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16 Facts You Need to Know About Puglia, Italy

Raksha Kulkarni
Puglia is the easternmost region in Italy. It is renowned for its quaint towns, vibrant culture, rich history, amazing architecture, delicious cuisine, outstanding wine, and breathtaking landscapes of fields and beaches.
Did you know Puglia is pronounced as poo-li-ya? It also goes by its Latin name ‘Apulia’ sometimes.
Facts About Puglia
It is said to be originally occupied by Mycenaean Greeks, which explains all the Greek influence.
Long back after the World War I, the region was fondly known as the ‘Bread Basket of Italy’. It produces huge amount of bread and pasta.
It is the eighth most populated region in Italy with a population of almost 4 million!
Olive trees are abundantly found here, almost 50 million of them! Some also are centuries old.
It is renowned for its extra virgin olive oil production. It produces around 300,000 tonnes every year, contributing to almost 40% of the country’s olive oil.
It is also illegal to dig up an olive tree from Puglian soil; to avoid people from other parts that come, dig up, and take away these trees.
The region is one of the largest wine-making regions. Puglian wine is known for its unique taste coming from different grape varieties.

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The coastline here is the heel of Italy’s boot-like shape, which attracts most of the tourists. But, the 800 km coastline is also the longest coastline compared to any Italian mainland region.
All the beaches here are known for their explicit beauty but the region also boasts of 10 Blue Flag certified beaches.
Lecce, a famous city, is also known as the ‘Florence of the South’ because of Baroque architecture and historic structures like a Roman amphitheater.
Some people also speak Griko, Barese, and Foggiano which are similar to Greek; apart from Italian and the Puglia dialect. Many are from small towns around Lecce.
Trulli are unique ancient huts, specific to the Itria valley in this region. The white limestone cone-shaped houses date back to the Middle Ages when they were home for farmers. Alberobello, a UNESCO site has preserved these houses perfectly.
Puglia has been a birthplace of many authentic Italian dishes like burrata cheese and orecchiette pasta.
Castel del Monte in Andria, is the only eight-sided castle. It was also depicted on the Italian one-cent Euro. It boasts of impressive architecture and a view of the nearby coastline.
Pizzica is an annual celebration of Italian folk music and dance. Famous musicians like Matteo Salvatore and Tito Schipa call Puglia their home.
There’s a legend that says Bari in Puglia is the home of Santa Claus (St. Nicolas). The Basilica di San Nicola in Bari is home to relics of Father Christmas.