In the deep south of Italy, in the heel of the country’s boot, is the region of Puglia. You will fall in love with its sleepy whitewashed villages, unique trulli (conical stone huts) among a sea of olive trees, endless plates of antipasti and the crystal clear sea.
Why Our Tours?
1) Avoid the Crowds: We love Tuscany and Venice and Rome but these rightfully popular tourist destinations can get very crowded. Puglia has always been a summer destination for Italians who flock to the beaches in August, but tourists have only begun visiting in recent years.
2) Food: The antipasti, platters of marinated and grilled vegetables, cheeses like the wonderfully oozy burrata and other tasty treats are served as a starter but are often enough for a meal. That won’t stop your host from serving you three more courses, including a big plate of orecchiette (little ears) pasta, painstakingly made by hand.
3) People: It’s the warmth of the people that will stay with you the most. Last time I was there, everyone we met was welcoming and proud of their region, keen to teach us about it and help us however they could.
4) Beautiful Towns: We will be visiting plenty of gorgeous towns, ideal for aimless wandering. This will include San Gregorio, Miggiano Lecce, Otranto, Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, Alberobello and Martina Franca. Everywhere you’ll find cobbled streets, balconies adorned with pink and red geraniums, stalls overflowing with cherry tomatoes, peaches and bunches of bright red chilies, hidden piazzas and many many churches dating back centuries.
5) Wine: It might not be as well-known as Tuscan wine, but Puglia produces 20% of the wine made in Italy and over the decades it has began to rival those of North Italy. Salice, Salentino and Primitivo red wines are most known internationally but there is much more to Puglian wines. Just as it is Italy’s most geographically varied region, the wine produced there is also very varied.
6) Olive Oil: Puglia is a mostly flat landscape and everywhere you look you see olive trees. The Valle d’Itria in the centre of the region has the highest concentration of olive trees in Italy, counting some 60 million of them. Even more impressive is that many of the trees are over a thousand years old- one is even known to be 2700 years old- and they are still producing olive oil. Of course the excellent olive oil is liberally applied to most local dishes.
7) History: Puglia’s strategic position in the Mediterranean between the east and the west has meant a turbulent history of invasions and the resulting influences from the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans, Turks and Spanish are still evident in the region. You’ll find Romanesque churches, medieval castles, 12th century mosaic floors, 17th century underground olive oil mills and exuberant Baroque cathedrals.
8) Traditions: Every region in Italy has a strong identity and in Puglia you will feel the local pride, not only on a regional level but every individual town and village has its own foods and traditions.
9) Guest Accommodations: All the hotels are five stars located in the most beautiful locations.
Price per person: TBD for a minimum of 12 people and a maximum 18 people. All transportation from airport transfers to daily travel in private coaches with English speaking guides is included. We are happy to help you in booking your flights.
A sample of our tours itinerary found below or call us at 615-678-6318 or e-mail Reservations@CocosTravelAgency.com for further information.