Italysbest-keptsecret Discoverbeautifullandscapes,foodieheavenandasurprisinglackoftourists BY OLIVIA WALMSLEY WHATS GOING ON? PUGLIA, the heel to Italys boot, is an area relatively undisturbed by British tourists. In July and August Italian families invade en masse and occupy the coastal region, but for the rest of the year it lies blissfully undisturbed. Carpeted with olive groves, its a real foodie mecca, famous for its olive oil. Its worth visiting for the delicious local produce alone -- olives, tomatoes, courgettes, chickpeas and some of Italys best cheeses. And lets not forget the wine: the local stuff is getting better all the time. Puglia is also the only region in Italy to do a good line in ros -- hunt down the Five Roses cru, the first ros bottled in Italy. This month, look out for wine festivals: Locorotondo is famed for its white wine production and holds the joyful Sagra del Vino Novello (Festival Of New Wine), while Noci hosts the Vino Novello e Caldarroste (New Wine and Chestnut) festival. BED DOWN THE Borgobianco Resort and Spa is 10 minutes from the pretty seaside town of Polignano a Mare, halfway between Bari and Brindisi. It has large, airy rooms, a top-class spa, a rooftop restaurant, and a lovely pool. Try the buffet lunch (36pp) and gorge on oysters, squid, salads, the local pasta speciality orrechiette (little ears), cheeses and fresh fruit. Doubles from 219 per night (borgobianco.it). HIT THE TOWN HEAD into Polignano a Mare and follow the locals: take a sunset promenade, followed by an aperitif in the piazza. Later dip into one of the many ice cream parlours -- the town is famous for its gelato. REFUEL EAT in a sea cave, overlooking a watery grotto lit by natural phos- phoresence, at the magical Grotta Palazzese. A favourite of Princess Diana, apparently. Mains from 12.50 to 18 (grottapalazzese.it). DONT MISS HIRE a car and explore -- Alberobello is the best place to go for Puglias famous trulli, the conical, rather comical, stone houses that resemble giant beehives, but they are also scattered all over the countryside. HOW TO GET THERE RYANAIR flies to Bari, 40 minutes away from Polignano a Mare. Theres a flight sale on until midnight tonight, with flights starting at nothing each way, plus taxes and charges (ryanair.com). MORE DETAILS viaggiareinpuglia.it MISSDONT Wetellyouwheretogoandwhen... Puglia London Lite Monday, 9 November 2009 35 Unspoilt: Olivia overlooks Polignano a Mare and outside the Borgobianco resort, above right index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html