Puglia, the very beautiful southern region of Italy, is quite the dream destination. Charming coastal towns, paradisiacal beaches, delicious food, and a serenity that’s all its own. When you go here, even though it's rife with Italian culture, you'll almost feel as if you entered another world. And in many ways, this sort of impact can get overwhelming, almost to the point that you can lose your way. As beautiful as the place is, there are a few ways to ensure that you can enjoy your stay here to the fullest. Just follow these top tips on traveling to Puglia!
Learn Italian Beforehand
First thing's first, you might want to learn Italian first. Remember that Puglia is located in the southernmost part of the country. Although it's become a popular tourist destination, it's a fair distance away from the more cosmopolitan cities like Rome, Milan, Venice, and more. And in a nutshell, this means that in Puglia, you'll find little to no international communities. In terms of language, practically every local you'll meet will only speak and understand Italian. So to ensure you won't get lost in the language barrier, brush up on your Italian before going here. If you're already in other cities like Rome
, enroll in the language schools there!
Expect To Meet A Lot of Italian Tourists
Want further proof that you'll need to learn Italian before going to Puglia? Among the several tourists you'll bump into here, a good percentage of them will be Italians. That's right, Italians love going all the way to the southernmost region of the country for vacation. It only goes to show just how beautiful and paradisiacal it is in Puglia. With this in mind, as far as social customs
are concerned, don't just simply ask people thinking they're locals. If you're suddenly curious about something in the area, don't assume that the next Italian you talk to will be from here. There's at least a 50% chance they're not!
Avoid Coming Here on August
Thanks to its beautiful location in the Mediterranean, it's safe to say that Puglia is sunny all year round. Even if you come here in the dead of winter, though it may be cooler than other months, you'll still get plenty of heat and sunshine. However, in terms of the best time to go to Puglia, avoid coming here during August. This is the peak season for tourists who go this region and you know what that means! More crowds, fewer spaces (especially on the beach!), and higher prices. Instead, go here during spring (March to May) or early autumn (mid-September).
Know that Bigger Cities are More Expensive
Don't think that just because Puglia is a more provincial region with mostly small towns and fewer urban cities that it's all going to be cheap here. That's not exactly the case all the time. In the bigger and busier cities in Puglia
, you'll find that the prices here tend to be higher than those in smaller villages and coastal towns. From accommodations to dining out, you'd be surprised at the massive differences between how much you spent here to how much you'll save in the more rural communes. Also, speaking of dining out, know that most establishments in Puglia charge a coperto
, a cover charge that's usually around €1.00 to €2.00 per person.
Cook For Yourself
As previously mentioned, you're better off staying in the old towns, the small villages, and the like if you want to stick to your budget here in Puglia. And of course, that also applies to food. This isn't to say that most of the restaurants and other establishments in the region are all five-star hotspots. This isn't Milan
, after all! However, if you can, you're better off cooking for yourself while you're here. There are a ton of open markets in Puglia that sell fresh ingredients and produce. And as for the local food here, many of them are actually easy to make!
Rent A Car
As far as transportation is concerned, you're better off renting your own car. Remember that Puglia is very much an old-school provincial region in Italy. Though there are buses and taxis here, there aren't as many as those in the major cities. Heck, even using transportation apps
to hail a ride would be difficult. If you can afford to, just rent your own vehicle instead. Apart from helping you save time, money, and patience, it's a great way to explore the beautiful region at your own pace too. Just imagine driving by the beautiful coasts of Salento, Otranto, Vieste, and more!
Enjoy The Slow-Paced Life Here
Finally, just enjoy the slow-paced life here. Remember that you're here on vacation. You went all the way to Puglia to escape all your daily troubles, stress, and the like. When you get to this region, you'll feel as if time has stopped and you can simply live your life the way you want to. There are no tall skyscrapers with big business, no traffic jams on the street, fewer people rushing to work, and the like. In Puglia, it's all about taking it slow and enjoying what life has to offer. Take a step back, put your feet up, and simply relax!
It's easy to think that spending time in Puglia is easy peasy since it's more on the rural side of Italy. However, be that as it may, you might want to follow these tips to ensure that you get to enjoy your time in this beautiful region to the fullest!