Apulia - Puglia
Alberobello - UNESCO World Heritage
Apulia (also known as Puglia in Italian) is better known as “The heel of the Italian boot” and it is mainly a flat and fertile peninsula. It is in the south-east part of Italy where the golden brown land dotted with ancient olives trees and vineyards. Apulia is divided into five provinces: Bari (the region's capital), Foggia, Taranto, Brindisi and Lecce. It offers more than 800 km of coastline, surrounding by vast expenses of olive groves, citrus trees, fig trees, vineyards, wheat fields, gardens all flourishing under the Mediterranean sun and making for a surprisingly diverse countryside.
Centuries-old olive tree
Apulia is also a combination of many natural and cultural and heritage sights: large ports, fishing villages, caves, sea grottos, sandy beaches, baroque towns, white-washed trullo houses, castles, cathedrals, basilicas, Romanesque and ancient ruins.
Apulia, is regarded as the "Garden of Italy", is an earth rich with agricultural in virtue of its favourable climatic conditions and geographic position, around 75% of all Italian fruit and vegetables are grown here. It is also considered the prefect habitat for the olive trees. There are over 50 million olive trees, many of them are over 300 hundred years old, it provides 44% of the Italian olive oil production, this is why the olive is treated as “Apulian Green Gold” in the life of Italy’s Apulia region.
Taranto is a coastal city sitting on the coast of the Gulf of Taranto, an arm of the Ionian Sea, on Apulia's south west coast the instep of Italy's “boot”. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base. The economy is based on agriculture, with typical products as olive oil, tangerines, wines, fishing and industry.
Taranto is one of Italy’s oldest and most beautiful port cities. Its history dates back to the 8th century BC when it was founded as a Greek colony. Legend says that Taranto was founded by Taras, one of God Poseidon’s sons. Ancient coinage depicts Taras riding a dolphin, sometimes with a trident in his hand. Today, Taranto built on the ancient Greek acropolis, the ancient city was situated on an island, joined by two bridges with the mainland, where the new city is built. The peninsulas enclose two bays - the Mar Grande (Big Sea) and the smaller Mar Piccolo (Small Sea), Taranto, therefore, is also known as the City of the Two Seas.
Taranto is famous of its seafood since antiquity, as its location on a peninsula bordering two seas(Mar Grande and Mar Piccolo), plenty of fresh seafood (such as oysters, mussels,octopus, other kinds of shellfish, sea urchin, etc.)can be found in local markets.
Taranto is full of monuments of historic value: Aragonese Castle (1481), Piazza Fontana, the Gothic church of Saint Domenico Maggiore, Madonna della Salute Sanctuary, Greek temple ruins still visible on Piazza Castello and others. It retains the antique atmosphere of an historic city by the sea.