While the powder blue waves flow back and forth, inhabitants sip on Aleatico dessert wine and natter at side street cafes. Old men play chess beneath olive trees and over the midday siesta the town quietens to a gentle hum. For those looking for the authentic Italy – the untouched original that travelers first fell in love with – Apulia is Italy’s best-kept secret.
Being one of Italy’s most important agricultural regions the food alone is reason enough to make the journey. Messapica is a culinary Mecca that Italians themselves travel to from far and wide to gorge on the local fare. Homely accommodation options range from staggering sea-view villas to a majestic former Manor estate tucked away in the Apulian countryside. There are ample historic and heritage sights worth exploring – the subterranean town of Matera in the nearby Basilicata region, the baroque buildings of Martina Franca, and Lecce - this ultimate city of the Baroque is often referred to as ‘the Florence of the south’ owing to its architectural splendor, fine harbors, and grand cathedral complete with mosaic floors.
Enhance your knowledge and experience in the Apulian countryside
For those looking for an experience even more enlightening than the finest food, wine and atmosphere can provide, the region offers the opportunity to experience Italy through tailor-made niche offerings.
Photography workshop in the vineyards
Join a professional photographer as you travel through the Primitivo wine region capturing the enchanting September light and experience Italy like never before. The workshop not only shares invaluable insights into the secrets to that perfect shot, but also invites you into a world usually reserved for the locals. Camera in hand, capture the picking of black-skinned grapes at dawn, focus your camera on the wine-makers as they sift, squash and blend the produce into the finest tipple. From the beauty of the vineyards travel further into the region, capturing stone houses in the Salentine countryside and exploring the waters of the Ionian Sea.
Photo courtesy of Tonino Mosconi
Regional road trip in a vintage car
Revel in the experience of driving a vintage car through Italy’s Itria Valley, exploring quiet back streets lined with stone walls, century old olive trees, Negroamaro vineyards and panoramic roads looking over the sea. Followed by a backup car and on the trail of a tour leader, drive from town to town, taste regional Apulian delights, admire UNESCO heritage sites and after a long day’s drive lie back at the pool, content in your smugness, because how many people get to experience Italy via vintage car?
Yoga retreat in the Itria Valley
Salute to the Mediterranean sun in a quiet rural region of Apulia. Situated between Ostuni and Cisternino, this peaceful yoga haven is hidden in the Itria valley. Free from the constant buzz of technology, join like-minded individuals from around the world to participate in Iyengar yoga workshops. Between morning and evening practices, experience Italy with a rejuvenating bent by taking slow walks between the olive groves, lying by the pool in the warmth of southern Italy and mindfully savoring the naturally organic produce of the Apulian countryside.
To tailor-make your own tour through the untainted territory of Puglia, contact Charme & Adventure. Passionate about assisting travelers to experience Italy to the full, Charme & Adventure are specialists in creating authentic luxury tailor-made holidays (Charme &Adventure through their home country.by Luca on Jul 31, 2015