Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, Cisternino, Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Alberobello and Monopoli: a journey through the Apulian villages that you can not...
 
SEARCH IN AN AREA

Tour in Valle d'Itria, for a May Day Bridge... in white!

Tue, 16 Apr 2019
 Tour in Valle d'Itria, for a May Day Bridge... in white!

No need to go to Santorini, Greece, to watch the spectacle of a city all painted white live. The Valle d’Itria, which extends in the northern part of Puglia, between the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto, is famous throughout the world for its charming villages with white houses like a bride's dress. An amazing tour, an experience to do at least once in your life. Going to discover the "white cities" of Puglia is like being immersed in an enchanted world, suspended in time, light years away from the metropolitan chaos that is actually just around the corner. Bari, which with one million and three hundred thousand inhabitants is the sixth largest urban center in Italy, is in fact half an hour by motorway from Polignano a Mare. Here begins our itinerary based on relaxation, art and nature between the coast of Bari and Valle d'Itria, an ancient land of farms and antechamber of Salento. Here are the villages we visited and that we will describe for your May Day bridge: Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, Cisternino, Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Alberobello and Monopoli.

The Bari Palese Airport (also called Karol Wojtyla) was recently elected by the Altroconsumo allocation as the best airport in Italy with five stars. At the terminal it is easy to rent a car at reasonable prices to undertake a tour on the road in Valle d’Itria: the car is certainly the easiest way to move freely from one location to another, without time constraints. At the airport exit, take the Strada Statale 16 Adriatica, towards Brindisi, exit at Polignano a Mare. For those arriving by train, Bari Central Station is located in Piazza Moro, in the Murattiano district, from which the lines that make up the entire Apulian railway network branch out.

Our spring tour in Valle d’Itria starts from the spectacular Polignano a Mare, located in the middle of the east coast of Puglia. The statue of Domenico Modugno welcomes us with open arms, almost as if inviting those who admire it to Fly towards the sea that takes off behind it. Made in bronze by the Argentine sculptor Hermann Mejer and three meters high, it was erected on May 31, 2009 on the waterfront dedicated to the famous singer who was born here on January 9, 1928 and died on Lampedusa August 6, 1994, struck down by a heart attack.

Statua di Domenico Modugno - Polignano a Mare

Statue of Domenico Modugno in Polignano a Mare

The historic center, made up of palaces in white and cream-colored brick, lies above impressive jagged cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea, between which the beach of Lama Monachile (also called Cala Porto) is wedged, taken by tourists every summer and residents and accessible by walking on the ancient Roman bridge of the Via Appia Traiana. Before leaving Polignano a Mare and heading towards Ostuni, we had lunch at the Trattoria-Pizzeria Il Cuccundeo, excellent fish specialties and great variety of pizzas, thin and crocccanti. If you stop to sleep, the B&B Amoredimare offers a breathtaking view overlooking the sea: what better awakening!
Spiaggia di Lama Monachille - Polignano a Mare

Lama Monachile Beach in Polignano a Mare

Driving south on the Strada Statale 16 Adriatica, in forty minutes we are in the presence of Ostuni. Nicknamed "the gate of Salento", it rises on a hill overlooking the southern edge of the Valle d'Itria. The old Ostuni is entirely painted with white lime, with the exception of the Church of San Vito Martire, the Concattedrale dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta (with its splendid rose window in Romanesque style) and some other post-medieval buildings. Piazza della Libertà, where the Sant’Oronzo column stands out, is the main meeting point of the nightlife.

Ostuni

Ostuni

Entering the narrow alleys that lead to the village, you will come across typical and dimly-lit restaurants, inside small brick caves that make the evening more intimate. Ostuni, at sunset, is a unique spectacle: the red of twilight blends with the white of the houses, giving an iridescent effect to what is considered the whitest of the white cities. Moreover, walking along Viale Oronzo Quaranta, called ‘lu stradone’ due to its size and situated on the perimeter of the walls of the historic center, it is possible to enjoy a magnificent panorama that extends to the coast. With the traditional Notte di San Giovanni (June 24) the summer season of Ostuni officially opens, full of festivals, parties, concerts and tourist initiatives. In July and August, in fact, the white city is colored with emotions, music and fun!

Cisternino

Vittorio Emanuele Square in Cisternino

After twenty minutes on Provincial Road 17, we arrive in the first of the three cities that make up the heart of the Valle d’Itria. Cisternino, lying on a hill, overlooks the 'twin' Martina Franca and Locorotondo, forming a geographical triangle where the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto meet and, among the trees and agricultural estates, the famous trulli sprout like mushrooms . These particular dry stone conical constructions, the most remote prototypes of which date back to the 14th century, concentrate more, as we shall see, in Alberobello, but are scattered here and there also throughout the Valle d’Itria, the so-called Murgia dei Trulli. Cisternino is a small village that is characterized by its white streets, lacquered steps and a welcoming atmosphere. The festival of orecchiette, rabbit and grapes is an occasion for celebration and conviviality for citizens. But the real gastronomic specialty of Cisternino are the bomblets, pork meat rolls stuffed with cheese, salt and pepper. Enjoy them at Osteria Bell'Italia, a stone's throw from the Clock Tower. For a rural stay, we recommend the characteristic B&B Masseria Piccola, composed of light stone rooms with typical vaulted ceilings.

Martina Franca

Plebiscito Square in Martina Franca

Martina Franca, a quarter of an hour away by car, is the largest city of the three. The historic center is a summary of the Apulian Baroque: the Basilica of San Martino in Piazza Plebiscito is its most striking artistic example. Those who love classical and lyrical music, in the summer Martina Franca offers the Valle d’Itria Festival. In ten minutes we are in Locorotondo, so called for the circular layout of the buildings, white and full of flowers, in particular cyclamens, which color the terraces and windows of this real enchanted labyrinth. At the Locanda del Ristoro, you can enjoy delicious traditional orecchiette and meat-based main courses.For a fabulous stay, we recommend Casa Vacanze Madonna d'Ibernia, surrounded by olive trees, fruit trees and the red earth of the countryside surrounding Locorotondo.

Locorotondo

Locorotondo

A little less than a quarter of an hour from Locorotondo rises Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its trulli known all over the world and sets of various films, including Che bella giornata of 2011 which features the Apulian comic Checco Zalone. Walking among these cones, many of which are still inhabited by entire families, is an emotion to experience at least once in your life. It is also possible to visit them internally. We recommend the Trullo Siamese, the Trullo Sovrano and the Church of Sant’Antonio of Padua, with the trullo-shaped domes. It is true, the monumental complex of Alberobello is a purely tourist attraction, it is not by chance that most of the trulli are used as souvenir shops, but the spectacle of this village remains one of a kind and it is absolutely worth inserting it between the stops of a tour in Puglia.

Alberobello

Alberobello

Half an hour from Alberobello, on the coast, there is Monopoli, perhaps the least sponsored among the white cities, but in our opinion the most surprising. Yes, because Monopoli preserves the vintage charm of the Porta Vecchia as well as the ancient port. Its imposing bastions and the castle of Charles V, a 16th century manor that stands on the small promontory of Punta Pinna, make the historic center of Monopoli one of the most evocative seaside villages on a national level. Fishing boats and boats in blue wood, the pre-eminent color of the boats that you will find stranded on the pier, give a postcard of a Monopoly to be discovered, even walking through the medieval streets protected by the walls. For those who want to take a refreshing swim, the beach of Cala di Porta Vecchia is bathed in clear, emerald water, a prelude to the marvelous Salento sea that extends further south.

Monopoli

Cala di Porta Vecchia in Monopoli

By Joni Scarpolini

Events in Cisternino


Related News

Tour on the Tuscan coast, for those arriving by car or by ship
Tour on the Tuscan coast, for those arriving by car or by ship
From Versilia to the Maremma, a journey to discover splendid villages that, in addition to offering excellent bathing services, preserve priceless works of art. And for those arriving from Sardinia there are ferries available all year round
By Redazione
Cornello dei Tasso, the ancient crossroads of the Brembana Valley
Cornello dei Tasso, the ancient crossroads of the Brembana Valley
Discovering the orobic village which in the Middle Ages represented an important commercial hub and gave birth to the lineage of the famous poet Torquato Tasso
By Redazione
 'Arte a Pedali': flavors, nature and music are put in the saddle!
'Arte a Pedali': flavors, nature and music are put in the saddle!
On 8 June, from the Terme di Comano, between Lake Garda and the Brenta Dolomites, the e-bike tour starts, which combines the passion for cycling with the taste of local food and wine, along a scenic journey to discover villages ancient and with the seven notes in the background
By Redazione
Rezzonico, the medieval pearl of Lake Como
Rezzonico, the medieval pearl of Lake Como
On the western shore of the Lario, a few kilometers from Menaggio, in front of Bellagio and Varenna, stands a small ancient village, worthy of a beautiful spring trip
By Joni Scarpolini
 Grosio, returning to the most ancient roots of the Valtellina
Grosio, returning to the most ancient roots of the Valtellina
The ancient village in the province of Sondrio holds an archaeological area that tells, through rock engravings, the life of the first populations of the Lombard valley
By Stefano De Bernardi
The mysteries of the Castles of the Duchy, a tour among italian villages like real ghostbusters!
The mysteries of the Castles of the Duchy, a tour among italian villages like real ghostbusters!
There are those who believe in ghosts and those who don't, but one thing is certain: the manors of Emilia-Romagna hide secrets that are examined by paranormal scholars and intrigue tourists
By Redazione

Most read articles of the month

Fontanellato through history, gondola tour and street food
Fontanellato through history, gondola tour and street food
We take you to the beautiful medieval village in the province of Parma to discover the majestic Sanvitale Fortress, surrounded by a navigable moat, and culinary delicacies from all over Italy and the world: a real gastronomic siege!
By Joni Scarpolini
 The bell tower of Lake Resia and the ancient submerged village
The bell tower of Lake Resia and the ancient submerged village
We tell you the story of an ancient South Tyrolean village that in the 1950s was submerged by the waters of the dam. And what remains is a surreal show, from fantasy film...
By Joni Scarpolini
Cerenzia and the legend of the seven-headed dragon
Cerenzia and the legend of the seven-headed dragon
The inhabitants of the ancient Calabrian village are devoted to San Teodoro di Amasea, who defeated the terrible monster in 1528: they dedicated a day of the year to their leader to celebrate his exploit
By Redazione
 Recipe: Tagliolini with the Bomb of Gradara
Recipe: Tagliolini with the Bomb of Gradara
It's the first typical dish of the medieval village of the Marche and its name can be misleading...
By Redazione
 Inside the narrow prisons of the Fort of Bard
Inside the narrow prisons of the Fort of Bard
We take you to the dungeons of the great Savoy fortress, which only Napoleon managed to conquer
By Stefano De Bernardi
Vogogna Castle, the stronghold that dominates the Val d'Ossola
Vogogna Castle, the stronghold that dominates the Val d'Ossola
A few kilometers from Domodossola, immersed in the alpine nature, there is a suggestive medieval manor which, after centuries of invasions, actually watches over the ancient stone village and attracts tourists even from neighboring Switzerland
By Joni Scarpolini
e-borghi travel - la rivista per chi ama viaggiare tra borghi e turisimo slow

Read e-borghi travel for free, your new travel magazine

With the patronage of