There is a saying about the ancient Greeks who used to occupy the very bottom of the Italy’s heel, now Salento:
” They used to eat as if they were going to die tomorrow but built their buildings as if they would live for ever”
The surviving architecture however, is very much in the Spanish Baroque style with some wonderful churches and cathedrals.
The local stone is limestone, mostly a soft golden colour. The houses in the villages are built very close together, like bunches of grapes. This was so that they would be able to defend themselves better against invaders of whom there were many over the centuries.
All along the coast you can see tall watch towers, spaced every 50 to 100 meters as part of the local defences.
The food of Salento is very much ‘cucina povera’ ( the cooking of the poor). Durum wheat grows in abundance, bread and pasta are part of the staple diet.
The pasta is made without eggs, as they were considered a delicacy.
Wild herbs and vegetables are much loved. Being surrounded by the sea, you will find delicious seafood, especially mussels and octopus.
I have seldom met any nicer, more generous and friendlier people than those I met in Puglia.
Is it because tourism has not swamped them yet?