PUGLIA IN 360°
Exploring Puglia is like walking through a painting rich in hues of vibrant blue and green. Our two coasts, punctuated with coves carved out of the rock by relentless crashing seas, boasting sharp and jagged seascapes softened by magnificent beaches of white and golden sand and caressed by warm azure waters, add the texture.
The only town in Puglia where you'll see a constant flow of tour buses. There is an impressive array of tourist trinkets on show - most trulli are souvenir shops. But not all - others are restaurants.
Nevertheless the town is unique and its trulli the association that connects most people to our region. Visit early to avoid the crowds and don’t be disappointed if you leave disappointed. You can always visit the beautifully set Costa dei Trulli Ripagnola for a more authentic trulli experience.
Most visitors fly in or out of Bari, our regional capital. The old town - Bari vecchia - winds around the Basilica di San Nicola containing the relics of Russia’s patron saint. Walk around the narrow cobbled alleys and you will notice Italian grandmothers sitting beyond their doorways rolling, cutting and shaping orecchiette, the iconic pasta of Puglia.
Be sure to stroll along the lungomare stopping off for some freshly landed, and ludicrously inexpensive, sea urchins with bread and beer at El Chiringuito on the Molo S. Nicola.
Salento’s baroque masterpiece. Enjoy a pasticciotto and cafe leccese when you are in town (Puglia’s favourite pastry, like a sweet pie with a custard, chocolate or jam filling, accompanied by this iced coffee with almond syrup).
Accolades such as European Capital of Culture 2019 and being the spectacular setting for the opening sequence of the #JamesBond25 film No Time To Die are not our reasons for listing Matera.
Navigating the historic Sassi districts is only possible by observation and perseverance. An almost impossible maze of caves and dwellings - some left untouched, others beautifully and sympathetically refurbished - standing on top of the other, of winding passageways, stone steps and dry air. As improbable as the recursive designs found in Dutch artist M.C. Escher’s works of art.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site not to be missed. This is not Puglia. This is Matera.
Adjacent to and sometimes overshadowed by its near neighbour Polignano a Mare, Monopoli offers a quieter alternative for lunch or dinner. It has a pretty old town and enjoys a less frenetic pace. The old port with its blue fishing boats bobbing gently, green fishing nets drying under the sun invites you into the beating heart of its centro storico.
With a population of around 50,000 Monopoli is well served by public transport and easily accessible by road.
If it is your first visit to Puglia la città bianca is the perfect base to discover our region. Set in the heart of the Valle d’Itria, Ostuni offers easy access to Locorotondo, Ceglie Messapica and Alberobello. The Adriatic coast can be seen atop the centro storico, with Monopoli and Polignano a Mare only a short drive away.
Ostuni’s rich heritage can be discovered around every corner of the labyrinth of the old town’s narrow cobble streets and alleyways that make for perambulatory paradise. They might take you to a rooftop garden with a view of the Adriatic over the centuries old olive groves that lie below, or they might just lead to a dead end ... leaving you no option but to turn around and explore some more.
Polignano a Mare
Polignano a Mare - in the blue painted blue. Think of Puglia and you may well picture Polignano a Mare. It has one of the most iconic views of Puglia, often found on the cover of guide books to our region. Oh, and that song you know, “Volare”...
Where the beaches have a soft silvery pink sand that sparkles under the golden sun. And the main beach is legendary - quite literally. Vieste sits on furthest tip of the peninsula making a great base for exploring the wonderfully diverse Gargano. Find a trove of destinations to visit and things to do.
Puglia Beach Guide
With over 800km of coast, Puglia has some of the best beaches in Italy. Stretches of soft white and golden sand alternate with rocky shelves and hidden coves, surrounded by crystal clear waters.
Discover some of Puglia’s best beaches.