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Puglia - Things to Do - Tourism

The influx of tourists in Puglia is linked to the numbers of beach resorts along the Adriatic and Ionican coasts.

Most of the beaches are wide and sandy, giving way to attractive rocky coves, some with magnificent sea caves, in a few parts of Gargano and the Salentino peninsula. Taking the Gargano promontory as a starting point, the most important centres are Rodi Garganico, Peschici, Vieste, the elegant Pugnochiuso and Baia delle Zagare, where numerous sea crags give added beauty to the scenery.

Farther south lie Bisceglie, Polignano a Mare, Torre Canne, Marina di Ostuni, Roca Vecchia, Castro Marina and Leuca, at the tip of Salento.

Along the Ionican coastline, Gallipoli is followed by S. Mari al Bagno, Porto Cesareo, Marina di Pulsano, Riva dei Tessali and Marina di Ginosa.

Unforgettable is the rocky little Tremiti archipelago, off the Gargano coast, where the beauties of Nature still lie intact.

Many of the inland villages possess something of artistic or scenic interest, often with important historical remains.

The visitor would do well to see the villages of Monte S. Angelo, standing in a panoramic position on the Gargano hills, Lucera in Capitanata, with the remains of a Roman amphitheatre, Troia, which has a Romanesque-Pugliese cathedral (11th-13th century), with a magnificent rose window.

In the Murges area, lie Canosa, with a 11th century cathedral and the beautiful isolated octagonal Castel del Monte, built by Frederick II, on a splendid panoramic site, Ruvo di Puglia, with one of the most important Romanesque-Pugliese cathedrals (13th century); Alberobello, with its extraordinary trulli; Gioia del Colle, which has a great castle (11th-13th century); Altamura, with a Romanesque-Gothic cathedral (13th-15th century), Grottaglie, a pottery craft centre; Manduria (megalithic walls and necropolis).

Some of the coastal towns also attract large numbers of tourists. Barletta, famous for the Disfida in 1503, with a giant bronze statue of the Colosso (4th century); Trani, with a fine Romanesque cathedral (12th century); Monopoli, dominated by its 16th century castle, with nearby ruins of the pre-Roman city of Egnazia; Otranto, with its characteristic historical centre and beautiful cathedral (11th-12th century).

In the immediate Bari hinterland lies Bitonto, whose 13th century cathedral is probably the finest example of Romanesque-Pugliese architecture.

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