The Big Guide to Puglia’s Weather

WE (L) COME BACK TO PUGLIA

We often joke that in Puglia we only have two seasons: estate and non-estate (summer, and not-summer). Long, dry summers, a short damp winter with rainy spells either side. Puglia’s humidity is more apparent in winter when the damp chills. In summer we barely notice it. But it can get breezy...

January | gennaio

Average daytime temperature 9°c | 48°f
Average sea temperature 13°c | 56°f

January is usually our coldest month. Sometimes it snows.

Puglia is very definitely off season, giving us time to recover from the festive season. But on 6 January - Epiphany - good children will wake to find that la Befana has left them presents in their stockings or shoes, which are left out the night before. Bad children get carbone - coal.

La Fòcara di Novoli, one of Puglia’s biggest winter events is celebrated.

February | febbraio

Average daytime temperature 9°c | 48°f
Average sea temperature 14°c | 57°f

We can even have snow in February.

Carnevale is celebrated almost everywhere, but the most spectacular and one of Italy’s finest, takes place in Putignano.

We look forward to eating our chiacchiere di carnevale.

The average temperatures given month for month are based on the mean taking data points from across the region. However the further south you venture the warmer it gets, if only by a few degrees. On that basis we have included some information specific to some of our region’s most popular destinations.

We have included wind information because we do get more than our share of wind in Puglia, due to our region’s geography. However in summer this can be a blessing as it does take the perceived temperature down a few notches.

March | marzo

Average daytime temperature 11°c | 52°f
Average sea temperature 14°c | 57°f

Spring is on its way. The days are getting longer and the sun starts to climb higher in the sky.

We look forward to more festive pastries - this time zeppole di San Giuseppe, baked choux pastry, filled with crema (a creme patissiere) and decorated with some more piped crema and a black cherry.

April | aprile

Average daytime temperature 14°c | 57°f
Average sea temperature 15°c | 59°f

Easter is here, and Holy Week is celebrated with great passion. Religious processions take place throughout Puglia.

The most sinister that we have encountered are the "Pappamusci" of Francavilla Fontana. Barefooted and hooded real-life sinners looking for forgiveness. They process through the town carrying heavy crosses on their backs and shoulders.

The geology and geography of Puglia makes our region rather humid. However this is not an oppressive humidity like Americans living in DC and the southern states will be accustomed to. We know - this author went to school in Baltimore and spend two humidity soaked summers there.

The humidity will not keep you awake at night. Although we have air conditioning, we never use it. We can sleep comfortably without.

We do however notice the humidity come November, through to February. It may be 15°C outside but the damp chills us to our bones, and we put our fire on mid-afternoon when the sun drops or disappears.

Santa Maria di Leuca is one of gay Puglia’s much underrated and undervisited gems. The best of Puglia brought to you by the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia gay guides to Puglia.

May | maggio

Average daytime temperature 18°c | 64°f
Average sea temperature 18°c | 64°f

The weather in May can be changeable. May 2017 and 2019 were dependable, warm and sunny. However May 2018 felt like summer was still a reluctant visitor, with more than the usual amount of rain. In 2020 we were in lockdown.

There is an old Italian proverb telling us not to trust [the weather] in May: “Aprile non ti alleggerire, maggio non ti fidare, giugno fai come ti pare”. Consequently it’s still too early for Italians to take to the beach, or even wear shorts.

For three miserable weeks olive tree pollen causes a severe allergic reaction for many, and can lead to asthmatic complications. Going to the beach helps...

 

June | giugno

Average daytime temperature 22°c | 72°f
Average sea temperature 23°c | 73°f

Summer has arrived. Schools are on holiday and Italians start to visit the beach. Restaurants, cafés and bars come to life in the evenings, and so do the crickets and cicadas.

Although visitors start to arrive from April onwards, June is when the mood changes and al fresco life takes over once again.

 

Bring your mosquito spray and calming lotion for the bites. You will need it - especially if you are fair skinned, or red-headed. Our Scottish friends seem to be a particular favourite taste.

Be sure that your accommodation has mosquito screens fitted over the windows. Many do. We wouldn’t stay anywhere without...

More | read The Big Guide to Lecce

July | luglio

Average daytime temperature 24°c | 75°f
Average sea temperature 25°c | 77°f

July is when we have the most sun, with an average of 10 hours a day.

August | agosto

Average daytime temperature 24°c | 74°f
Average sea temperature 26°c | 78°f

August is the best month to swim in the sea, when the average sea temperature is 25.5°C (78°F). It’s a necessity.

You might find sunscreen products cheaper at home than buying them here.

If you suffer too much sun, the best treatment we have found for sunburn is a product that you can find in the pharmacy. It’s called BIAFINE - a French emulsion cream used to treat third degree burns in hospitals. We can buy it in France and here in Puglia, but we have been unable to find it in chemists in the UK.

More | read The Big Guide to Polignano a Mare

Santa Maria di Leuca really does have a sense of being located at the end of the world

September | settembre

Average daytime temperature 21°c | 70°f
Average sea temperature 25°c | 77°f

The Italians who come to Puglia on vacation have gone back home. But for locals there is still some time to snatch some late summer sun, especially in Salento, and here at the very heel of Italy’s boot; Santa Maria di Leuca.

October | ottobre

Average daytime temperature 17°c | 63°f
Average sea temperature 20°c | 69°f

We can still sit outside for an al fresco coffee when the sun is shining.

We regularly go to the beach until late October. We continue to swim until then.

We start again from May. Our Italian colleagues have given up before and won’t consider wearing shorts and casting off their winter coat until June arrives - let alone visit the beach.

November | novembre

Average daytime temperature 13°c | 55°f
Average sea temperature 17°c | 63°f

This is our wettest month of the year with an average of 99.3mm of rain.

The olive harvest starts and the countryside is abuzz as modern and traditional techniques are employed. We usually harvest 3 - 4 falls, through to January. On average we produce 10 litres of oil per tree.

December | dicembre

Average daytime temperature 10°c | 50°f
Average sea temperature 15°c | 59°f

 

"We are in Puglia."

~ Sacha Baron Cohen