The 10 best places to see in Puglia, Italy

The 10 best places to see in Puglia, Italy

Puglia is one of the most beautiful regions of Italy, rich in history, culture and amazing natural areas of great interest. Its beaches on the Adriatic are beautiful, concentrated in the areas of Gargano and Salento, they are recognized as the cleanest in the country.

Equally interesting are the territories of the valley of Itria, which have a rich history.

1. Attractions of Puglia

The following 10 places of interest are worth visiting while in Puglia.

1.1 Castellana Monopoli and Caves . The first places to visit are the Castellana Caves and the nearby town of Monopoli. The caves are a fascinating karstic complex of underground cavities of important speleological and natural importance. Not far from the Caves is Monopoli, a beautiful cattadina characterized by a medieval historical center rich in artistic and monumental monuments. There are also ruins of Messapian origin.

There are two types of itineraries : one full for 120 minutes and one for 50 minutes. Prices vary, but there are often special discounts and promotions, depending on the time of year.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.2 Castel del Monte in Andria . Continuing the journey, it is recommended to discover the wonders of Puglia by seeing one of the most famous and interesting places in the region. Castel del Monte di Andria is a mythical structure that will make you ponder its mysteries. It is memorable both for its special architecture and for the mysterious stories that link it to the ancient Templar order. The octagonal-shaped castle is located on a promontory and was included in the UNESCO heritage for its incredible structural dimensions.

Admission is free for minors . The best solution to visit is undoubtedly a tour that can be booked online. It is recommended to discover all the incredible secrets of this fascinating structure with the help of a guide.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.3 The beaches of Salento: Gallipoli, Otranto, Lecce and Santa Maria di Leuca . The Salento Peninsula is one of the most famous geographical regions of Italy. It is home to contemporary artists and musicians and is recognized as one of the most charming beach areas of the country. The municipalities of Gallipoli, Otranto, Lecce and Santa Maria di Leuca are particularly famous for their paradisiacal sandy beaches. The most beautiful places in the area are Porto Cesareo, Torre Lapillo, Alimini and the incredible “Maldives of Salento”.

Finally, you cannot miss the nearby Grotta della Poésia, one of the most beautiful natural pools in the world.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.4 Gargano and Vieste . The Gargano promontory, the “spur of Italy”, is no less famous. Completely surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, the area is full of fabulous seaside resorts. The most beautiful is the town of Vieste, also known as the “Pearl of Gargano”. But that’s not all, the area is also home to the delightful medieval village of San Giovanni Rotondo, the place of worship of the faithful of San Pio da Pietralcina and the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, famous for its San Michele sanctuary. Arcangelo, a UNESCO heritage site.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.5 Polignano a Mare . This magical place inspired the famous singer and songwriter Domenico Modugno to create Volare, a milestone in Italian music. In the center of this small seaside town, south of Bari, you can admire fabulous medieval buildings on a guided walking tour.

Polignano-a-Mare is a captivating place, thanks to the nice beaches and the caves that adorn the coast. For this reason, you should not miss an excellent tour that includes the main caves and the most interesting places.

Finally, to enrich the experience even more, it is advisable to eat at “Grotta Palazzese”, a restaurant carved into the rock, from which you can admire a beautiful view of the sea.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.6 Gravina in Puglia and the National Park of Alta Murja . Gravina di Puglia is a medieval town built next to one of the gorges that decorate the geological landscape on the border of Puglia and Basilicata. Here you can see: the church of San Michele delle Grotte and the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the underpass and the headquarters of the national park of Alta Murcia.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.7 Lecce and its historic center . Among the 10 sights that in no way can be missed in Puglia, the historical center of Lecce is worth mentioning.

Piazza Sant’Oronzo, the central square of the city, is decorated with a Roman amphitheater built during the age of Augustus. Nearby is the Church of Santa Croce which is one of the best examples of the Southern Baroque. A few steps from the Piazza Duomo, there are spectacular views of the cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace and the bell tower.

The best way to visit the city is an excellent free guided walking tour that allows you to admire all the peculiar beauty of these places.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.8 Bari and the San Nicola district. From the historical center of Lecce to Bari is the district of San Nicola, also known as Bari Vecchia, it is the lively center of the city. There are many sights here, especially those concerning religious architecture.

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Among the most beautiful churches are the cathedral of San Sabino and the basilica of San Nicola, the latter located between four squares known as the “Corti del Catapano”. It is the former residence of the palace of the Byzantine governor.

The center is quite small and can be reached on foot, by bicycle or by segway. Bari is also the birthplace of the “Apulian Orecchiette”, so one of the most original and recommended tourist activities is a walking tour with a cooking workshop, during which you can try your hand at making homemade pasta according to local traditions.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.9 Ostuni: White City . Ostuni, known as the “White City” because of the houses completely covered with lime in the center of the town, is a very valuable tourist resort, which has repeatedly won awards for the exceptional natural beauty of its beaches. The historic center is full of interesting sights, including religious and civil architectural monuments of importance, such as the Church of San Vito Martyr, then the Co-Cathedral and the Colonna Sant’Oronzo. It is recommended to admire Otsuni on foot with a local guide who will reveal all the secrets of these places and share curious facts.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

1.10 Alberobello: the city of trulli . Perhaps the main symbol of the region, the trulli are very ancient conical houses, presumably dating back to the 17th century. The trulli are best preserved in the town of Alberobello, so called – “the city of trulli”, protected by UNESCO. To this day, they continue to be a controversial topic and cause much debate about their architecture and the original purpose of construction.

The area can be visited for free, but a self-guided visit is incomparable to an organized tour, during which it is possible to better understand the historical and cultural value of this magnificent place with an experienced guide.

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1. Attractions of Puglia

2. How to organize your own holiday

For a sea-only holiday in Salento, it is recommended to land in Brindisi and stay in Lecce, Otranto, Gallipoli and visit Torre Sant’Andrea, Santa Maria di Leuca, Porto Selvaggio, Porto Cesareo.

To visit the beaches and explore the historical and cultural monuments of Puglia, it is better to land in Bari and stay in Bari, Polignano, Monopoli, Alberobello, Ostuni, or in Lecce, north of Salento.

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For those fascinated by unusual places and less popular attractions among tourists, you can choose the route between Murgia and Gargano . The stages of the journey will be Bari (where it is worth landing), Trani, Monte Sant’Angelo, Vieste Peschici, Rhodes and the Islands of Tramiti.

I10 places to visit in Puglia

Since Puglia has many beaches, UNESCO World Heritage sites and many other fascinating places, it’s not easy to narrow down the list to the top ten must-see places to visit while vacationing in Puglia.

Top 10 places to see in Puglia Top 10 places to see in PugliaTop 10 places to see in Puglia

Castel del Monte, a UNESCO heritage site

Castel del Monte is one of the most fascinating places in Italy, and it’s worth a visit if you’re vacationing in Puglia. The castle was built in 1250 by Frederick II and is located near the town of Andria on top of a solitary hill, with a beautiful view of the Murge plateau on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other. The castle is a regular octagon, and on its corners there are towers, also built in the form of octagons. In 1996, the castle was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its architectural features, its exclusivity, its uniqueness and the mystery that still surrounds it. The castle was built in 1250 by Frederick II and is located near the town of Andria on the top of a solitary hill, with a beautiful view of the Murge plateau on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other. The castle is a regular octagon, and on its corners there are towers, also built in the form of octagons. In 1996 the castle was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its architectural peculiarities, its uniqueness and the aina that still surrounds it.

Suggested Hotels:

Lama di Luna Biomasseria

Lama di Luna > (Andria)

Resort Bufi Private Beach

Resort Bufi > (Molfetta)

Monopoli and the Grotte di Castellana cave complex

Monopoli is a small town of Puglia, whose natural charm and rich historical heritage leave no one indifferent to travelers who come here every year. In the historic center of the city there are nine medieval churches and many cobblestone streets. And just a few kilometers from Monopoli, in an area with incredible geological characteristics, are the beautiful rock formations and stalactites of Grotte di Castellana. They were formed about 90 million years ago and today are an invaluable natural heritage of Italy and one of the most important landmarks of Puglia.

Suggested Hotels:

Il Melograno

Il Melograno > (Monopoli)

Don Ferrante Dimore di Charme

Don Ferrante > (Monopoli)

Relais Corte Altavilla

Relais Corte Altavilla (Conversano)

Bellavista Suite

Bellavista Suite > (Monopoli)

Playa del Mar

Playa del Mar > (Monopoli)

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San Michele Suite

San Michele Suite (Polignano a Mare)

Bari – the historical center

The regional center of Puglia, Bari is both a bustling port city and a university town. Bari is situated on the Adriatic coast and is famous for its important monuments, notable churches, charming embankment and an attractive historical center with an ancient castle from which an infinite number of intertwining narrow streets branch off. Bari offers a wide variety, such as numerous hidden treasures.

Suggested Hotels:

Pietrablu Resort

Pietrablu Resort > (Polignano a Mare)

CalaPonte Hotel

CalaPonte Hotel > (Polignano a Mare)

Salento Peninsula

The Salento region is the southernmost part of Puglia and includes such lovely coastal towns as Gallipoli, Otranto, Lecce and Santa Maria di Leuca. The Salentine Peninsula boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Puglia and all of Italy. Take a tour along the coast to not miss a single seaside resort of this area: Porto Cesareo, Torre-Lapillo, Alimini beach and, of course, the most beautiful “Maldives of Salento”. The Torre Guaceto territory and nature reserve includes 6 kilometers of coastline with a characteristic Mediterranean landscape: blue sea, sandy sands, small lagoons and century-old olive trees

Suggested Hotels:

Vivosa Apulia Resort

Vivosa Apulia Resort > (Ugento)

Masseria Li Foggi

Masseria Li Foggi > (Gallipoli)

Le Dune Suite Hotel

Le Dune Suite > (Porto Cesareo)

Grand Hotel Riviera

Grand Hotel Riviera > (Nardò)

Masseria Fulcignano

Masseria Fulcignano > (Galatone)

Masseria Don Cirillo

Masseria Don Cirillo (Ugento)

Gargano and Vieste

The Gargano peninsula is one of the most splendid and striking areas of Puglia. The peninsula in the province of Foggia juts into the Adriatic Sea and is often called the “spur of the Italian boot”. Much of the interior of the peninsula is covered by the Forest of Foresta Umbra and along the coast there are golden sand beaches and old towns and villages. Vieste becomes every summer the most popular tourism destination in Puglia. It is a small coastal town located on the east coast of the Gargano Peninsula.

Suggested Hotels:

Hotel Il Porto

Hotel Il Porto > (Mattinata Gargano).

Isole Tremiti

The Archipelago of Tremiti consists of five small islands: San Domino, San Nicola, Capraia, Cretaccio and Pianosa. This small archipelago of rare beauty is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea and is therefore a popular tourist destination for sea and diving enthusiasts. The crystal clear water of this paradise is full of underwater grottoes, caves and reefs. The tourist season on the Tremiti Islands lasts from May to October, although some hotels and restaurants stay open all year round.

Suggested Hotels:

Masseria La Chiusa delle More

La Chiusa delle More (Peschici)

Alberobello – city of trulli

Alberobello is known as the “city of trulli” and in 1996 it was recognized by UNESCO as part of the historical and humanitarian heritage. It is an excellent example of construction using prehistoric techniques, and many trulli have survived in excellent condition to this day. Trulli are small buildings made of limestone with conical roofs, the walls of which are built from blocks of limestone collected from the neighboring fields, using the dry masonry method. Most of the trulli are in Alberobello, but they can also be found in the Valle d’Itria, particularly in Locorotondo, Martina Franca, Cisternino and Fasano.

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Suggested Hotels:

Le Alcove, Alberobello

Le Alcove > (Alberobello)

Abate Masseria and Resort

Abate Masseria > (Noci)

Nina Trulli Resort, Monopoli

Nina Trulli Resort > (Monopoli)

Lecce – Florence of Southern Italy

This incredible and enchanting city, often referred to as the “Florence of the South”, must be visited at least once in your lifetime. Lecce is also known as the city of Baroque, as there are many architectural monuments and works of art from this period. The city is famous for its beautiful historical center, numerous churches and squares: Santa Maria della Providenza, Piazzetta dell’Addolorata and Santa Croce Basilica. A notable feature of Lecce is the local limestone “pietra di Lecce”, used for centuries to construct most of the buildings in the historic center. A holiday in Lecce unquestionably fits the definition of a gourmet holiday as you can enjoy excellent local dishes such as rustico leccese.

Suggested Hotels:

Mantatelure Exclusive Residence, Lecce

Mantatelure Dimora Esclusiva >

DoubleTree by Hilton Acaya Golf Resort

DoubleTree by Hilton Acaya Golf Resort >

Risorgimento Resort, Lecce

Risorgimento Resort >

Valle d’Itria

In the heart of Puglia stretches this fertile valley from Putignano to Ostuni. Among the rich vegetation, it is worth mentioning the large number of olive trees, which produce one of the most highly valued olive oils in Italy. Characteristic of the Valle d’Itria are the trulli, cozy and welcoming estates and vineyards that produce the famous white wines.

Suggested Hotels:

Borgo Egnazia Hotel Ville Spa Golf

Borgo Egnazia (Fasano)

Masseria Cimino

Masseria Cimino > (Savelletri di Fasano)

Masseria Torre Del Diamante

Torre Del Diamante > (Fasano)

Ostuni – White City

Ostuni, in the province of Brindisi, is called the White City because of the limestone whitewashed low houses in the narrow streets of the historical center. Ancient historical charm envelops the many staircases and narrow streets of the center, while small stores and eateries create a lively atmosphere of fun on summer evenings in Ostuni. Outside the town there are many farmsteads, formerly characteristic of the southern regions of Italy, peasant farmsteads that were mostly abandoned in the nineteenth century. Today through restoration projects many of the estates have been converted into fine hotels.

Suggested Hotels:

Masseria Cervarolo

Masseria Cervarolo >

Nicolaus Club Ostuni Rosa Marina Resort

Nicolaus Club Ostuni Rosa Marina Resort >

Masseria il Frantoio

Masseria il Frantoio >

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