Drifting Through Puglia, Italy’s Heel

Sep 09, 2019 288

BY: Sebastian Modak

Puglia, the region of southern Italy in the heel of the boot-shaped country, has been called “the new Tuscany.” Lecce, a Baroque masterpiece of a city built from cream-colored limestone, is often referred to as “the Florence of the South.” It’s not unusual for tourism boards and the travel press to grasp at analogies that bring to mind more familiar destinations as a way to drive traffic to “undiscovered gems.” But comparing Puglia to anywhere else does it a disservice.

Over six days, while making my way up, down and around the heel of Italy, I encountered a place that was far too complex and far too varied — in terms of culture, cuisine, architecture and history — to fit into a catchy tagline. I have to confess something. I arrived in Bari, the largest city in Puglia, tired — like, a no-amount-of-sleep-could-ever-be-enough kind of tired. It’s happened at a few points during this yearlong trip, seemingly at random. I hit an invisible wall and feel an intense fatigue that’s hard to fight through.

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SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com

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