Day Dreaming of Summer and Puglia
If like me, you have been getting a bit of the winter blues and are craving some warm weather, let me just take a minute to day dream about spectacular beaches and try to convince you to start planning your summer vacation to one of my personal favorite places:
In some English texts it is called Apulia, this name originates from its Latin roots. However, it is more commonly known by most Americans as “the heel of the boot”. The boot that I am referring to, of course, is Italy.
Puglia is famous as the Olive region. You can drive for miles through the olive trees with breathtaking sea views. It’s the kind of place that seems like it could only exist in a film. The natural landscapes are awe-inspiring and one of the many reasons that I believe it is one of the best vacation destination in Italy.
I actually discovered this region by chance, I was hired as an Au Pair in a tiny little village in the center of Puglia, in a town called Fasano. I had no idea what I was getting into but for nine months I called Puglia home. Puglia will always have a dear place in my heart because I met my husband there and we chose to celebrate our marriage in his hometown, Pezze Di Greco (between Bari and Brindisi). As many of my friends and family know I do not wish to live there permanently, and I was not pleased with my Au pair experience. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Puglia is the perfect place for a vacation or a magical wedding!
5 Reasons Puglia should be your top choice for an Italian beach vacation:
1.Lack of tourists
If you want to actually get a taste of Italian culture and not be overwhelmed by hundreds of other Americans all waiting in line for some sort of tourist attraction, this is definitely the place to go. Few Americans have ever heard of the region which also means prices are still extremely affordable.
Puglia is cheap in respect to the rest of Italy. You’ll be able to do so much more and not stress over ever penny. You can enjoy your cocktail knowing there is no way it will cost even close to 10 Euros. Not to mention the deliciously affordable food you’ll get to enjoy! For example, there is a pizzeria in my hubby’s hometown where you can get a margherita pizza for just 3 Euros and it’s AMAZING! In Rome the average price for margherita ranged from 8 Euros -12 Euros. The low costs also apply for lodging, you can stay in incredible old farm houses/mansions where they make (or used to make) olive oil. The average stay can cost anywhere between 35-100 a night. Plus they tend to serve traditional lunches and dinners where you can eat local delicacies to your heart’s content or at least until there is no more room in your stomach. These places are called Masseria and you can see photos of some of them and check out links to my favorites below.
3. You’re never far from a breath-taking beach
As a girl from Michigan I love the water and grew up being used to driving twenty minutes in any direction and eventually running into a lake. I spent evenings dancing on the beach, watching the sunset, and (until I was old enough to realize how F-ing cold the water is) swimming in the water. If you too are a Northerner the Adriatic Sea in Puglia will always feel comfortable if not warm! It’s salty and refreshing and the most beautiful shade of clear blue.
4. Beach Front Bars and Discos
Come April or when the weather warms up, discos (nightclubs) open up in Masserias or buildings near the sea with huge gardens and olive groves that transform into dance floors by night. Plus, dancing under the stars is the best lighting ever! I’ll have to do some further research to be able to tell you all some of my favorites!
All Italian food is amazing, so I don’t have to say much. Puglia is best known for polpette (meat balls), panzerotti (fried mini calzones, these are the most delicious things EVER!), and focaccia. There are many other delicacies and it is guaranteed that you will never go hungry while vacationing in Puglia. Be careful, if you go to eat at a Pugliese’s home you will be eating for at least a few hours, second-helpings are a must, and you will desperately need a nap after being stuffed full!
*Additional note: Many English speakers and all of my family have asked me how to pronounce Puglia….so this is what I do. Say, “poo” then with a creepy smile say, “gLEE” emphasizing the “LEE” not making much sound on the “g”, and lastly say “Ah”. If that’s too complicated, or you’re admitting defeat and accepting your American accent just say “pully-ah”.
Thanks Puglia for all of the good times and happy memories in the sun! Let us know if you’ve been to Puglia and what you think of this region!!