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Puglia (or Apulia) is the sun-baked boot heel of Italy, a tapestry of white-washed hilltop towns, citrus and olive groves, rugged farmland and sparkling Mediterranean coastline. The southernmost tip of Italy, Puglia benefits from scorching hot summers and mild winters, making any time of year a great time to book a Puglia villa. Life here is all about unwinding and indulging, and our villas in Puglia are found throughout the region in its most beautiful and renowned spots.

For a cosmopolitan villa holiday, head to Bari, the region's capital and a bustling port and university town, for Renaissance splendour, try a villa in Lecce, the 'Florence of the South'. Also in Puglia, visit Gallipoli with its brilliant beaches and Brindisi steeped in faded grandeur. Taking a villa in Puglia is to experience where real Italians come to holiday, and you'll soon fall in love with the food, people, scenery and endless golden sunsets.

Things to do in Puglia

Puglia is a beautiful and diverse region, and a villa holiday in Puglia would suit families, couples and groups large and small. Puglia has a sprawling coastline and some of the best beaches in Italy – with many of our villas located near to Puglia's Caribbean-esque coast. Puglia is brimming with charming towns, villages and cities, the biggest being Bari – the capital city and university town with museums, a maze-like old town, piazzas and wide seaside promenade.

Elsewhere, there's Lecce, known for its Baroque architecture and home to beautiful churches and Roman ruins. City lovers will also appreciate Brindisi, a port city on the Adriatic Sea with its palm-fringed promenade and 13th-century castles, while our villas in Gallipoli will appeal to lovers of golden sands.

Make sure to also visit the Trulli, traditional fairy-tale-like homes found in the Itria Valley with white walls and conical roofs. Come to Puglia to eat – mostly pasta, seafood and everything tomato and olive – go wine-tasting and live la dolce vita.
 

Lady on beach
Museum entrance, Italy

History and culture in Puglia

Puglia has had a long and often fascinating history, lorded over by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, French and Bourbons. As a result, there are numerous historical sights to visit from your Puglia villa, like the Castel del Monte – 13th-century citadel and castle on a hill in Andria – and the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Announcement, a Roman church with mosaics, crypts and skulls.

Head to Bari and Lecce for a myriad of museums and art galleries like the Pinacoteca Corrado Giaquinto, Museo Diocesano and the archaeological Museo Faggiano. Lecce is also famed for its ruined Roman amphitheatre. History lives in Puglia's hinterlands, and from our Puglia villas, you can visit the historic Trulli (traditional cone-roofed buildings and Unesco World Heritage Sites) and La Citta Bianca, an ancient citadel town known as the White City.
 

Family holidays in Puglia

Families will love a villa holiday in Puglia, thanks to its distinctly Italian, laid-back vibe and gorgeous countryside and beaches. Of course, the kids will love playing on sandy beaches and gorging on pizza and gelato, but the region also has safari parks, dinosaur parks and waterparks that make for a great family day out. When on a family villa holiday in Puglia, make sure to visit the Il Parco dei Dinosauri (or Dinosaur Park), a real-life Jurassic Park with lifesize interactive dinosaurs, or enjoy a family day out at the Splash Gallipoli, the most famous waterpark on the Pugliese coast.

The ZooSafari Fasanolandia is also within reach of our villas in Puglia, a free-roaming safari and theme park with lions, giraffes, monkeys and elephants. To make the most of the Puglia sun, head to one of the region's 11 Blue Flag beaches or take a Puglia villa with a private pool – giving your family privacy and freedom
 

Family and friends on beach, Italy
Boats in harbour, Italy

Adventurous activities in Puglia

Puglia is all rugged countryside and stunning coastlines, and because of this, it's easy to turn your Puglia villa holiday into an adventurous one. Grab your walking boots and head inland to hike the Gravina of Laterza, one of the biggest canyons in Europe, or the rocky Valle dell'Inferno with its gorgeous, waterfalls and lush vegetation. Puglia has 800 kilometres of sandy and rocky beaches, and many of them offer fantastic opportunities for watersports, like jet skiing, flyboarding, windsurfing, water skiing.

Head to Gargano for the best winds for surfing and the largest watersports centre in southern Italy. With its crystalline waters and amazing colourful marine life, Puglia is also world-class for snorkelling and scuba diving.
 

Romance in Puglia

Puglia is the perfect place to enjoy an Italian couple's villa holiday, and couples visiting the region will be bowled over by the sheer romance and beauty of the region. For starters, there are the mesmerising old towns of Bari, Ostuni, Monopoli and Lecce, with their churches, cobbled streets, piazzas and Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Spend a day wandering their mazes of streets before sitting down for a candle-lit dinner, with the best restaurants in Puglia being on the seafront or hidden in piazzas in the old town – make sure to try the orecchiette washed down with Negroamaro. Rent a boat and jet out to the Tremiti Islands, spend the day wine tasting in one of the many vineyards, take a traditional cookery class and hike the wildly romantic Sentiero Vecchio del Ciolo in Salento. Come at sunset and it may even lead to a proposal.
 

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