The sunbaked landscape of Puglia is more Greek than Italian, and it’s easy to explore in a rental.
The drive from Lecce to Capo Santa Maria di Leuca, at the very bottom of the heel, is relatively easy.
Discovered in the 1930s, it’s still undergoing restoration.
From it walk up Via Vittorio Emanuele and in just a few minutes you’ll come to the Piazza Duomo.
Turn inland at Fasano and take the road up into the hills through the little-whitewashed village of Locorotondo.
Then continue to Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On the east side of Italy, Puglia’s northern tip is at approximately the same longitude as Naples.
In the south, it’s the heel of Italy’s geographic boot that splits the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.
It’s relatively small – only a four-hour drive north to south, barely an hour east to west.
Geography aside, it’s a delightful and stunning place.
Its harbor, brimful with yachts, is the last stop for many en route to North Africa and further east.
If you head north instead, drive E55 up the coast to Alberobello for a taste of the ancient world.
Alberobello’s claim to fame is its Trulli, small circular buildings with conical roofs made of slate.