Puglia (Apulia), Italy

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The region of Apulia, known by its Italian name Puglia, is the southern region of Italy that makes up the “heel” of the boot-shaped peninsula. Out of all of the mainland regions of Italy, Apulia has the longest coastline measuring a total distance of 497 miles. 

Cities as Seen on a Map of Puglia (Apulia), Italy:

  • Bari
  • Brindisi
  • Lecce
  • Monopoli
  • Gallopoli
  • Taranto

Quick Facts:

  • Population = 4 million
  • Language = Italian (primary), Greek, Franco-Provencal, Albanian (minor groups)
  • Ethnicities = Italian, Greek, Albanian
  • Capital = Bari


The History of Apulia

The first inhabitants of the region of Apulia were the Mycenaean Greeks. When the Roman Empire took over, they built several churches throughout the region. One of the most iconic churches in all of Italy is located in the Apulia region. This is the Castel del Monte, also known as the Crown of Apulia. 

In 1130, Apulia was a duchy, ruled by the Duke of Sicily. In 1282, Apulia became part of the Kingdom of Naples. Until the Italian Unification in the 1860s, many different regions entered the region of Apulia, including France, Spain, and North Africa. The region of Apulia officially became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. 


The primary language of the region is Italian, but there are many dialects and minor languages that are spoken throughout the region. These include Greek, Franco-Provencal, and Albanian. 


The primary religion of Apulia, Italy, is Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism is practiced in the regions in which Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire had control and influence in the area. Roman Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity in which there are over 1 billion members. 


The geographical location of Apulia has a warm climate that gives way to a variety of agricultural and food processing services. This has allowed the people in the area to make a living through agriculture and other cultivating services. 

In the less agricultural areas of the region, cities were built to focus on industry and production. Footwear, textiles, aerospace, and furniture are just a few of the industrial manufacturers in the area that has given the area opportunities for employment.

The long coastline of the Apulia region has allowed tourism to flourish. This has created an abundance of employment opportunities for those who choose to work in the entertainment and tourism field.

The Apulia region of Italy borders Molise to the north. You will also find Campania settled to the west, Basilicata to the southwest, and the Adriatic Sea runs on the east while the Ionian Sea runs southeast.


Because Apulia is located on the eastern coast of Italy, many outside influences have had an impact on the region. There are Greek and Albanian influences that have played a part in the culture of Apulia.

Migration Patterns

During the 1860s, when the Italian Unification was underway, Italy suffered an economic downfall. Not only did the economy plunge, but there was overcrowding, poverty, and unemployment. During this time, an estimated 13 million emigrants left the entire region of Italy in search of work. Some emigrants fled to the United States to find employment during the American Industrial Revolution while other emigrants fled to Latin American or other countries in Europe. Out of the 13 million that emigrated, only a few million returned. 

After the Second World War, there was another spike in emigration from Italy. Beginning in 1956 and lasting until 1971, there was a depression in the economy of southern Italy, which caused another round of Italian emigrants to leave the area. This time, the emigrants stayed local and migrated to Northern Italy and other parts of Europe, rather than travel to the western hemisphere. 

In 1982, the migration pattern shifted in the opposite direction. Instead of emigration from the region, there was now active immigration to the area, as the economic conditions of the region improved. In 1986, migration plateaued, with no substantial numbers of emigrants or immigrants leaving or entering the area.


People who have genealogy connected to the Apulia region of Italy may encompass traits, characteristics, or other compositions of Italian, Greek, or Albanian people. Because of these ethnicities, the genes predominantly produce olive complexions with dark hair and dark eyes.

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Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.