April in Apulia, Italy – the top 5 reasons to visit

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Puglia (or Apulia as it is known in English). Although yet to be discovered by the masses, the main attractions of this charming region of southern Italy can still get extremely busy in the height of the season and are best enjoyed earlier in the year. The evenings can be chilly but it is usually sunny and warm in the day time, the perfect weather for discovering all that the area has to offer.

1. The pretty village of Alberobello

Apulia is possibly best known for the charming trulli (dry stone, conical roofed peasant houses) that you will see dotted around the countryside. The pretty town of Alberobello is so unique it has been designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site because of its famous trulli zone. Each year thousands of Italians together with a few international tourists wander through the narrow streets looking for the perfect spot from where to take that picture postcard photograph without too many fellow tourists getting in the way. The height of Summer is best avoided and Spring, or indeed Autumn, is the perfect time to visit and avoid the masses.

2. Fields of wildflowers and cherry blossoms

Take a walk in the countryside through fields of wild flowers and ancient olive groves, interspersed with almond and cherry trees, the later covered in pink blossom throughout much of April.

3. The stunning caves at Castellana Grote

To be avoided in July/August when it is common for 500 people an hour to pass through the system, low season is the perfect time to visit the spectacular caves even if it’s raining outside. There is a short route which takes about an hour or a longer two and a half hour route but either one will show you a wonderful world of stalagmites and stalactites lit up to show-off the impressive beauty of these fabulous rock formations.

4. The perfect Gelato and Caffè Special in Polignano by the sea

Every Sunday the people of the nearby city of Bari and indeed all the surrounding area flock to the charming town of Polignano a Mare for a home-made gelato (ice-cream) and a caffè special, a delicious espresso made with panna (French Chantilly cream also used for ice creams), lemon peel and an almond liquor made with chopped sweet almonds. Although you will find it throughout the region Poliganano’s is consider to be the best.

5. The luxurious Borgobianco Resort and Spa

If you are looking for the perfect place to stay, I’d recommend the 5 star luxury hotel Borgobianco. Only a couple of miles inland from Polignano it is within handy reach of all the above attractions. Built just 4 years ago as it was designed with the local architectural traditions and building materials in mind, in the style of the local masseria, the rather grand farm houses of the area. It nestles perfectly into its surroundings of olive groves, almond and cherry trees, vineyards and fields of succulent spring greens.

This superb white stone building with white interior decor throughout exudes an air of calming luxury, so whether you choose to relax in the shaded courtyard or be pampered in the spa with perhaps a swim and a massage, this is the perfect place to unwind in between sight-seeing excursions.

In the evenings, Cosimo, the superb barman, will happily recommend an aperitivo before you head up to the restaurant where head chef Leonardo will introduce to you the wonderful cuisine of the area based on the delicious local vegetables, fresh fish and tender meats that are readily available. Head waiter Giovanni will also be delighted to recommend one of the wines from their superb collection to make the perfect accompaniment to your meal.

There are many other wonderful towns, villages and hotels to discover in the area and reasons enough to visit Apulia anytime of year but Spring time in southern Italy, with its wild flowers, blossoms, warm sunshine and uncrowded streets is THE time to visit for me.

Kathryn Burrington is Author of Travel with Kat.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Daniel Meloy says:

    Totally amazing! There are so many places in Italy worth going to. This small list definitely puts Apulia high up on my priorities though. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Kathryn says:

    My pleasure. Apulia is a wonderful region of Italy and deserves to be better known. I hope you have the chance to visit one day.

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