An excellent destination to consider.
13 Aug 2019
Why Puglia is an excellent destination to consider.
Located on Italy's "heel", Puglia (or "Apulia") is famed for its food, wine, culture, coast, dramatic inland landscapes, and ancient history. For thousands of years, it has attracted visitors, from Greek colonists to English traders, and now - modern tourists.
Gruppo UNA's UNAHOTELS Regina Bari offers the perfect base from which to discover Puglia in all of its glory. Our hotel offers a handy location near Bari's port and airport, away from the crowds, but close to the centre of the regional capital. And all of Puglia's coastal villages, hilltop towns, and natural attractions will be within easy reach. So let's suggest a few ways to fill a last minute Apulia itinerary.
Take a Tour of Puglia's Coastal Hidden Gems.
Many of Puglia's standout natural attractions lie along its Adriatic Coast, where dramatic rocky cliffs blend with secluded coves, and some of Italy's most enjoyable seaside resorts. But at Gruppo UNA, we want our guests to see parts of the Puglian coast that only locals know about - and there are plenty to discover.
If you head to Polignano, you can clamber down into the Grotta Palazzese for a huge surprise. This naturally occurring cave beside the sea has been converted into a lively eatery, serving up the region's specialities. There's nowhere like it anywhere in the world.
Divers can head to almost deserted sunken wrecks at dive sites near Casalabate (ask your concierge for directions and advice about equipment hire). And everyday beach lovers should check out Gallipoli, where La Purita takes visitors' breath away with its soft white sands and scenic vistas.
Feast on Puglian delicacies while you are in the area.
Whenever you head on a last minute Apulia adventure, dining well won't be a problem. The eastern region has a deserved reputation as one of Italy's culinary hotspots, and one of the healthiest to explore as well, with no shortage of low carb seafood delights (and plenty of decadent treats to devour as well).
If you love fish, you'll be in paradise, Puglian chefs work wonders with everything from anchovies and tuna, to yellowtail and swordfish. Order up freshly grilled fillets, fish carpaccios, or as the filling in home-made pasta parcels. Octopus, prawns, and squid are all popular options as well, usually with rich tomato sauces, or deep fried and served with lemon.
But if seafood isn't your thing, don't worry. Puglia offers puccia sandwiches that are packed with meat and cheese, meticulously formed orecchiette pasta, and vegetables served "Sott’olio" in the region's famous olive oil. And don't forget pastries and tarts. When the mains have been cleared away, cream-filled zeppole or custard crammed pasticciotto will round things off in style.
Toast Puglia's Ancient Wine Making Tradition.
For those abroad, Puglia is well-known for one major export: wine. The Italian "heel" and the surrounding region produces 17% of Italy's total production and is home to 25 "DOC" appellations (high-quality regional wine varieties). So, if you have a week or two to spend in the region, you can try to sample them all.
Primitivo grapes are the most famous variety used by Puglian wineries, resulting in full-bodied masterpieces. But Negroamaro grapes are just as seductive, arguably delivering more balanced tastes. Red wine is the star of the show, by the way, although Puglian whites are starting to make a name for themselves.
Naturally, you can hop between wineries to get a feel for the local varieties, but there may be better options for wine lovers. In September, Carpignano is the place to be, as the town hosts its Festa te lu Mieru. New wines compete for garlands, dancers hit the piazzas, and fine food is everywhere. It's an unmissable event.
Head to Puglia for a last-minute break with Gruppo UNA.
Last minute escapes can often deliver great savings on airfares and accommodation, so they are always a popular option. If you haven't arranged this summer's getaway, Puglia could be the ideal destination, and Gruppo UNA is the perfect accommodation partner.
Our local hotels mix comfort, service, and convenient locations, with space to park rental cars, access to beaches, on-site fitness facilities, and much more. With food, festivals, coastal scenery and much more on offer, a last minute Apulia escape is within your reach. So join us and explore what the region has to offer.