17 Cities To not Miss in Puglia, Italy


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Puglia, the area within the heel of Italy’s boot, is dotted with stunning small cities in shades of white and gold, with distinctive structure just like the conical trulli of Alberobello and the extravagant baroque of Lecce.

Wealthy in church buildings and palaces, hidden piazzas and winding alleyways, markets and gradual meals trattorias, Puglia’s cities are a spotlight of a go to to the area and motive to entice you away from the infinite shoreline.

In some cities you’ll be able to even mix visits to cathedrals and castles with dips within the sea simply steps from the historic centre.

Simon and I’ve spent months exploring this fascinating area, and on this publish, I share my suggestions for the very best locations to go to in Puglia Italy.

I additionally reply frequent questions on the place to remain in Puglia, when to go to, and methods to get round. 

You’ll discover a map with all these Puglia locations under.


Watch our video for an outline of the place to go in Puglia.

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The place is Puglia Italy?

Puglia (also called Apulia) is a area in Southern Italy. Should you have a look at our Puglia map under, you’ll see that it’s positioned within the heel of Italy’s boot form.

The most important metropolis in Puglia is Bari, which is a five-hour drive southeast of Rome (4 hours by practice) and three hours from Naples.

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Journey Suggestions for Visiting Puglia

The place to Keep in Puglia

The 4 primary areas of curiosity to vacationers are the Valle d’Itria, the shoreline round Bari, the Salento Peninsula within the far south, and the Gargano Peninsula within the north.

An excellent technique when deciding the place to remain in Puglia is to decide on a base for every of those areas and go to close by cities on day journeys.

I don’t assume that you must fear concerning the precise city you keep in as you’ll be day-tripping to different locations and might’t actually go fallacious.

I let lodging availability and pricing assist make my determination. Much less well-known Puglia cities shall be cheaper and certain simply as charming. 

For instance, on one Puglia journey, I searched on Reserving.com for self-catering lodging in the entire Valle D’Itria space that met my standards (WiFi, kitchen, pool, worth and many others.).

I ended up discovering a beautiful little home at Trullo dei Messapi within the countryside close to Ceglie Messapica, a city I beforehand knew nothing about.

It was nice to get off the overwhelmed monitor, and it was simple to go to extra widespread cities like Ostuni.

Much less Than a Week in Puglia

Should you solely have time for one space, I like to recommend the Valle d’Itria because it showcases the very best of Puglia with essentially the most traditional countryside and cities.

Though if seashores are your major focus, you may favor the Salento (learn my information to the greatest seashores in Puglia).

Anyplace within the Valle d’Itria can be unbelievable, however our absolute favorite place to remain is Masseria Il Frantoio, an olive farm close to Ostuni with unimaginable meals.

Courtyard at Masseria Il Frantoio, Ostuni
Masseria Il Frantoio is our favorite place to remain in Puglia

7 to 10 Days in Puglia

In case you have every week or 10 days in Puglia, I like to recommend dividing your time between the Valle d’Itria and the Salento.

You possibly can simply go to Bari and the coastal cities from the Valle d’Itria, or if you happen to’d favor to remain on the coast, you’ll be able to go to the Valle d’Itria from Polignano or Monopoli.

My very best journey is a countryside keep within the Valle D’Itria (someplace close to any of the locations listed under) with mornings spent day-tripping to different cities and afternoons enjoyable by the pool or the seashore close to Ostuni.

Lecce outdated city is my favorite base on the Salento peninsula because it’s attractive, central for each coasts, and you may stroll to plenty of unbelievable eating places and wine bars.

Should you’d reasonably be by the ocean within the Salento, think about Otranto or Gallipoli or for a quieter city, Castro.

Or once more, choose someplace at random primarily based on lodging—a couple of instances we’ve stayed in small cities close to Gallipoli as a result of we discovered an reasonably priced rental, and it labored out nice.

Should you favor only one base on your entire journey, you can take a day journey to the opposite space, however you’ll spend extra time driving. From Ostuni, it’s an hour to Lecce and 1.5 hours to Otranto.

Lido Morelli beach near Ostuni in Puglia Italy
Lido Morelli seashore close to Ostuni

10 Days or Extra in Puglia

With an extended keep in Puglia, you will have the choice of including on a visit to the Gargano Peninsula within the north or spectacular Matera in neighbouring Basilicata.

Puglia Lodging

There’s a variety of characterful lodging in Puglia, primarily B&Bs and self-catering residences or homes.

Masserie are fortified farmhouses that provide visitor lodging and sometimes scrumptious meals—learn our information to Puglia masseria for our favourites.

For brief stays, I exploit Reserving.com to search out lodging. I exploit the filters to pick my standards (together with evaluation scores of 8+) and slender down the choices. You possibly can select “Farm Stays” below Property Sort to search out masserie.

For longer stays, you will get nice offers for rental homes and residences on Vrbo

Until you might be staying within the countryside, I like to recommend in search of lodging within the outdated city or historic centre.

All these Puglian cities have trendy outskirts that are much less enticing, though in case you are on a funds, it’ll be cheaper (and parking simpler). 

Puglia Transport

Learn how to Get to Puglia by Airplane

You possibly can fly into Bari or Brindisi airports in Puglia—I exploit Kiwi to search out the very best flight offers. Bari is normally cheaper.

Both airport works for the Valle d’Itria whereas Bari is closest to the Gargano and Brindisi is nearest to the Salento. 

Learn how to Get to Puglia by Prepare

In case you are visiting elsewhere in Italy, you can even arrive by practice—Bari and Lecce are the primary hubs. Rome to Bari takes 4 hours, and Rome to Lecce is 5.5 hours. 

You possibly can search Trenitalia for timetables and to e book prematurely for the most cost effective tickets. Make sure to use Italian place names (i.e Torino not Turin).

On an extended journey, you can think about travelling from London to Italy by practice or get an Interrail or Eurail cross to go to a number of locations in Europe.

Renting a Automobile

Renting a automotive is by far the easiest way to get round Puglia. It’s attainable by practice or bus, however public transport is gradual and restricted.

We use Rental Automobiles and Kayak to search out the very best automotive rental offers.

We normally hire from Bari airport or the town centre, however Brindisi airport has leases too.

One-way charges might be cheap, so on one journey we rented a automotive in Lecce (after arriving by practice), road-tripped north through the Valle d’Itria, dropped it off in Foggia after visiting the Gargano, and took the practice to Rome.

For Brits, we suggest shopping for a separate automotive rent insurance coverage coverage to cowl the surplus because it’s less expensive than getting full insurance coverage with the rental firm.

Driving in Puglia is pretty simple, however the slender streets of the historic centres could be a problem. Look out for ZTLs, zones the place site visitors is proscribed to native residents.

I like to recommend renting a small automotive, parking within the trendy outskirts of cities (usually free), and strolling into the outdated city.

It’s greatest to hold cash for parking meters, because the bank card operate usually doesn’t work (or exist).

Public Transport

It’s attainable to discover Puglia by public transport, however you’ll must analysis routes and test timetables prematurely and have a whole lot of persistence.

I like to recommend avoiding travelling on Sundays when providers are much more restricted.

Trenitalia is the nationwide railway in Italy and their trains in Puglia shall be quicker and extra dependable than the regional line FSE (Ferrovie Sud-Est).

You will discover Trenitalia stations (from north to south) in Trani, Bari, Polignano a Mare, Monopoli, Cisternino, Ostuni, Brindisi, and Lecce. Observe that some stations are fairly removed from the historic centre (Ostuni’s is a 30-minute stroll).

The native FSE line connects Martina Franca to Locorotondo, Alberobello, Cisternino, Ceglie Messapica, and Lecce.

From Lecce there are direct trains to Gallipoli and Galatina, however you need to make two modifications to get to Otranto and one change for Corigliano d’Otranto.

FSE (Ferrovie del Sud) train route map in Puglia
FSE route map

I like to recommend selecting a couple of potential bases (similar to Polignano or Martina Franca and Lecce) and practice instances and frequency to the locations you’d like to go to.

You possibly can see timetables on the Trenitalia web site which additionally exhibits the “Regionale FSE” trains, or you’ll be able to test the FSE web site straight (no English choice although).

There are additionally buses, however it’s not simple to search out out the routes and timetables. There are extra providers in the summertime.

Right here’s a journey report on travelling Puglia by practice to present you some concepts.

When to Go to Puglia

June and September are the very best months to go to Puglia for warm climate and smaller crowds.

July and August are by far the busiest months—it is going to be sizzling, sunny and vigorous however crowded (particularly the seashores) and lodging is dearer.

We survived August within the Salento (absolutely the busiest time) by going to the seashore early and exploring the a lot quieter inland cities.

It may be heat sufficient for swimming in Might and October too, and it’ll be even much less crowded.

On our two-week street journey in Might, we had two days of rain, a couple of cloudy afternoons, and the remainder was sizzling and sunny within the mid-20s Celsius, and we had been swimming and sunbathing.

We discovered April and Might a good time for sightseeing because it wasn’t too sizzling.

Should you aren’t bothered about lazing on seashores, then winter is a quiet and cheap time to discover Puglia’s cities. Simply be aware that many lodges and eating places in coastal cities will shut for the off-season.

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Puglia Italy Map

This Puglia map exhibits our favorite Puglia locations divided by the 4 primary areas. The blue pins are for Bari and the coast, crimson for the Valle d’Itria, inexperienced for the Salento, and purple for the Gargano. 

I’ve additionally added Matera (in orange) although it’s within the neighbouring area of Basilicata because it’s value including to a Puglia itinerary.

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Finest Locations to Go to in Puglia: Bari & The Coast

Bari is the primary gateway to Puglia. It’s value spending a day within the metropolis, so you can both spend your first night time there or day journey in from one of many close by fairly coastal cities.

1) Bari

Bari was dismissed as only a transport hub (together with by us on our first journey to Puglia), however it has grown in reputation lately, and we’ve come to like the atmospheric, maze-like outdated city.

Whereas a day is sufficient to see the primary sights, we preferred it a lot that we spent three days there on our newest journey. See our picks for the greatest issues to do in Bari.

Bari Vecchia, one of the best Puglia towns to visit in Italy
Bari Vecchia

Bari Vecchia is a walled metropolis crowded on a peninsula jutting into the ocean. There was no room for enlargement and the ensuing overcrowding has meant that life is lived on the streets.

As we wandered down the slender alleyways on our first night, we felt like we had been strolling by means of somebody’s front room, or nicely, everybody’s front room.

Complete households from grandparents to infants sat exterior their houses chatting, taking part in, napping, whereas washing dangled from balconies and scooters whizzed previous.

It’s not simply enjoyable and socialising that takes place within the streets. Within the mornings they change into a pasta manufacturing unit as girls sit at tables exterior their houses making the standard Puglian pasta orecchiette.

These “little ears” are made by rolling the dough into skinny logs, chopping off a bit with a knife and shaping it by hand—all at an impressively fast tempo.

Women making orecchiette pasta on the streets of Bari, Puglia
Girls making orecchiette pasta on the streets of Bari
Orecchiette pasta on Bari street

Bari Vecchia is certainly essentially the most charming a part of the town to remain.

We beloved our keep at pleasant B&B Murex, which has 4 trendy ensuite rooms on the enduring pasta road. Breakfast (together with scrumptious contemporary focaccia) is served on the roof terrace.

One other B&B that appears nice is La Muraglia, which has pretty residences with sea views within the outdated city.

You will discover extra lodges, B&Bs and residences in Bari right here.

The place to Eat in Bari

Bari focaccia from Panificio Fiore in Puglia
Bari’s focaccia is so good!

Don’t miss the wonderful focaccia at Panificio Fiore or Panificio Santa Rita within the outdated city. It’s excellent for breakfast, a fast snack, or gentle lunch. 

Our favorite place to eat within the evenings is informal Pizzeria di Cosimo for fantastic, cheap pizza and panzerotto.

Our meal at La Cecchina was additionally scrumptious, particularly the antipasti.

Our Bari Italy journey information has extra ideas.

Polignano a Mare, one of the best Puglia destinations
Polignano a Mare is without doubt one of the most stunning locations in Puglia

Polignano a Mare is a spectacularly positioned small city of white and golden buildings perched on a craggy rock overlooking the ocean.

The beautiful historic centre is a beautiful place for a wander or an aperitivo on one of many small piazzas.

Beneath the outdated city is Cala Porto, a small white pebble seashore surrounded by cliffs with clear emerald water.

It’s very photogenic however will get crowded in excessive season. It’s also called Lama Monachile for the bridge that you need to stroll over to succeed in it.

I loved runs and walks alongside the coast with many viewpoints on the way in which to Piazzale Marco Polo.

Polignano is close to sufficient to the Valle d’Itria (half-hour from Alberobello) to be a superb base for exploring the world if you happen to’d favor to remain by the ocean.

Malu B&B is the proper place to remain in Polignano a Mare. It’s a pleasant, family-run B&B with brilliant, trendy rooms and a great location simply exterior the outdated city with unbelievable views from the breakfast terrace and a few rooms.

We splurged on the ocean view suite and it was value it.

View from breakfast at Malu B&B in Polignano a Mare
View from breakfast at Malu B&B

The statue of Domenico Modugno, the well-known singer who was born in Polignano, is simply exterior the resort and we had been amused to listen to folks singing Volare under.

If it’s booked up, Lamare Cucine e Dimore is one other widespread B&B with sea views.

You will discover different locations to remain in Polignano right here.

Probably the most well-known restaurant in Polignano is Ristorante Grotta Palazzese which is positioned inside a cave. You’ll must e book prematurely and be ready to pay so much—extra for the placement than the standard of the meals.

Most eating places concentrate on seafood so vegetarian choices are restricted.

We ended up taking a break from Italian at Mint Cucina Fresca, a five-table restaurant in a cave-like room with a vaulted stone ceiling and quirky decor. Their focus is on artistic, wholesome dishes utilizing native produce.

For a takeaway lunch on the seashore, La Rotellina sells the Puglian snack panzerotti, fried dough full of a wide range of fillings.

Don’t miss a scoop of gelato at Gusto Caruso—they make wonderful classics like pistachio in addition to extra uncommon flavours like a tasty ricotta toffee.

Tremendous Mago del Gelo is known for its Caffè Speciale, an espresso shot with cream, amaretto and lemon peel. It was scrumptious even for a non-coffee drinker.

Monopoli, one of the best Puglia destinations
Monopoli port

Monopoli is one other fairly coastal city quarter-hour from Polignano.

The historic centre incorporates a maze of slender streets, a grand basilica, and a fort overlooking a picturesque fishing port of brilliant blue boats.

Monopoli additionally has a small sandy seashore with interesting clear water.

People relaxing on the small Cala Porta Vecchia Beach in Monopoli, Puglia
Monopoli is without doubt one of the greatest cities to go to in Puglia for a seashore and historic attraction

The place to Keep in Monopoli

We visited Monopoli whereas staying in Polignano, however subsequent time I need to keep at Lodge Don Ferrante within the outdated fortress. The charming boutique resort has fashionable rooms, sea views, and even a small pool.

The place to Eat in Monopoli

Seafood dominates on the coast, in order vegetarians, we had lunch at Vini e Panini on Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Because the identify suggests, they concentrate on wine and sandwiches, though additionally they serve platters and salads. It’s very best for a light-weight meal, and so they also have a vegan menu.

4) Trani

Trani is a Puglia highlight
Trani harbour

North of Bari, the seaside city of Trani is commonly ignored, however it has a ravishing harbour and a cathedral overlooking the ocean.

It’s a superb place to interrupt up a journey between the Valle d’Itria and the Gargano or to go to the Thirteenth-century Castel del Monte (40 minutes inland) with its distinctive octagonal form.

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The Valle d’Itria is a country valley of olive bushes, vineyards, and hill cities.

It’s probably the most widespread locations in Puglia and is understood for its iconic trulli, round stone huts discovered dotted across the countryside.

Should you solely have time for one space in Puglia, that is the one I like to recommend. 

It could possibly simply be reached from Bari or Brindisi airports. Many of the cities listed below are tiny, and the distances between them aren’t lengthy.

Select one base (I like staying within the countryside) and take day journeys to the opposite cities. You could possibly handle two or three in at some point if time is proscribed. 

5) Ostuni

Ostuni, one of the best places to visit in Puglia, Italy
Ostuni is a Puglia should see

Ostuni is a maze-like white metropolis on a hilltop 8km from the Adriatic Sea the place you’ll discover lengthy sandy seashores.

It’s the most effective cities in Puglia to get misplaced wandering the alleys, climbing staircases, and dipping below archways.

I additionally love shopping the stalls of native fruit and greens on the Saturday market.

Ostuni archway in Puglia, Italy

Ostuni is without doubt one of the most touristy cities in Puglia, however you received’t need to miss it—simply head down a aspect road to keep away from the crowds and memento retailers. 

See my information to the greatest issues to do in Ostuni Italy for extra ideas.

View from our terrace of the 17th century chapel in the courtyard of Masseria Il Frantoio, Puglia
Masseria Il Frantoio

We completely love Masseria Il Frantoio, which is our favorite place to remain not solely in Puglia however all of Italy!

It’s a magical place on an natural olive farm within the countryside a 10-minute drive from Ostuni and quarter-hour from the seashore.

The 300-year-old stables and grain mill have been lovingly restored and transformed to 16 snug visitor rooms, and the attractive grounds and pool are excellent for enjoyable.

Better of all is the meals (which all comes from the farm)—the eight-course tasting menu is unimaginable.

See our Masseria Il Frantoio evaluation for extra particulars or test the most recent costs right here

If you wish to keep within the centre of Ostuni, Biancadamari is a classy B&B with beautiful views of the outdated city and sea.

You will discover extra locations to remain in Ostuni right here.

Vegetarian dinner at Masseria Il Frantoio, an agriturismo near Ostuni, Puglia
Among the dishes of our 8-course dinner at Masseria Il Frantoio: pizzelle, zucchini salad, fried artichokes, and ricotta tart

Masseria Il Frantoio is open to non-guests for his or her epic tasting menus, however you’ll need to take a taxi there to benefit from the wine pairing. 

6) Alberobello

Alberobello trulli in Puglia, Italy

Alberobello is busy and touristy, however it’s such a novel and enchanting place (it’s not a UNESCO World Heritage website for nothing) that it’s value a couple of hours. 

It’s the most effective locations in Puglia to see trulli. Trulli are conical stone huts discovered amongst the olive bushes everywhere in the Valle d’Itria. Alberobello is the one complete city of trulli—1500 of them.

You half count on to see a hobbit emerge from these stubby houses of whitewashed partitions and pointy roofs stacked with gray limestone.

Trulli in Alberobello

One aspect of city is filled with vacationers and memento store trulli, however head throughout the street to Aia Piccola and also you’ll discover trulli which are actual houses with out the crowds.

See our trulli picture essay for extra info and pictures of those uncommon dwellings.

Our trullo at Masseria Ferri in Puglia, Italy
Our trullo at Masseria Ferri

Staying in a trullo is a spotlight of the Valle d’Itria. We stayed in a single at Masseria Ferri close to Martina Franca, a 25-minute drive from Alberobello.

Our cute trullo stayed splendidly cool in the summertime warmth, the household that runs the place could be very welcoming, and the meals was excellent.

We most well-liked staying within the countryside reasonably than in Alberobello itself, however you could find lodges in Alberobello right here such because the highly-rated trulli of Tipico Resort.

The antipasti at atmospheric cave restaurant Casa Nova had been scrumptious.

7) Locorotondo

Locorotondo, one of the most beautiful towns in Puglia, Italy

Locorotondo is a labyrinth of whitewashed buildings; its quiet streets saved pristine by residents who beautify their balconies and staircases with pink geraniums.

There aren’t any main sights, however this implies it doesn’t get many guests, so it’s a pleasant place to take pleasure in a leisurely lunch and stroll the streets.

We at all times go to on day journeys, however Locorotondo is a beautiful space to remain—you could find trulli and vacation houses within the space right here.

Beautiful Martina Franca is the most important city within the valley. It’s usually ignored and is refreshingly freed from vacationer retailers.

The outdated city is an fascinating mixture of golden baroque and Greek-like white structure with many grand palazzi and church buildings.

The Basilica di San Martino was constructed within the 18th century within the elaborate however swish Rococo type.

Close by Piazza Maria Immacolata is a beautiful, semi-circular piazza lined with curved baroque buildings with wrought iron balconies and portici (archways) main down aspect streets.

The maze of slender aspect streets is ideal for aimless wandering.

Lots of the streets are stark white with simply the odd splash of color—washing dancing within the breeze, vibrant pots of geraniums, a vivid blue door.

We visited on a day journey however would love to return for an extended keep.

Martina Franca would make an ideal base for exploring the world if you happen to don’t need to keep within the countryside or don’t have a automotive (there’s a practice station).

You possibly can seek for extra lodging in Martina Franca right here.

We ate at Ristorante I Templari on the sting of city with a terrace overlooking the countryside.

It’s reasonably expensive, however the meals was wonderful together with an absurdly giant antipasti choice (don’t get one per particular person as they tried to persuade us to do) and a few fascinating vegetarian pasta dishes.

Ceglie Messapica, one of the best towns in Puglia Italy
Ceglie Messapica is a Puglia hidden gem

Ceglie Messapica is an off the overwhelmed monitor city that makes a great base for exploring the Valle d’Itria.

The historic centre is a bit of grittier than the opposite cities on this listing, however it has a really native really feel that we loved.

Surprisingly, it’s the most effective locations to go in Puglia for meals—the eating places are wonderful and reasonably priced. 

It’s value taking a look contained in the fort—it’s free and is residence to a library and a small artwork gallery. Past the fort, you’ll be able to discover the atmospheric Moorish-style slender lanes.

We beloved our keep at Trullo Dei Messapi, a brief drive from the city in a peaceable space of olive bushes and trulli.

The attractive grounds function a big pool with snug solar loungers, a (non-heated) jacuzzi, and plenty of flowers and pine, olive and fruit bushes.

There are three homes—a two-bedroomed trulli and two one-bedroomed stone cottages.

Our one-bedroomed home was very cute and embellished in a country nation type. The kitchen was stocked with DIY breakfast components together with selfmade cake and contemporary fruit which we ate on our personal terrace.

The proprietor could be very pleasant and introduced us contemporary bread every morning.

I extremely suggest it, and it might be particularly fantastic for giant teams.

Examine the most recent costs at Trullo dei Messapi right here.

You possibly can seek for extra lodging in Ceglie right here.

You’re spoilt for alternative on this small city. Osteria Pugliese is a straightforward, rustic place that’s extraordinarily good worth and the antipasti choice is big and scrumptious.

Cibus is extra upmarket and costly with some artistic vegetarian choices.

Da Gino is on the sting of city in a contemporary constructing and specialises in foraged greens. We didn’t use their menu—Gino simply requested if we wished antipasti, and naturally, we did, and so they introduced us 13 scrumptious dishes.

We ordered our pasta after we’d completed and so they had been glad to separate one portion between two bowls—we tried spaghetti with an area flower picked from close by.

Don’t miss the native speciality, Biscotti di Ceglie, almond cookies full of jam which are Gradual Meals licensed. Forno San Lorenzo is an efficient native bakery.

Cisternino is one of the most beautiful towns in Puglia, Italy

Cisternino is 10 minutes from Locorotondo and has the same really feel with a tiny, charming historic centre of whitewashed homes up on a hill.

There are views of the encompassing countryside from Villa Comunale.

The place to Eat in Cisternino

Tables of a restaurant on a narrow street in Cisternino, Puglia

Cisternino is a picturesque place to dine (it’s well-known for its meat) as many eating places arrange tables on the slender streets.

We caught to a beautiful vegetarian aperitivo platter on the fancy cocktail bar Kimera on fairly Piazza Pellegrino Rossi.

Choose up some candy treats from Chocolab on the primary sq., Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.

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Finest Locations in Puglia: Salento

The Salento is a sizzling, dry peninsula on the southern tip of Puglia. Its geographical isolation has meant that it has developed a powerful id with its personal delicacies, traditions and music, influenced by its Greek previous.

Together with a few of Puglia’s greatest seashores, there are numerous fascinating cities to discover.

See our Salento Italy journey information for heaps extra ideas.

11) Lecce

Lecce's baroque cathedral, Puglia
Lecce’s baroque cathedral

Lecce is understood for its exuberant baroque structure within the golden Leccese stone of the world, its church buildings lavishly embellished with cherubs, gargoyles and griffins, and delicately carved columns and cornices. 

San Matteo church, Lecce
Extra baroque at San Matteo church

Lecce is one in all Puglia’s bigger cities, however it’s nonetheless a walkable measurement, and it manages to be each vigorous and relaxed. It’s one in all Puglia’s highlights and the place we’ve spent essentially the most time.

Learn our detailed information to issues to do in Lecce for recommendations on sights, eating places, transport, day journeys and extra. 

Lecce, Puglia

There are a lot of attractive locations to remain in historic buildings similar to Dimora Storica Torre Del Parco 1419, an opulent resort in a medieval fortress and Palazzo Bignami, a classy B&B very near the centre.

You will discover extra lodges and B&Bs in Lecce right here.

Fave e cicoria at La Cucina di Mamma Elvira in Lecce Puglia
Fave e cicoria at La Cucina di Mamma Elvira in Lecce

See our detailed information to the greatest Lecce eating places from gelato and low cost eats to conventional trattorias.

12) Otranto

Otranto, one of the best Puglia desitinatons

Otranto has a surprising coastal location the place you’ll be able to mix morning visits to church buildings with a day swim within the clear, impossibly turquoise sea.

Otranto harbour, Puglia

Otranto is simply 72 km from Albania, and its location has resulted in lots of invasions, the worst of which was the Turkish siege in 1480 once they destroyed a lot of the town and tortured and killed its folks.

Otranto Cathedral
Otranto Cathedral

Otranto’s principal attraction is the Cathedral with its mosaic ground in-built 1163-1165—it survived the Turkish invasion though elements of the Cathedral had been destroyed.

It’s one of many largest mosaics in Europe and covers your entire ground.

Its central motif is the Tree of Life, supported on the base by elephants, a logo of purity, with branches telling pagan and biblical tales.

One other tree close to the entrance of the church depicts heaven on one aspect and grizzly scenes from hell on the opposite.

Mosaic floor in Otranto cathedral
Mosaic ground in Otranto Cathedral

Within the chapel, you’ll be able to see the human stays of the 800 martyrs who resisted the Turkish invasion and refused to transform to Islam.

The empty sockets of a whole bunch of skulls stare down at you in stark distinction to the great thing about the mosaic ground.

Skull chapel, Otranto cathedral
The chapel of skulls in Otranto’s cathedral

We visited Otranto on day journeys from different elements of the peninsula. Otranto makes a superb base within the Salento, although.

Boutique Lodge Palazzo Papaleo has a ravishing view and is positioned proper subsequent to the cathedral.

You could possibly additionally keep on a farm within the close by countryside—Masseria Panareo seems beautiful. 

You will discover extra lodges in Otranto right here.

Postofisso makes wonderful Puglian sandwiches referred to as pucce together with vegetarian and vegan choices.

13) Gallipoli

Gallipolli beach in Puglia, Italy

Gallipoli’s outdated city is on an island related by a causeway to the mainland.

It has a relaxed, elegant vibe, beautiful church buildings, and a golden curve of sand proper within the centre of city, plus many extra alongside the encompassing coast.

In July and August, Gallipoli does get uncomfortably busy, although—we favor it within the shoulder season.

Gallipoli was dominated by the Greeks for 5 centuries between seventh and 2nd century BC, however all indicators of their existence had been destroyed by the Romans, and a lot of the structure seen now’s from the Center Ages.

Gallipolli in Puglia, Italy

Aside from leisurely walks alongside the town’s seafront partitions (with a cease for a drink with a view), essentially the most fascinating factor to do in Gallipoli is go to Frantoio Ipogeo in Granafei Palace, one of many 35 underground olive presses.

It was first utilized in 1600, excavated by hand out of the delicate rock, to make olive oil for lamps which was exported world wide.

You possibly can see the unique tools used for grinding and urgent the olives and get a way of what it was wish to work on this darkish, damp cave.

Blindfolded donkeys had been used to work the olive mill, and so they lived down right here with the employees who smoked weeds and carved little sculptures to distract themselves from the depressing situations.

Underground olive mill, Gallipolli, Puglia
Underground olive mill

We at all times go to Gallipoli on day journeys, however there’s loads of lodging.

Pascaraymondo Suite Palace seems wonderful in a magnificently restored palace subsequent to the seashore.

We loved the artistic pizza at La Corte.

14) Corigliano d’Otranto

De'Monti Castle in Corigliano d'Otranto, Puglia

Corigliano d’Otranto is without doubt one of the 11 cities of the Grecia Salentina which have retained their Greek heritage from the Byzantine interval together with the Griko dialect.

It’s a small untouristy city with an fascinating medieval fort that you simply’ll possible need to your self.

Castello de Monti really consists of two castles. The medieval fort was in-built 1465 with 4 rectangular towers and was robust sufficient to withstand the Turkish invasion once they got here right here after destroying Otranto.

The fort was fortified additional within the seventeenth century with 4 spherical towers and a moat that encircles the inside fort.

Later a wealthy household reworked it from a fortress into an opulent Ducal palace and added baroque particulars to the facade.

Baroque details of the facade of Corigliano d'Otranto's castle
Baroque particulars of the facade of Corigliano d’Otranto’s fort

Our primary motive for visiting Corigliano was to remain at close by Masseria Sant’Angelo, a working farm the place you’ll be able to study concerning the traditions of the world from warm-hearted host Rocco who’s a passionate musician of the native pizzica folks music.

We ate fruit from their bushes, milked a goat, discovered how cheese was made and loved nightly feasts with the household. It’s a particular, genuine place that may take you approach off the overwhelmed monitor.

The place to Eat in Corigliano d’Otranto

There’s a bar on the fort terrace, however I’m unsure in the event that they do meals.

The night feasts at Masseria Sant’Angelo had been a few of our most memorable meals in Puglia.

Tables and chairs in a quiet piazza with a church and potted plants in Galatina, Salento

Galatina is one other of Puglia’s hidden gems, simply 10 minutes from Corigliano d’Otranto.

The preserved historic centre options golden baroque church buildings like these in Lecce and palaces with wrought iron balconies and grand doorways.

Don’t miss the Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria with its beautiful Fifteenth-century frescoed partitions and ceiling.

The place to Keep in Galatina

We visited on a day journey from Lecce, however Galatina would make an reasonably priced, quiet, and central base for Salento.

Corte Baldi is a captivating B&B in a palace within the historic centre simply steps from the basilica.

The place to Eat in Galatina

Galatina is the birthplace of the pasticciotto pastry, which you’ll be able to attempt at Pasticceria Andrea Ascalone. It does comprise lard, although.

We had a scrumptious lunch at upscale Anima e Cuore in an outdated palace with a big terrace.

They concentrate on seafood, however there’s a separate vegan menu.

16) Castro

People swimming in aquamarine waters in Castro surrounded by a rocky harbour overlooked by a resort
Castro Marina

Otranto and Gallipoli are crowded in summer time, so my new favorite seaside city in Salento is Castro.

Whereas Castro Marina doesn’t have a sandy seashore, there are seashore golf equipment on the rocks and the water is gloriously clear.

I beloved swimming with a view of Castro’s fort and outdated city on the hill above.

You may as well take boat journeys to go to close by caves.

The coastal drive south to Santa Maria di Leuca is without doubt one of the greatest in Puglia.

Learn my Castro Italy journey information for particulars.

The place to Keep in Castro

One of many causes I beloved Castro a lot is that we stayed proper on the water at Lodge La Roccia.

The place to Eat in Castro

Delizie in Contea has unbelievable platters of native merchandise on a captivating piazza within the outdated city.

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The Gargano Promontory juts out into the Adriatic Sea in northern Puglia and known as the spur within the heel of Italy’s boot.

It feels very completely different from the remainder of Puglia—greener and extra mountainous with lush pine forests and a spectacular shoreline of white limestone cliffs, vibrant sea caves, and lengthy sandy seashores.

It’s more durable to get to than the Valle d’Itria and Salento, and we didn’t discover the cities fairly as fairly, so I solely suggest coming right here in case you are in Puglia for greater than 10 days or are a return customer.

View of Vieste old town from Via Judeca (Belvedere Ripa)

Vieste sits on a white cliffed peninsula jutting into the ocean. The outdated city is an atmospheric maze of steep staircases with washing dangling from the straightforward white homes.

View from Via Ripe in Vieste old town in Puglia, Italy

On either side of the city are lengthy sandy seashores that may be accessed on foot. You possibly can take a ravishing boat journey down the coast to see dramatic sea stacks and grottos.

It’s the best base for exploring the Gargano. See our publish on issues to do in Vieste Italy for extra info.

We stayed exterior city on the fantastic Residence Maresol up a steep hill above Castello seashore.

We beloved the tranquil location amongst pine bushes, sea views, trendy residences, and tremendous pleasant house owners.

You will discover extra B&Bs and vacation leases in Vieste right here.

Our favorite locations had been within the countryside exterior city—Nation Home Tavernola and Agriturismo Chalet degli Ulivi. See our Vieste information for particulars.

I believe Vieste is the very best base in Gargano, however there are numerous extra cities to go to on day journeys together with: 

  • Mont Sant’Angelo – Picturesque mountain city with a well-known cave church.
  • Peschici – Fairly seaside city near pretty seashores. 
  • Vico del Gargano – An off the overwhelmed monitor hill city. 

See our Gargano Italy journey information for extra particulars on locations to go to within the space. 

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Is Puglia Price Visiting?

Puglia is completely value visiting for its fascinating historical past, diversified structure, pleasant folks, scrumptious meals, and wonderful shoreline.

I hope this publish has given you some concepts of the place to go to in Puglia, however there are such a lot of stunning locations in Puglia that these cities are simply a few of the prospects. Get pleasure from!

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Extra Puglia Posts

Learn our different Puglia weblog posts that will help you plan your journey to the area:

Common Puglia Suggestions

Central and Northern Puglia

Salento Peninsula

Matera (in Basilicata)

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