Monday, October 31, 2011

Discover the Unspoilt Attractions of Puglia With Rail Tours in Italy

A destination well-known for its fabulous scenery, great weather and historic attractions, Italy is a country that many of us are eager to visit. If you are keen to find a region that's particularly unspoilt, Puglia holidays can be an excellent choice.

Indeed, this region is known for its rustic beauty and relaxed lifestyle, making it a fabulous option for those eager to get a taste of authentic Italy. What's more, by opting for rail tours, you can explore more than Puglia alone. In fact, you can combine travelling around this region with visits to the magnificent Rome and Basilicata, making this truly a break to remember.

And of course, train travel in Italy also means that you need not spend time worrying about organising complex connections - and that your break can begin as soon as you step onto your first locomotive.

Your holiday will begin at London's St Pancras station, where you'll board the Eurostar for Paris before changing trains to head to Annecy. The next day, you will complete your journey by travelling through Milan to Rome.

The following morning, your first excursion will begin - and what could be more fitting than a guided tour of this spectacular city? Famous for its architecture, Rome is home to awe-inspiring sights such as the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and the Roman Forum - all of which you can see during your tour. In the afternoon, you can spend a little time exploring independently, which is a great opportunity to see anything else you're interested in - or perhaps head back to your favourite spot of the morning.

Departing Rome, your next destination will be Lecce in picturesque Puglia. As a region, Puglia is often referred to as the 'wine cellar of Italy' - and you'll travel through some of its many vineyards and olive groves on your way to Lecce. As well as keeping an eye open for these, make sure you admire the beautiful Adriatic coastline and the Foggia landscape.

Also known as the Florence of the south, Lecce has a gorgeous old town that's home to wonderful baroque architecture - something you'll see during a guided tour of the area the following day. Among the key sights is the Chiesa di Santa Corce and Piazza del Duomo, which is the town's main square. This pretty centre is overlooked by the cathedral's bell tower, which reaches a height of 70 metres.

You will have a little time to explore independently in the afternoon, and perhaps one of the best places to see is the Roman amphitheatre. This stunning site dates back to the second century and is a fascinating slice of local history.

A lovely walled town, Otranto will be your destination the following day. Its historic centre is contained within its walls, but the town now actually spills beyond them. After enjoying a tour of the walled centre, you will head down the coast to a picturesque village called Santa Maria di Leuca.

Nestled on a section of coastline littered with caves, this is a wonderful spot for a seaside walk. As you amble along, keep an eye out for the wonderful local lighthouse that's 47 metres tall.

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