Apulia[a] (// ə-POO-lee-ə; Italian: Puglia [ˈpuʎʎa]; Neapolitan: Pùglia [ˈpuʝːə]; Albanian: Pulia; Ancient Greek: Ἀπουλία, translit. Apoulía) is a region of Italy in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. Its southernmost portion, known as the Salento peninsula, forms a "tacco" or heel on the boot of Italy. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers (7,469 sq mi), and its population is about four million.
|Region of Italy|
|• President||Michele Emiliano (PD)|
|• Total||19,358 km2 (7,474 sq mi)|
|• Density||210/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||English: Apulian(s), Puglian(s)
Italian: Pugliese, pl. Pugliesi
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|GDP/ Nominal||€69.5 billion (2008)|
|GDP per capita||€16,900 (2008)|
It is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, and Basilicata to the southwest. Across the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, it faces Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, and Montenegro, The Apulia region extends as far north as Monte Gargano. Its capital city is Bari.
Puglia's coastline is longer than that of any other mainland Italian region. In the north, the Gargano promontory extends out into the Adriatic while in the south, the dry Salento area forms the 'tacco' of Italy's boot.
Outside of national parks in the North and West, most of Apulia and particularly Salento is geographically flat with only moderate hills.
The climate is typically mediterranean with hot, dry and sunny summers and mild, rainy winters. Snowfall, especially on the coast is rare but has occurred as recently as January 2017. Apulia is among the hottest and driest regions of Italy in summer with temperatures sometimes reaching up to and above 40 °C in Lecce and Foggia.
The coastal areas, particularly on the Adriatic and in the southern Salento region are frequently exposed to winds of varying strengths and directions, strongly affecting local temperatures and conditions, sometimes within the same day. The Northerly Bora wind from the Adriatic can lower temperatures, humidity and moderate summer heat while the Southerly Sirocco wind from North Africa can raise temperatures, humidity and occasionally drop red dust from the Sahara. On some days in spring and autumn, it can be warm enough to swim in Gallipoli and Porto Cesareo on the Ionian coast while at the same time, cool winds warrant jackets and sweaters in Monopoli and Otranto on the Adriatic coast.
After 1282, when the island of Sicily was lost, Apulia was part of the Kingdom of Naples (confusingly known also as the Kingdom of Sicily), and remained so until the unification of Italy in the 1860s. This kingdom was independent under the House of Anjou from 1282 to 1442, then was part of Aragon until 1458, after which it was again independent under a cadet branch of the House of Trastámara until 1501. As a result of the French–Spanish war of 1501–1504, Naples again came under the rule of Aragon and the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714. When Barbary pirates of North Africa sacked Vieste in 1554, they took an estimated 7,000 slaves. The coast of Apulia was occupied at times by the Turks and at other times by the Venetians.
In 1861 the region became part of the Kingdom of Italy, with the new capital city at Turin. In the words of one historian, Turin was "so far away that Otranto is today closer to seventeen foreign capitals than it is to Turin".
The region's contribution to Italy's gross value added was around 4.6% in 2000, while its population was 7% of the total. The per capita GDP is low compared to the national average and represents about 68.1% of the EU average.
The share of gross value added by the agricultural and services sectors was above the national average in 2000. The region has industries specialising in particular areas, including food processing and vehicles in Foggia; footwear and textiles in the Barletta area, and wood and furniture in the Murge area to the west.
The region has a good network of roads, but the railway network is less comprehensive, particularly in the south.< The region is crossed northwest to southeast by the A14 highway (Bologna–Taranto), which connects the region capital, Bari, to Taranto, the second most populous city in the region. The A14 also connects Foggia and points further north along the Adriatic coast to Pescara, Ancona, Rimini and eventually, Bologna. The only other highway in the region is the A16 (Napoli–Canosa), which crosses the Italian peninsula east–west and links the region with Napoli.
|Source: ISTAT 2001|
Emigration from the region's depressed areas to northern Italy and the rest of Europe was very intense in the years between 1956 and 1971. Subsequently, the trend declined as economic conditions improved, to the point where there was net immigration in the years between 1982 and 1985. Since 1986 the stagnation in employment has led to a new inversion of the trend, caused by a decrease in immigration.
Government and politicsEdit
As with the other regions of Italy, the national language (since 1861) is Italian. However, because of its long and varied history, other historical languages have been used in this region for centuries. In isolated pockets of the southern part of Salento, a dialect of Greek called Griko is still spoken by a few thousand people. In addition, rare dialects of the Franco-Provençal language called Faetar and the closely related Cellese are spoken by a dwindling number of individuals in the towns of Faeto and Celle Di San Vito, in the Province of Foggia. The Arbëreshë dialect of the Albanian language has been spoken by a small community since refugees settled there in the 15th century.
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- Amílcar Soares, Maria João Pereira, Roussos Dimitrakopoulos! geoENV VI – Geostatistics for Environmental Application (2008), p. 191: "The approach highlighted the widespread degradation of water resources in the Apulian groundwater. ... Above all the rapid socio-economic growth over the last decades has caused severe stress to the Apulian hydrogeological system."
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See also: Bibliography of the history of Apulia (in Italian)
- Desmond Seward, An Armchair Traveller's History of Apulia (Haus Publishing, 2013)
- Stefania Mola, Apulia: the Cathedrals (Adda, 2008)
- Francesco Carofiglio, Apulia, a Tourist's Guide to the Culture of Apulia (1988)
- Susanna Gelmetti, Italian Country Cooking: Recipes from Umbria & Apulia (1996), ISBN 1872803229
- Apulia: A Film Tourism Guide (Laterza, 2009, 246 pp)
- Tessa Garton, Early Romanesque Sculpture in Apulia (Courtauld Institute, 1984)
- "Apulia", Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.), New York, 1910, OCLC 14782424
- Roy Domenico (2002). "Apulia". Regions of Italy: a Reference Guide to History and Culture. Greenwood. ISBN 0313307334.