Born and raised in Greece, whether a country we choose to travel to is famous for its beaches or not has never been a factor for us. We’ve always thought that our own country is home to the most spectacular beaches in the world. Although this sounds narrow-minded, to a large extent, it is actually true. However, our 2-week long trip to Puglia proved us wrong. Surprise! There are indeed equally (if not more) gorgeous beaches elsewhere in the world too. So, here’s our guide to the best beaches in Puglia, one of Italy’s most laid-back and authentic regions.
Our feet were eager to discover every hidden alley as we walked around the Old Town, our eyes struggling to adjust to the constant change of light which alternated from the bright sunshine of a summer day to the dark shadows cast by the imposing medieval buildings. That was Bergamo Alta, the historic centre of one of Northern Italy’s gems. We spent 24 magical hours there and that was enough to capture the essence of this often underrated Italian city. Without further ado, here’s our guide on how to spend one day in Bergamo, the splendid walled city of the Italian North.
Our Fiat Cinquecento moved lazily along the splendid country road as if to savour every single moment the way Katerina and I did. We drove through centuries-old olive groves, constantly under the shadow of tall trees. Suddenly, an unexpected clearing allowed us to look towards the horizon. We couldn’t help but gasp. Built atop a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea and clad in blinding white, Ostuni was soaring above the Pugliese land as if in a dream. Only it was 100% real. We went, we saw and we’re presenting you our suggestions on what to do in Ostuni, Italy’s gorgeous White City.
The sunny region of Puglia in South Italy is one of the most laid-back and unspoilt parts of the country. It is also a very diverse destination. With pristine beaches, loads of history, incredible local cuisine, vibrant cities and spectacular scenery, Puglia has something for everyone. Puglia is also special for yet another reason. It is home to a couple of accommodation types which are unique to the region. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on those, so we’ve compiled a list of the best places to stay in Puglia, keeping in mind to include a little bit of everything. Both in terms of accommodation types as well as the best travel tips on how to divide your time within the region depending on which area is best for what.
More often than not, Puglia is referred to as the new Tuscany. This spectacular region in Italy’s Deep South offers travellers the opportunity to experience the authentic dolce vita without the crowds, exactly the way Tuscany did a couple of decades ago. Therefore, no wonder Lecce’s nickname is Florence of the South. Adorned with countless gorgeous historical buildings and sprinkled with irresistible Italian vibes, Lecce does indeed remind of its northern counterpart in many respects. Yet it is also unique in so many ways. So, here’s our guide on what to do in Lecce, one of Italy’s prettiest cities. Enjoy!
Do photos of super crowded beaches in Italy (or Greece) make you think that the script of a sci-fi movie is far more realistic than the notion that one can actually have a relaxing summer vacation in said countries? Well, we can’t blame you. We’ve seen those scary shots, too. However, it’s all a matter of where you choose to go and WHEN. The when part is easy. Stay away from beachside destinations in Italy (and Greece) from mid-July to end of August. As to the where, we’re here to introduce you to the three best beach towns in Puglia, the gorgeous region in Italy’s Deep South.
When we were kids, our school teachers would go on and on about how Ancient Greek settlers founded many important towns in Southern Italy. All this sounded really exciting. For 15′ or so. However, as grown-ups and avid travellers, we were fascinated by the idea that there are still Greek communities in Italy’s Deep South and genuinely intrigued by the prospect of visiting some of them one day. So, once we decided to visit Puglia, we were determined to explore as many of the region’s Greek towns as possible. This is why we planned a 2-day Grecia Salentina trip as part of our two-week Puglia itinerary.
Do you believe in love at first sight? We do. Our love affair with Matera started the very second the existence of this ancient cave town in Southern Italy came to our knowledge. We don’t remember exactly when that was, but as soon as we googled Matera and hit the Images tab, we were hooked. We knew we had to visit Matera at the first opportunity. So, when we (finally) planned our long-awaited Puglia road trip, Matera (although not in Puglia) was the very first city we added to our two-week itinerary.
Once in Venice, it is highly unlikely that you will want to let it out of your sight. It is a city of unique, almost dreamy, beauty. That’s why we are adamant that travellers should not do Venice in a day but try to spend as much time as possible there. This way, there will also be time to visit the nearby Venice islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello and enjoy one of the best day trips from Venice.
Venice is a destination unlike any other. The floating city got us under its spell from the very first moment we laid eyes on its beautiful canals and pastel-coloured buildings. Walking around Venice’s picturesque cobblestone streets is enchanting. Yet seeing the city from the water is pure magic. Be it a private gondola ride, a vaporetto ride or a Venice boat tour the best vantage point to marvel at the charms of La Serenissima is the water.