Puglia Italy 10 Fun Facts - Digging Up Roots in the Boot

Puglia Italy 10 Fun Facts

Ciao tutti! Welcome to The Best of Italy, a video series on Digging up Roots on the Boot’s YouTube Channel.  Alessia is going to share 10 fun facts about Puglia, Italy.  It is one of 20 Italian Regions in Southern Italy.  Watch the video and continue reading below.  Also, be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on new video posts.

1 60 Million Olive Trees in Puglia

Don’t touch the olive trees!  There are an estimated 60 million olive trees in Puglia.  Importantly, about 6.5 million of these olive trees are considered monumental or secular.  Recently, there was a trend where wealthy northern Italians paid large sums of money to shady Puglian farmers to uproot ancient trees and transplant them in their private gardens. As a result, a law was introduced in 2007 to protect the monumental and secular trees from being transplanted or destroyed. 

2 Pizzica  from Salento Puglia

The Pizzica is a popular Italian folk dance that is originally from Salento.  In fact, it is a kind of Tarantella.  Specifically, it is traditionally a couples dance.  Puglia is keeping the tradition alive. Every summer since 1998, there has been a Notte di Tarantella celebrating the Pizzica. 

3 Torre Rinalda on the Coast of Puglia

Torre Rinalda has a hidden secret.  North of Spiaggiabella, in the province of Lecce, there is a shipwreck about 50 meters off-shore. It was sunk by the British navy in 1941.  However, it is shallow enough that you only need snorkeling gear to appreciate it. 

4 Fare un Brindisi in Puglia

Fare un Brindisi means to make a toast.  One legend says the term Fare un Brindisi originated in Roman times.  For instance, Roman Soldiers left for war via the Appian way which ended in Brindisi, a port city in Puglia.  Before they left the harbor to fight their next battle, they made a toast for a successful war and a safe and healthy return home. 

5 Pink Flamingos in Puglia

Margherita di Savoia is the largest salt flat in Italy, and the most important one in Europe. But, there is something really spectacular about this State Natural Reserve.   Namely, it is an international stopover for tens of thousands of migratory birds, including pink Flamingos. 

6 Jurassic Puglia

Over the years, thousands of dinasaur footprints have been discovered in southern Italy.  Specifically, in Puglia, there are jurassic tracks from Gargano to Bari. Proof of this is in an interactive Dinosaur museum and park in Borgo Celano in San Marco di Lamis which contains actual Jurassic dinosaur footprints.  

7 Turi Puglia Has The Best Cherries

Turi, in the province of Bari, is home to the Ciliegia Ferrovia or Railway Cherry.  This delicious cherry originated in about 1935.  It hails from a tree that grew very near the railway lines.  It is belived that the original cherry tree was closely looked after and carefully cultivated.  Today, it is the most prized and cultivated cherry in Italy.  There is even an annual cherry festival held every year in June. 

8 Peasant Food in Puglia 

Orecchiette, or little ears, is Puglia’s signature pasta.  This homemade pasta is made with durum flour, water, and a pinch of salt.  It is known as peasant food in Puglia and often served with broccoli or turnip greens. 

9 Grotte di Castellana

The Castellana Caves, or Grotte di Castellana, is a limestone cave system discovered in 1938 in the metropolitan city of Bari.  The entrance to the caves is a 200-foot vertical tunnel.  Incredibly, the locals have always feared the deep hole.  At twilight, bats fly out and strange vapors rise through the air.  Legend has it that the vapors were the souls of the suicide jumpers who were trying, in vain, to go to heaven. 

10 Fischietti di Rutigliano - The Whistles of Rutigliano

Rutigliano is a village near Bari that is famous for its reddish color clay and its devotion to pottery.  Today, the town is best known for its artistic terra-cotta whistles.  The whistles are a message of love and a symbol of fertility.  In short, the belief is that the whistles have the power to bring good luck.  Most importantly, they can chase away negative energy and the evil eye (malocchio). There is even a little museum in Rutigliano called Il Museo del Fischietto in Terracotta.  You can see more than 700 whistles on display. 

Do you know any other fun facts about Puglia?  Let’s talk it out in the comment section below. Also, be sure and watch our other fun fact videos on Italy’s 20 regions and read our blog posts on Italy’s 20 regions. Thanks for watching and reading 10 fun facts about Puglia. A presto!

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LauraLee

I am a proud third generation Italian American dedicated to promoting the richness of Italian cultural heritage.

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