Puglia is a wonderful holiday destination any time of year; with the glorious climate of the Med, this region of Italy boasts warmth all year round. But the seasons do differ and if you are planning on visiting the region, it’s important to bear in mind that some months could be busier than others.
Spring is warm and sunny with average temperatures at around 20°C. April and May are the most comfortable times to visit if you struggle in hotter climates and tourism isn’t at its peak just yet.
The end of May sees the climate cranking up a notch, with average temperatures around 30°C or higher. July and August are the hottest months in Puglia and also the busiest when it comes to tourist footfall. Sea levels are gloriously warm so this is the ideal time to hit the beaches and go for a swim.
October and November are less busy than the summer months in this Italian region. But the climate remains warm and mild, making it ideal for those who are looking to go hiking.
Expect mild temperatures of around 10-15°C in the winter months. For anyone travelling to Puglia in the winter, remember to pack a light jacket for colder days. Rain can also be expected in the winter, although the weather is generally mild.
Regional Food & Wine
Recipes from Italy’s heel are born from the deep agricultural roots of the region. The flat land makes Puglia perfect for farming, allowing the finest, freshest ingredients to grow. Although the region is rich in choice and variety when it comes to farming, the Puglian mentality for cooking is somewhat thrifty; traditional cooks like to create delectable dishes with what is available at hand.
It’s not uncommon to pick fresh veg out of the garden and throw together a pasta dish with the simplest of flavours. A great of example of this is Orecchiette con le Cime di Rapa, using only turnip greens and anchovies.
Typical Dishes of Puglia
Like most areas of Italy, pasta is a staple, with focus on both fresh and dried varieties. Favourite pasta dishes amongst the locals include Tubettini con le Cozze made with mussels, Minestrone di Fave con Cicoria made with fava beans and chicory, and Orecchiette con Sugo alla Ricotta Forte made with tomato and ricotta.
If you’re after something a little more hearty, Cappello da Gendarme is a traditional Lecce speciality which is a pie made from pasta, pork and cheese. Or for some delicious street food around the delightful towns of Puglia, tantalise your taste-buds with some Frisella (crunchy dried bread with olive oil), Taralli (mini pretzel-like crackers), Puccia (a pizza dough sandwich), or some tasty fried polenta.
Seafood and lamb are also huge staples of the local diet but with a rich crop of tomatoes, artichokes, fava beans, courgettes, beans, fennel, peppers, onion, there are also plenty of vegetarian dishes available too.
Wine in Puglia
Puglia is Italy’s biggest producer of wine so travellers who take a special interest in wine regions will delight in the vast choice of tipple here. Producing around 17% of the country’s wine, there are hundreds of delicious varieties to choose from.
Most wines made in Puglia are red and the main towns for wine production are Lecce, Manduria, Martina Franca and Salice Salentino. But don’t be misinformed about Puglia’s past when the region was recognised only for producing low quality reds which were later shipped off to the North. The 21st Century saw a huge change in wine production and today, the region is famed for creating some of the finest and most drinkable wines around.