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Italy, Off The Beaten Path: The Many Faces Of Puglia

Women on balcony at Don Ferrante hotel in Puglia.
Don Ferrante in Puglia. Courtesy of the hotel.

By Ann Abel

People tend to talk about Puglia as if it’s just one place—the heel of Italy’s boot, a place of ancient olive trees, whitewashed masserie, the domed little hobbit homes called trulli. It’s a place that celebrates family, slow living, and long lunches under the Adriatic sun.

That vision isn’t wrong, but it leaves a lot out. The region stretches out over more than 250 miles and is home to 4 million people. It’s an area that encompasses a great deal of diversity. People in Lecce will tell you that they’re from Salento, not Puglia, and say that their dialect is more like Sicilian.

Ten years ago, Puglia was an up-and-coming destination, still a bit rough around the edges and without the refined grandeur of Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast. Since then, tourism has blossomed, but in a generally sane way. And even though Four Seasons has announced plans for a resort in Puglia and Rocco Forte is already there, the place still feels genuine … continue reading



Writer Ann Abel
Ann Abel

Ann Abel is a travel writer and editor and was a senior editor at ForbesLife. She writes for Forbes, Departures, Conde Nast Traveller, Robb Report, Afar, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Hemispheres, Brides, Modern Bride, Well + Good NYC, and other print and online publications.”In the name of lifestyle journalism, ” she says, ” I’ve gotten a tattoo in Bora Bora, been bitten by a massage therapist, and flown small aircraft above three continents.” She lives in Lisbon.

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