Why Puglia is Italy's Best Kept Secret

The Ultimate Undiscovered Hidden Paradise

PUGLIA, ITALY – Sitting by the seaside, surrounded by gleaming, white-washed buildings and turquoise water, it’s easy to see why thousands of Italians flock to the beach shores of the Puglia region. Despite this fact, Puglia remains largely undiscovered by non-European visitors who generally opt to travel to more famous cities like Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice. Puglia’s strategic location and rich soil have made it the target of numerous conquering civilizations, a fact evident in the diverse cuisine, architecture, and culture. If you’re looking for a truly authentic Italian experience, Puglia is a top destination.


Although delicious food is synonymous with Italian cuisine, Pugliese food takes this to the next level. As the main food producing region of the Italian peninsula, Pugliese dishes are at once complex and at the same time extremely simple. A favorite dish remains Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare (Spaghetti with Sea Urchin Sauce), made with sea urchins from the surrounding shores, tomato sauce, and spaghetti. The sauce imparts an assortment of salty, sweet, creamy and acidic notes to the palate all at the same time. A truly complex yet extremely simple dish.

olive trees in puglia protected by UNESCO
Photo: Old monumental olive trees that date to pre-Roman times

The region is also famous for its olive oil production, producing 40% of Italy’s total olive oil. The olive oil trees in this area are so old that they’re protected by the Italian government through micro-chip and satellite. If anyone tries to cut down one of the trees, the authorities are immediately notified of the exact location of the at-risk tree. Walking through these centuries-old olive oil “masseria” (Pugliese for farm), you are reminded that our experiences are shaped by generations of people giving back to the earth for future generations. It is this approach to life coupled with the appreciation for living in the moment that underlies the Italian way of life.

PHOTO: An iconic restaurant situated in the natural caverns of Polignano a Mare
PHOTO: An iconic restaurant situated in the natural caverns of Polignano a Mare


Via Narciso, 59, 70044

Polignano a Mare BA, Italy