Puglia retains an old-fashioned charm

Carol Forster

Carol Forster

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If you’re a Puglia fancier, you could do worse than base yourself in the vibrant, southern Italian city of Bari.

Here you are spoilt for choice in terms of eating places or hotels and all beside the shimmering Adriatic coastal strip dotted with boats and yachts of every imaginable colour.

The other great thing is that you can fly direct from some of the London airports which – believe me – is a joy compared to the complicated journeys required to reach other parts of southern Italy.

Another plus about being based here is its proximity to some gorgeous places.

I have already mentioned the Gargano region, of course, but if you go south instead, there are some fab places dotting the coast.

How about visiting ‘Polignano a Mare’, which is attractive with its medieval centre and Limestone cliffs overlooking the luscious azure sea.

Heading further south you find Egnazia; a fascinating place with oodles of history, having been colonized by both Greeks and Romans. Unfortunately much has been destroyed but a museum there contains some important artefacts.

Smoothing your way further still in a southerly direction, you reach Ostuni – the town so beloved for its whitewashed buildings which gleam in a sun kissed glow.

You could also make a detour to Martina Franca, a lovely Baroque town, and it goes without saying Alberobello would make a very interesting visit, with its quirky ‘Trulli’ dwellings.

However, it’s also interesting to travel north from Bari and one of Puglia’s most beautiful towns can be found not far from this city – Trani.

With its gorgeous 11th century Duomo and exquisite waterfront vistas, this is not a place to be missed while in the area.

All in all, whether you travel north or south from Bari, there are some lovely places to explore, so if good old Uncle Tom’s there again, it will matter not a jot if he jumps on the wrong train in his befuddlement, as his destination will doubtless delight him anyway!

You can also enjoy the cute local pasta, Orechiette (little ears)!

While becoming ever more on the tourist map, Puglia still retains an old-fashioned charm not to be missed.