Puglia is one of the most beautiful regions of Italy, rich in history, culture and sensational natural areas of great interest. Its beaches on the Adriatic are wonderful, concentrated in the areas of Gargano and Salento, recognized as the cleanest in the nation.
Equally interesting are the territories of the Itria Valley which are considerable from a historical point of view.
Today we take you to the discovery of Puglia, paying particular attention to the most important places, i 10 places to visit absolutely.
- Monopoli and the Castellana Caves
- Castel del Monte in Andria
- The beaches of Salento: Gallipoli, Otranto, Lecce and Santa Maria di Leuca
- The Gargano and Vieste
- Polignano a Mare
- Gravina in Puglia and the Alta Murgia National Park
- Lecce and its historic center
- Bari and the district of San Nicola
- Ostuni: the White city
- Alberobello: the city of the Trulli
- User questions and comments
1 - Monopoli and the Castellana Caves
The first attraction to visit absolutely are the Castellana Caves and the nearby town of Monopoli. The caves are a fascinating karst complex of underground cavities of considerable speleological and natural importance. Not far from the Caves is Monopoli, a wonderful cattadina characterized by a medieval old town rich in artistic-monumental testimonies. This contrasts with the ruins of Messapian origin present in the area.
There are two types of itineraries: one complete of 120 minutes and one partial of 50. Prices vary approximately from € 10,00 (children over 12 years) to € 16,00 (adults), but are often subject to special discounts and promotions at different times of the year. For more info on rates and timetables visit the official website
2 - Castel del Monte in Andria
We continue our journey to discover the Apulian wonders with one of the most famous and interesting places in the region. Castel del Monte di Andria is a mythical construction, absolutely suggestive both for the particular architecture and for the mysterious stories that see it linked to the ancient order of the Knights Templar.
The octagonal shaped castle is located on a promontory and has been awarded the recognition of humanitarian heritage by UNESCO, for its incredible constructive proportions.
Admission is free for minors. The full ticket costs € 5,00 (over 24 years old) the reduced ticket € 2,50 (from 18 to 24 years old), the audio guides cost € 3,50. But the best solution for a visit is undoubtedly the guided tour that can be purchased online, thanks to which you will discover all the incredible secrets of this fascinating structure.
3 - The beaches of Salento: Gallipoli, Otranto, Lecce and Santa Maria di Leuca
The Salento peninsula is one of the most famous Italian geographical regions. Home to contemporary artists and musicians, it is recognized as one of the most beautiful beach areas in the nation.
The municipalities of Gallipoli, Otranto, Lecce and Santa Maria di Leuca, rich in paradisiacal sandy beaches, are particularly known. The most beautiful locations are in the area are Porto Cesareo, Torre Lapillo, Alimini and the incredible "Maldives of Salento".
Finally, don't miss the nearby Grotta della Poesia, one of the most beautiful natural pools in the world.
4 - The Gargano and Vieste
Equally famous is the subregion of the Gargano: the spur of Italy. Completely surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, this area is full of fabulous seaside resorts. The most beautiful is the town of Vieste, also known as the "Pearl of the Gargano". But it does not end there, in this area there is also the delightful medieval village of San Giovanni Rotondo, a place of worship for the faithful of San Pio da Pietralcina and the town of Monte Sant'Angelo, famous for the Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
5 - Polignano a Mare
This magical place inspired the famous singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno for the creation of "Volare", a milestone of Italian music. In the center of this small seaside town south of Bari it is possible to admire fabulous buildings from the medieval era through a comfortable guided walking tour.
Naturally Polignano a mare is a special place especially for the quality of its beaches and caves that embellish the coast. For this reason you absolutely must not miss the excellent cruise which includes the main caves and the most evocative places.
Finally, for a truly special experience, we recommend that you eat at the "Grotta Palazzese", a restaurant carved into the rock from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the sea.
6 - Gravina in Puglia and the Alta Murgia National Park
Gravina di Puglia is a medieval city built next to one of the ravines, or ravines, which embellish the geological landscape on the border between Puglia and Basilicata. The things to see are different: the Church of San Michele delle Grotte and Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, underground path and the headquarters of Alta Murgia National Park.
7 - Lecce and its historic center
Among the 10 things not to miss in Puglia it is impossible not to mention the historic center of Lecce.
Piazza Sant'Oronzo, the central square of the city is embellished by the presence ofRoman amphitheater built in the Augustan Age. Not far from it is the Church of the Holy Cross, among the best southern examples of Baroque art. A few steps away from Piazza Duomo: here you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Cathedral, the Bishop's Palace and the bell tower.
An exceptional and super recommended way to visit the city is the excellent free walking tour, which allows you to admire all the peculiar beauties accompanied by a local guide, without spending anything!
8 - Bari and the district of San Nicola
From the historic center of Lecce to that of Bari San Nicola neighborhood, also known as Bari Vecchia, is the beating heart of the city. It is very rich in places to see, especially as regards religious architecture.
Among the most beautiful churches they should be mentioned the Cathedral of San Sabino and the Basilica of San Nicola, the latter placed between the four squares known as "Corti del Catapano", once the seat of the palace of the Byzantine governor.
The center is quite small and can be visited on foot, by bicycle or by Segway. Bari is also the homeland of the "Apulian orecchiete", therefore one of the most original and recommended tourist activities is the walking tour with cooking class, during which you can try your hand at making homemade pasta according to tradition.
9 - Ostuni: the White city
Known as the "White City" because of the houses entirely covered with lime in its city center, Ostuni is a tourist resort of great value, awarded several times for the exceptional natural integrity of its beaches.
Il Old Town it is full of wonders to see, including religious and civil architectures of great value such as the Church of San Vito Martire Co-cathedral and Column of Sant'Oronzo that we advise you to admire through an organized walking tour, during which a local guide will make you discover secrets and curiosities.
10 - Alberobello: the city of the Trulli
Perhaps the main symbol of the region, the Trulli are very old conical houses presumably dating back to the th century. The best preserved are in the town of Alberobello, the "city of the Trulli" protected by UNESCO. To this day they continue to be at the center of numerous debates and studies for their architecture and for the original purpose of construction.
The area can be visited for free, but the independent visit is not comparable to the organized tour, during which you will be able to better understand the historical and cultural value of this splendid place, accompanied by an expert guide.
Plan your stay: how to get there and where to sleep
For a sea-only holiday in Salento it is recommended to land in Brindisi (flights from € 29,00), e base in Lecce, Otranto, Gallipoli (for the youngest), also visiting Torre Sant'Andrea, Santa Maria di Leuca, Porto Selvaggio, Porto Cesareo. For hotels and b & bs where to stay, you will find the best Booking offers on this page.
For a more complete itinerary, between beaches, history and culture, it is better to land in Bari (flights from € 29,00) e stay in Bari, Polignano, Monopoli, Alberobello, Ostuni, and finally make a stop in Lecce, in northern Salento. Accommodations from € 59,00 per night.
Those fascinated by unusual places less traveled by mass tourism can choose one itinerary between the Murgia and the Gargano. The stages of the journey will be Bari (where we recommend landing), Trani, Monte Sant'Angelo, Vieste Peschici, Rhodes and the Tramiti Islands. Accommodations from € 48,00 per night.