Puglia: The Hidden Gems of Italy’s Heel

  • Trulli of Alberobello: Puglia is famous for its trulli, traditional dry stone huts with conical roofs. Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the best place to see these unique structures. Built without mortar, the trulli date back to the 14th century and were cleverly designed to be dismantled quickly to avoid taxes.
puglia italy trulli

  • Castel del Monte: This 13th-century castle, built by Emperor Frederick II, is renowned for its unique octagonal shape and geometric design. Castel del Monte blends elements of Gothic, Islamic, and classical architecture, reflecting Frederick’s eclectic interests and advanced understanding of engineering and aesthetics.
  • Ancient Olive Groves: Puglia is home to some of the oldest olive trees in the world, many of which are over 1,000 years old. These ancient groves produce some of Italy’s finest olive oil, and the trees themselves are considered natural monuments, bearing witness to the region’s long agricultural history.
olive grove

  • The Caves of Matera: Although technically part of the neighboring region of Basilicata, Matera’s cave dwellings, or “sassi,” extend into Puglia’s cultural influence. These ancient cave homes, inhabited since the Paleolithic era, showcase a remarkable example of prehistoric settlement and urbanization.
  • Roman and Greek Ruins: Puglia boasts a wealth of ancient ruins from its time under Roman and Greek rule. Sites like the Roman amphitheater in Lecce and the ancient Greek city of Egnazia offer glimpses into the region’s rich classical past, with well-preserved artifacts and structures.
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