Apulia is a place that hides many different souls, between nature, history, tradition, taste and spirituality, and is known for excellent gastronomy, great olive oils and wonderful red wines.
We start from Bari, the capital of the region Apulia and an important port on the Adriatic Sea.
Along the city walls in the old town Bari Vecchia we can admire the majestic Castle built by Frederick II of Swabia, the great Basilica of S. Nicholas a splendid example of Romanesque architecture, conserving the relics of the famous Saint, the Cathedral, second church in importance of the city, flanked by a high bell tower and built on previous ancient buildings.
The new city, commissioned by the French general Joachim Murat, is crossed by the main shopping streets, home to the famous Petruzzelli Theatre, opera house of Bari. After Bari, we visit Monte S. Angelo, UNESCO site since 2011 with the Sanctuary of S. Michael, important halt for the crusaders on the way to the Holy Land.
Explore the peninsula of Gargano, the “spur of the boot” in front of which opens the view of the beautiful Tremiti Islands and the charming town Vieste with its long, sany beaches and numerous sea cavities.
Another jewel of the Adriatic coast is Trani, with its Cathedral, an example of Apulian Romanesque architecture that combines, with harmony and elegance, styles of different eras and cultures.
Castel del Monte, the enigmatic “Crown of Apulia”, another UNESCO site, built by Frederick II of Swabia in the thirteenth century, dominates, with its massive octagonal structure, the small stretch of the western Murge.
Continue to Altamura, known above all for its PDO bread, perched on a highland plateau, with the towers of its Cathedral soaring towards the sky and later to Matera with its Sassi, an entire troglodyte city inhabited until the 1960s, a way of life that survived thousands of years.
Another important city is Taranto, founded as a florid Greek settlement of the Magna Graecia. An impressing part of this heritage is displayed in its National Museum.
A completely different aspect has the baroque city of Lecce, the “Florence of the South” and one of the most interesting cities of the region for its architectural features, typically seventeenth-century.
Otranto, surrounded by massive walls and dominated by the Castle built in the fifteenth century by Ferdinando I of Aragon and the mosaic paved Cathedral.
We can’t miss the lovely landscape of the Valle d’Itria, dotted with the characteristic Trulli houses, and Alberobello, which is undoubtedly the capital of the Trulli, a place really unique in the world.
Not far also the spectacular Castellana Caves with its evocative underground cavities and stalactites.