Starting from the north of the region, the beautiful scenery of the Gargano promontory offers charming villages, on one side the fertile plains of the tableland, (granary of Italy), on the other side the mountains that fall straight into the pristine sea known throughout the world. In the north lies the surreal and lavish Foresta Umbra, a monument of nature that offers an unexpected area of forests that have alpine characteristics.
Known as Capitanata, the province of Foggia is also called Daunia, named after the king that came from Greece, son of Lycaon of Arcadia. Due to the natural barriers of the Subappennino Dauno and the dense vegetation, it can be considered a sub-region of Puglia in terms of geography and culture. An area of rich archaeological sites, from the Palaeolithic of Rignano Garganico to the necropolis of Peschici, Vieste, Trinitapoli, from the Roman cities of Lucera, Herdonia and Siponto to the medieval architecture and ducal of Ascoli Satriano, Monte Sant’Angelo, Lucera, Pietramontecorvino , Deliceto, Bovino, Sant’Antonio and the ancient cathedrals that are present throughout the territory. The high rocky coast is enriched by coves and caves that makes it a unique attraction for the diversity that characterizes them.
Bari is the middle part of the region, between the Capitanata in the North and Otranto in the South. Characterized by the Murge, the most important complex of hills in central Puglia, a rising limestone terrace which reaches its highest points in the northern towns of Spinazzola and Minervino and Monte Caccia, located at 684 meters above sea level.
Natural boundaries divide this vast land area into four zones: the coastal Murgia, which slopes gently toward the Adriatic Sea between the provinces BAT (Barletta-Andria-Trani), Bari and Brindisi; an area of Ravines, which gives its name to the “Park of the Ravines” and extends between the provinces of Taranto and Brindisi; the Itria Valley, (whose territory coincides with the southern part of the Murgia between the provinces of Brindisi, Bari and Taranto), a fascinating place due to the presence of Trulli; and the Murge of Taranto, the area less elevated than the plateau that ends in the province of Lecce and traces a physiological demarcation between the towns of Martina Franca and Grottaglie.
The whole area of Murgia has a lack of rivers, although it is crossed by “lame” erosive furrows, in which water flows only during rainy periods. The name comes from the Latin “murex” i.e. sharp stone, due to the presence of limestone that has given life to numerous karst phenomena’s of hypogeum and epigeo such as sinkholes, the largest of which are locally called “Puli” like those of Molfetta, Gravina and Altamura; sinkholes, caves and ravines including the famous Grotte di Castellana, considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Of great importance is the National Park of Alta Murgia which includes the territory of 13 towns in the province of Bari. This can be considered the first rural park in Italy. As well as protecting the natural ecosystem, it also enhances and preserves the whole territory in close relation with the physical appearance, such as farms, jazzi, ancient tracks, and traditional ways. The inner part of the land is devoted to arable crops, almond orchards and vineyards, pastures and forests; while the coastal areas has a great prevalence of olive groves.
The Salento peninsula is the easternmost territory of Italy separated from the rest of the region by an imaginary line that goes from Massafra in the Gulf of Taranto to the Adriatic coast, at the border of Egnatia and ancient Peucezia.
From a morphological point of view, the territory is mainly flat max, 200 meters above sea level. The Mediterranean vegetation is characterized by a fascinating territory thanks to the presence of large ancient olive trees with large and twisted trunks and a coastline that offers high-impact color changes, going from the high cliffs of the Adriatic Sea to the white sandy beaches on the Lonian Sea (famous tourist destination).
Inland, the presence of fortified farms from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries color the surrounding countryside with their bright white buildings, reflecting the long and ancient tradition, still considered the main economic sector of the area.
The collection of urban locations are different, characterized by historical centers where buildings catch the eye of a lush baroque build with the typical local “leccese” stone that is found in this architectural expression, a touch of originality and complexity when compared to the rest of Italy. Also in this part of Puglia Arab influences can be seen in the blind alleys of the old city, characterized by typical courtyards, now as before, places of communal life among the locals.