Apulia, or Puglia in Italian, is the heel of Italy and one of the most exotic regions of the country. Here, in the southernmost corner of the boot, you’ll find the authentic town Monopoli at the East Coast, half an hour from the sea ports Bari and Brindisi. In spite of the fact that Puglia is relatively easily accessible, still relatively few non-Italian tourists have found this lovely spot, and many are surprised how exotic this area is. Puglia is very different from North- and Central Italy whose architecture is characterized by the burnt and dusty colours. Several cultures like the Greeks, the Romans, Lombards, Arabs, Byzantines, Normans, French and the Spanish have lived, fought, built and ruled in the area for the past 3-4000 years. These many cultures have all left their marks on the landscape, the food and not least the architecture and Puglia has a wealth of churches, castles, defences, manors and other interesting buildings – all of different styles.Puglia is extensively cultivated and covered by beautiful olive groves with up to 1000 year old olive trees and also by wine and vegetables and the region produces up to 80% of the Italian olive oil. Puglia is also known for its immemorial stone fences and fascinating red-brown and very fertile soil which gives Puglia a certain wealth compared to the other regions of the South. The tasty, sunripe fruits and vegetables grow here, and the long stretches of coast produce delicious fish and seafood – available at any market and in any restaurant. Finally you’ll find some of Italy’s loveliest sandy beaches in Puglia.

Photos of the surroundings and Apulia