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Puglia - is around Alberobello a good place to base ourselves?

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Hi. We have not been to Italy for many years and are looking at a holiday in Puglia and perhaps hiring a Trulli for a week or 2 near the town of Alberobello. I have not thoroughly looked into what there is to do in this area so would like to ask a few questions from people on this forum who know the area.
1/ Would this be a good place to base ourselves? We would spend some or part of some days relaxing around the pool but obviously want to be able to go off and see interesting towns and sights in the area. And eat some fabulous Italian food!
2/ What are the "must see" sights, towns and villages in the area? We would hope to not drive more than an hour.
3/ Are there any other areas near here that would be better to base ourselves?
4/ Best beaches for swimming in the area?
We like to rent a house and spend some time relaxing at the house with friends, and other days exploring. I guess the idea is to be in an area where there are plenty of things to see.
We will have a car for the day trips. Any info will be greatly accepted. Thanks.

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