Polignano a Mare perched on a limestone cliff off the azure waters of the Adriatic is southern Italy’s most enchanting place to enjoy sun and sea. Endowed with a medieval look and feel, the picturesque town exudes a historical charm dating back to Greek and Roman times. Once called “the pearl of Adriatic,” Polignano a Mare is famous for its scenic, white, cove-like beaches bordering crystal clear waters. However, the city holds numerous attractions and activities to enjoy for tourists beyond its breathtaking coast. Let’s explore the top 10 things to do in Polignano a Mare when you visit there.
Lama Monachile Beach
Also known as Cala Porto, it is the main beach in Polignano a Mare and offers a scintillating sea view the Baro coast is famous for. A narrow meandering road passing underneath a Roman bridge leads to the beach surrounded by high, jagged cliffs. Swimming in crystalline waters and diving from high rocky walls entice every beach holiday lover.
The white pebbled beach with a dock for boats and scenic coves is one of the most beautiful tourist hotspots in Polignano a Mare. While cliffs nearby offer a perfect scope to dive into blue waters, colorful boats add to its magnificent scenery. Select from wide-ranging options that include paddle boats, canoes, sea-side bars, private beaches, private baths, and beach chairs alongside open public places to enjoy the breathtaking seascape and your beach holiday.
An inlet bordering the southern rocky slopes, it is the place to enjoy boating in blue waters off Polignano a Mare. The rocks around offer an enchanting and plentiful place to enjoy the day sitting beneath beach umbrellas. It is the perfect place for those looking for serenity away from crowds.
Ponte dei Lapilli
A cove nestled beneath a small hillock offers a moment of privacy and a perfect way to enjoy sun and sea in Polignano a Mare away from the crowd. The pebbled blue flag beach is the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine while the blue Adriatic waters with shimmering stone reflections offer a pleasing swimming and diving experience.
San Vito Abbey
A natural harbor once used by ancient inhabitants, it is now the best place in Polignano a Mare to frolic and enjoy photography. Boasting an interesting mix of sandy and rocky landscape, the beach is for those looking for a walk, sitting idle, or enjoy fun moments. Fishing boats in the vicinity are a worth exploration for their marine catch.
Surrounded by rocks and concrete pavements bordering a captivating inlet, it is the place to soak up in the sun and enjoy the breathtaking views of the sea. Clean, well-maintained, and accessible by a staircase, the inlet with its shallow waters also offer a chance to swim.
The Historic City Center
The stunningly beautiful Centro Storico, the historic center of Polignano a Mare, conveys a medieval look and feel. Enter through the Arco Marchesale, an archway of the nonexistent fortified wall, and explore homes, churches, remains of ramparts, palaces, and public squares walking on cobbled and stone paths. An ancient sundial continues to adorn the clock tower built 500 years ago. Many houses with wooden doors, medieval facades, and Arabian, Spanish, and Byzantine architectural remains offer a chance to peep through the history of the town that predates the Greek period.
Polignano a Mare Churches
The town has several medieval churches boasting Spanish, Moorish, and Byzantine artifacts. The Church of St. Joseph just above the Arco Marchesale gate dates back to 1561. The oldest one is the Our Lady of the Assumption church constructed in 1295 to replace a pagan temple. It is ornately decorated with paintings. The church of Purgatorio boasts intricate architecture with brass, wooden, and glass designs.
Discover half-submerged sea caves underneath the town of Polignano a Mare. A boat excursion takes you through these distinctive limestone caves created by sea waves over thousands of years. The Grotta Palazzese cave restaurant occupies a cave that was once a chosen place of the royal banquet. Enjoy distinct Mediterranean cuisines at the restaurant.
A 30-minute drive from Polignano a Mare, Alberobello is known for its cone-roofed houses called “trullo”. The history of these interesting dry stone huts built with stone circles one on another at this UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 15th century. They tell a story of the ingenuity of poor peasants who created amazing huts in their efforts to avoid oppressive levies imposes by the ruler of Naples.
Just So You Know:
- Go to Grottone’s Ancient Bath – A few meters from the Domenico Modugno promenade, the beach with transparent waters is the place to swim and enjoy warm Mediterranean waters. A public bath carved out of rocky hills hundreds of years ago attract tourists looking for less crowded beaches in Polignano a Mare.
- Polignano a Mare’s fame rest as much as on its beaches as on its celebrated gelato. The local ice-cream with a rich history is scrumptious and known for its creamy texture. Available in a variety of gourmet cones and flavors, it is a pleasure of excellence for tourists
- The city has tons of accommodation options. Check out our list of 11 Best Hotels in Polignano a Mare.
Get Some Culture:
- Visit the Museo Pascali – A museum dedicated to the local art, it is named after Pino Pascali, a multifaceted artist known for his sketches. Pascali, who was a well-known painter, died at a young age following a road accident. The museum displays a collection of regional art, works of local artists, a contemporary art gallery, and interesting photographs of Polignano d Mare collected over the years
Grab A Bite:
- The charming town is a hub of authentic seafood. Its gastronomy is a mix of Greek and Italian culinary delights giving its distinct Mediterranean flavor. Enjoy the delicious lobster spaghetti, sumptuous fish panini, or squid ink tagliolini at local eateries. The sea off the town is home to the best-quality tuna fish, which naturally forms a part of the menu in its restaurants. Among beverages, it is worthy of any price to taste amaretto drinks
- Polignano a Mare fame rest as much as on its beaches as on its celebrated gelato. The local ice-cream with a rich history is scrumptious and known for its creamy texture. Available in a variety of gourmet cones and flavors, it is a pleasure of excellence for tourists.