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Puglia was always on my mind whenever I thought of visiting Italy. There were more reasons than one to be fascinated by this quiet region in Southern Italy. I was intrigued by the fact that it’s popular as “the heel of Italy” for the way it appears on the map. Besides, Puglia is still lesser-known and offbeat, which makes it even more appealing. From historical sites to charming beach towns and delicious food there is much to soak up about Puglia that it’s almost impossible to do justice to its treasures in one trip.
Beguiling historic sites. If you are a history geek, you would devour the archaeological sites in Puglia. Lecce, a city renowned as the ‘Florence of the South’, will enchant you with its elaborate baroque architecture and some intriguing excavated sites – Basilica di Santa Croce and Piazza del Duomo, Museo Faggiano and Roman Amphitheatre to name a few. Besides Lecce, there are ancient churches and museums hidden in every nook of Puglia.
Azure waters of the Sea. Puglia is surrounded by the sea from three sides, which makes it alluring for beach lovers. The gorgeous azure sea looks amazing. You just want to sit still and gaze at the shades of blue in the sea.
To witness the stunning waterfronts in Puglia, you must visit Bari (the capital of Puglia), which is also a great city for shopping; and Monopoli, which has a fascinating dockyard with a backdrop of old buildings.
The whitewashed town of Ostuni. Ostuni, with its whitewashed buildings, looks like a Greek town. It feels surreal ambling through the streets. It is known to have been rebuilt by the Greeks after being ruined by Hannibal during the Punic Wars. I particularly loved sauntering through the quaint alleyways and admiring the pretty staircases, windows and balconies.