The tip of the Italian spur
Apulia, the heel of the Italian boot is located in southeast Italy on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Over the centuries Apulia was frequently invaded. Its moment of greatest glory was in the Holy Roman Empire of the 13th Century, when majestic Romanesque cathedrals and palaces were built. This article presents the western and usually northern part of Apulia. A companion article presents the rest of the region.
Apulia’s administrative center is Bari, the biggest city in southern Italy, with a population of over 325 thousand. It is a major port that includes a modern city center and an old town definitely worth seeing. Everywhere you turn you can see the Adriatic Sea. To the northeast is the small port of Trani, once a major Adriatic port. Attractions include two medieval synagogues and several historic churches.
The spur of Italy’s boot is Promontorio del Gargano (Gargano Promontory), a very popular tourist destination. Its mountain roads are curvy so watch your driving. Near the tip is the whitewashed town of Vieste known for its castle. Take a ferry from Vieste to the nearby archipelago Isole Tremiti, but remember Tremiti as in tremor. The view is spectacular.
The Foresta Umbra (Shady Forest) encompasses over sixty thousand acres, hundreds of animal species and two thousand plant species many normally associated with northern climes. Monte Sant’Angelo has been a major pilgrim destination for centuries. You’ll want to see the Santuario di San Michele (Sanctuary of San Michele) and the Tomba di Rotari (Tomb of Rotari), a medieval baptistery. Finish your tour of western Apulia at the famous Castel del Monte, a mysterious eight-sided castle built in the Thirteenth Century.
Among Apulia’s classified foods are Clementines, Olives, two Cheeses, and four Olive Oils. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Western Apulia for a sample menu and more information on Apulia wines as well as an in-depth examination of western Apulia’s tourist attractions. The best-known local wine is Castel del Monte DOC, which is available overseas and is frankly not that great.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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