at the southern extremity of Europe and in the centre of the Mediterranean,
extending into the sea towards the East, has always been an ideal region
for human settlement and an area of trade and cultural exchange because
of its geographic position, its slightly sloping terrain and particularly
Seat of populations which reached the highest level of civilisation since
earliest times, its prehistory is a cornerstone for studies on the more
recent Palaeolithic Mediterranean and European civilisations.
Coveted by East and by West, easily accessible by sea or by land, it was
inhabited in the historical period by the Illyrian populations of the
Japigi, the Dauni, the
Peucetii and the Messapi, was the site of numerous Greek colonies, was
a Roman territory, an ally of Hannibal against Rome, was included by Augustus
in the Apulia and Calabria region.
It suffered barbarian invasions, passed under the domination of Byzantium,
obtained a certain independence with the advent of the Longobards and
the following Frankish domination.
Exposed to Saracen raids, it rebelled against Byzanthium in the XI century
with the interested help of the Norman, who made it a principality.
It was part of the Reign of Sicily, the Reign of Naples and the Reign
of the Two Sicilies, prior to Italian unity.
The history and the culture of Apulia bear profound marks of the Greeks,
the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Normans, the Franks, the Spanish
and other populations which left indelible traces of their presence.
The contact with such different ethnic groups and cultures has strewn
the Apulian territory with archaeological findings, castles, towers, cathedrals,
urban and rural buildings and other monuments built in a vast range of
styles, reinterpreted by the peoples of Apulia, who created an authentic
stone culture of their own.
The dialects, traditions and cultures which still today characterise the
various Apulian peoples seem to be reflected in the geomorphologic features
of the areas they inhabit.
Profound historical-cultural and geographical-environmental diversities
distinguish the areas of Capitanata, the Land of Bari, of Salento and
the Ionic Land which compose the Apulian territory, and which correspond
more or less to the present day provinces of Foggia, Bari, Brindisi, Lecce
and Taranto; in fact, the area was long known as the Apulias,
and in some foreign languages it is still designated with the plural.
What the culture and knowledgeable hand of man have built, refined and
shaped to their measure across the millennia blends with the favourable
climate, limpid sea, ever-present sunshine, sandy and rocky coastlines,
verdant islands, characteristic grottoes and other beauties generously
profused by nature on this land.
The kind southern character, the natural openness of the people, a truly
typical cuisine, exquisite wines, religious and popular festival, historical
commemorations, cultural events and endless hospitality facilities, modern
and diversified, create a particularly warm atmosphere and make Apulia
the ideal vacationing spot.