White beaches, crystal clear sea, towns with an ancient history and suggestive villages: when we think about Puglia, we refer to the ideal destination for any type of trip. Sunny, lively and friendly, Puglia is one of the most loved regions which attracts visitors from Italy and from all over the world. With its typical white houses, intense flavors and fascinating destinations, Puglia is unforgettable: the trulli, the islands, passing through the town rich in history and art make this region a “must see” for everyone.
But there are places which are unknown to mass tourism and deserve to be seen at least once in a lifetime. Here is an itinerary of all those “hidden gems” that Puglia offers!
Castellana Caves (described by many as the “Wonder of Puglia”) are a complex of underground cavities of karst origin, located in the province of Bari, on the border with the famous Valle d’Itria, in Puglia.
They are undoubtedly one of the main attractions for those who want to visit Puglia. The reason is their incredible beauty. It is a series of underground cavities that surprise with the stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over thousands of years; they create shapes that, with a little fantasy and imagination, suggest objects or animals.
Castellana Caves constitute a vast system of caves that develops for about 3 kilometers at an average depth of 70 meters. It is one of the most striking aspects of Apulian karst phenomena. The first cave of the karst system of the Castellana Caves and the only one communicating with the outside is the Grave: a grandiose natural pantheon measuring one hundred meters in length, fifty in width and sixty in depth. The richness of forms, typical of the Baroque, combined with the upward tension of the Gothic, often flank each other in a single cave that create a unique kind of harmony.
The term Valle d’Itria includes the countryside between Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Cisternino, a valley of karstic nature covered by the unmistakable reddish earth once exclusively cultivated with grapes.
Martina Franca represents the cultural heart of Valle d’Itria and hosts, in fact, numerous initiatives related to art and classical music including the Valle d’Itria Festival. The village renowned for its Baroque architecture was an important center for trade in wool which gave rise to the clothing industry, handed down to this day.
Cisternino has been declared one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Located on the last strip of the south-eastern Apulian Murgia, Cisternino faces south-west on the Itria Valley studded with trulli. It was born from the settlement of a small Christian community in the original hamlet of Cisturninum. Today, this village is an excellent example of “spontaneous architecture”, where the mixture between internal and external spaces, houses, alleys and courtyards is influenced by human relationships.
On top of a hill overlooking the Valle d’Itria, stands a quiet village with typical low whitewashed houses. Locorotondo amazes with its circular shape and the streets arranged in a concentric way that explain the origin of the name. Counted among the most beautiful villages in Italy, Locorotondo makes up the group of white cities of Puglia, together with Ostuni, Cisternino and Martina Franca among others.
Faeto is a small village of about 700 inhabitants which rises in the province of Foggia, in the area of the Southern Dauno Sub-Apennine, surrounded by wonderful woods.
The Franco-Provençal name of Faeto is Faíte and derives from “faggeto”, beech forest. Even today, the presence of this natural element represents the strength of the town. Wonderful valleys embrace the village and, on clear days, the view ranges up to touch the peaks of the Gargano. The forest of Faeto, therefore, is the ideal place to immerse in nature and live unique and unforgettable experiences, totally disconnecting from the everyday routine and the frenetic life of big cities. Another peculiarity that represents a central point in the identity of the village is the Franco-Provençal language, which has resisted the passage of time and is still spoken today by the community.
The architectures that make up the medieval village, enclosed between narrow and winding alleys, in addition to the suggestive beech woods in which it is immersed, make Faeto the ideal destination to enchant those in search of relaxation and history paths surrounded by wonderful nature. Emblems of the village are the sixteenth-century Mother Church dedicated to the Most Holy Savior and the Casa del Capitano which today houses a civic museum that brings together a collection of finds ranging from prehistory to the Middle Ages.
Explore our sample itineraries for Puglia or Speak to us about including these must-see destinations in your personal itinerary with explore this one-of-a-kind dining experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.