Weddings in Puglia

white masserie typical of the central Puglia region

Puglia, where the land meets the sea. It is one of Italy’s most remote tips. The region is long and narrow and historically divided into three regions. The northernmost area near Foggia, the central area around Bari and the southernmost tip called the Salento where Brindisi and Lecce are the capitals. Until recently Puglia has remained a sleepy, very local area remote to much of the rest of Italy. But that is changing now that Puglia has become trendy for vacations and weddings. Puglia is teeming with local cuisine, delicious yet virtually unknown wines outside of Italy and burrata. Puglia is where burrata hails from which is almost enough reason on its own to go there.

Most of the villas that are trendy for weddings are in the central area between Bari and Brindisi. This area is famous for its “masserie” which is a local word for the large white farmhouses that dot that countryside. These masserie are being turned into hotels and inns and are popular for weddings.

WHO SHOULD GET MARRIED IN PUGLIA

There are both pros and cons to getting married in Puglia which should be carefully  taken into consideration.

PROS:

The sea. that is why you are coming here. In many locations you can have music and dancing outside and often on the beach all night without sound limitations. This is rare for properties on the water and particularly important for large groups who are often limited in their late night choices. Delicious seafood, local red wines and abundant local produce and cheeses. For Europeans popping down just for the wedding it is fairly easy to get a flight directly to Bari or Brindisi and then an hour or so drive to the villa. There are good locations for large groups and multiple parties. Most locations are within a mile of the sea where there are beaches and swimming is possible. In some place you can have the ceremony on the beach.

Weather–Puglia is dryer and hotter than most of Italy and in some places is near dessert like conditions. This increases the likelihood of having your events and dinners outdoors.

Puglia has a simple, down to earth sea and beach culture with fewer tourists than the more beaten path.

CONS:

Travel is a big obstacle if you are coming from farther away and not just coming for the wedding and returning home. You would need to change for a flight to Bari or Brindisi. And the trains are not as frequent or fast as in more central parts of Italy. Once the events finish most guests who have traveled quite a distance will want to go on to see other parts of Italy which will involve a half day of travel to get there in most cases.

Word is that they are adding round trip flights directly to Bari from the US. This is good if you or your guests are not planning on visiting any other parts of Italy. Puglia is rather remote and poorly connected by train or public transportation. The best option if coming from outside of Europe may be to return to Rome where there are trains. The trains are not as convenient as the rest of Italy but with patience they are a very viable option. The drive from Rome is about 5 hours and most trains are about 4 hours to Bari and longer as you move down the coast towards Borgo Sant’Egnazia (about 5 hours by train) and Brindisi.

Puglia has a down to earth, simple sea and beach culture which is the beauty of Puglia. It’s simplicity and access to the sea. There are beautifully renovated masserie and villas but the surrounding countryside is flat for the most part, arid and not very beautiful. Most of Puglia does not have the spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast, Lake Region or Cinque Terre/Portofino areas. When you go up to the hills the countryside is greener and prettier but it is farther from the sea which is probably why you are in Puglia in the first place. In Puglia the sea and the landscape are more beautiful the farther south you go. But, again, the travel becomes even more problematic if you are arriving from outside of Europe and want to travel around Italy before or after the wedding days.