Exploring Earth From Space: Puglia, Italy [Video]

Part of Puglia, or Apulia, a region in southern Italy, is featured in this image captured on January 19, 2022, by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2022), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Part of Puglia, or Apulia, a region in southern Italy, is featured in this image captured from space by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Puglia is an Italian region located in the country’s southern peninsular area, bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. Puglia has a population of about four million people. The regions largest cities include Bari, Taranto, Foggia, Andria, Lecce, Barletta, Brindisi, Altamura, Molfetta, and Cerignola.

It is famous for its long coastline, olive oil production, and rich archaeology.

Puglia, the heel of the boot-shaped country, has the longest coastline of any Italian mainland region. Covering almost 20,000 sq km (7,500 sq miles), it is Italy’s seventh largest region and its coastline, dotted with some of Italy’s finest sandy beaches and azure seas, runs for around 800 km (500 miles). With a population of around four million, Puglia borders the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the west.

Puglia is the least mountainous region of Italy, consisting of broad plains and low-lying hills. It is home to two national parks, the Alta Murgia National Park and Gargano National Park. The area is one of the largest and most productive plains in Italy where a significant amount of both wine and olive oil is produced.

Puglia’s chief town is Bari (not visible in the image), which is the largest urban and metropolitan area on the Adriatic. Major cities in the image include Brindisi, easily identifiable as a major port town on the Adriatic coast, and Lecce, an urban sprawl straddling both the Adriatic and Ionian coasts. Lecce has a large historical center that includes the famous Piazza del Duomo square and many Baroque-style buildings dating from the 16th century—including the Basilica di Santa Croce.

Another historical seaside town and port is Otranto, visible about 40 km (25 miles) from Lecce on the Adriatic Sea. On a clear day, it’s possible to see Albania over the Otranto Strait.

The seaside town of Gallipoli can be seen on the Ionian coast, at the bottom of the image. The old town center sits on a tiny island connected to the mainland by a 17th-century bridge.

As well as providing detailed information about Earth’s vegetation, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission is designed to play a key role in mapping differences in land cover to understand the landscape, map how it is used, and monitor changes over time.

This image, captured on January 19, 2022, is also featured on ESA’s Earth from Space video program (video embedded above).

European Space AgencyGeography