Walking on Sunshine

Not only the name of the recent romcom movie but a very apt description of Puglia, the beautiful region of Italy where it was filmed

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For those who don’t know, Puglia is the area of Italy which forms the heel of the boot. Facing south and east towards Greece and beyond it was the natural departure point for the Romans on their adventures and evidence of this history remains to this day as do the remnants of other cultures.

The region offers a unique mix of culture, architecture, food and wine, and natural beauty that is difficult to beat.

For culture lovers there are art galleries, museums and theatres offering world class exhibitions and performances. Architecture comes in all shapes and sizes, from fortified towers and castles to the ornate façades and mosaics of the the churches and cathedrals.

In Puglia, you don’t just get to look at the architecture you get an opportunities to stay in it. The traditional farmhouses and barns are know as Trulli. Their thick walls keep them warm in winter and cool in the hot summer months. With their distinctive conical roofs they make ideal rustic accommodation for travellers who want to get close to the traditions of the region.

The cuisine is created by nature itself, from the fruits of the sea to the wheat on the plains, and the olive trees and vineyards. You can even smell nature with citrus groves scenting the air with the aroma of Bionde oranges and Femminello lemons.

The many family run restaurants create dishes with seafood and the traditional pasta of orecchiette or ‘little ears’. No meal is complete without wine and the increasing quality of Puglian wine is exemplified by Negroamaro is a wine that is dark, but smooth and warm.

For nature and beach lovers there is the Umbra Forest at the ancient heart of the Gargano National Park full of ancient beeches, oaks and maple trees and an incredible variety of landscapes.

Along the 800 kilometres of coastline are some stunning beaches from secluded coves to sweeping bays of white sand..

Puglia is home to three UNESCO world heritage sites. Castel del Monte located in Bari Province was built by the Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century. The Trulli of Alberobello is an urban area near Bari with about 1500 Trulli which still function as houses, hotels and shops. Finally the Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches is a troglodyte settlement cut from rock.

Getting to Puglia from the UK is easy, there are regular direct flights into Bari and Brindisi. Carriers include British Airways, Ryanair and Easyjet.

So if you want a relaxing holiday packed with interesting sights and the comfort of good food in the evening then Puglia could be just your destination.

For more information go to www.weareinpuglia.it