Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, is a region kissed by the sun that has a rich culture of simple pleasures. In a previous article we present the tourists data of the last few years shows the Puglia Region and Ostuni have seen the number of visitors grow.(Ostuni is one of the favorite destinations for foreigners in 2018)
Today we want to show you the 10 reasons why Puglia is the perfect family holiday destination.
Apulian Sandy Beaches
Puglia is surrounded by a dusty blue sea that laps the clear and silky sand. Exceptional beaches include the sublime 4 km stretch of Torre Lapillo, an arch between two 16th century watchtowers: the inclination of the bay is ideal for families with small children. At the southernmost point of the heel of Italy there is Pescoluse, known as the Maldives of Puglia, and there are some enchanting beaches around Otranto, including the wild Baia dei Turchi. Most of the sandy beaches have free areas and private beaches where you have to pay around 20-35 a day for a couple of sunbeds and a parasol. During the summer, they often offer the Italian-style sea dance routines that participate to everyone, that some children will love. Near Ostuni a few kilometers away there are several beaches suitable for families and for our pet friends. (Beaches near Ostuni)
Cliff jumping in Puglia
Although Puglia is lined with sandy stretches, there is also an enormous amount of rocks on the coast of Italy’s boot. Polignano al Mare , a whitewashed city that shines on top of cliffs carved by the wind, is famous as the site of the Red Bull Cliff Diving series, an extraordinary annual show in July with world-class divers. For the blue jumps for the children, there are other fantastic spots in Santa Cesarea alle Terme, San Gregorio, in the south, and, for an exciting adrenaline rush, the Grotta della Poesia, a pool of turquoise water where you can jump from the natural rock bridge on the edge of the water.
Puglia can feel far from the savannah, but in Fasano, a small town in the province of Bari, there is Fasonlandia a very large theme park, dedicated to drive-through safari. The children will have a chill so close to seeing the big cats roaming free, with the giraffes bending to peer through the car window and the monkeys jumping on the hood.
Diving and Snorkeling
The warm seas of Puglia are a good place to try diving for the first time, children can try scuba diving with short test courses in centers like Scuba Diving Levanto Stefano in Otranto, or Orca Diving in Torre Lapillo. The training that the participants will receive will in some way contain a complete diving certificate. If your children do not want it, there is a wonderful snorkelling around the rock formations on the coast and great visibility.
Ostuni, the white city
Picturesque and all to discover is Ostuni, the White City. Renowned tourist destination, boasts a wonderful medieval village, full of narrow streets. Among the white alleys of the village it is easy to see why it is called “the White City”: each house is painted white with lime paint.
Renowned tourist center, from 1994 to 2017 it received the Blue Flag and the five sails of Legambiente for cleaning the waters of its coast and for the quality of services offered, becoming the city with the cleanest sea in Italy. Moreover, in 2005, the Puglia Region recognized the municipality as a “tourist resort”. There are several monuments of Ostuni that you can visit. (Find out what to see in Ostuni)
Music and Gastronomic Festivals in Puglia
You will find gastronomic and musical festivals to be enjoyed throughout the year in Puglia, although most occur in July and August. The little ones can have fun following the brass bands that parade in the city centers: the possibility to browse the stalls of toys and jewels and to have an ice cream in the evening. If there are no festivals, at least one walk is guaranteed, when everyone gets dressed and walks up and down the city center, and the children are free to run and play. This year in Ostuni several festivals took place including the Battiti Live 2018 .
Yes, Puglia has an incredibly beautiful natural coastline, but the thrill of an aquatic park is hard to beat. There are several slides and pools complexes all over Puglia, winners of merit to keep children of all ages happy for a day.
The Tremiti islands, off the splendid Gargano coast, in the north of Puglia, are a rocky, bumpy archipelago bordered by iridescent sandbands. With the fortifications that seem to emerge from the rocks, even these islands have a sad history: they have served as a place of exile for over 2,000 years. It is incredibly exciting to hire a boat and launch towards them through the royal blue sea, with sparkles of shimmering sun that touch the waves. If you do not have time for a great hike, rent a boat to explore elsewhere along the coast, from cities like Gallipoli or Otranto, or take a pedal boat from one of the beaches.
The most famous network of honeycomb caves of Puglia are the Castellana Caves (adults / under 6 years € 16 / free), amazing caves with stalagmites and stalagmites that date back to 90 million years ago and go down to a depth 60 meters. ( The caves of Castellana are one hour from Ostuni ) However, these are not the only caves to be discovered along the coast. You can take a boat trip along the coast near Santa Maria dei Leuca on the tip of the heel and swim out of the boat in hidden coves, or swim from the rocks of Santa Cesarea to the Baths in caves full of water, where the sea is more fresh and dark blue.
Typical Apulian dishes
Puglia is famous for many food products, but especially for handmade pasta, “small ears”, orecchiette. You can see it handmade in the alleys of the historic center of Bari – the only ingredients are flour and water, like a tastier version of the game dough – and children will love trying to make small shapes by hand. Several companies and hotels offer the opportunity to take part in local cooking classes. Private lessons can be organized through companies such as Cook in Puglia. We at Palazzo Rodio have agreements with local activities to let you try some of our local specialties.
In this article we wanted to show you what are 10 reasons why Puglia is the perfect family holiday destination, we at Palazzo Rodio would be pleased to welcome you and show you the beauties of Ostuni.
Nineteenth-century palace located in the center of Ostuni. Renovated respecting the original style.