In many respects, Puglia is the perfect honeymoon destination, offering not only some of Italy's loveliest beaches but also a sublime climate, a series of
|Puglia , Italy |
This less-travelled region in ‘the heel’ of Italy (that is more often used as a gateway to Greece, through the port of Brindisi) offers a stunning 800km-long coastline – overlooking the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the south.
The region is easily explored by hire car and the drive south from Otranto to Porto Badisco and beyond to the cape at Santa Maria di Leuca, returning via the west coast to Gallipoli, offers some of the region’s finest coastal views. On the drive you will enjoy a rugged shoreline scattered with ruined towers and indented with picture-perfect coves framed by steep bush-covered cliffs pounded by a deep blue sea.
Visit the Santuario di San Michele at Monte Sant’Angelo, one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage sites. Unwind at the whitewashed seaside town of Peschici, surrounded by wooded hillsides and facing a string of coves fringed by gorgeous white-sand beaches.
Supported by a history going back at least 2,500 years, modern-day Lecce is the main town on Puglia's Salento peninsula and a major draw for the area's tourism industry. Its 95,000 inhabitants haven't forgotten their roots, however, and the production and sale of olive oil, wine and ceramics continues to be the mainstay of the local economy.
Explore the graceful university town crammed with stunning baroque architecture. Among the town’s many churches, visit the celebrated and ornate Basilica di Santa Croce, which took more than 100 years to create, and the Chiesa di Sant’Irene, with its lavishly gilded alter.
Some Great Festivals and events in Puglia
La Settimana Santa - A series of robed processions following the statues of the Madonna and Jesus through the streets of town.
When: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday
La Focara per Sant’Antonio Abate - An enormous bonfire is lit to celebrate Sant’Antonio Abate. The townsfolk gather round, chat, eat and drink and when the fire dies out, everyone takes a handful of ashes home for good luck.
Where: Novoli - Lecce
Locus Festival - The 7th edition of this music festival is dedicated to Gil Scott Heron, who died earlier this year. Performers include Jazzanova and Dustin O'Halloran.
When: 15th July - 7th August
La Cavalcata di Sant'Oronzo - In celebration of the town’s Patron Saint, Sant’Oronzo. The saint’s statue is paraded around town with an escort of knights on horseback.
When: around 26th August
|Puglia , Italy |
Gusto Dopa al Sole - A four-day music festival featuring Shaggy, Africa Unite, Alborosie and Asian Dub Foundation.
When: 11th August - 14th August
Where: Masseria Torcito near Otranto
Eat And Drink During Your Puglia Honeymoon
Eat and drink your way through beautiful Puglia and visit its wonderful wine estates. The Puglia wine region is a beautiful area with breath taking views surrounded by old, traditional Italian towns. There are many wonderful places to enjoy the region's fabulous food as well as experience its world-renowned wine. This region boasts some of the most important vineyards
This essentially agricultural nature means that the region's cuisine is home-country inspired, predominantly using the abundant local produce such as durum wheat, tomatoes, artichokes, fava beans, rocket, courgettes, beans, fennel, peppers, onions, beef and lamb.
Puglia produces more wine and olive oil than any region of Italy and is the country’s third largest producer of organic foods. The food is delicious, rich and varied, based on fresh local vegetables, meat and seafood, pasta and cheeses, making it the ideal location to choose for your Italian cooking honeymoon.
Puglia's long coastline and fishing tradition bring large quantites of seafood to the table. Red mullet, anchovies, gilt-head bream, mussels, sea bass and cuttlefish are featured in many recipes and the many seafront restaurants in towns like Gallipoli, Otranto, Brindisi and Taranto serve up feasts of just-caught fish.
Porto Selvaggio - Don’t come here if you are after nightlife or fancy services. As the name implies (it means ‘wild harbour’ in Italian), Porto Selvaggio is wild place of sea, rocks, and the rustling sound of pine needles in the salty breeze.
The long, winding walk among pine trees and Mediterranean shrubs is well worth it, because in the end you are rewarded with a slice of crystalline sea lapping whimsical outcrops and flooding underwater caves. Rock, trees and water reign supreme in a caleidoscope of greens, golds and blues barely interrupted by the candour of a miniature sand beach.
Beware, though, that, despite the long walk required to reach it, Porto Selvaggio can get crowded in high summer. Also note that the water here is deep.
Porto Badisco - Arrive here early to snag your spot on this pocket of golden sand that shelves into an idyllic cove of shimmering turquoise water. Swim in the sheltered inlet, snorkel beneath the surrounding low cliff face and picnic in the shade of pine trees on the northern headland.
When you tire of lazing around, head over to nearby Grotta dei Cervi (Cave of the Deer), which is home to cave paintings of deer in guano (excrement from birds, seals or bats) and red ochre that date back 4000 years to the Neolithic era.
Facilities include sun umbrellas and little else, so you’ll need to take along your own food and drinks. Porto Badisco is located on the southeast coast of the Salentine Peninsula, around 95km south of Brindisi.
Any time. Puglia enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate year round. Temperatures in the summer holiday months of July and August average 30°C while the shoulder months average 28˚C. The nearby Tremiti Islands are very popular during the months of July and August.
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