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REGION

PUGLIA

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT PUGLIA

National Geographic has elected Puglia as the most beautiful region in the world. “Puglia collects the best of Southern Italy. The rhythms of life, the tradition, the beauty of places. Puglia is indomitable. It is also the longest and narrowest region in Italy

Puglia, located in the heel of Italy’s famous boot has become the place to be. With its stark, rugged coastline, idyllic medieval towns and, distinctly rustic charm, not to mention excellent cuisine and organic wine – Puglia is the perfect getaway.

With its stark, rugged coastline, rich history and centuries-old olive trees, Puglia has become the holiday place du jour. Spanning Italy’s south coast, on the heel of its famous boot, Puglia’s warm climate and fertile soil make it the ideal place for farming, which helps to explain why it’s now home to hundreds of olive trees dating back as far as 3,000 years. In fact, it’s this agrarian past coupled with its hospitable residents that gives Puglia its distinctly rustic charm – not to mention the excellent cuisine, organic wine and beautifully restored farmhouses. No wonder Puglia is proving so popular.

FOOD

The cuisine is an intrinsic part of the Puglia experience; it’s a food-lover’s paradise. Rich in agriculture, you’ll see olive trees by the million and orchards reach from one coast to the other and the fruit trees drip with figs, plums, almonds, and, of course, olives. Vegetables are abundant – eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli, broad beans, and chicory, to name a few – and are at the core of Puglian cuisine. Puglia is home to cucina povera – literally ‘poor cooking’ – using whatever is at hand and making the most of humble ingredients. These are dishes that have stood the test of time and shared from one generation to the next.

PUGLIA

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT RONDA

Located in the heart of Andalusia, the southern part of Spain where citrus trees line city streets and parks, tapas is the name of the game, and flamenco passion ignites long Mediterranean nights, you find Ronda, one of the oldest towns in Spain. Ronda is the center of the Serrania and is a bustling town with gorgeous architecture, both Roman and Arabic, winding streets, one of the oldest bullrings in Spain, and, of course, the famous bridge.

Ronda is the largest of the ‘pueblos Blancos‘, the whitewashed villages that cling to hillsides in Andalucia’s Cádiz and Grazalema mountain ranges. The hilltop towns are remarkable for their Moorish architecture, most notably the scores of whitewashed buildings with tiled roofs, stacked precipitously atop each other like so many Lego blocks. While there are many that exhibit the Moorish architecture and labyrinthine streets that make the region so popular, there’s something extra special about Ronda—it’s location. Set high in the mountains, on the edge of a 120-meter cliff, the views of the valley below are stunning and the three bridges that span the canyon are mind-blowing.

Much of the attraction of Ronda lies in this extraordinary view, or in walking down by the Rio Guadalquivir, following one of the donkey tracks through the rich green valley below.  Explore the blinding-white towns, scenic olive groves, and craggy limestone peaks, all within a relaxed drive from your Ronda-area villa.

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