Apulia (or Puglia) is the heel of Italy, stretching down from the spur of the Italian boot. Its landscape is often very beautiful and it has wonderful old cities with Romanesque cathedrals, Gothic castles and a great wealth of Baroque architecture, together with 'rupestrian' churches that contain Byzantine frescoes. But, although far from inaccessible, until quite recently it was seldom visited by Anglo Saxons. Today, however, Apulia is becoming fashionable, 'an alternative to Tuscany'. It is featured on radio and television; travel supplements describe its beaches and its cooking, 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. Our book, which grew out of what was originally intended as a travel book, has been written to fill the gap by providing a simple, readable account.