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Along the back of Italy’s famous “heel,” which juts out into the Adriatic Sea, stretches a line of Puglia’s remarkable Romanesque churches, gazing out to sea from Trani, Molfetta, and Bari.
Farther south is the village of Alberobello with its astonishing trulli – conical structures made using a prehistoric building technique, and Brindisi, an ancient Roman port joined to the imperial capital by the 350-mile (580-km) Appia Antica. But don’t stop here, or you will miss Europe’s most spectacular city, Lecce (see p323).
Inside its medieval walls, a hundred overwrought facades shine against azure skies. Farther south, and beyond the barren Salentine peninsula flanked by a bleached-white coast, are the town of Otranto, with its famous mosaics, and the golden fortress of Gallipoli.
Getting There and Around
Puglia has two international airports, at Bari and Brindisi. Brindisi is also the main passenger ferry point for arrivals from the eastern Mediterranean.
When to Go
Winters are mild in Puglia, but the vibrant colors of spring make this the best time to visit. Summers are long, hot, and crowded, and by fall the color has been all but drained from the land.