This is the heel of the "boot" in the southeasternmost tip of Italy, an ancestral land lapped by the waters of the Adriatic and the Ionian seas.
To the north of Bari lie the old ports of Trani and Barletta from where the crusaders set sail for the East.
The huge forest of Gargano, greatly prized by Italian hikers, extends right down to the coast, dotted with creeks and caves. In the hinterland, nestling in the foothills of the Apennines, the fertile plains are a patchwork of olive groves.
Head southwards via the amazing Alberobello and its trulli. You will reach Salento and its capital Lecce, a baroque jewel surrounded by vineyards. From there a superb coastline rich in blissful beaches stretches out: don't miss Gallipoli the Greek, or, if you are interested in Antiquity, the outstanding museum of Taranto.