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Puglia – The New Tuscany

Italy offers an abundance of history, beauty and culture second to no other country in the world. The region of Puglia goes even further to take you on a journey unspoilt by foreign tourism and culture changes so often tainting the once idyllic places we visit today.

Open your senses to the aroma of fresh Italian cooking around every corner, the soft sing-song Italian tones in your ears and the laughter of children as a family sits down to a long afternoon lunch. Smile at the lazy contentment of a dog cooling itself in the shade of an olive tree and be amazed at the array of colourful flowers arranged delicately in hanging baskets lining the narrow streets. Feel the warmth of welcoming smiles as people sit in their doorways waiting to greet you into their shops, restaurants and cafes. Go back in time as old men sit nonchalantly in the piazza wisely discussing current affairs compared to years gone by and old women tend to their laundry in their balconies, happily greeting friends as they walk beneath.

Settled in the heel of Italy surrounded by both the Ionian and Adriatic seas, in a vast countryside filled with giant knotted olive trees and lush vineyards you will discover a magical sun-washed town made up of light-coloured stone houses which throw off a bright white glow reminiscent of the Greek islands. The whole town, shaped like little beehives has worthily earned its World Heritage site status from UNESCO and guarantees that the pace is both slow and tranquil.

Alberobello and its’ surrounding area remain true to the country’s romantic heritage and allow you to ‘Trulli’ experience the essence of the real Italy.

Puglia is fascinating and a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the Northern Italian cities. The area is a holiday destination for Italians themselves, known to Rome’s radical chic as a quirky summer playground with a rich tradition of glorious food, wine, energizing folk music and art-filled cities. It boasts Italy’s cleanest coastline and has some of the finest beaches in the Mediterranean.

The terrain is flat, making it easy to explore, priding itself with beautiful rolling plains in a variety of luminous greens, valleys blanketed with colourful wildflowers, acres of olive groves dating back hundreds of years (actually producing two thirds of all the olive oil in Italy) and lush vineyards making some of the best wine you will taste.

Because the land is so unspoilt by tourism and enjoys a simple way of life, it is visited by an array of exotic birds and animals. Wild boar, roe and fallow deer, wild cats and eagle owls are amongst some of the species happily making the protected woodlands of Puglia their home.

Described in the last year by many publications, broadsheets, television programmes and food critics as the ‘New Tuscany’; now is the time to visit…

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