Have you ever heard about Puglia?
Is the region at the very end of the heel of a boot called Italy and it was recently awarded by the Lonely Plantet and National Geographic as one of the top 50 destinations to travel.
As a solo woman traveler who comes from this amazing land, I’m willing to explain you why this place of Italy and of the world is so perfect for women who like to travel alone and is the perfect destination for those who would like to start traveling by themselves but are a bit afraid of the very first experiences.
So now let’s get deep into the 8 reasons why woman solo travelers should really consider Puglia as the next destination:
1 – It’s safe
Being safe is one of the main and first issue of girls who want to travel solo.
Well, in the 5 main cities of this long shaped region there were a lot of crime issues until the 80ies, but now local social security is very high. The main city, Bari, has all the characteristics of all the main and biggest cities of Europe, so you can find a bit of traffic and more small crime episodes, but for tourists the cities are all very safe not just for the ‘official’ protection by the police but also because of social protection: Nobody ever denies a help to people in any kind of need.
2 – It’s glamour
Come on, you can be the ‘gypsiest’ woman traveler in the world but be also attracted by what is elegant, fashion, glamour! Puglia is.
From its seaside to all the possible accommodations. From the budget ones to the more glamour homes for tourists, leaning over the most beautiful Mediterranean sea, like in the case of these amazing villas I had the opportunity to bump into.
Even in the case of very luxury and glamour accommodation, prices are lower than the rest of Italy.
3 – It’s ‘exotic’
Puglia is definitely an off-the-beaten-tracks destinations for non Italian people. Italians, on the contrary, have been ‘discovering’ Puglia and its beauties in the last 15 years and now it’s the most glam-pop destination in the country; but for foreigners it’s a very exotic place, a very uncommon destination.
And it’s like a kind of ‘secret paradise’ that you, woman solo travelers, will be proud to have visited – alone – before than all of your friends.
4 - It’s small and diverse
Another very interesting aspect of this land is the fact that it’s very diverse: you can find old cities made up by whitewashed houses like Albero Bello and Ostuni, or old baroque towns full of life like the golden-yellow-stoned center of Lecce. But you can also find plenty of street markets in all cities, indie places to have a drink and meet people (young people are very sociable. Locally, a lot of hikes are organized by associations of the territory to explore around and learn about the local wildlife, i.e. the Cesine Natural Park (wwf park), Parco del Rauccio, Guaceto natural reserve.
5 – If you don’t want to eat alone, you can join home restaurants
Puglia is among the 5 Italian regions with the highest amount of home restaurants. For those who still don’t know what a home restaurant is, it’s a private home whose owners decide to organize social dinners with strangers (a limited number depending on their space possibility), asking for a very (very very) little money. The dinners is generally characterized by local food. And here we go to point 7.
6 – Local food is healthy
Local food of Puglia is quite light. It comes from a humble farmers and fishermen tradition. Meat is eaten but it’s definitely not the basis of local diet. There are lot of vegetables cooked in such a tasty way that you’ll be eager to eat them again (eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, fave e cecore, sgagliozze, pittule, frise).
If you eat local, you may have the healthiest travel of your life.
7 – It’s young, modern and smart
Even though the official report says that south Italy is ‘growing older and older’ the truth that you can perceive when you travel here and interact with people is that the region is actually living a back-home-diaspora.
After the Italian recession and international economic crisis, a lot of young people have realized that:
- full time job for big international companies is no guarantee for your future
- what saves you from international depression is the love for your roots and land.
So, a lot of under 40 decided to go back to Puglia and start their own business, with the competences acquired working somewhere else.
Local administrations have been granting founds to young people in order to allow them to give an opportunity to (and be given an opportunity by) their homeland.
The result is a shared spirit of hope and motivation, despite the still too high taxation level.
There are low cost flights to Bari and Brindisi from most of European main cities, so don’t wait and come!