I’ve always had the dream of moving to Italy, following several holidays there over the years. I love the language, the food, the wine, the countryside and the attitude of the Italians.
Over the years, I visited the Lakes, Veneto, Tuscany and Le Marche and as I formed the dream in my mind, I filtered the regions down to Puglia. Criteria included tourism life cycle (still fairly early), expatriate colonialism (not yet ‘Chiantishire’), tourism appeal (sun, sea, sand, hills, cycling, diving, painting, walking, food, wine…), access (Bari & Brindisi airports with regular visitors from Holland, Germany, US and UK) and property prices.
Puglia came out on top for a host of reasons, not least because it produces 60% of Italy’s olive oil and the delicious Negroamaro and Primitivo wines…!
My first trip to Puglia in 2015 presented a dry, hot, white, Grecian region, with cliffside villages, fishing harbours, raw seafood, rocky coves, sandy beaches, rich, fruity red wines, olive groves, vineyards and red soil. What not to fall in love with?!
There is a distinct difference between the more lush (using the term loosely…) northern part of Puglia and the dry, flat Salento region.
Here’s a selection of images to show what I fell in love with…