’m looking forward to your posts in November when you will be in Apulia. Ilena C.

  • Reply Celia September 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Puglia has been on my list for the longest time! I truly can’t wait to go there some day:)
    Ps: Love that you bring in other’s blogs/articles.

    • Reply Happiest When Exploring September 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      You always know about the best, hidden spots!
      & thanks for the PS!

  • Reply Italy Undiscovered: A Week in Puglia February 20, 2016 at 2:48 am

    […] couple of months ago, I wrote a sort-of bucket list post to visiting Apulia (Puglia in Italian). Now, having returned from Italy and Puglia in December, I thought it was time […]

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