5 of Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Puglia, Italy – Part 1
When I talk about the dreamy Puglia to my friends, the most common perception that Puglia is a city in Italy! What most people don’t know, that Puglia is actually a big region in Southern Italy, in specific, the heel of the boots, the length of this region is roughly around 400KM long! This means Puglia is a big region to consider when you decide to travel there.
5 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Puglia
Number 1: Starting the Trip from North of Puglia – Bari
The city of Bari is located at the Northern region of Puglia, it is one of the biggest cities in the region and has an international airport connecting Puglia with the world.
Key things to Do and See in Bari
- Food walking/biking Tour
While in Bari, I would recommend booking a food walking tour in Bari Centrale (centre of Bari), this can be hosted either by foot for around 3 hours or by bike, click here for the best food tour!
In this tour you will experience the beauty of the narrow alleys and streets in Bari and watching older women gathering in those streets making fresh Orecchiette Pasta and leaving them outside to dry for later use.
In this tour you will try different foods from vintage shops scattered around the Bari Vecchia (Old Bari), you will enjoy a taste of fresh Burrata cheese, selection of cold cuts, olives and olive oil (Puglia is famous for its olive groves and oil), seafood, fresh polenta (made from corn and fried), pizze fritte (fried pizza) and to finish with authentic Italian gelato.
In the tour you will pass by the main cathedral in Bari Centrale, called Basilica San Nicola, a stunning architecture inside and outside the cathedral. Why it is significant? Religion in Italy is mostly Christian Catholic faith, however, due to the position of Puglia, it hosts a mix of Orthodox and Catholic faiths, which this church represent.
Number 2: Polingnano A Mare – One of the most instagramable place in Italy! Prepare your camera!
I would start by recommending you stay here for at least 3 days in the city centre instead of staying in Bari! This little town has swept my heart in the few times I have been already there.
Best Accommodation in Polingnano A Mare
Just under 30 minutes drive from the city of Bari, you will find this little town gem overlooking the Mediterranean deep blue sea, this white coloured town is built over the top rocks that are facing the sea, making the sceneries to die for and so relaxing.
When I visit Polingnano A Mare, I always stay at this beautiful accommodation, Ai Pozziglioni house, the roof top terrace has a full view of the gorgeous sea and the accommodation is less than 5 minutes walk to city centre, if you want to enjoy this accommodation, click here.
Best Restaurants in Polingnano A Mare
This small town is a host to some individual and fine dining experiences, famous for its fresh seafood dishes.
One of the most famous restaurants for a special experience is Grotta Palazzese, Grotta means in Italian “Cave”, if you guessed it right, it is the famous restaurant where you could dine inside a cave! What a fab experience! Food also doesn’t disappoint and the service is excellent, just be mindful it is an expensive dining experience.
Other Nice and Delicious Restaurants
Mint Cucina Fresca, translates to “Mint the fresh Cuisine”, located in the city centre in one of the narrow alleys, has a charming and calming factor interior and the food was super delicious and fresh. They serve different type of foods, but fresh and worth the visit.
Pro Tip: For the above restaurants, make sure you book way in advance, at least 1- 2 months in advance, they are so popular during high summer season.
Fresh Seafood Restaurants
You will not be disappointed if you try restaurant Antiche Mure or Cucina di Ventura for top and fresh seafood choices.
Generally speaking, the food in Polignano A Mare is really good and fresh, all those tiny cafes, restaurants and osteria’s are very nice and worth trying and experimenting the Pugliese foods. Also, try the gelato shops and the flavours that are served only in this cute town.
For nice and refreshing drinks, a visit to Casa Del Mojito is a must! I honestly, tried the best Mojito ever in my life!
Things to do and see in Polignano A Mare
There are lots of things to do in this picturesque town, that is why I recommended at least 3 days stay here. Yes, it is small, but has lots to do, lets explore the top activities to do here.
Best Beaches in Puglia
Probably the most famous beach to visit is the Lama Monachile beach, this is a free beach, just grab your towel, umbrella, cool box and head to this famous beach, that you keep finding in Instagram! The only thing to bare in mind, this beach is pebbly and all beaches in Polignano A Mare are known to be pebbly and rocky beaches, therefore, I would recommend taking a special footwear to wear it on this beaches. Though, the water colours are hard to resist!
Sandy Beaches in Puglia
Driving 20 minutes south of Polignano A Mare, you will find another cute Apulian fishermen town, called Monopoli, in this town the beaches are pristine with soft sands and host many beach clubs or simply you could search the free public spots and take your beach gear with you.
My personal beach club recommendation, is Lido Bambu, the design, the vibe, the service and the food is just perfect, Lido Bambu offers 5 stars beach experience and to me it is one of the must do when in Puglia.
Water Activities in Polignano A Mare
There are plenty to choose from, ranging from sunset cruises along the rocky cliffs to stand up paddling for those who want a bit of thrill to day boat tours exploring this part of Puglia from the sea. You could explore more by clicking on this excellent tour here.
Day visits from Polignano A Mare
As I explained above, visiting Bari for a day is a good idea as well as visiting Monopoli, the fishermen village, which is just 20 minutes drive from Polignano A Mare.
Number 3: Ostuni – Citta Bianca “The White City”
Heading further south in Puglia, one if the most beautiful inland cities you will find, Ostuni, called the White City “Citta Bianca”.
Top Attractions in Ostuni
One of the top things to do in Ostuni, is to watch the magical sunset from a viewpoint. What is special about Ostuni viewpoints, is you get to see the sunsetting behind the distant blue sea while setting enjoying a sip of your favourite cocktails in one of those hot summer evenings.
Best viewpoint, is Borgo Antico Bistrot, nestled in one of the prime locations inside the white old city, this beautiful Bistrot. You wouldn’t need to book, however, I would suggest arriving at least 1 hour before sunset time to queue and get a table with an incredible view of the Adriatic sea.
Top Places to eat in Ostuni
In Ostuni, you will find one of the best dining scenes in Southern Italy, packed with little cute bistorts and restaurants that have beautifully decorated garden and terraces, from Michelin stars to small quirky places, in Ostuni you are guaranteed to find the best fresh food in Italy.
My favourite places to dine in Ostuni is Ceilo the one Michilen Star restaurant, that have amazing vibe with calming outdoor terrace and exquisite Italian cuisine.
Number 4: The Famous Trulli Town, Alberobello
As per the UNESCO website “The trulli of Alberobello represent a dry-stone building tradition, several thousand years old, found across the Mediterranean region. Scattered rural settlements were present in the area of present day Alberobello around one thousand years ago (1,000 AD)”.
Listed and protected by the UNESCO world heritage, Alberobello, is a small town around 20 minutes drive from Ostuni, with lots of free car parking spaces around the city centre.
Top things to do in Alberobello
The prime thing to do, is to walk! exploring this small town on foot and admiring the old trulli houses that are now used either as hotel accommodations, small local shops or cute restaurants and cafes.
This charming little town is so cute and so perfect for photos and social media posts! It is almost guaranteed that you will not find anything like these trulli houses anywhere else in this world! why not to arrange for a photo-shooting session to capture the magical vibes of this town!
Number 5: Locorotondo – The rounded city on top of the hill!
From its name, it is the rounded city that is situated at the top of the hill! Not far from Alberobello and Ostuni, in Valle d’Itria, you will find another cute little town.
Famous for its white marbled paths and very clean filled with flowers and plants alleys. The residents of this town compete to show off their decorated house entrances.
Why I should visit Locorotondo?
Personally, I think, you should visit Locorotondo to admire its beauty and try the fresh Pugliese wines and olive oil and fresh food.
It is a very well maintained small town with lots of instagramable spots, that makes it perfect for a perfect photo-shooting session. Especially, that Locorotondo is less than 20 minutes drive from either Ostuni or Alberbello.
Visiting those last 3 cities in 1 day is very much doable and in a way completes each other! If you want to a customised trip it explore Puglia hidden gems and enjoy the authentic southern Italian hospitality from a Puglia expert, click HERE to help you crafting your personalised Puglia Tour!
Contributed by Ruba from Travel with Ruba
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