Italy’s sun-bleached heel, Puglia, has everything you might need to fall in love with this beautiful country—ancient towns left untouched; stunning churches dreamt up by Europe's finest architects; the confluence of cultures of past conquerors, stamped in stone, gold, and marble; fields of wildflowers and olives; olive-green seas; and of course, food. Called the “Florence of the Baroque”, the province of Lecce features more than 40 churches and at least as many noble palazzi built between the 17th and 18th centuries. Typical for Puglia, the locals sit outside bars sipping iced coffee with almond syrup (latte di mandorla). South of Lecce lies the Salento Peninsula, where red cliffs fall to the sea and some of the best beaches beckon. In villages, such as Gagliano del Capo, the festivals are a must-see with musicians beating out a tarantella (folk song) and singing. Our boutique hotels in Puglia will set you up with some vinello, sagne ‘ncannulate (pasta that resemble the swirling architecture here), or pasticciotto if you have a sweet tooth. Don’t be surprised if you leave your heart in Puglia.