By: Gaby Becker, Editorial Staff (‘25)

Generally most people have a bucket list that may include Milan, Paris, Sydney, Rome, Seoul, and many other well-known travel destinations. Traveling is enjoyable because it gives people the chance to try new foods, learn new languages, and discover contemporary cultures. The Italian region of Puglia, which is located at the “heel” of the country, is one less well-known location that I highly recommend visiting. Puglia is 250 miles long and has the longest coastline of any Italian mainland region. A fun fact about Puglia is it has approximately 60 million olive trees. 

The first place I highly recommend visiting in Puglia is Alberobello which feels like a fairytale village. Alberobello is popularly known for its trullis, which are made of roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighboring fields. The trulis are a once-in-a-lifetime sight to experience, even if Alberobello is quite touristy with gift shops on every corner. Alberobello was declared a World Heritage site in 1996 because the trulis are an impressive example of prehistoric building techniques. Alberobello also offers a variety of excellent restaurants, friendly people, charming boutiques, and picturesque scenery. All in all, I highly recommend a day trip to Alberobello and its trullis because the magical experience will be well worth it.

Another reason I recommend visiting Puglia is the food the region produces. Burrata, which was created in the 1950s, is the most famous cheese from Puglia. Due to the abundance of wheat in the area, pasta is also one of the most popular dishes. In fact, in the streets of Bari (the capital of Puglia) old women may be seen preparing Orecchiette pasta by the hundreds. Taralli, which are little crunchy rings of baked dough frequently flavored with fennel seeds, peppercorns, or poppy seeds, frequently offered in large bags, are a well-known delicacy in Puglia. Puglia is also popular for its olive oil production accounting for 40% of the country’s olive oil. A favored street food in Puglia is Panino Col Polpo which consists of a bread roll and grilled octopus seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and lemon. This street food is so popular in the region there is an annual festival held in July. All in all, I highly encourage traveling to Puglia to sample the region’s exquisite cuisine.

The last reason I recommend going to Puglia is it’s less touristy and commercial with the same quality as many popular tourist countries. Puglia has beautiful beaches such as Polignano a Mare. The main beach is fairly crowded, but it’s worth it for the white-washed homes built on steep cliffs above the turquoise waters. Additionally, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is also held at this beautiful location. The capital, Bari, is another place that should be visited because it offers the ideal balance of ancient allure and beach attractiveness, which will appeal to most families. Every traveler should add Puglia, Italy, as their next bucket list destination!