You could be forgiven for thinking that all Puglia has to offer are beaches and lazy afternoons enjoying the countryside. True, it is difficult to literally 'stumble' from one historical or architectural treasure to another as with, say, Rome or Venice, yet Puglia nevertheless offers a multitude of attractions for holidaymakers of all ages to see and enjoy - if you know where to look.

We've divided those attractions we mention into three distinct areas:

  • For all the Family

  • Museums, Castles & Historic places

  • Arts & Crafts

 

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For all the Family

ZooSafari in Fasano: A great experience for all the family in the largest zoological park in Italy - approx 30 minutes from Cisternino. (Web site in Italian only): http://www.zoosafari.it

Torre Canne Beach: A wonderful long sandy beach gently sloping into the sea. You can wade in for quite a distance before reaching deep water - Signposted and approximately 30 minutes from Cisternino.

Castellana Grotte Caves: A large and famous complex of caves with amazing rock formations:  http://www.grottedicastellana.it/en/index_eng.htm

Gargano National Park: 500 year old trees, deer, rare woodpeckers and even the highest concentration of orchid species in the Mediterranean are just some of the wonders you will find when you visit this park!  http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.gargano/Eindex.html

Il Frantolio D'Amico: See how olives become the gold of the Mediterranean with a tour of one of the major olive pressing facilities of the local area. Italian site only at present:  http://www.ilfrantolio.it/profilo.htm

Town Markets: Virtually every town in the area has its 'Market Day' on a particular day of the week and we have shown a selection of them below. These offer a wonderful array of foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, clothes and shoes and arts and crafts, most at bargain prices. Fancy yourself as an antique aficionado? You can even try your hand at the Antique markets most Sundays!

General Markets -        Fasano: Friday             Ostuni: Saturday                     Cisternino: Monday

Antiques Markets -      Ostuni: 2nd Sunday      Martina Franca: 3rd Sunday     Lecce: 4th/last Sunday

Local Events & Festivals: A large number of events and festivals take place around the local area throughout the year. Many are linked to important dates in the Catholic calendar however there are also Music Festivals and others which celebrate the delights of locally produced food and wine.

This following site shows a very comprehensive list of Festivals and Events throughout Italy and is a true labour of love. It is also listed in our 'Links' section. Simply select Puglia and the month of your stay: http://www.hostetler.net/italy/italy.cfm

Copuglia, an organisation that promotes Puglia also offers suggestions for scenic routes and things to see in Puglia. Their main site http://www.copuglia.it/web/eng/default.htm is also listed in our 'Links' section.

For the Coupuglia calendar of events please see: http://www.copuglia.it/web/eng/eventi.htm

Arts & Crafts

Ceramics of Grottaglie: Grottaglie has a long tradition of craftsmanship and today this continues with its beautiful ceramics, featuring not only hand-made crockery but also traditional 'Cavazone', vats used to store wine and olive oil  http://www.ceramistidigrottaglie.it/index2e.htm

You can also visit the Museum of Ceramics in Grottaglie: http://www.museogrottaglie.it/english/pagina1.asp

Alberobello: The original Trulli Town, with many shops selling arts and crafts. Designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Italian only web-site of the commune of Alberobello: www.comune.alberobello.ba.it

English site: http://www.alberobello.net/storia/index_en.htm

Museums, Castles & Historic Places

Greco-Roman Ruins of Egnazia: As befits a region that has in it's time been colonised by many different civilizations, the ruins and Archaeological Museum of Eganazia bear testimony to man's settlement of Puglia since the 12th Century B.C.

They don't have their own site. This is the 'official' site:  http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/egnazia/page9.html

Picture courtesy of UNESCO

Castel del Monte: This castle, situated a little west of Bari, illustrates the mix of cultures present in Puglia. In almost perfect condition, it was built in the 13th century by a German Emperor, and shows Islamic and European influences. Like Alberobello, it is also designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

UNESCO Web-site entry: http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=398

Castles of Puglia: Self explanatory really! As well as Castel del Monte, there are 4 other castles you can visit in Puglia and this site gives a brief summary of each of them together with maps and directions.

English site: http://www.castellipuglia.org/en/

Museums in Puglia: Puglia has many museums to help you while away the long hot summer days. Art and Archaeology museums abound but there are also specialised museums showcasing cultural and natural history themes.

This site shows a complete list of museums divided by region and categorised by topic. Click on the Puglia region (bottom right!) and then the select region you wish to explore. Each museum name links to further details about its exhibits: http://www.museionline.it

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