Do you want to spend the upcoming holidays in search of emotions but without forgetting the traditions? Christmas in Puglia:
7 things to do and see in the region of southern Italy washed by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Some ideal suggestions for your next animated and engaging vacation. A journey in which to discover a unique and extraordinary land among many events, living nativity scenes, markets, historical re-enactments, themed parties and Mediterranean flavors, in a festive and sparkling atmosphere. It will be a delight to visit it. The beautiful Puglia offers transparent waters, fabulous landscapes and attractive villages. You can pass by the dense and green vegetation of the north, in the Gargano and in the province of Foggia, immerse yourself in the olive groves of the Bari area where you can find the characteristic trulli; to then descend towards the Italian heel, the Salento, with its endless beaches of fine sand and the crystal clear sea of indescribable beauty. A holiday suitable for families, couples or groups with friends.
A great classic that both adults and children enjoy is the markets that enliven the city streets and squares under the Christmas period. A way to visit a place and meet an original gift to give. In Brindisi, for example, the city overlooking the Adriatic coast, in Corso Umberto and Piazza della Vittoria, you can breathe a warm and welcoming atmosphere among the various wooden kiosks and find every kind of delicacy, lots of handicraft products, creative art courses and gastronomy and music and culture workshops.
Lecce is one of the most beautiful cities not only in Puglia but throughout Italy. It charms you with its vibrant Baroque architecture and its indescribable views. During the Christmas holidays each church exhibits its own papier-mâché nativity scene. The area of Salento, in fact, is famous for the many shops of artisans who make imposing creations with this material. Every year, the "Fiera dei Pupi" or the "Puppet Fair" in papier-mâché are organized in the historic center. Where you find a vast and complete exhibition of cribs. Then we suggest you visit the Basilica of Santa Croce to admire the refined crib dating back to the 16th century along with the large fresco depicting the Nativity. Or, discover our itinerary to spend a weekend in Lecce.
A characteristic of Puglia is the attention to Christmas decorations, a tradition handed down from ancient times. These are exhibited everywhere in this period: in the churches of every city, on the balconies of private houses, in shop windows, along arcades and urban streets. The materials most used to make them are terracotta, papier-mâché and wood.
The art of the Nativity is a very accurate and heartfelt ritual, handed down from generation to generation. Everything can be found, from the simple representation of the birth of Jesus to the creation of the entire village with all the traders, the roads, the lakes and the pastures. In addition to that of the aforementioned Lecce, the one in Galatina, in the church of Santa Caterina, is particularly known as the oldest nativity scene in Puglia. Another wonderful one, signed by the sculptor Persio Altobello, is the one kept in the cathedral of Altamura, in the province of Bari. While the cribs of the famous Apulian sculptor Stefano Putignano can be admired in Grottaglie, Polignano a Mare and Martina Franca.
A unique, fascinating and spectacular journey: this is the scenario offered by the Valle dell'Itria, included between the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto. An area that is characterized by the presence of the famous trulli and farms. It includes several medieval towns with interesting examples of rural architecture, all immersed in the peace of the olive groves. Cisternino, cited as village among the most characteristic of Italy, or Ostuni, the so-called "white city", with its Gothic cathedral and Baroque and medieval churches. At Christmas the localities of this area come alive with events, craft markets and cribs. Like Ceglie Messapica, also known for its gastronomy, in particular for Pisquett, a very typical city biscuit. It is also worth going to the Montevicoli district to admire the effects and colors created by the karst caves of the place. And where you can visit the Ducal Castle and its Living Nativity, much loved by visitors. If you like the genre, discover which are the most beautiful nativity scenes in Italy.
Known and very popular is the Zoosafari di Fasano, in the province of Brindisi, where you can enter safe and adventurous circuits aboard a car to discover animals. Especially never seen live that ensure fun for both adults and children. Giraffes, brown bears, giant elephants and many other cute beings await you inside the park. You can spend a whole day immersed in nature. Moreover, from 1 to 23 December, you can experience the magic of the "Mercatino tra le Giostra" with entertainment and theme shows, street food, Santa Claus and his elves, rides, exhibitions and much more.
No matter what city you are in, the only safety of your holiday in Puglia is the kitchen. A certainty everywhere. A tasty and solemn moment that satisfies all tastes. Enjoy all the fabulous Christmas recipes of the heel of the boot, the cradle of prestigious culinary traditions. Pancakes, fried dumplings stuffed with tomato, mozzarella, onions, tuna, capers, ricotta and mature cheeses. Then boiled with turnip tops, lasagne, lamb sauce, lambascioni and cuturidd, spicy lamb with cooked vegetables. And then there is a wide choice of desserts: the Cartellate, fried dough with honey or cooked wine, the Pettole, always fried dough then dipped in icing sugar and Porcedduzzi, small balls of chopped almonds and honey. All accompanied with excellent wine and limoncello.
Run to discover the beauty, the flavors and the colors of a surprising land. In full tradition, you can immerse yourself in the charm of Puglia made even more special under the holidays. A mine of naturalistic, historical, artistic and culinary riches. Set your dates, book your vacation home and make your Christmas magical.