Puglia Lecce franca st martin Trani castle Trani duomo Trani Cathedral Otranto cathedral mosaic

Puglia & Basilicata

Puglia sm

The two most south-eastern regions of Italy offer more than just undiscovered beaches and spectacular landscapes. Puglia, or Apulia, occupies the heel of the Italian boot. Its capital, Bari, boasts a dazzling cathedral and the basilica of San Nicola, where the saint who was the model for Father Christmas rests in a Romanesque crypt. Puglia is home to the castles of the greatest of the Holy Roman Emperors, Frederick II Hohenstaufen. Castel del Monte near Andria, is one of the most perfect buildings of the Middle Ages.

Inside the curve of the Italian boot's arch is perhaps the least well known of all the regions in Italy, Basilicata. 'The land of the two seas' straddles both the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas. Its chief city, Matera, has evidence of human habitation as far back as Neolithic times. Declared Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO in 1993, it is a world of its own: homes, churches and theatres all hollowed out of the cream-coloured stone. It has been the set for many films, most famously 'The Passion of the Christ'.

We have wonderful guides in these regions who can bring them to life.