In the sun-steeped heel of Italy, Puglia is ripe for a rustic boho adventure with homespun boutiques, hideaway bars, and hip new hotels 

When Italians vacation they flock to the south, but the rest of the world is only now catching on. Tooted as the next Tuscany and praised for its on-trend bucolic earthy heritage, Puglia’s southern Salento region is coming out of the shadows and earning a spot on the hotlist—especially by free-spirits looking to veer off the well-beaten path. Here’s how to best explore this laid-back region of crumbling sea-lashed towns grounded in history and effortlessly charming countryside masserie (farm estates) still connected to its roots.

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The holy trinity of towns in Puglia’s Salento Peninsula is Lecce, Gallipoli and Otranto. A rental car is obligatory to properly explore these small stone cities, as well as the area’s wild coastal coves, rugged farmlands and gnarled, silvery olive groves. A few highlights…

Watch the Adriatic Sea clash with the Ionian at Capo d’Otranto, Italy’s most easterly point. From the top of the romantic, whitewashed and wind-pummeled Punta Palascia Lighthouse, you can even see the coast of Albania and the Greek islands on clear days.

Marvel at the flowery façade of the Basilica di Santa Croce in Lecce, a dizzying Baroque masterpiece the color of burnt cream, which took two…

read more: www.forbes.com

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