Puglia Italy overview
The heel of Italy, called Apulia or Puglia, has been controlled and influenced by many peoples over the centuries. This has resulted in a range of languages so that as well as the majority of people speaking Italian you will also find Neapolitan, Sicilian, Griko (greek), Franco-Provencal and Albanian spoken in the area, plus any languages spoken by immigrants from north Africa. The area abounds with Greek monuments, Norman (Viking type) castles, Sicilian government buildings and trulli (dry stone, conical-roofed houses). Brindisi has been a major sea port and was used as a jumping off point for the WWI battle at Galipoli while Gioia del Colle was a significant airbase used to free Libya in 2011.
The area of this tour starts in the north with the Murge plateau which offers a relatively flat riding surface out of which sprout small towns built on ancient hills. The Murge sits above the eastern coastal region (so best not to whizz down there if you don't want to have to slog back up again). The plateau gently follows the heel down to the southern coast and from here you can ride into Taranto where the Italian navy has its major base.
You also need to know that the food is very filling and the wine is locally considered more important than Bordeaux, and it's pretty good too. Unlike many of the other areas on MyBikeGuide this is not predominantly flat, but there are no very steep hills unless you decide to ride up or down to the east coast.
The coast is a major holiday destination for Italians particularly in late July and early August. Outside of this peak period accommodation is readily availabl. Bike hire is limited but it does exist.
||Cost in Euros
||€8/day per bike for 7 days
||€80/night for 6 nights
|Food and drink
||€35 per person per day, for 7 days
||say €40 per person
making €1,182 in total, or €591 per person for a week's holiday. The circular bike path can be followed, and you can take detours to cut off some of the distance or use trains as you require which will, of course, affect your costs.
A lot of the smaller tourist web sites are written in Italian only. This should be no barrier to you using them as Google offers a number of translation solutions. Our preferred option is the Google toolbar which can be downloaded, as the quality of translation is reasonable and in most cases the web page will appear in English as you read down it. Firefox is not compatible with this tool but you can use Translate This which is an add-on linking through to Google toolbar.