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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Soak Up the Romance of Puglia

English: Alberobello, Apulia, Italy. Fran├žais ...
English: Alberobello, Apulia, Italy. Fran├žais : Alberobello, Pouilles, Italie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By []Helen Forbes

Valentine's Day comes but once a year, however, as real romantics know, romance does not follow a schedule. When it comes to true love, every day is Valentine's Day, and you certainly don't need a reason to book a romantic getaway! And when it comes to romantic getaways, nothing beats Southern Italy, specifically Puglia. Hotels in this gorgeous region are popular with couples for many reasons and, in fact, the area is one of the most popular wedding and honeymoon destinations in the country.

In Puglia, hotels are generally less crowded than their northern counterparts, but are no less luxurious. As the country's southernmost region, Italy's 'heel' offers everything you need for a romantic getaway: beautiful landscapes, unbelievable beaches (the coastline is sculpted by two seas-the Adriatic and the Ionian, and the region is surrounded by water on three sides), amazing historical sights and architecture, scrumptious food and wine, and of course the warm Italian hospitality.

Many visit the area for its delectable cuisine and wines. Imagine a romantic evening in your hotel room sipping wine and nibbling on a wonderful local cheese, or going out and dining on local specialities such as hand-made pasta, the freshest seafood available, porcini and cardoncelli mushrooms, wild berries and asparagus, peppers, artichokes, and, of course, escargot. It's hard to imagine a better way to pass the time!

For keen sightseers, Puglia hotels make the perfect base for exploring the history of the area, such as the ancient Trulli houses of Alberobello, with their beehive roofs, or the amazing hilltop towns of Ostuni and Martina Franca. And if you're in a shopping mood, visit Lecce, which offers locally produced olive oil, wine, and ceramics. Be sure to purchase a few bottles of unfiltered olive oil, made from locally grown olives that are hand-picked and cold-pressed the same day. If you overdo the sightseeing, never fear, book a session for your and your partner in one of the area's amazing spas, like the Masseria San Domenico, and soon you'll both be right as rain again.

Its many beautiful and historical churches are another reason for the popularity of Puglia. Hotels will put you within easy access of Santuario di San Michele at Monte Sant'Angelo, one of Europe's most important pilgrimage sites; the ornate Basilica di Santa Croce, which took more than 100 years to create; and the Chiesa di Sant'Irene, with its gilded altar. If you're lucky enough to be visiting during Holy Week, be sure to check out La Settimana Santa processions.

Of course, the other attractions not to be missed are the amazing beaches of Puglia. Two highly recommended ones are Porto Selvaggio - which features a beautiful sand beach, crystal waters deep enough for snorkelling, and underwater caves - and Porto Badisco - which features a sheltered cove with golden sand and turquoise waters. Both are perfect for a surprise romantic picnic.

Helen Forbes is from Essential Italy, a company specialising in Italian holiday villas, apartments and hotels. If you're looking for the perfect []Puglia hotels we can help. Our handpicked accommodation offers distinctive Italian qualities, great comfort and convenience.

Article Source: [] Soak Up the Romance of Puglia

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