Not far from Bari, Polignano a Mare is among the most beautiful and visited villages in Italy. The narrow streets, coves, green and blue colored landscape and other interesting sites make the Apulian town a wonder to discover. In summer the sea, coves and caves and winter the churches, contemporary art museum and a few other monuments give the village a lively and interesting tourist version all year round.
Polignano a Mare is one of the most fascinating and mysterious places in southern Italy. The town, located on the coast of Puglia, holds some of the most stunning caves in Italy. Those in Polignano were naturally created in the limestone rock through millions of years of erosion by the Adriatic Sea and hold incredible stories and evocative experiences as well as offering breathtaking scenery. This geological marvel is also known as "The Underwater Country" because of the crystal clear water that surrounds the caves during low tide, creating an exciting seascape.
Among the best known and most easily accessible in Polignano a Mare is the Grotta delle Rondinelle, characterized by its crystal clear waters and a large vault suspended about 7 meters above the water. The cave is easily accessible, particularly popular with diving enthusiasts and photographers looking for memorable shots. From the historic center it takes only ten minutes to get there, walking along the San Vito waterfront.
Grotta delle Rondinelle - Hugo Zlotowski/Unsplash
In the locality of Grottone, also worth seeing is the Blue Caves, easily accessible and located near the town. A small natural cavity that offers a breathtaking spectacle through the reflections of light created by the sun's rays that penetrate below a wall suspended in the water for about three meters.
For romantic swimmers, one cannot fail to mention the Cave of the Boyfriends, possible to reach only by swimming. It takes its name from the intimacy it offers to those who want to escape the gaze of the numerous swimmers.
Grotta Azzurra © HOTELS PUGLIA
On the waterfront, just a short walk from the historic center, a lavish tribute to the famous Domenico Modugno is egregious: a large bronze statue. The artist's hometown remembers its prodigal son with a 3-meter-high monument, a statue depicting the singer with open arms.
Taking a few minutes to visit the statue of the interpreter of the hugely popular song "Nel blu, dipinto di blu" is almost a must, a fitting tribute to one of Italy's most beloved artists.
Lama Monachile, also known as Cala Porto, is the best known beach in Polignano a Mare. It is a long and narrow cove, perfectly set between some rock walls and covered with pebbles. The Lama Monachile/Cala Porto cove is a real boast for the town of Polignano a Mare, as it represents one of the most beautiful natural settings on the entire coast of Bari. The intriguing cove because of the crystal-clear waters of the sea, the white pebbles, the caves around and the striking location among the rocks is among the most featured images in photos of Polignano.
Totally renovated in the late 1990s, the historic Lama Monachile bridge, built in the Bourbon era, on the other hand, offers an exceptional view of the town and especially a fabulous view of the cove.
The cuisine of Polignano a Mare is a true expression of Apulian flavors, with many local specialties to enjoy. The vast majority of trattorias and restaurants offer classic delicious Apulian cuisine, with land and fish dishes. Genuine, old-fashioned and traditional gastronomy, with the well-known carrot gaining Slow Food Presidium recognition.
Among the classic dishes of the village to taste is the mixed raw and fresh fish made of cuttlefish, shrimp, scampi and urchins. For a quick snack, the real specialty of Polignano a Mare are sandwiches stuffed with fish (shrimp, salmon, swordfish), often accompanied by salad or the local burrata cheese.
Polignano a Mare's events program is rich in both summer and winter. At the end of July, the Red Bull Cliff Diving has become a regular event: a unique event with athletes from all over the world ready to dive, performing spectacular stunts, from a 24-meter-high diving board in the beautiful scenery of Lama Monachile.
In the Christmas season, the "Once Upon a Christmas Wax" program stands out. A contemporary circus, storytellers and the many musical performances enliven the evenings, all in an exciting setting and the magic of lights.