Is Puglia price visiting? Till very lately, my reply would’ve been “completely.” The heel of Italy‘s boot was, for a time, one in all my favourite components of the nation.
That modified fairly dramatically throughout my newest go to there, for causes I’ll clarify all through this piece. I usually pinched myself as I drove round, and never in a great way. “Might I’ve imagined how superb Puglia was?”
Simply so we’re clear, I received’t be going as far as to advocate that you just don’t go to Puglia. Nonetheless, I’ll share candid causes I’ll not return there sooner or later, and I sure hope you’ll meditate on them.
Why I Fell In Love With Puglia
For a very long time, I insisted that Puglia was price visiting, even when associates and colleagues supplied me with testimony on the contrary. The primary time I traveled there, in 2013, my journey was completely blissful. After beginning in Otranto with its paradisiacal seashores, I headed south to sun-bleached Santa Maria di Leuca, looping again round to the walled, seaside metropolis of Gallipoli, the place I left at the very least a couple of items of my coronary heart.
Wanting again on my journey, in fact, there have been loads of flaws. I didn’t have a lot a refund then, which meant I bought round principally by bus and needed to forgo the very best Puglia motels and eating places. Furthermore, my images abilities on the time left rather a lot to be desired; my reminiscences are extra compelling than a lot of the images I shot. My current return to Puglia suggests my thoughts was simply as imperfect at capturing photos as my former digicam, nonetheless.
5 Causes Puglia is Overrated
Getting round is a nightmare
Once I got here again to Puglia in 2021, I assumed that having a rental automobile would make touring across the area simpler—how mistaken I used to be! Along with the truth that a number of locations I wished to go to had been inaccessible by automobile (extra on that in a second), sluggish pace limits and different deterrents in most cities and cities canceled out a lot of the benefit driving would in any other case have introduced.
Many superb locations are off-limits
Seashores had been a lot of the cause I as soon as thought-about Puglia price visiting. Nonetheless, lots of my favorites in Otranto (i.e. most in every single place apart from the primary metropolis seashores) are actually non-public, both trapped behind the partitions of resorts, or behind for-pay parking heaps and entrance cubicles. I suppose it’s petty to bemoan this—nothing good stays free for lengthy—nevertheless it does make me surprise why I’d ever come again to Puglia once more.
I really feel like there was a time, perhaps round 2015 or 2016, that actually each journey blogger apart from me was singing the praises of Matera. Now, Matera is superior—it’s one of many world’s oldest cities, in spite of everything—nevertheless it’s not the end-all be-all of Europe, and even Italy. And whereas common vacationers are usually not as plugged-in to journey bloggers as I’m, overexposure does diminish the influence a visit to Puglia may in any other case have.
Excessive costs, low worth
Low costs had been by no means a think about why I discovered Puglia price visiting. The area was at all times as costly as Rome or Florence, which stung at lot extra after I was 28 than it did at 36. On the identical time, given the grievances I aired within the previous paragraphs, the comparatively excessive costs you pay to journey by means of Puglia appear to sting much more, making it appear much more low worth by comparability.
It’s simply not all that
Earlier than I arrived in Alberobello in mid-September 2021, an Italian good friend of me warned me that town would underwhelm me—she wasn’t mistaken. Whereas the enduring trulli homes had been cute—they had been beautiful at sundown—I noticed what she meant. Puglia, taken within the context of your Italy journey, is charming however not incomparable. It’s an attractive additional place to see, however not important to understanding the nation.
How Many Days Do You Want in Puglia?
Assuming my journey report from 2021 hasn’t completely put you off visiting Puglia, I’d advocate spending at the very least 3-4 days right here. Should you take your time, you could possibly discover your method round a few of the inconveniences I skilled on my admittedly whirlwind return journey. Then again, you don’t need to keep too lengthy—in the event you do dislike Puglia, each extra day you spend will appear torturous.
The factor is, if you find yourself feeling Puglia is price visiting, you may at all times come again sooner or later. (I wouldn’t advocate ready eight years, although, lest you come again jaded and devastated like I did). Spending two days in Salento (i.e. southern Puglia) after which devoting a day every to Alberobello and Matera looks as if a recipe for achievement, at the very least as a lot success as is feasible right here.
Different FAQ About Journey in Puglia
What’s Puglia finest recognized for?
Puglia, to the extent it’s recognized in any respect, is thought for the trulli homes of Alberobello, the traditional metropolis of Matera and for having a few of Italy’s finest seashores. Though it does have vineyards and comparatively good wine, I personally discover solutions within the media that it’s “the following Tuscany” to be dramatic and overblown.
Which is best, Sicily or Puglia?
This comparability is a bit unfair, on condition that Sicily is an enormous island (and was an unbiased kingdom, for many of its historical past) and Puglia is a moderately-sized and poorly demarcated peninsula. Certainly, I discover Sicily to be way more of a self-contained vacation spot, from its singular cities and cities, to iconic pure surroundings like Mt. Etna, to culinary delights like arancini and caponata.
The Backside Line
Is Puglia price visiting? I’ll depart the reply to that query so that you can resolve. Nonetheless, in the event you’re headed there’ll sky-high expectations resulting from one thing you learn on-line, I’d counsel you regulate them. Early visits to Puglia definitely impressed me. Nonetheless, I now ponder whether that was resulting from Puglia’s inherent standing as one in all probably the most stunning locations in Italy, or whether or not my relative inexperience as a journey the previous couple of occasions I used to be there triggered me to see the area with rose-colored glasses.