Autonomous regione, southeastern Italy. It is located between the Adriatic Sea, the Apennines, and the Gulf of Taranto. It was ruled in the early Middle Ages by Goths, Lombards, and Byzantines and achieved its greatest glory under the Hohenstaufen emperors, especially the 13th-century Holy Roman emperor Frederick II. In 1861 it became part of the Italian kingdom. The region is predominantly agricultural. Wheat, barley, and oats are grown on the plain and in the more fertile parts of the plateaus, while olives, grapes, almonds, figs, and vegetables predominate farther south; tobacco is a specialty of the Lecce Plain. The wines of Puglia are the strongest in Italy and are used to fortify other, lighter varieties. There are chemical and petrochemical industries in Bari and iron and steel plants in Taranto. The capital of Puglia (pop., 2001 prelim.: 3,983,487) is Bari; the region has an area of 7,470 sq mi (19,348 sq km).
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