Situated in the south of Italy Puglia is referred to as being “the heel of Italy”. Puglia lies in the Mediterranean, touched by the Adriatic sea in the north and Ionio in the south, Apulia and enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. Inland the region is mainly flat and is mainly agricultural it produces most of the wheat for Italy’s uses and is also the largest Olive oil producer.
Puglia or Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the south-east, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south giving it a long coastline of cliffs, coves and sandy beaches. Its most southern portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the “boot” of Italy. It is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, and Basilicata to the south-west. It neighbours Greece and Albania, across the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, respectively. The capital city of the region is Bari, a bustling commercial center and port. Puglia has an area of around 7,500 sq m and a population of 4 million who are mainly concentrated in the towns and cities the inland villages are mostly holiday homes.
Puglia has a wealth of architectural sites, churches and cathedrals, castles, lovely fishing villages and stunning medieval cities. There are endless fields filled with Olive trees, which is a sight to see, and the Pugliesi grow large quantities of fruit and vegetables.
Bari is the capital of the Apulia/Puglia region of Italy, and is a bustling commercial center and port. The old town has retained its ancient Medieval plan and contains many historic buildings and sites.
Bari is made up of four different urban sections. To the north is the closely built old town on the peninsula between two modern harbours, with the splendid Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Cathedral of San Sabino (1035–1171) and the Swabian Castle built for Frederick II, which is now also a major nightlife district. To the south is the Murat quarter (erected by Joachim Murat), the modern heart of the city, which is laid out on a rectangular grid-plan with a promenade on the sea and the major shopping district (the via Sparano and via Argiro).
San Giovanni Rotondo. In Puglia in Southern Italy there is the second most visited shrine in the world, the shrine of Padre Pio. Over 7 million pilgrims make their way every year to pay homage and to pray at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie built in the 1950’s to accomodate those that were travelling to see Padre Pio.
Puglia produces the most grapes, both for eating and for wine making, in Italy and is also the largest producer of olive oil. With it’s extensive coastline fish and seafood feature greatly in regional cuisine and turtles, oysters, mussels, cuttlefish and octopus will be found on most menus. February is the time for eating sea anemones which are served raw with a splash of lemon or cooked into pasta dishes. Desserts from Puglia are mainly almond based, as the region produces vast quantities of almonds.
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