When we first arrived in Puglia, we didn’t really know what to expect of the region. We had seen tons of photos but we were still very curious to explore this area of Italy ourselves. Long story short: Puglia is such a vibe and we are so happy to have added it to our Italy & France road trip itinerary! From cute towns to beautiful beaches and most importantly amazing food, Puglia has it all! We hope you will enjoy our little guide to Puglia, Italy!
WHAT TO SEE?
Alberobello is a town that’s famous for its Trulli: cute white huts with conical roofs! They honestly look like little houses straight out of a Disney movie! At times it felt a bit like walking around in Disneyland because it’s very touristic and doesn’t feel very authentic anymore, but it remains a town that is trul(li)y a must visit!
Polignano A Mare
The most famous sight here is definitely the picturesque beach of ‘Cala Porto’, also known as Lama Monachile. Better than spending time on this beach, is seeing the view on it from either the rocks or from Balconata sul Mare in the old town. For us personally, Polignano a Mare is all about walking around, exploring the different neighbourhoods and sampling as much local food as possible! The delicious and very affordable food here quickly made it one of our favourite places in Puglia!
Try some of the amazing food in this town at Panzerotteria ‘La Rotellina’ for a quick snack or get some ice pralines at Bella Blu Gelateria.
If you have some money to splurge, have a dining experience at Grotta Palazzese. It’s truly a magical restaurant with a spectacular terrace hidden in an ancient cave (and it’s also a hotel)!
Our absolute favourite place in Puglia! The beautiful whitewashed streets with colourful doors will make you think you are in Greece. This town is just one big vibe full of artsy people! From cute bars and trendy restaurants, to beautiful shops, this place has it all. Just get lost in the tiny white streets and we promise you will be taking a photo at every corner!
Don’t forget to have dinner and drinks at our favourite place in town: Borgo Antico Bistrot. Super affordable, great vibe and the food is incredible!
Lecce is a big city and although it has its own charm and it’s definitely beautiful, it was not our favourite city in Puglia. Make sure to have a look at some of the main sights such as the Church of the Holy Cross, the Cathedral and the famous Piazza Sant’ Oronzo.
The city is known for its circular structure, from which it got its name, which means ’round place’. The historical centre is beautiful and definitely worth to walk around in. We had seen it after an hour or two.
Otranto is a coastal town in the southern part of Puglia. Although we preferred the area round Ostuni instead of the southern region, it’s still a nice place to stop and walk around. This area also has some beautiful beaches, which we unfortunately did not visit.
Monopoli is a really beautiful town by the sea! Just like every town, it’s worth a visit to stroll around and explore! Definitely go to the cute little harbour full of colourful boats and fishermen at work. That alone makes it worth the visit :-).
A picturesque beach with clear waters and views on some incredible rock formations! Unfortunately the sea was very rough and it was very windy while we were there, so we could not swim! But this is a great spot to spend a day and relax by the sea!
Grotta della Poesia
Also called ‘Cave of Poetry’, the Grotta della Poesia are just a stone-throw away from Torre Sant’Andrea. It’s also a famous place to go swimming. While we didn’t really like the areas surrounding these two spots, they’re both very nice places to relax and have a swim (if it’s not too windy!).
Porto Miggiano beach
We did not go to this beach because the weather was not at its best, but we heard it’s a real gem! Might be a good idea to include it in your Puglia itinerary.
We know Matera is not Puglia. It’s another region but we really want to include it in our list of to do’s as it’s only a short drive from the Puglia region and you can’t miss this beautiful city! The Sassi of Matera is a UNESCO world Heritage Site and we highly recommend visiting it while being on holiday in Puglia.
We also ate the best ice cream of our whole Italy trip here at ‘I vizi degli angeli Laboratiorio di Gelateria Artigianale’. We’ve been dreaming about their fresh lavender ice cream for weeks now: it’s that INCREDIBLE!
WHERE TO STAY?
To visit the Puglia region, we would recommend to set your base in Ostuni! It is a great city with lots of amazing food options and it is centrally located so you can make day trips to almost everywhere in Puglia.
Borgo Egnazia is what dreams are made of. It’s probably one of the best hotels in Europe and has something for everyone: beautiful spa, championship golf course, Michelin-star restaurant and two private beaches – one sandy and one pebbly.
This splendid 17th century Masseria with traditional trulli and a beautiful pool, just outside of Ostuni will give you the complete Puglia vibes.
We stayed here with our camper van and found it the perfect base. Agriturismo Salinola also has rooms if you’re not travelling by camper. There’s a nice pool and the host will go above and beyond to make you breakfast, lunch or dinner.