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North Pole: minus 15°C
As Christmas approaches daytime temperatures fall to around 10°C although the mercury can nudge a balmy 15°C. There’s not much chance of a white Christmas here. There’s not even much rain – just 92mm during December. There is still a 50/50 chance of wintery sunshine. The weather in Puglia in December is mild and pleasant.
At the North Pole days are dark and short. The sun barely rises. It’s icy and cold. The landscape is lost in blinding blizzards. Temperatures average out at around -15°C. Frankly it’s freezing. Santa Claus or no Santa Claus you wouldn’t want to holiday here.
Photo credit: Neil Conway
The weather in Salento in December is perfect for sightseeing. In the coastal town of Otranto on the Adriatic Sea the highlight of the Romanesque cathedral is the stunning 12th-century mosaic created by a monk called Pantaleone. The scenes depicted in the intricate work include the story of Noah’s Ark and the legend of King Arthur. Meandering Otranto’s narrow alleyways, the historic quarter cradled by the old town walls, you can also dip into the tiny church of Chiesa di San Pietro with its Byzantine frescoes.
Castello di Ugento, a 17th-century castle recently converted into a luxurious boutique hotel, professional cookery school and museum, also features a magnificent mythological series of Baroque frescoes in the elegant first floor apartments. In the restored 18th-century kitchen garden, meanwhile, the tangerines are ripe in time for Christmas while the gardens are still producing parsnips, Swiss chard, spinach and leeks…