10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Puglia
If Italy is a boot, then Puglia is its sunlit heel. With stunning architecture, unspoiled landscapes studded with citrus and olive trees, acres of verdant vineyards and beaches on the Adriatic, Puglia is one of Italy’s most treasured regions. Here are just 10 of the many reasons why you should visit.
From fresh, hand-rolled orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta) and the sweet, raw prawns from the coastal town of Gallipoli, to rich, creamy burrata and the olive oil-drenched focaccia made in Altamura (which has Denominazione di Origine Protetta status for its wonderful bread), you could easily visit Puglia just to eat.
The Olive Oil
Known as “liquid gold”, olive oil is big business in Puglia—and truly lives up to its moniker. Forty per cent of Italy’s entire production comes from this region’s rolling, olive grove-swathed hills, with some trees dating back centuries.
Alongside its historic olive groves lie vineyards that produce fruity, full-bodied reds like Primitivo, Nero di Troia, and Negroamaro. Whether you go straight to the source and sample them at the numerous local wineries, or pick from a trattoria’s cellar, there’s plenty to delight the palate in Puglia, including a few notable whites that can withstand the fierce summers, like the aromatic Fiano Minutolo or the creamy Bianco d’Alessano. Salute!
The Hilltop Towns
Perched atop hills, with views over the verdant landscapes and out to the glittering expanse of the Mediterranean beyond, Puglia’s città bianche, or white towns such as Ostuni, Martina Franca, and Locorotondo are a must-visit. Iconic with their whitewashed, sun-bleached buildings, each has something unique to discover.
25km from Masseria Torre Maizza
The trulli—low, white-stone buildings with conical roofs—are some of the most iconic and special sights in Puglia, with many dating back to the Middle Ages. Alberobello, one of the città bianche, is undoubtedly the best place to explore and experience the trulli. A UNESCO World Heritage site, there are over a thousand of them scattered out across the hillside.
The Baroque Architecture
97km from Masseria Torre Maizza
One of the artistic centres of Puglia, Lecce is lovingly known as the “Florence of the South” for its beautiful Baroque architecture. The Basilica di Santa Croce is stunning inside and out, while the cathedral from Lecce’s famous 17th century architect, Giuseppe Zimbalo, has breathtaking façades.
60km from Masseria Torre Maizza
From one spectacular city to another: Bari is not just the capital of Puglia, but also a port city right on the Adriatic, offering beautiful views whichever way you look. Visit for the historic pilgrimage site of the 11th century Basilica di San Nicola and the chance to sample the local cucina barese as you sightsee, from crunchy sgagliozze to freshly baked panzerotti.
With glittering turquoise water, soft sand and unspoiled landscapes, there are few coastlines more beautiful than Puglia’s. Head to Torre Guaceto for snorkelling and scuba diving or stay close to home and wander down to the beach near Torre Maizza for gorgeous views and crystal-clear waters.
The Gargano Peninsula
178km from Masseria Torre Maizza
Ideal for a day trip, the Gargano Peninsula offers a wealth of sights and experiences, including wildlife-spotting in the Gargano National Park, freshly caught fish served grilled in one of the coastal villages, historic sightseeing in medieval towns and sunbathing on the many beautiful beaches.
Masserias are traditional Puglian farmhouses or country houses on rural estates. With many, like Masseria Torre Maizza, dating back to the 16th century, there’s ample opportunity to live—not just see—local history.
To experience traditional Puglian living, with luxurious Rocco Forte service and style, book your stay at Masseria Torre Maizza.
Alberobello Trulli Viaggiareinpugliait Carlos Solito
Gargano Molinella Viaggiareinpugliai Vanda Biffani
Bari Jacek Sopotnicki iStock
Gargano Poike iStock
Lecce Anfiteatro Romano Viaggiareinpugliait Paolo Laku