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Impressions of Puglia and Basilicata, Italy

Puglia and Basilicata, their coastlines flirting with the waves of both the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas. Deep in the boot of Italy are two regions with a long history, rooted in the culture of ancient Greek colonies, known as Magna Graecia. Cities like Lecce, Otranto, Taranto, Brindisi, Bari, Metaponto were all founded by Greek settlers, and eventually romanised by conquest. Goths, Longobards, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans, Aragonese, they all took turns and made their passage here in the deep South of Italy, leaving their footprint, in the short run with blood from uncountable battlefields and poverty from harsh tax squeezes, in the long run with imposing castles and churches that still stand. But in the end, it is the own identity of the Italian South which shapes these regions, expressed in frivolous Apulian Baroque of a more modern epoch, lively city centres like Lecce, Taranto and Ostuni, hilltop towns and boroughs like Matera and Martina Franca, with narrow, shady alleys and the picturesque trulli villages architecture.

Enduring the baking sun of the Mezzogiorno, and at times the somewhat chaotic city traffic are tenfold rewarded by the inspiring pleasure of exploring such a diverse landscape of culture against a background of enchanting Salentino Adriatic coastlines and rugged canyons of the inner land.

Before visiting the place of your choice:

The Northern coastline of the Vieste peninsula is dotted with medieval defence towers and trabucchi, massive wooden structures used since ages and until today for net fishing. The massive stone towers were built along the coast as watch posts and defence fortifications, as this part of the Adriatic coast was frequently attacked by Saracen pirates and corsairs, well into the 16th and 17th centuries.

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