While my Italian friends are submerged under many feet of snow, I'm making plans for my upcoming trip to Puglia. I'll be there for several weeks in March, before I head to Zagarolo for two months. Puglia's history goes back 8000 years, and its architecture has Greek, Byzantine and Norman influences. At this time of year, not many people venture into the region of Puglia, in the "heel of the boot" that comprises the larger peninsula of Italy. It will be an adventure!
Puglia is not a big tourist draw for foreigners at any time of the year, and few Americans journey there. However, Italians flock to the many Puglian beaches in July and August. One of the main reasons that tourism is low in Puglia is due to the difficulty of traveling between many of the cities in the region: public transportation is unreliable, so the best way to see it is by car. As usual, I'll be traveling by train, so I'm headed where there are reliable connections. Fortunately, the most interesting places to go are on my route!
|courtesy of www.paradoxplace.com|
First, I'll travel by Eurostar from Rome to Lecce, a 5 1/2 hour journey. Lecce is often called the "Florence of the South," due to its beauty. Lecce's Basilica di Santa Croce, pictured below, is rich with Baroque symbolism.
|Lecce (from www.villalindaweb.com)|
While in Lecce, I hope to take a day trip to Ostuni, also know as la citta bianca (the white city).
|Ostuni (from www.agriturismosalinola.com)|
|Otranto (from www.italyheaven.co.uk)|
|Trulli in Alberobello (from www.italien-adrialin.de)|
|Locorotondo (from www.italytraveller.com)|
|Matera (from www.thisfabtrek.com)|