The Apulia region forms the heel of the Italian boot. It is situated in the southeast corner of Italy and borders on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Apulia was frequently invaded by both the ancient Greeks and Romans. It was ruled by many including the Byzantines, Goths, Lombards, Normans, Spaniards, and Turks. Apulia’s moment of greatest glory was in the Holy Roman Empire during the 13th Century, when majestic Romanesque cathedrals and palaces were built. This article presents the eastern and usually southern part of Apulia. A companion article presents the rest of the region including the administrative center of Bari, the largest city in southern Italy.

Eastern Apulia italyTrulli are truly remarkable. They are human habitations in the shape of beehives with a hole in the top to let the smoke escape. To me they resemble giant limestone teepees. They can be found in only one place in the world, and that is eastern Apulia. You’ll see a large concentration of these striking houses in the touristy city of Alberobello. You may prefer the historic town of Martina Franca with its baroque and medieval architecture. Alas the city wall has been long gone. The road that connects these two cities is dotted with trulli. And guess what, some of them have been transformed into wineries, hardly surprising given the local vineyards.

The small town of Castellana is known for the nearby caves; Grotte di Castellana belongs to the largest network of caves in Italy. The port of Brindisi is only a ferry ride away from Greece. You should stop by to see some historic churches, the Duomo (Cathedral), and a Roman column that dates back to the Second Century.

Lecce is often called “the Florence of the south.” Its architecture is mainly baroque. Be sure to see its historic churches and the remains of a huge Roman Amphitheatre.

Otranto is the easternmost city in all Italy. It was already a major port in the days of the ancient Greeks. Some of the city walls are still standing. Make sure to visit the Spanish Castello (Castle) and the Norman Catedrale (Cathedral). Then take the coastal road to Leuca with its lighthouse and marina.

Apulia’s classified foods include two Cheeses, Clementines, Olives, and four Olive Oils. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Eastern Apulia for a sample menu and additional information on Apulia wines as well as an in-depth examination of eastern Apulia’s tourist attractions. The choice of local wine is so great that before long you should find at least one to your liking. And there’s a fair chance that it will be a bargain.

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The Apulia region forms the heel of the Italian boot. It is situated in the southeast corner of Italy and borders on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Apulia was frequently invaded by both the ancient Greeks and Romans. It was ruled by many including the Byzantines, Goths, Lombards, Normans,...