Puglia is not only stunningly beautiful, with its glorious olive tree lined landscape, unique blend of architecture and unrivalled sandy beaches, the region is also steeped in history. Once the gateway to Greece and the Orient, Puglia is surrounded in history centuries old. Ancient Greeks were the first great civilisation to control the region, settling from the 7th century BC, however the area had previously been inhabited for many thousands of years previously.
Leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for future generations to find, the area is now one of the best places to visit to peek into the life of our ancestors. If you’re planning a trip to Puglia this year, discover our top five ancient sights to explore when on holiday in Puglia.
Canne della Battaglia Archaeological Park
Located between the beautiful towns of Barletta and Canosa di Puglia, the fascinating Canne della Battaglia Archaeological Park attracts tourists from right around the globe every year.
The site of the epic battle between the Romans and Carthaginians during the Second Punic War in 216 BC, which saw the battle of the latter led by Hannibal, it provides a historic window into life in the third century BC.
Allowing visitors to walk around the historic site, taking in the breath-taking views of the local area, the Park is a must visit when on holidays to Puglia.
Egnazia Archaeological Park
Egnazia is an ancient city located just a few kilometres from the coast between Bari and Brindisi. The Park, and its adjoining museum, display artefacts from the ancient city of Gnathia, as well as the Bronze Age, the Roman era and the Early Middle Ages.
Whisking visitors on a one-of-a-kind journey transporting them back hundreds of years, the Park dates back more than 30 centuries. Encased in ancient walls, Egnazia Archaeological Park is still being expertly excavated with exciting new find being discovered all the time.
Revealing precious objects in ancient tombs, the Park is sure to excite history buffs, providing a unique insight into life through the years.
And if discovering new places and sites is a passion of yours, then you will love visiting Puglia’s best basilicas. Read more.
Lecce’s Roman Amphitheatre and Theatre
Thought to be constructed between 27 BC and 14 AD, the Roman amphitheatre was excavated in the 1930s and provides an exclusive window into life in Lecce.
Located right in the heart of the city, in the central piazza Sant’Oronzo Square, the amphitheatre and theatre is a charming addition to the 17th century encrusted city.
Lecce is often called ‘Florence of the baroque’, and thanks to its links to the Roman Empire links, it is truly a unique city in the ever popular region.
Rent your luxury villa in Puglia close to Lecce and explore this fascinating town.
Castel del Monte
Protected as a UNESCO world heritage site, Castel del Monte is a 13th century citadel and castle located 18km outside the tone of Andria and a must see when you travel on your Puglia holidays.
Undeniably one of Puglia’s most important and mysterious buildings, it commands panoramic views from the top of a hill.
Constructed during the 1240s by Emperor Frederick ll who inherited the lands from his mother, Constance of Sicily, it is generally not considered to have been intended for use as a defensive fortress due to its lack of moat and drawbridge.
A truly enigmatic building, its construction is only mentioned in one contemporary source – a document dating from 1240.
Never actually finished, the castle was later used as a prison and used as a refuge during a plague, before finally falling into disrepair.
Would you like to visit more UNESCO sites in Puglia? Then read on.
Basilica of San Leucio
Boasting early Christian architecture, the Basilica of San Leucio in Canosa di Puglia was a church thought to have been built in the sixth century on a temple of the Hellenistic period dedicated to Minerva.
Originally dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian, it was later rededicated to St. Leucio in the era Lombard.
Boasting stunning decorative mosaics, intricate stone carvings and unique pillars, the remains provide an exclusive insight into the once grand building.
Possessing a whole range of activities and excursions certain to satisfy inquisitive minds and entertain those in search of culture and beauty, Puglia is much more than an undiscovered paradise.
The best way to see all that the distinctive landscape has to offer is to stay in one of the beautiful towns dotted up and down the ‘heel’ to Italy’s boot. Aria Journeys offer luxury villas in Puglia, located in some of the most sought-after areas.