Castel del Monte is a 13th-century castle situated in Andria in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. It was built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II some time between 1240 and 1250; it has been despoiled of its interior marbles and furnishings in subsequent centuries. It has neither a moat nor a drawbridge and might in fact never have been intended as a defensive fortress. Described by the Enciclopedia Italiana as “the most fascinating castle built by Frederick II”, the site is protected as a World Heritage Site.
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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