||Apulia borders on Molise, Campania and Basilicata. It is washed by the Adriatic and the Ionian sea, with a coastal extensions of about 800 kilometres from Marina di Chieuti to Ginosa beaches. Its territory of about 19,350 square kilometres is mostly flat, except for Gargano and Dauno Subappennines promontory chains to the north, and Murge (table mountains) hilly ridge crossing it in the central part.||
|Gargano and Salento, respectively the spur and the block of Italy, are confirmed to be Apulia gems. With the Capitanata and Bari areas, they constitute the entire Apulia territory. This name originates from the Apulians, the ancient inhabitants. During the Roman period it was known as "Apulia", when Brindisi and Taranto were considered two important harbours for the connections with Greece and the Balkans. Brindisi was also the terminal of the main consular road towards the South: the Appian Way. Apulia has been and still is the obligatory road for the East. The present regional Government can identify its political programme with the Apulian history. The availability of great scientific, economic and institutional resources provides this Region with the ideal conditions to promote relationships with positive effects on the Mediterranean Countries and the entire Apulian community.
Apulia is washed by the Adriatic and the Ionian seas and borders on Molise, Campania and Basilicata. Its coasts cover almost 800 Km, from Marina di Chieuti to Ginosa beaches. The territory, stretching for about 19,350 square kilometres, is mostly flat, except for the mountain chains of Gargano and the Dauno Subappenine promontories to the North, as well as Murge hilly ridge that crosses it in the central part. Blue skies and good weather are constant features of a mild climate, typical of this region kissed by the sun and lapped by the sea. This rich land, the destination of numerous domestic and international tourists, offers lovely and valued views. The suggestive Tavoliere plain, in the area of Capitanata, which is flat as far as the eye can see; the marvellous Gargano coasts with high rocks, broken off here and there by attractive creeks as well as Salento golden beaches; the enchanting partial view of the Istria Valley with its "casedde": the Trulli, stone houses with no trace of concrete. It is a landscape which is unique the world over and whose peculiarity is set off in a small town called Alberobello. This country town in entirely built with trulli, which are typical whitewashed buildings, real popular architecture masterpieces. They look like doll houses but people have been living there regularly for centuries. Besides natural beauties Apulia preserves an artistic wealth of immense value, representing the traces of the numerous civilizations which passed through this Region and stopped here, leaving traces of their presence on stones, caves, hypogea, walls, manufactured products and monuments, some of which are: the little indecipherable paleolithic "dolmen", the imposing Romanian cathedrals, the mysterious "octagon" of Castel del Monte that goes back to Frederick II Hobenstaufen, the refined Lecce baroque.
Apulia is a densely populated region, with over 4 million people. The administrative and main centre is Bari, with over 350,000 inhabitants. It faces the sea and is right in the centre of Apulia Adriatic coast. At an administrative level, the regional territory is divided into 258 Municipalities and 5 Provinces, which are named after the respective administrative centres: Foggia to the North, Bari to the Centre, Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto to the South, on Salento Adriatic and Ionian coasts. Apulia, known from ancient times as the land of oil and grapes, is among Italy's main oil producers and exports huge quantities of table and wine grapes for vinification abroad. The wines it produces are numerous: among the white and red ones, with high alcoholic content, there is the "Primitive", a dark red strong and fragrant wine that leaves a characteristic dark ring. Apulian gastronomy is famous for its genuineness and originality of tastes linked to the products of the land, in the context of the most classical "mediterranean diet". Obviously, typical fish and ichthyic products cooking is to be appreciated as well.
Until some years ago Apulia was considered the "Italian California" for the positive trend and the features of its economic development, although it has recently felt the effects of the world economic crisis. Anyway, there are rosy and well-founded prospects for an immediate recovery. These are justified by the vigour of the economic and entrepreneurial system which does not consist exclusively of agriculture and trade, but is supported by an industrial and trade network which has been already tested positively and needs just to be relaunched. Not to mention the highly-qualitative level reached by the advanced tertiary industries. The measures necessary to achieve this target are a more incisive commitment in the public and private sectors, as well as decisive steps aiming at renewing infrastructures and solving water-related problems. Some important investments are provided for the finishing off of waterworks for drinking and irrigation. Apulia, because of its scarcity of water courses and natural cavities, depends on the neighbouring Regions almost totally, by drawing water from the imposing plants of Sole waterworks - the biggest one in Europe - and the other interregional basins. New highways are being developed according to criteria which favour intermodal transports through interharbour centres which are being completed. As far as energy is concerned, the current tendency aims at exploiting clean resources like Aeolian (wind) energy and reducing the environmental impact of traditional thermal combustion plants. Apulia, which S. Nicola da Mira and Frederick II belong to, is a big territorial area which already represents a strong point of the Adriatic economic, civil and cultural system; it is promoting itself as the Regional leader of the Eastern Mediterranean area for the year two thousand and the indispensable link between the European Community and the Mediterranean basin Countries. It is not a surprise. "The South was our father and Europe was our mother", said the apulian poet Vittorio Bodini some years ago.
Hence, Apulia's future comes from its past!