Lonely Planet – Puglia embodies everything that is seductive about southern Italy: rolling countryside blanketed in almond and olive groves, luridly turquoise beaches, snug whitewashed villages, and long, lazy lunches washed down with prized local vino.

Lapped by two seas and stretching 432km (268 miles) from north to south, the region of Puglia delivers an array of diverse landscapes, from the light-dappled woods of the Gargano promontory to the Greek-speaking, pizzica-dancing towns of far-flung Salento. Should you cycle between bougainvillea-draped towns in the Valle d’Itria, snorkel the Tremiti Islands, or feast on pasticciotti (creamy pastry) in bombastically baroque Lecce?

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