Puglia, Italy: Uncrowded and Unspoiled

by | Italy, Puglia

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination that’s still easy to get to and has world-class food and wine, look no further than Puglia, Italy. The locals will tell you that the region is quiet, unspoiled, and rural. Puglia is where life slows down, people are friendly and welcoming, and there’s plenty of history and culture to discover.

There is much to see in Puglia—from centuries-old castles to nature reserves. Feast your eyes on ancient ruins to modern art galleries. Walk through one of its historic towns or wander through its olive groves. In Puglia, you know you’re in a place where time stands still.



Old City of Ostuni

There’s a splendid cathedral with many exciting artifacts inside, including the tomb of Ugolino Della Gherardesca.

Ugolino della Gherardesca is buried in the Cathedral of Ostuni in Puglia, Italy. The tomb of Ugolino Della Gherardesca is in the cathedral of Ostuni because it was built by his son, who was a bishop in the town.

He fought against the Guelphs and later became a Ghibelline leader in 1289, held captive by Giovanni Buondelmonti and imprisoned in the tower of Pisa’s Palazzo Della Signoria. His sons were also imprisoned there and starved to death by their captors. Ugolino himself died of starvation during his imprisonment in 1301.

He was buried at the church of San Francesco d’Assisi in Pisa but was exhumed on orders from Pope Clement V on July 18th, 1314, and transferred to the cathedral of Ostuni in Puglia, where his tomb still stands today.”

The cathedral is now one of Puglia’s most famous landmarks and attracts visitors yearly. It has been featured in many films and television shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Borgias.”

The cathedral also has an incredible organ made in 1616 by Gaetano Callido. The town is beautiful, with narrow cobblestone streets and lots of restaurants and shops where you can buy local products like olive oil or wine. You can see the old theater there as well!


Cathedral of Ostuni

Cathedral of Ostuni

The Baroque Basilica of San Nicola in Bari

The Basilica of San Nicola is one of Puglia’s most important religious buildings. It’s also home to an ornate ceiling painted by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1752 that depicts Jesus Christ and several other Bible characters. The church is beautiful but also home to a museum full of artifacts from Puglia’s past!


Basilica of San Nicola in Trani (Puglia, Italy)

Basilica of San Nicola in Trani (Puglia, Italy)

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Castel del Monte

Castel de Monte is called Sleeping Beauty Castle because it is inspired by the famous fairy tale. It has a resemblance to the fairy tale castle in which Sleeping Beauty was imprisoned.

It was built by Frederick II 1233, a German emperor, and it was intended to be a place where he could spend time with his family and friends.

You can find the castle in Puglia, Italy, on Mount Sant’Angelo. It is one of the most important buildings of medieval Europe and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


Castel del Monte in Puglia, Italy

Castel del Monte in Puglia, Italy

The medieval town of Alberobello

You can spend your days traversing through the medieval town of Alberobello and its famous Trulli houses.

Trulli Houses in Puglia, Italy, are famous because they’re so beautiful. The function of these houses is to keep cool during the summer and warm during the winter.

Holding the Trulli houses are gravity and friction. Stone and clay with no mortar or cement make these houses.


Trulli Houses in Puglia, Italy

Trulli Houses in Puglia, Italy



Why do you need to travel to the historic resort Masseria San Domenico? There are few places left in the world that vast crowds of tourists haven’t discovered. 

Masseria San Domenico is on a hill in the countryside, with views of the sea and mountains. It is a luxury villa on a hilltop in Puglia, Italy. Olive groves and vineyards surround the property, and it is just a short drive from the town of Ostuni.


Masseria San Domenico

Masseria San Domenico- Virtuoso

The Story of Masseria San Domenico

Masseria San Domenico is not always so peaceful. During World War II, the Germans used Masseria San Domenico as an ammunition depot to warn against attacks by the Turks.

The estate has a long history – it was built in the 16th century by monks who converted it into a farm when they were forced to leave their monastery. The monks at Masseria San Domenico were forced to leave because their abbey was destroyed by the Turks in 1485.  It was later abandoned until 2012, when it was restored by a family who wanted to create an authentic experience of rural life in Puglia.

The Charm of Masseria San Domenico

Masseria San Domenico is where you can recharge, relax, and get away from it all.

The grounds boast acres of olive groves and gardens filled with fragrant herbs. The air smells sweet and fresh here—like lavender and rosemary—and you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty at every turn.

Inside the villa, you’ll find original frescoes that date back to the 1300s and original marble floors that have been polished to a shine. The rooms are spacious and bright, with large windows that let in plenty of light and allow views of the beautiful landscape outside.

This hotel is a thalassotherapy spa paradise! The treatments are the results of the therapeutic effects of seawater and are on-site, offering everything from seaweed therapies to marine scrubs. 

Masseria San Domenico Seawater Outdoor Pool - Virtuoso

Masseria San Domenico Seawater Outdoor Pool – Virtuoso

I love it when I come across totally unexpected little gems while traveling or doing my research. What’s better is I get to share those gems with clients for their trips! What’s a hidden gem you discovered while traveling?

Inspired Travel Designs would love to discuss with you that perfect getaway. Let’s chat!