Rustic region with an A-list coast
Down in the heel of Italy's boot is the region of Puglia. With quaint towns and villages, delicious regional cuisine, and a landscape dominated by olive groves and vineyards (save room in your case for tins of extra virgin olive oil and a bottle of DOC red wine), it's rural Italy at its best.
With a dual coastline – one side fronts the Adriatic Sea, the other borders the Ionian – there are plenty of beaches to take your pick from. Around Savelletri di Fasano, expect pale sands and cut-glass waters; venture further south into the Salento peninsula and you’ll find bays that could rival the Maldives.
Puglia offers a raft of day-tripping options, too. Head for historical Ostuni or handsome Lecce, discover Alberobello's iconic trulli houses, or explore the caves near the town of Castellana, which stretch over three kilometres and date back two million years. UNESCO-listed Matera, with its centuries-old cave houses, is also in reach.
Monopoli is a strikingly pretty town in Puglia that piles ivory-white castles, towers and cathedrals in a walled old town by the sea.
Savelletri di Fasano is a fishing hamlet with a marina, plenty of seafood restaurants and a world-class golf course. Plus, Egnazia Archaeological Park is just up the road.
Flights to Puglia take around 3 hours from the UK.
Nestled right in the far south of Italy, Puglia has a balmy Mediterranean climate, with warm springs and autumns that see temperatures in the 20s well into October. Head here in the summer and you can expect plenty of beach-perfect days – blue skies, sunshine and temperatures nudging 30°C.
British citizens do not currently require a visa to visit Italy.
When you dine out in Italy, you will generally be charged a coperto (cover charge), which is for the bread, tablecloth, cutlery, etc. Tipping in Italy is not customary, but is always appreciated.
The official language of Italy is Italian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.