The map of Italy looks like a boot, kicking Sicily, its football. It's a high-heeled boot, of course (after all Italy is the county of fashion!), and the name of the "heel" is Apulia, going North from there for quite some distance along the beautiful Adriatic Sea. The region has a population of four million, and it is roughly as big as Sicily. Apulia and Sicily have a lot in common. They both have that strong Southern sun and people with extraordinary temperament and emotionality. To put it in a nutshell, Apulia is Sicily without the Mafia. This fact has traditionally been quite positive for its economic development.

The coastal town and beach resort of Bari is the region's capital, biggest city and economic center. People say it's not too big and not too small, rather just right - and given Bari's population of 320 thousand, this line of thought seems quite convincing.

Bari has great significance as a university town, but also as a port city. In fact, there are ports all over the Ampulian coastline. This gives the region eminent importance for import and export - it serves as Italy's gateway to Greece and the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean, including the Arab world. For the trade with Greece, it has always been helpful that there is a Greek minority in Apulia, having lived there for at least two millennia. They still speak there own language, called Grico, which can still be understood by Greeks. Then there is an Albanian minority, which arrived in the 15th century - and they too still speak Albanian.

Apulia is of prime importance for tourism. While Northern Italy, especially such cities as Venice, Turin, or Florence are overrun every weekend by day trippers from Northern countries, Apulia, belonging to the South of Italy, has a lot less of that.

This gives the beaches of the region a significantly more relaxed atmosphere. The people of Apulia are warm and welcoming, as they traditionally have been. In Apulia, real estate buyers are a lot more likely to find unexpected deals with amazing conditions than in the country's North.

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Apulia, Italy

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