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Europe > Italy > Southern Italy > Apulia


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Apulia (Italian: Puglia) is a region of Southern Italy. It has 4 million inhabitants and is the easternmost region of the country, reaching a distance of only 72 km (45 miles) from Cape Otranto in the coasts of Albania.


The region is divided into six provinces:

  Metropolitan City of Bari (BA)
The famous "Trulli" of Alberobello, pictoresque old town of the capital with its vibrant nightlife, characteristic old ports.
  Barletta-Andria-Trani (BT)
The majestic Castel del Monte, enchanting old towns on the Adriatic sea rich of churches and castles.
  Brindisi (BR)
The "white town" of Ostuni, inland towns rich of interesting architectures, Brindisi port with ferries to Albania and Greece.
  Foggia (FG)
Gargano National Park with Tremiti islands, small medieval villages on the Apennines and relevant religious sites and itinenaries.
  Lecce (LE)
The impressive Baroque architectures of Lecce, small towns rich of festivals and tradictions, wonderful beaches and caves to explore, expenses of olive trees.
  Taranto (TA)
Historic centre and museums of Taranto, Messapian and Greek archaeological sites and many beach resorts.


Night view of Piazza Duomo in Lecce
  • 1 Bari — (capital) the largest city on the Adriatic Sea with an enchanting old town, Romanesque churches and many elegant buildings
  • 2 Altamura — in the Alta Murgia National Park, famous for its Romanesque cathedral, prehistoric sites and its typical bread
  • 3 Brindisi — elegant seafront on the Adriatic Sea, Roman age remains and two castles situated in front of the sea
  • 4 Foggia — main centre of the plain of Tavoliere delle Puglie (Table of the Apulias), ancient Swabian imperial town
  • 5 Lecce — called the "Florence of the South" for its magnificent baroque churches and buildings, it also has Roman theater and amphitheater
  • 6 Martina Franca — main centre of Itria Valley with an old town characterised by typical white houses
  • 7 Monopoli — beautiful medieval port town on the Adriatic coast
  • 8 Ostuni — magic locality known as the "white town" for the color of its historical centre's houses
  • 9 Taranto — ancient Greek city with a relevant National Archaeological Museum (MArTA) and many sights of different ages

Other destinations[edit]

Castel del Monte
  • 1 Alberobello — (literally "beautiful tree"), magic village known in the world for its famous "trulli" (UNESCO World Heritage)
  • 2 Andria — with the medieval fortress of Castel del Monte, built by Emperor Frederick II (UNESCO World Heritage)
  • 3 Gallipoli — (meaning "beautiful city"), a fascinating old town situated on an island and sandy beach resorts
  • 4 Monte Sant'Angelo — characteristic village situated on the Gargano promontory, with the Longobard Sanctuary of San Michele (UNESCO World Heritage)
  • 5 Otranto — the easternmost town of Italy and one of its most beautiful villages
  • 6 Specchia — one of Italy's most beautiful villages, in the heart of Salento
  • 7 Tremiti Islands — stunning archipelago in the Adriatic Sea


Apulia is sometimes referred to as "the heel of Italy", in reference to the country's boot-like shape.


The castle of Corigliano d'Otranto (Choriàna) where Griko language is still spoken

In the central-northern area of Apulia people speak local varieties of the Neapolitan language. In Salento, the Salentino (Salentìnu) dialect of the Sicilian language is spoken. Neither of these are officially recognised languages, so visitors will not find any bilingual sign, though some restaurants and diners have names in these languages. Trying to understand the speech of local people, especially the elderly ones, may be fun and will give you the possibility to fully appreciate the identity of this region.

The Italian Constitution recognises three linguistic minorities in the region: Griko (a variant of Greek language) spoken by 10,000 people in nine towns south of Lecce; Arbëresh (Albanian) in three towns; and Franco-Provençal, which is spoken by less than 1,000 people in two small villages near Foggia. Each of these languages is the result of medieval settlements and are now used by municipalities only for local events or tourist brochures.

Italian is the only language you will find useful to know for easily discovering Apulia, especially since the knowledge of English is frequently a bit inadequate.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Bari Palese international airport has flights to international destinations including the UK, Belgium and Germany and flights to Italian destinations including Milan and Rome.

From Brindisi Airport, there are flights to Switzerland and the UK as well as Italian destinations.

From the UK, Ryanair flies to Bari and Brindisi from Stansted in London and Manchester.

British Airways also flies to Bari with a summer schedule.

By train[edit]

Train from Rome can take about 6 hours and is usually very packed. Don't forget to validate your ticket!

By car[edit]

The region is served by two "autostrade" (toll motorways):

  • Autostrada A14 Italia.svgAdriatic Motorway, links Bologna to Taranto passing through the major towns of northern and central Apulia
  • Autostrada A16 Italia.svgMotorway of the Two Seas, links Naples to Canosa passing through the Apennines

For more info you can check the site of Autostrade per l'Italia.

By bus[edit]

Autolinee Marino is a bus company who offers efficient and affordable links from the mayor cities of Apulia to different destinations in Italy and Europe, such as Frankfurt, Grenoble, Lyon, Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich and others.

Miccolis lines provide connections from many towns of the region to Basilicata and Campania. This company also performs useful urban and intercity services.

By boat[edit]

There are many ferry companies providing service several times daily from Greece (Cephalonia, Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Zante) to Bari and Brindisi.

Get around[edit]

By rail[edit]

Ferrovie del sud est offers train and bus service in the region.

By car[edit]

Strade statali (trunk roads) can be used for reaching internal destinations or the surrounding regions:

  • Strada Statale 7 Italia.svgVia Appia, links Taranto to Brindisi
  • Strada Statale 7ter Italia.svgSalentina, links Taranto to Lecce
  • Strada Statale 16 Italia.svgAdriatica, links the Gargano area to Otranto
  • SS Bari-Lecce — a useful divided highway to reach the Salento area from the regional capital
  • Strada Statale 101 Italia.svgSalentina di Gallipoli, links Lecce to Gallipoli
  • Strada Statale 106 Italia.svgJonica, links Reggio di Calabria to Taranto along the Ionic coast
  • Strada Statale 172 Italia.svgdei Trulli, links Casamassima to Taranto through the Itria Valley and the towns of Alberobello and Locorotondo
  • Strada Statale 274 Italia.svgSalentina Meridionale, links Gallipoli to the southernmost tip of Apulia


There are many things worth seeing in Puglia, especially the Trulli in Alberobello and other places, Trani, the old town in Bari, and the beaches of Monopoli.

Other popular tourist sights are the Castellana Grotte, the Castel del Monte, the castle of Frederick II, Polignano a Mare, Ascoli Satriano, Conversano, Martina Franca, and Ostuni, the "white city".

Santa Maria al Bagno is a small fishing village, district of Nardò, on the coastline of the Gulf of Taranto, on the west coast of the Ionian Sea. It has beautiful unspoilt beaches all along the coast. Santa Maria al Bagno is approximately 45 min travelling time by car from Brindisi and 1h 30 min from Bari. There are several food shops in the village, restaurants, pubs, bars open in summer 24h a day, a chemist, a post office, newsagent shops and a weekly market every Sunday. Lots of large supermarkets, shopping centres and fashion boutiques are in the town nearby such as Nardò, Galatina, Gallipoli and Lecce.


Take a bike tour along the coast. Apulia has an extensive network of small country lanes making it ideal for biking.


Notte della Taranta final concert in Melpignano

Some annual events are really not to be missed, the most relevant ones are:

  • Notte della Taranta (Night of Tarantula), +39 0836 439008, e-mail: . A large itinerant festival of popular Salento music (Pizzica and Taranta) that takes place in the first half of August, culminating in a final open-air concert in the municipality of Melpignano, province of Lecce. The night of the great concert (concertone) has each year a different national-famous music director and involves more than 100.000 spectators. Notte della Taranta on Wikipedia Notte della Taranta (Q1847655) on Wikidata

A large number of minor local festivals (sagre) take place in every area of the region, especially during the summer season, representing a truly immersive way to discover local food and music.



There are a number of lovely places to eat in Casalini near Cisternino, which are reasonably priced compared to the tourist city of Ostuni. These are la terraza del Quadrafoglio, La Piazzetta, and Locanda.



Stay safe[edit]

The region is definitely a safe place to visit. Pickpocketing can be a minor risk in cities such Bari, Foggia and Taranto.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Apulia is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!