The southern Italian region of Puglia – also known as Apulia – has had its fair share of visitors over the centuries. Everyone from the Normans to the Greeks have been drawn to its natural beauty, climate and resources.
And of course, more recently, famous visitors have come from even further afield: Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel chose Puglia as the venue for their world-famous wedding in 2012.
But if historic empires and international celebs aren’t enough for you, we’ve tracked down some other heavyweight recommendations to show you why Puglia could be the perfect place for your special day.
Unspoilt charm, authentic beauty
National Geographic added Puglia to its ‘Best Trips’ list in 2014, a compendium of locations the renowned magazine says are the most ‘authentic, culturally rich, sustainably minded and… superlative in the world of travel today.’
We simply say, we agree!
Beautiful ‘blue-flag’ beaches
If Italy is boot-shaped, then Puglia could be described as its heel. Nestling between two seas – the Adriatic and the Ionian – means it’s blessed with more than its fair share of coastline. Miles of sandy beach, and water clear enough to rival the Caribbean, have made it one of the top beach destinations in Italy.
In fact, Puglia can boast a whopping 25 blue flags from the international Blue Flag Programme – a seal of approval given only to the cleanest and best beaches around the world.
The land of great wine
If you and your guests like a tipple, then Puglia won’t disappoint. But don’t take our word for it – ‘Wine Enthusiast’ magazine listed Puglia among its top ten best wine travel destinations in 2013. And we reckon they know their grapes.
The region’s warm climate and rural landscape is perfect for wine production, and if you’re as serious about your ‘vino’ as the locals, a trip to one of Puglia’s vineyards might just be the perfect day out during your stay, where you could learn about – and of course taste – some of Puglia’s award-winning specialities, like Primitivo, Bombino Nero, and Trani’s sweet Moscato.
Outstanding art and culture
For the intellectually curious traveller, Puglia will prove a treasure trove of history. Its Mediterranean location means it’s had a busy history, and those varied influences are still visible in the region’s architecture and culture.
And today it’s home to not one, but two, UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first, Castel Del Monte (which translates simply as the ‘castle on the hill’), is a breathtaking and imposing fortress, considered by those in the know to be one of the finest examples of medieval architecture anywhere in the world. The regions’s other UNESCO site – the little town of Alberobello – is a uniquely well-preserved example of the traditional Puglian stone buildings known as ‘Trulli’.
Places to stay
When the future Mr and Mrs Timberlake came, they chose the stunning Borgo Egnazia resort. But if the Hollywood budget is a little beyond your means (let’s face it, it’s a dream for most of us!) you’re still spoilt for choice.
Puglia is rich with breathtaking but affordable places to stay, from its famous ‘masserie’ – or traditional stone farmhouses – to its countless fairytale coastal towns like Trani and Ostuni. You’re sure to find something that’s perfect for you and your guests!
So, if you’ve read the above and you’re now sold on Puglia – or if you’re still not sure and want to know even more – please get in touch with us.