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.
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.