What they say about Puglia

Interest in the region is growing - we offer a selection of recent articles in which Puglia is making the headlines in the UK travel and overseas property press. Our site and its owners are pleased to be a part of the recognition that this area of Italy has received recently in the press and on television.
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Daily Mail 27th August 2007

Puglia? Now that's life! (Esther Rantzen)

The well-heeled south of Italy - far from most British tourists

Apulia is the Deep South, the unknown Italy, where few foreign tourists ever venture. But that's our loss, because Puglia, as the Italians call the southern heel of the Italian boot, has a real shine on it, a patina blended from sunshine and olive oil.


Would I recommend Puglia? Absolutely, if you love sunshine, sweet fruit, olive oil and getting away from the traditional British Chiantishire. Missing it already, I have planted my own olive tree in a pot and am now hoping that global warming will enable it to thrive, so I can import some of that Puglian shine to our rainy little island.

The Telegraph 9th September 2006

Savvy Traveller (Nick Trend)

Looking for a late break somewhere sunny? Nick Trend recommends eight places that can deliver.


.... the food is sublime - this is the home of mozzarella and some of the best olive oil, fruit and vegetables in the country - and the wines are also in the first rank. Puglia also has some of Italy's most stylish hotels: the masserias, fortified homesteads converted into small and peaceful upmarket resorts.

Alan's comment -

Spot on re the food - but in additional saying you wouldn't come here particularly for the landscape which is "quite flat, parched in summer".has the writer never visited the Gravina country - with spectacular ravines drawing comparison with the Grand Canyon? Appreciated the rolling rural landscape of the trulli country? Visited the Gargano plateau?

I don't think so. Savvy - I think not.

These areas are wonderful in their landscape attraction, and never parched in summer, with the vines and the olives providing all-year green cover.

But credit at least for including Puglia in the top recommendations - late Autumn is certainly a good time to visit the area. But do expect an occasional rain.

The Guardian 4th March 2006

Where Italy kicks back

Rustic charm, great food, a classy beach club - Puglia has everything we love about Italy, minus the hordes of tourists, says Zoe Williams

Travel in any direction at all, (from Brindisi), and you'll shortly hit some or all of the things that make the place famous; in no particular order, these are the masseria, great farmhouses converted into hotels; the trulli, which are funny little dwellings shaped like beehives; the centuries-old olive trees and assorted pretty landscapes; and the amazing food. Some large percentage, which I would look up if I thought you'd remember it, of all Italy's olive oil, fish and pasta comes from this region. They honestly cannot mess up food if they try; you don't even have to order from menus, most of the time, you just smile like a person who wants something tasty, and they'll bring you something tasty.

Place in the Sun Magazine 29th September 2005

Cone Country

Personal fitness trainers Michele Perks and Lesley Holmes want to maximise their health and well being – and invest in some Italian property while they're at it. We pointed them in the direction of Puglia, home to ancient cone shaped buildings called Trulli, and some of the country’s best value housing.

The 16 page article features three of our properties.

The Sunday Times 21st August 2005

Italy's ripe for the picking

Rosie Millard finds there are still plenty of investment opportunities for Britons in the land of La Dolce Vita

Independent on Sunday 20th February 2005

Just me, the tree gods, and a mosaic full of mermaids

Jeremy Atiyah hears echoes of Byzantium in Italy's Land's end - the deserted, beautiful, and mysterious region of Salento.

"The gorgeous rocky coast is unexploited all the way to the southernmost tip of the peninsula"

The Italian Magazine February 2005 Issue

Region Guide - Puglia

Long ignored in favour of the more affluent north, sun-drenched Puglia has finally been discovered. Amy Carroll explores Italy’s southern tip and discovers a land rich in diversity.

Puglia lies in the arms of the sea. To the west, the clear and iridescent turquoise waters of the Ionian. To the east, the slightly more agitated Adriatic.

It is a land conquered by countless invaders, where East and West flirt with each other and embrace. This is one of Italy’s least known yet most sophisticated and exotic territories. For so many years, considered the ‘poor south’, a drain on the wealthy north, it is now full of poise and ready to prosper. Puglia is fast becoming the sharp stiletto of Europe’s stylish boot. Its beauty lies in its rich landscape and varied architecture, its charm in the people.

Puglia’s olive groves drip feed 80 per cent of Italy’s oil production, her fishermen catch most of the country’s fish, much of Europe’s pasta is made here, and her acres of vineyards are vast. Here, it is possible to enjoy the true Mediterranean Mezzogiorno life, with a dash of North Africa and Greece thrown in. At 22,000 square kilometres it is too immense to cover in one visit, and choosing where to start will depend on your taste – beaches, hill-top towns, cities or working harbours. Puglia has it all.

[For the full article, see issue 02 of The Italian Magazine]

Italia! Magazine December 2004 Issue

Homes in Puglia

Puglia - the 'heel' of Italy - has been acclaimed as the new Tuscany. But its attractions extend far beyond its investment potential, writes Alan Tootill.

(10 Page Puglia feature)

Read the main feature text

The Guardian Saturday 21st August 2004

Pizzica express

Italians love Salento, in the unspoilt 'heel' of the country, for its great weather, beaches and party atmosphere. Sue Clayton lets us in on some of its secrets.

.Read the article online

The Sunday Telegraph 15th August 2004 Headline

Trulli Scrumptious

They may look like something out of a fairytale, but these unusual beehive-shaped houses in Puglia, Italy, are the hottest new buy for British holiday-home hunters. Prices won't stay low for long, writes Jack Gee.

Read the article online

Independent 14th August 2004 headline/extract

The Complete Guide To Puglia
The region that forms the heel of Italy is famous for its golden beaches, ancient architecture, mysterious monuments and some of the best food around. Fought over for centuries, it is now starting to draw the crowds. Aoife O'Riordain explores

The region of Puglia, also known as Apulia, occupies the extreme south-eastern tip of the country. Bordered on two sides by the Ionian and Adriatic seas, Puglia is a long sliver of land that stretches from the border with Molise in the north to Capo Santa Maria di Leuca in the south. In between you'll find some of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Italy, fascinating cities steeped in history, mysterious caves and monuments and a landscape dotted with ancient Greek and Neolithic archaeological sites. You will also find conical-roofed trulli houses and miles of sandy beaches.

Read the article online

Daily Mail, 31st July 2004 headline/extract

Secret South

Forget Tuscany and Umbria. Andrew Morrod discovers the intense charms of the Heel of Italy.

I'd recommend a base close to the Adriatic coast between Bari and Brindisi. That will put you within striking distance of the wild vertiginous forests of teh Gargano peninsula to the north, Lecce to the south, and my own favourite - the sparklingwhite towns strung across the Itrian valley inland.

The Observer, Sunday June 27, 2004 headline

Is Puglia the new Tuscany?

Puglia's microclimate produces some of Italy's tastiest food - for years appreciated only by the locals. But the south-east's best-kept secret is becoming a hot destination for gourmet travellers, says Amy Raphael.

The Times 21st May 2--4 extract

Trulli Scrumptious
Traditionally, British buyers looking for property in Italy have stuck to the classic stone farmhouses set amid vineyards, olive groves and medieval hill villages. This year, if you will excuse the pun, the tide is turning in favour of properties with access to the sea. With fewer places left to buy in Tuscany, Umbria and Marche, and with new airports in the south welcoming the budget airlines, the idea of sun, sea and spaghetti is becoming rather interesting.

Another contributing factor is that buyers are younger - the age range is now 30 to 45. These people have children who want the beach rather than museums and art galleries, or they are child-free couples looking for a second home near a lively resort. Younger buyers still want to soak up the exuberant Italian culture, but they don't want to be stuck in a rustico in the middle of nowhere.

The Italians have always loved the seaside, and if you asked an Italian to choose between a holiday home with a swimming pool and a property along the country's 4,722 miles of coastline he would almost certainly see the latter as the better investment. Prices depend on the particular region and how near you are to the sea, but there are good deals to be found if you are willing to go a few miles inland. Be warned that there are parts of the coastline where trains thunder past the beaches or where there has been illegal overdevelopment. Careful research and site visits will weed out these areas.
Puglia's popularity is growing steadily, thanks in part to Ryanair's decision to fly from Stansted to Bari and Brindisi. British Airways also flies from Gatwick to Bari. This southern region has a choice of beaches on the Adriatic or the Ionian seas and there are attractive fishing villages or resorts such as Torre Canne, with its private lidos and restaurants serving the local speciality of sea urchins. The central part of Puglia is trullo country: many British buyers are snapping up these cone-shaped buildings - known as trulli - that can be converted into distinctive holiday homes. Fourteen months ago
Alan Tootill bought a farmhouse trullo with 11 cones and now sells property in the area. "The beach life is the way it must have been in Britain 50 years ago when entire families went to the seaside for their holidays," he says.

Daily Mail April 16th 2004 extract

A wonderful new life - in a pepperpot
British buyers are developing a keen appetite for Italy's southern stone houses, reports Jack Gee.

Scattered around the heel of Italy, pepperpot-shaped houses are among the oddest, oldest, but possibly cheapest holiday homes available in that country today.

It's not just their curious structure - with their cone-like whiteewashed roofs - that is luring British house-hunters to the Puglia region, but also its beautiful coastlines, delicious seafood and tasty wines.....

Alan and Christine (Tootill) own an attractive trullo set within four acres of land. It has 130 cherry trees, 100 olive and almond, plum, apricot and per trees, too....

Their spacious trullo is made of 11 cones on the outskirts of Alberobello, a pretty town that contains more than 1400 of these fairytale houses - and a church with a trullo roof......

Ryanair recently started a daily route from Stansted to Bari, which is 30 miles from Alberobello, and starts a service to nearby Brindisi at the end of the month. BA has also started a direct dervice to Bari. But despite the flurry of British and other foreign arrivals, the baroque beauty of the towns and villages of Puglia's trullo country is still little known.

The earth is rich and red, and the tiny stone walls that surround the houses look as if they have been transported there from Ireland.

The beaches of the Adriatic, with their pretty fishing villages, are only a 20-minute drive away.

Homes Away From Home, March 2004 extract

Far from the Hills of Chiantishire
Forming the heel of italy's boot, Puglia, or Apulia as it was known historically, with its 300 kilometres of shoreline and sandy beaches, has long been popular with the Italians but is only just becoming known by the more adventurous Brits. The area has a wealth of history, from Neolithic dolmens, Greco-Roman towns and ports, rock churches with Byzantine frescoes to Norman cathedrals and castles It provides 70 per cent of Italy's olive oil and 80 per cent of Europe's pasta but it is the trulli, the dome-roofed houses unique to this region, that helps give Puglia the special character.

For a three bedroom villa in liveable condition in 2,000-3,000 sq m of land, buyers could expect to pay around 100,000, a mere drop in the wine-lake in comparison to its Tuscan compatriots.

Credits for quotes and pictures, Kamran Mirshahi

Sunday Times January 25, 2004 extract

Tuck in to Puglia — it’s waiting to be discovered
Discover a corner of southeastern Italy that’s the land tourism forgot, says Richard de Melim

Italy’s proliferation of cultural, artistic and historic riches means it is often overlooked as a straightforward sun, sea and sand location. Which perhaps explains why Puglia, in its southeast corner, is yet to fulfil its tourism potential. In the past, the region has either been ignored or, in the case of the Crusaders, Normans and Turks, treated as the gateway to somewhere better.
Barely anyone has taken the time to give even a cursory nod towards the delights the region has to offer, which is a shame because the Pugliesi have finally woken up to the idea of exploiting both the natural gifts and the calling cards the early travellers left in their wake. Of which there are plenty, such as the ubiquitous trulli, perhaps Puglia’s best known tourist attraction.

In the small town of Alberobello, trulli are everywhere. Circular stone structures with cone-shaped, white-tipped roofs perched precariously on top, the densely packed trulli buildings from a distance resemble an acupuncture bed built for a giant. But there is much more to Puglia than mysterious architectural delights of unknown origin.

The coastal areas, with the Adriatic Sea to the east, and the Ionian Sea to the south, remain largely undiscovered, with empty stretches of sand scorching under the fierce summer sun. The white beaches near the southernmost towns of Lecce and Taranto are exclusive spots found by trawling the coastal roads and taking any of the isolated dirt tracks where you see a small brown sign saying “mare”.

For those who prefer some company at the seaside, Ostuni and Monopoli are unspoilt coastal towns with hotels and villas catering to even the most discerning visitor.

Puglia’s sun-baked and relatively flat earth is an agricultural haven. Vineyards are plentiful — about a fifth of Italy’s wine comes from Puglia — and the region is also the nation’s largest producer of olive oil.

It’s no surprise, then, that culinary excellence is among Puglia’s strongest selling points. Besides the vineyards and olive groves, other delicious local produce includes tomatoes, fennel, artichokes, peppers and onions, and no one should leave without trying the region’s most popular pasta variety, orrechiette (little ears), mixed with broccoli and a smidgen of chopped chilli. Follow that with any of the locally caught fish.

The restaurants, blissfully unexposed to mass tourism, are affordable and the food is superb. It really is more challenging to find somewhere to eat badly in this corner of Italy, where foreigners still retain a novelty value.

But while much of Puglian life is slow and relaxed, there are parts where it’s impossible not to become frustrated. Such as, for instance, trying to circumnavigate Bari by car. This beautiful industrial port, the capital of Puglia, can be a gridlocked nightmare at any time of day. It’s much better, and quicker, to walk around the city — unless you enjoy the constant blaring of car horns and the bellowing of old ladies from balconies far above, as you painstakingly inch your way through a maze of traffic lights and atrociously parked vehicles.

Once you have found your way into the centre, head for the old town, by the old port. Among the narrow streets you’ll find the Basilica di San Nicola, where, as legend has it, the relics of Father Christmas are housed. There is also a statue of St Nicholas in the corner of the courtyard facing the huge stone basilica. If that puts you back in the mood for a bit of unseasonal shopping, then you could always head back into the centre where Gucci and Prada are every bit as prevalent as they are in Milan and Rome.

But shopping should be the last thing on your mind in Puglia. The region is a fresh and inspiring hinterland of small towns and untouched beaches, all with their own history and attractions and each bearing the indelible marks of those who have passed through before, the ones who were too eager to go somewhere else. Don’t make the same mistake.

Copyright 2004 Times Newspapers Ltd.

Sunday Times January 25, 2004 extract

Bellissima! Bella Italia: the pick of the holidays for summer 2004
It has beauty. It has culture. It has great food, music and wine. And David Wickers has your perfect Italian holiday


Even in summer, you can avoid the crowds. Regions such as Le Marche, Puglia or the Abruzzo attract a fraction of the Brits who colonise Chiantishire, yet they still offer a little of everything we go to Italy for.


Copyright 2004 Times Newspapers Ltd.

Guardian 03.01.04 extract

Isabel Choat picks the destinations likely to be on your wish list for 2004

Despite being a favourite among Italian holidaymakers, Puglia - the region that forms the heel of Italy - is relatively unknown beyond its own shores. But not for much longer. With Ryanair's daily Stansted-Bari service starting on January 15 and British Airways following suit in March with three flights a week, Puglia is already being dubbed the new Tuscany. It may not have the lush scenery or cities to rival Florence or Siena, but it does have some of the best beaches on the Adriatic, fantastic baroque towns such as Lecce and unique architecture - it is the only region in Italy where you'll find trulli - traditional conical, white-washed buildings. It's also about 25% cheaper than Tuscany, and you'll find culinary specialities you won't see on the menu anywhere else in Italy, like tiella , made from layers of courgettes, potato, tomatoes and mussels marinated in wine and olive oil (Puglia produces 15% of the world's olive oil).