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Melissa Legarda in Polignano A Mare Italia

Witnessing the sunrise at Polignano A Mare in Puglia

Are you wondering what the best places to visit in Puglia are?

You’re in the right place!

I think Italy has some of the most rich, diverse, and fascinating cultures in Europe – and I’ve always been drawn to Puglia, the region located in the heel of Italy’s boot.

What is Puglia famous for, you ask?

Well, amongst so many other things, Puglia is famous for its stunning coastline, charming towns, and delicious food.

I had the chance of exploring the gorgeous Apulian region, from Polignano a Mare to Ostuni, and in this post, I’ve rounded up the best places to visit in Puglia.

In this travel guide, I’ll share 5 amazing places to visit in Puglia, best things to do and local Puglian foods to try, and where to stay in Puglia for a brilliant time. Andiamo!

Stunning view from the balcony at Masseria Torre Coccaro luxury farmhouse in Puglia - Best Things to do in Puglia Apulia Italy

Stunning view from the balcony at Masseria Torre Coccaro luxury farmhouse in Puglia

The Best Masseria In Puglia: Masseria Torre Coccaro

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Beautiful courtyard with fairy lights in Masseria Torre Coccaro, Puglia

Masseria Torre Coccaro: A Puglian Luxury Farmhouse

Masseria Torre Coccaro is a 5-star boutique hotel located in a stunning 17th-century farmhouse. Rated ‘Fabulous’ on Booking.com, with its beautiful gardens, pool, and spa, it’s the perfect place to unwind in style.

I personally stayed here and highly recommend this beautiful place – we did a pasta workshop and had the most amazing food. Check out my Masseria Torre Coccaro review!

Waking up to a stunning view, surrounded by lush green trees and the smell of fresh herbs, was a daily delight. The grounds were sprawling, rustic, and peaceful. Fairy lights were strung up across the courtyard, creating a magical glowing atmosphere every night.

The food was incredible, they offer traditional cooking classes, and you can also rent a stylish Fiat from the Masseria itself to go and explore the Puglia region on wheels.

Book your stay at Masseria Torre Coccaro here.

Spinning at Twilight at Masseria Torre Coccaro Luxury Farmhouse in Puglia, Italy

Spinning at Twilight at Masseria Torre Coccaro Luxury Farmhouse in Puglia, Italy

Best Hotels In Puglia for a Unique Trip

Aside from Masseria Torre Coccaro, there are so many more incredible farmhouses and boutique hotels in Puglia that can give you a truly unique stay.

  • Most Unique: La Corte dei Trulli is a charming and affordable B&B in Alberobello. The property consists of traditional trulli houses that have been converted into comfortable and stylish guest rooms. The bed and breakfast offers a breakfast buffet and a gorgeous outdoor pool – perfect for a summer getaway.
  • Luxury Choice: The Borgo Egnazia is a luxurious 5-star resort located in Savelletri di Fasano. The resort boasts stunning architecture and design, with rooms that blend traditional Puglian style with modern luxury. The resort also has a beautiful spa, golf course, and several top-rated restaurants. It’s the perfect place to indulge in a luxurious stay while exploring the beautiful region of Puglia.
  • Most Affordable: The Victor Country Hotel is a charming 3-star hotel in the heart of the Salento countryside. With its rustic decor and comfy rooms, it’s a great place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
  • Mid-Range: The Vittoria Hotel Resort & Spa is a 4-star hotel located just a short walk from the beach. With its beautiful pool, spa, and fantastic restaurant, it’s the perfect base for exploring the Apulian region.
Staring out to sea from the craggy cliffs of Polignano A Mare in Puglia

Staring out to sea from the craggy cliffs of Polignano A Mare in Puglia

5 Best Places to Visit in Puglia

Twirling in a blue dress by the trulli in Alberobello, Puglia, Italy

Twirling in a blue dress by the trulli in Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Puglia, Italy

1. Alberobello

A ‘trulli’ charming little city

If you’re ready to experience a town with truly unique architecture and fairy tale vibes, Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its trulli, traditional dry-stone houses with cone-shaped roofs. They look like smurf huts, and they’re utterly adorable.

Walking through the hilltop town streets of Alberobello feels like stepping back in time. I recommend visiting Trullo Sovrano, the only two-story trullo in the city, and stopping by the Trullo Siamese, a trullo with two conical roofs that were once home to two different families.

The charming town of Alberobello and its trulli at sunset

The charming town of Alberobello and its trulli at sunset

Generally, we found Alberobello as a town to be incredibly touristy, and we had a few odd encounters with other tourists (including some who, bizarrely, tried to take selfies with us, as opposed to the town). But it was worth it, just for the trulli. So cute! If staying for dinner, try Puglia’s local red wine, Primitivo di Manduria.

Top-Rated Tours & Experiences in Alberobello:

 

Gorgeous views at Lama Monachile Cove

Gorgeous sunrise views at Lama Monachile Cove in Polignano A Mare, Puglia

2. Polignano a Mare

Rugged, rustic seaside charm

Polignano a Mare is a charming coastal town known for its picturesque old town and stunning beaches. The town is perched on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea and offers breathtaking views.

I absolutely adored shooting some photos and soaking up the sun at Lama Monachile, a compact cove known for its crystal waters and pebble beach, flanked by dramatic, rugged cliffs.

One of the main attractions in Polignano a Mare is the Grotta Palazzese, a hotel with an incredible restaurant located in a cave overlooking the sea. I recommend trying the raw seafood dishes, such as crudo di gamberi rossi (raw red shrimp), and the local wine, Rosato di Salice Salentino.

Enjoying a slice of pizza at lunchtime - Polignano A Mare

Enjoying a slice of pizza at lunchtime in Polignano A Mare, Puglia

Polignano A Mare was our first destination in Puglia. We spent the first night in B&B Casa Fiore, a little stone cavern decorated like a shabby-chic beach hut, and only a five minute walk from the sea. The owner, Sylvia, was really lovely, despite our midnight arrival!

The sunrise views in were unbelievable. We walked a little further from Lama Monachile (the main beach area) to find some jutting rocks. Really. We were in awe. These were easily some of my favourite travel shots I’ve ever taken! I won’t forget the Polignano sunrise in a hurry.

Standing outside Ostuni Town Hall

Standing outside the Town Hall in Ostuni, Puglia

3. Ostuni

A medieval city of sun-bleached stone

Ostuni, also known as the “White City,” is a medieval Puglian city named for its gorgeous white-washed buildings, narrow streets, and Baroque architecture. As a hilltop town, Ostuni has got a stunning old town and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the Adriatic Sea.

I recommend visiting the 15th-century Ostuni Cathedral and taking a stroll along the historic city walls, which are beautifully aged. When in Ostuni, make sure to try the local pasta dish, orecchiette con le cime di rapa (ear-shaped pasta with turnip greens), and sample some of the delicious locally-pressed olive oil.

Strolling through the winding alleys of the old town is a must-do activity. The Piazza della Libertà is a charming square that’s perfect for people watching and sipping a coffee.

There’s such a sense of grandeur and history in stone towns, and Ostuni was no different. We loved the little stone arches and Mykonos-style flowers that sprang up in white-washed alleyways. Under the sun, the stone walls glowed a pale gold. Magical.

Top-Rated Tours & Experiences in Ostuni:

 

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Stone arches and alleyways of the old town in Bari, Puglia

4. Bari

The Bustling Gateway to Puglia

Bari is the capital city of Puglia and a bustling port town with a rich history. The city is the largest in Puglia and is a great base to explore the rest of the region.

The old town, Bari Vecchia, is a charming maze of narrow alleys, whitewashed houses, and hidden courtyards. Bari is home to the Basilica di San Nicola, a stunning Romanesque 11th-century church that houses the relics of Saint Nicholas, the inspiration for Santa Claus.

Another must-see attraction in Bari is the Castello Svevo, a medieval castle located on the seafront. When in Bari, try the local street food, such as panzerotti (fried stuffed pastries) and sgagliozze (fried polenta).

Top-Rated Tours & Experiences in Bari:

 

White-washed architecture and stone houses of Lecce, Puglia

White-washed architecture and stone houses of Lecce, Puglia

5. Lecce

The Florence of the South

Lecce, also known as the “Florence of the South,” is a stunning Baroque city with a rich cultural heritage. The city is known for its ornate architecture, beautiful piazzas, and lively nightlife.

I recommend visiting the Basilica di Santa Croce, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture, and taking a stroll through the Piazza del Duomo.

For a sweet treat, try the pasticciotto, a pastry filled with cream and jam, and sample the local wine, Negroamaro, whose grapes are native to Southern Italy and the Apulia region.

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Puglia is an absolutely stunning place that offers so many unique experiences and things to do.

Puglia is famous for so many things – and you absolutely need to experience them for yourself!

Apulia generally is a great region to spend a long weekend because you can easily drive around or take public transport and trains, which are affordable with great service.

From the charming trulli houses in Alberobello to the stunning beaches of Polignano a Mare, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful part of Italy. Whether you’re looking for history, culture, or simply a relaxing holiday, Puglia is the perfect destination.

Are you planning to visit Rome anytime soon? Check out the 17 Best Things To Eat, See & Do In Rome, Italy!

Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.

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