Hidden in the deep south of Europe, Puglia is one of Italy’s leading local secrets. The local culture is built on the region’s many historical influences, whose influences all made their mark in the diverse architecture, archaeology and many dialects of the area, perhaps metaphorically reflected in the fullness and intensity of the best known deep red wines of the region.
For culinary adventures, the food of Puglia is perhaps among the best gastronomy that Italy has to offer. It is everything that could be described as classic, healthy Mediterranean - fresh, local, meticulously prepared and regionally specific.
- Puglia is trulli
Trulli are traditional homes from the Itria Valley in Puglia since around the 4th century. They are traditionally whitewashed with the domed roofs left the natural gray stone color. The most famous town of trulli is Alberobello: 1,500 trulli grouped together to make up a town. It is so unique that it is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Puglia is Primitivo
Primitivo tends to produce smooth, full, high-alcohol wines bursting with black fruit, spice and sometimes the signature limestone minerality of southern Italian soils, the thickest of which can be pleasantly sweet, reminiscent of drinking jam, yet can also produce dry, firm, well-rounded bottle aged wines.
- Puglia is extra virgin olive oil
The real king of Puglian and Mediterranean cuisine and the fundamental part of most of all local delicacies is, of course, extra virgin olive oil. You might think that Tuscany is the main olive oil producing region of Italy, but you’ll be surprised to learn that almost half of the Italian production of ‘green gold’ comes from Puglia where there are many different kinds of native olive trees.
The strength of Puglia’s robust and rustic cuisine springs out of a history of self-reliance due to the poverty of the area, transformed now into its great strength as a famous destination for wine and food trips, celebrating several food and wine festivals throughout the year including the Sagra del Vino Novello, or Festival of New Wine in November, where last year’s bottles are opened and passed around to the tune of traditional music and dance.