Puglia - the enchanting heel of Italy
Puglia, the easternmost region of Italy is also known as “the heel” of the Italian boot and any look at the map of Italy will tell exactly why.
Its essentially high Puglia coastline stretches out for 800 kilometres towards the Adriatic and the landscape here begins its metamorphosis from the gentle rolling landscapes of northern Italy into an essentially Mediterranean scenery, which is more in keeping with, say, Greece than Lombardy or Tuscany.
Puglia is no less enchanting for this, however, its highlands and coast presenting impressive karst formations (grottoes and “Doline” hollows) for the visitor to explore.
Bari, the capital of Puglia is also an interesting town in its own right.
Also in this Destination
Puglia - culture and the Adriatic
In Bari, visit the Palace of the University, which includes the important Archaeological Museum with relics of the Neolithic and Bronze Age, funeral urns, ceramics and bronze from the necropolis. Lecce has the Provincial Museum, with sculptures and Roman architectural remains, and the Museum of the Arts of the Folk Traditions of Salento. Collections of coins, vases and bronzes are preserved in the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Brindisi. The National Museum of Taranto is the most important for the history of Magna Graecia. In Foggia: the Civic Museum, with the prehistoric section and an interesting paleochristian epigraph, and the Pinacoteca, which houses works of nineteenth and twentieth-century local masters.
Gastronomy in Puglia
Apulia boasts some impressive records
when it comes to cooking and cuisine. The vast majority of the fish
eaten in Italy is caught off the coast of Apulia: it produces over 60%
of the country’s olive oil and, even more impressively, supplies around
80% of Europe’s pasta.
Notwithstanding these records, the cuisine of Puglia is essentially simple and home based, doing away with the “fancy fads” and nouveau cuisine of some of its illustrious neighbours. It was also born out of poverty. Meat until recently was very little used, with the exception of horsemeat perhaps, whilst pasta was made without the use of eggs and vegetables were a mainstay of the diet.
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