Apulia is a region in southeastern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its southern portion known as Salento, a peninsula, forms a high heel on the "boot" of Italy.
The region comprises 19,345 km² (7,469 square miles), and its population is about 4 million. It is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, and Basilicata to the southwest. It neighbors Greece and Albania, across the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, respectively. The region extends as far north as Monte Gargano, and was the scene of the last stages in the Second Punic War.
Situated at the south-eastern tip of the Italian peninsula, Apulia covers over 19,357 km2 in succession of broad plains and low-lying hills. The only mountainous areas, the Gargano promontory and the Monti Dauni, do not exceed 1,150 m and are to be found in the north of Apulia, which is the least mountainous region in Italy.
Apulia is a very dry region. Its few rivers are torrential and are to be found on the Tavoliere delle Puglie, a tableland at the foot of the Gargano promontory that is one of the largest and agriculturally most productive plains in Italy. Elsewhere, rainwater permeates the limestone bedrock to form underground watercourses that resurface near the coast. Groundwater is therefore abundant, and there are many caves and potholes. The caves at Castellana Grotte are particularly spectacular.
The climate is hot and dry in the summer, and what rain there is falls in the winter months and averages no more than 500 mm per year.