Puglia: The next destination for your holiday
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, Puglia 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 Puglia, which is the least mountainous region in Italy.
Puglia 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.
The official national language (since 1861) is Italian. However, as a consequence of its long and varied history, other historical languages have been spoken in this region for centuries. In the northern and central sections, some dialect of the Neapolitan language are spoken: for example Bari dialect, spoken in the zone of Bari or Foggiano near Foggia. In the southern part of the region, dialects of the Sicilian language called Tarantino and Salentino are spoken. In isolated pockets of the Southern part of Salento, a dialect of modern Greek called Griko, is spoken by just a few thousand people. A rare dialect of the Franco-Provençal language called Faetar is spoken in two isolated towns in the Province of Foggia. In a couple of villages, the Arbëreshë dialect of the Albanian language has been spoken by a very small community since a wave of refugees settled there in the 15th century. The Messapic language formerly spoken in the region was extinct by the 1st century BC due to the Romanization/Latinization of this area that took place after the definitive conquest of the region by the Romans during the 3rd century BC