Polignano a mare

Crystal clear waters, cliffs and majestic caves to be admired, breathtaking views, music and good food. All this and much more is Polignano a Mare, a beautiful Apulian town in the province of Bari. Whether you want to spend just one day, a weekend or more days, the city has a lot to offer not only for those who love relaxing by the sea but also for those who love nightlife, due to the many events and clubs that will satisfy everyone’s needs.

Polignano a Mare
Polignano a Mare ©emicristea via Canva

What to see

The historic center is one of the flagships of this village with influences from the Byzantine, Spanish and Arab eras which dominated the city. All lovers of walking will be able to get lost among the white streets, full of flowers and poems written on the walls, on the ground and on the doors by a poet who signs himself “Guido il Flaneur” which make the city even more romantic.

Wandering through the streets of the historic center, in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, you may come across the Clock Palace, still wound by hand today by a local lady. Unmissable, on the seafront dedicated to him, is the bronze statue portraying the great Italian singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno, born and raised here. The statue, created by the Argentine sculptor Hermann Mejer, is 3-meters-high and was inaugurated on 31 May 200. It will be unmissable to take photos together with this true “monument” of Italian song and the city. Polignano a Mare is also famous for the terraces from which to admire the beautiful landscape overlooking the sea and the cliff.

In the historic center there is also the Cathedral or the Mother Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo, inside which there is the Cappella del Presepe which preserves a nativity scene of 16th century sculptures by Stefano da Putignano and other works by the same artist such as the Pietà , the Madonna with Child and the statue of San Vito martyr.

A short distance from Polignano, there is the beautiful Abbey of San Vito, located on the sea, is a place not to be missed. Finally, the Pino Pascali Museum of Contemporary Art which houses the permanent collection of the artist Pino Pascali, originally from Polignano a Mare.

Finally, for trekking and nature lovers, there are paths you can follow on foot or by trekking, to discover uncontaminated and very fascinating places. Not far from the town, there is the Site of Santa Barbara, an ancient Neolithic settlement, the Site of Madonna di Grottole, characterized by caves inhabited in prehistoric times and the Torre Incina, a 17th century watchtower.

For those looking for nightlife, it is enough to know that in Polignano a Mare, especially in summer, the shops in the historic center remain open until late in the evening to the delight.

The caves and the sea of Polignano a Mare

The emblem of the city of Polignano a Mare is Lama Monachile: almost everyone will have come across at least one photograph that portrays this breathtaking landscape characterized by a small inlet of sand and water, set between two rock walls overlooking the sea. It is one of the most famous beaches in town, frequented in summer by many people. It will certainly be worth “facing” the confusion to take a bath in these crystal clear and unforgettable waters. This place, in summer, is also the protagonist of diving competitions or very cool musical events.

Continuing with the sandy beaches, towards the south, there is Oasi Cala Fetente, where it will be possible to rent deckchairs and umbrellas or relax on the shoreline, enjoying a cocktail or a good fish dish. One kilometer from here, there is Cala San Giovanni, a small cove characterized by a sandy beach in a setting of uncontaminated nature. Again, San Vito, famous for its Abbey and architectural beauties such as the Saracen Tower.

Polignano a Mare
Polignano a Mare ©emicristea via Canva

Other free sandy beaches are Porto Contessa and Porto Cavallo which lead to the tourist port. To reach it, it will be enough to take a short walk from the center of the town.

The coast of Polignano a Mare also has a lot to offer due to the presence of numerous caves that can be visited by boat. The tour last about two hours and allow you to admire the wonderful sea caves and swim in the crystal clear waters.

Among the most picturesque caves there are Grotta delle Rondinelle and Grotta Piana, frequented above all by lovers of photography and diving. Again, the Grotta Azzurra, smaller in size, particular for the play of light that is created here thanks to the alternating of sun and water.

What to eat

Polignano a Mare offers a complete experience to the traveler with a refined palate thanks to its typical cuisine based on fish and genuine products. The city is full of restaurants, trattorias and taverns where you can enjoy delicious traditional cuisine that goes well with more refined and modern gastronomy. Many of these places enjoy a breathtaking view of the sea, an added value when enjoying simple but unforgettable dishes.

As a quick snack, lunch to take to the beach or for your own aperitifs, you cannot miss the frise with cherry tomatoes, oil, salt and oregano, the delicious “Focaccia di Polignano” or the fish sandwiches. A typical dish of Bari cuisine that can also be enjoyed in Polignano a Mare is the famous rice, potatoes and mussels or, again, the prized raw seafood. There is no shortage of poor products such as the traditional broad beans and chicory or the most used vegetables in the cuisine of Polignano a Mare, i.e. the local carrots which have received the Slow Food presidium.

For your coffee break, try the special coffee prepared with sugar, lemon zest, cream and amaretto. Again, for “sweet” moments, the ice cream, really good in any ice cream shop or bar in Polignano.

How to reach Polignano a Mare

It is possible to reach Polignano a Mare with all means of transport:

  • by plane, once you arrive at Bari Airport, you can move towards the town with a bus, train or by renting a car. Arriving in Brindisi, however, we recommend renting a car or booking a convenient transfer service.
  • By train, it will be sufficient to arrive at Bari station and take a regional train from here.
  • By bus, this solution is ideal when you have to reach Polignano a Mare from other cities in the province of Bari because, from other cities in Puglia or the rest of Italy, there are not many direct connections.
  • By car, you will need to take the A2 Rome-Naples, then the A16 Naples-Canosa and finally the A14 for Bari. At this point, the exit to take is on the SS16 with the indication Polignano.
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