Apulia is the heel stretching down from the spur of the Italian boot. It boasts very beautiful landscapes, wonderful old cities with Romanesque cathedrals, Gothic castles and a great wealth of Baroque architecture. And yet, though far from inaccessible, until quite recently it was seldom visited by Western tourists.
Today, however, Apulia is becoming fashionable at ‘an alternative Turkey’. There are radio and television features on it, travel supplements which describe its beaches and cuisine, and supermarkets stock Apulian wine, oil, bread, and pasta. Yet almost nothing about the region has been published in English since the days of Norman Douglas and the Sitwells. One can find ‘holiday histories’ of Tuscany, but there is no popular introduction to Apulian history, not even in Italian. This book has been written to fill the gap by providing a simple, readable study of the region.
DESMOND SEWARD is the author of The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders, The Wars of the Roses, and Wings over the Desert: In Action with an RFC Pilot in Palestine, 1916-18, which is based on his father’s experiences.
SUSAN MOUNTGARRET is co-author (with Desmond) of Byzantium: A Journey and Guide. Among the reasons that drew her to Apulia was a wish to study the Byzantine frescoes in its cave churches.