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Spring comes early to the Mediterranean and in Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, the wild flowers and blossom are out and the crowds are still months away. It’s already warm enough, on a fine day, to have lunch outside. Food is one of Puglia’s main draws. Most of Italy’s pasta and olive oil is made here, but it’s the raw ingredients – the greenest vegetables, the sweetest fruit - that have put Puglia on the foodie map. Criss-crossed by groves of gnarled old olive trees and stone walls, the interior is largely flat and, by summer, bleached. The coast is alternately straight, with windswept sandy beaches, and rugged, with rocky coves. The light is sharp, the Adriatic Sea cobalt-blue. It could be Greece. In the seventh century BC, it was – at least, the Greeks colonized it. All of Puglia is too much for a short break, so stick to the Salentine Peninsula for sea air, good food and the baroque architecture of Lecce. LAND PACKAGE ONLY FOR $3,650 PER PERSON Details: www.flavorsandknowledgetours.com