Apulia (// ə-POO-lee-ə; Italian: Puglia [ˈpuʎʎa][a]), also known by its Italian name Puglia, is a region of Italy, located in the southern peninsular section of the country, bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers (7,469 sq mi), and its population is about four million people.
|• President||Michele Emiliano (PD)|
|• Total||19,358 km2 (7,474 sq mi)|
(31 December 2016)
|• Density||210/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||IT-75|
|GDP (nominal)||€76.6 billion (2018)|
|GDP per capita||€19,000 (2018)|
very high · 18th of 21
Apulia's coastline is longer than that of any other mainland Italian region. In the north, the Gargano promontory extends out into the Adriatic sea like a 'sperone' ("spur"), while in the south, the Salento peninsula forms the 'tacco' ("heel") of Italy's boot. The highest peak in the region is Monte Cornacchia (1.152 m/3.779 ft above sea level) within the Daunian Mountains, in the north along the Apennines.
Outside national parks in the North and West, most of Apulia and particularly the Salento peninsula is geographically flat with only moderate hills.
The climate is typically Mediterranean with hot, dry and sunny summers and mild and rainy winters. Snowfall, especially on the coast is rare but has occurred as recently as January 2019 (following on from snow in March 2018 and January 2017). Apulia is among the hottest and driest regions of Italy in summer with temperatures sometimes reaching up to and above 40 °C/104 °F in Lecce and Foggia.
The coastal areas, particularly on the Adriatic sea and in the southern Salento peninsula, are frequently exposed to winds of varying strengths and directions, strongly affecting local temperatures and conditions, sometimes within the same day. The Northerly Bora wind from the Adriatic sea can lower temperatures, humidity and moderate summer heat while the Southerly Sirocco wind from North Africa can raise temperatures, humidity and occasionally drop red dust from the Sahara desert. On some days in spring and autumn/fall, it can be warm enough to swim in Gallipoli and Porto Cesareo on the Ionian coast while at the same time, cool winds warrant jackets and jumpers/sweaters in Monopoli and Otranto on the Adriatic coast.
The area that is in between Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca is part of the Regional Natural Coastal Park of "Costa Otranto - Santa Maria di Leuca e Bosco di Tricase" wanted by the Apulia Region in 2008. This territory has numerous natural and historical attractions such as Ciolo, which is a rocky cove.
The Greeks referred to the region as Iapygía (whence 'Apulia') owing to the presence of the three main Iapygian tribes that inhabited Apulia during the first millennium B.C. – the Daunians in the North, the Peucetians in the Centre, and the Messapians in the South.
Apulia was an autonomous duchy until 1130 when its duke became king of Sicily. After 1282, when the kingdom lost the island of Sicily itself, Apulia remained part of the remnant Kingdom of Naples (confusingly known also as the Kingdom of Sicily), and remained so until the unification of Italy in 1861. This kingdom was independent under the House of Anjou from 1282 to 1442, then was part of Aragon until 1458, after which it was again independent under a cadet branch of the House of Trastámara until 1501. As a result of the French–Spanish war of 1501–1504, Naples again came under the rule of Aragon and the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714. When Barbary pirates of North Africa sacked Vieste in 1554, they took an estimated 7,000 slaves. The coast of Apulia was occupied at times by the Turks and at other times by the Venetians.
The region's contribution to Italy's gross value added was around 4.6% in 2000, while its population was 7% of the total. The per capita GDP is low compared to the national average and represents about 68.1% of the EU average.
The share of gross value added by the agricultural and services sectors was above the national average in 2000. The region has industries specialising in particular areas, including food processing and vehicles in Foggia; footwear and textiles in the Barletta province, and wood and furniture in the Murge area to the west.
Apulia's thriving economy is articulated into numerous sectors boasting several leading companies, but most of them produce materials or components, not finished goods:
In Brindisi there is a chemical industrial park with ENI power station, ENI oil refinery, Syndial chemical factory, Versalis chemical factory (basic chemistry, intermediates, polyethylene, styrenics and elastomers). LyondellBasell polypropylene plant, Sanofi plant (antiobiotics). Other ENI oil refinery is located in Taranto.
The unemployment rate stood at 14.1% in 2020.
The port of Taranto hosts numerous fishing boats. The fleet is mainly made up of about 80 fishing boats, which do not exceed 10 gross tonnage and which practice trawling, while the remaining small-scale fishing boats operate with gillnets. The sea, rich and generous, is populated by dentex and sea bream, grouper, mullet and anchovies, shrimp and squid. Other significant fishing ports are Manfredonia, Molfetta, Mola di Bari, Monopoli, Gallipoli and Castro
Today Taranto is the world's largest producer of farmed mussels: with 1,300 employees, around 30,000 tons of mussels are processed per year. Mussel farming has characterized the city's economy for centuries, making the mussel the gastronomic symbol of Taranto. It is said that the first mussel gardens in La Spezia, Pula, Olbia and Chioggia were established by mussel farmers who emigrated from this city. The work place of the Taranto mussel farmers is the boat; every detail of the working method has improved over time.
10 m long structures made of wood or metal, called "pali" (piles), are attached to the seabed, to which ropes and nets are then attached, on which the mussels are grown. The mussels farmed here are particularly tasty and valued because they grow in a special environment, a mixture of salt seawater and karst freshwater. These special environmental conditions of the seas of Taranto are ideal not only for the mussels, but also for the fish and crustaceans that find food and shelter between the piles. While there are around 18 submarine freshwater springs, called "Citri", in the Mar Piccolo, there is only one large one in the Mar Grande, which is called "Anello di San Cataldo" in honor of the patron saint of the city.
Agriculture plays a prominent economic role in Apulia. It is a mainly intensive and modern agriculture that allows the region to be among the first in Italy for the production of many products:
Puglia wine region has a wide variety of terroir that is expressed in wines giving rich aromas and flavours. Vines here favour natural gifts, the sun, and the soil. because of this, wines from here have a strong character and distinctive identity. Besides, Puglia is one of the top olive oil producer regions in Italy with the quality and quantity of extra virgin olive oil. The wine region of Puglia covers 83 000 hectares, about 80% of which is planted with red wine varieties. It has four distinct DOCG and 28 DOC zones, some of which are well known far beyond Italy's borders. Salice Salentino and Primitivo di Manduria are two most popular DOC wines produced in the Puglia wine region. Vineyards cover 106.715 ha in Apulia, which is 1st place among Italian grape-growing regions. But in the production of quality DOC and DOCG wines, Apulia has only ranked 12 of 20 with 297.667 hl. There are 4 DOCG wines:
There are an estimated 50 to 60 million olive trees in Apulia, and the region accounts for 40% of Italy's olive oil production. There are four specific Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) covering the whole region. Olive varieties include: Baresane, Biancolilla, Brandofino (Castiglione), Buscionetto (Biancolilla), Carolea, Cellina di Nardò, Cerasuola (Ogliara), Cerignola (Bella di Cerignola), Cima di Bitonto, Cima di Mola, Coratina, also grown in Corning, CA., a 2018 Gold Medal New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) winner, Frantoio, Garganica, La Minuta, Leccino, Moresca, Nocellara Etnea, Nocellara Messinese, Ogliarola, Ogliarola Barese, Ogliara Messinese, Ottobratica, Peranzana that is produced as "Certified Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil", Rotondella, Santagatese, Saracena, Tonda Iblea, and Verdello (subspecies of San Benedetto).
Since the years 2008-2010, the olive oil industry in Apulia has been under threat from the pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, a disease which inhibits the uptake of water and nutrients by the trees. The epicenter of the epidemic in the region is its south-eastern part.
The region has a good network of roads, but the railway network is less comprehensive, particularly in the south. There are no high-speed lines. The region is crossed northwest to southeast by the A14 highway (Bologna–Taranto), which connects the region capital, Bari, to Taranto, the second most populous city in the region. The A14 also connects Foggia and points further north along the Adriatic coast to: Pescara, Ancona, Rimini and eventually Bologna. The only other highway in the region is the A16 (Naples–Canosa), which crosses the Italian peninsula east–west and links the region with Naples.
There are two international airports, Karol Wojtyla Airport in Bari (IATA: BRI) and Brindisi Airport (IATA: BDS), which serves as the principal logistical hub for the United Nations Global Service Center headquartered in Brindisi. With the approval of a redevelopment project in 2018, the Grottaglie Airfield (IATA: TAR) will host a spaceport for the Italian Space Agency and Virgin Galactic.
|Source: ISTAT 2001|
Emigration from the region's depressed areas to northern Italy and the rest of Europe was very intense in the years between 1956 and 1971. Subsequently, the trend declined, as economic conditions improved, to the point where there was net immigration in the years between 1982 and 1985. Since 1986 the stagnation in employment has led to a new inversion of the trend, caused by a decrease in immigration.
Cuisine plays an important role throughout Apulia. The key locally produced ingredients used there include: olive oil, artichokes, tomatoes, aubergines/eggplants, asparagi and mushrooms. In summer it is very common to also use the carosello, a variety of muskmelon which is often consumed in an immature state. Several PDO and PGI products are made in Apulia; among which can be found some types of cheese like the Canestrato Pugliese PDO and Burrata di Andria PGI, of olive oil like the Collina di Brindisi PDO, Dauno PDO, Terra d'Otranto PDO, Terre Tarentine PDO and Terra di Bari PDO, some fruits and vegetables like the Arancia del Gargano PGI, Carciofo (artichoke) Brindisino PGI, Cipolla (onion) bianca di Margherita PGI, Clementine del Golfo di Taranto PGI, La Bella della Daunia PDO, Limone (lemon) femminello del Gargano PGI, Patata (potato) novella di Galatina PGI and Uva di Puglia PGI (grape). Moreover, also a type of bread, Pane di Altamura PDO and a legume called Lenticchia (lentil) di Altamura PGI are present in the list. Popular street foods include panzerotti and focaccia barese.
Spaghetti con le cozze (with mussels)
Monacelle (land snail species Cantareus apertus)
Scapece gallipolina: fried fish preserved in red wine vinegar with breadcrumbs and saffron
Cazzomarro: baked involtini of lamb entrails
Lampascioni sott'olio, prepared bulbs of the grape hyacinth Leopoldia comosa preserved in olive oil
Apulia’s sagre festivals show off regional specialities and local culture. While not unique to Apulia - sagre food festivals are one of Italy’s best kept food secrets - food is an integral part of the region’s identity and these are intensely social occasions where you can feast side by side with locals.
As with the other regions of Italy, the national language (since 1861) is Italian. However, because of its long and varied history, other historical languages have been used in this region for centuries. The local languages of northern and central Apulia (roughly the provinces of Bari, Barletta-Andria-Trani, and Foggia as well as the northwestern parts of the Province of Taranto) are the Apulian Southern Italo-Romance dialects, including Bari dialect and Tarantino dialect. In the southern region of Salento, an extreme Southern Italo-Romance language, the Salentino dialect is widely spoken. There is also an Italiot Greek language found in Salento called Griko, which is still spoken by a few thousand Griko people in some areas. In addition, a rare daughter language of the Franco-Provençal language called Faetar, is spoken in the mountain villages of Faeto and Celle di San Vito, in the Province of Foggia. It is sometimes classified as a pair of dialects of Franco-Provençal, Faetar and Cellese. The Arbëreshë dialect of the Albanian language has been spoken by a small community since refugees settled there in the 16th century.