Apulia is a relaxing, beautiful destination in the south of Italy. We visited most of the top-sights in 5 days.
Day 1: Bari – Polignano a Mare – Lecce
After landing in Bari, we rented our car. We had a busy itinerary in front of us and renting a car enabled us to see a lot in only five days. From the airport, we drove to Polignano a Mare. It was lunchtime, and we were quite hungry, so we stopped in Torre al Mare for lunch. There was not much to see in Torre al Mare, but we ate in a great restaurant which was open. In February, it is off-season, and most of the restaurants were closed and being renovated.
Polignano a mare is a charming seaside town and you can read more about it on our blog. We were there for a couple of hours, climbing down to the beach, having a great Italian coffee with some sweets, and enjoying the sunshine near the Domenico Modugno statue.
From Polignano a Mare we drove south to Lecce where we spent our night. In the evening, we went on a walk around Lecce which is magnificent in the dark. We had a great dinner in Lecce at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Lecce – Otranto – east coast of Aulia – Ostuni
After waking up to a wonderful sunny morning in Lecce, we had a delicious breakfast with fresh pasticciottos in the hotel. We strolled around Lecce, visited the Roman amphitheater and Roman theatre, Duomo and several other historical baroque buildings. Afterward, we drove to Otranto where we had our lunch. In Otranto, we walked around for a few hours and enjoyed the sun in the park near the seaside. Then we drove back north along the coast all the way back up to Lecce. Along the coast, we stopped several times as it was stunning. We went on a beach which in summer is full, but in February it was only us. We drove past several abandoned resort towns which were empty and looked like ghost towns. We also saw Grotte di Poesia, rock formations where in the summer you can swim. You can read more about our experience on our blog. We finished our day with a sunset in a white town Ostuni. Afterward, we checked in to our Trullo near Martina Franca, which was our base for exploration of Apulia until the end of our holidays.
Day 3: Alberobello – Locorotondo – Cisternino
Alberobello is a beautiful town with Unesco protected stone Trulli houses and you can read more about it on another blog. We spent the morning in Alberobello and had it to ourselves. Alberobello is a must-see destination in Apulia.
We had our delicious pasta lunch in Locorotondo. From Locorotondo, we drove to Cisternino where we enjoyed a chocolate cake with magnificent views around Cisternino. For dinner, we returned to Albeorecchiette see it also in the dark and had terrific orecchiete with tomato sauce.
Day 4: Matera – Taranto
Although Matera is not in Apulia, it is namely already in Calabria; it is a must-see if you are in the area. It is a Unesco’s protected amazing old town of cave dwellings and one of the oldest town in the whole world! You can read more about it on our blog. You can easily spend a day in Matera, but unfortunately, we did not have so much time. After lunch, we drove to Taranto, which is a port town in Ionic sea. It was rainy and windy, so we did not do much sightseeing, but we had a delicious cake while observing waves.
Day 5: Castel del Monte – Trani – Bari
On our last day, we left early to first visit the Castel del Monte. Castel del Monte is a geometrically perfect medieval castle. You may have noticed it on 1 cent Italian coin. From Castel del Monte we drove to Trani where we had a good seaside lunch. Trani is a typical seaside Apulian town with narrow alleys and a magnificent church. Our last few hours in Apulia we spent in Bari before we boarded the plane back home.
We will surely go back to Apulia, as the sights and the food was just amazing! If you are wondering whether to visit Apulia or not, it is not a question. It is a must-go. And have a great time!