Marcus Travel Journal

2024 - Puglia

Returning to Puglia

Our last visit to Puglia was in 2015. We had a wonderful time and it is good to return to this region again. Puglia (Italian) or Apulia, borders the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Seas. We have recording information on this Region in our Travel Journal. 

Puglia - Monopoli

Monopoli

photo: mytravellinglens.com

The region starts from the heart of Italy's boot and is known for its attractive whitewashed hill towns. The are what seems to be endless beaches. Pictured above is the coastal town of Monopoli. that was not far from our house/apartment.

 Palazzo Palmieri, 18thy C preserved Baroque palalce of the Palmieri Family. 

San Salvatore Church, dates to the 4th Century.

Piazza dei Mercanti is the busiest square in town.

Piazza Garibaldi has the Palazzo della Dogana (custom's palace) and 16th C Cacace Palace.

Lungomare and Bastione Santa Maria - the Lungomare is the seafront promenade. Offers great views. 

 

 Monopoli Harbour

Monopoli Harbour

photo: mytravellinglens.com

Porto Antico di Monopoli is charming and the blue boats in the harbour make this a natural photoshoot,

Monopoli

Monopoli

photo: mytravellinglens.com

Here you get an authentic Italian feel. A very scenic inner harbour, a maze of interesting streets to explore, and a swimming area just outside the walls. The builds are a beautiful range of colours. Wander the narrow streets, find a scenic little piazza. Have a bite to eat and a drink. This is life.

The inside of the Basilica of the Madonna della Madia is very impressive - far more than the exterior of the church. The Palmiera Palace is an 18th C Barogue palace. The Chiesa di San Salvatore is the oldest of the churches in Monopoli. Walk about and make your way to the Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi - this is the central piazza of the city.

The Piazzella 10 Piazzeria & Restaurant in the Piazza Garibaldi is noted for its drinks and pizza and for gelato I read about the Gelateria Caruso as being very good.

Lecce

Lecce

photo: mytravellinglens.com

We will most likely drive down to the beautiful town of Lecce which is is known for its baroque architecture and is referred to as the “Florence of the South”., It is located about 70 km from our 2024 location.

  • The Piazza del Duomo is the main square, surrounded by beautiful baroque buildings, that include the Duomo, the Bell tower, the Bishop's Palace and the Seminary Palace.

  • In the Piazza Sant'Oronzo is the main area for shopping and the 2 AD Roman Amphitheatre. It was completely buried until 1901 when construction works discovered the structure.
  • Basilica of Santa Croce is considered an important example of baroque architecture.
  • Castle of Charles V is located close to the Piazza Sant'Oronzo.

  • Three gatges: Porta Napoli, Porta San Biagio and Porta Rudiae still stand.

Bari

Bari, Apulia, Italy

photo: mytravellinglens.com 

What a great day I had in Bari. It is the second largest city in Southern Italy, after Naples. But it has a reputation of being being a port town and is often passed over by travellers. Yes there is a busy port but the old city is very charming. We had spent a short time in old Bari on previous trip and I looked forward to returning.

Fresh from the experience of having our car stolen, I drove into the town with caution and wisely decide I would park in a formal parking lot where the attendant takes your car and returns the keys and your car on your return. The lots are below building with controlled access. For a morning I paid 9 Euros and had no fears.

The medieval old town sits on the peninsula jutting out into the Adriatic Sea. Walk and is a maze of narrow streets, The number of tourists in many towns was getting to be a negative experience. But Old Bari felt bery authentic. 

Treat yourself to some of the best focaccia barese you will ever eat.  Don't be turned off by a line-up to get into the bakery, or the fact that you weill take a number to be servered. Thiis is rated as the top bakery in Bari..

  • Panificio Santa Rita, Strada dei Dottula, 8 

 Santa Rita is open from 8 to 2, and 6:30 to 9pm.

Bari

Bari - Basicila San Nicola

 

Bari - Basilica San Nicola

photo: mytravellinglens.com

Basicila San Nicola

 

 Basilica Cattedrale San Sabino

Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare

photo: mytravellinglens.com

About a 15 minute drive from Monopoli. Listed, rightly so, as one of the most beautiful small towns in Italy. A great historic centre hanging off the cliffs overlooping the Adriatic Sea. White houses, colour shutters and lots of narrow alleys. What more would you want. I have spent many a mornings catching great scenes along the coast.

Even though I had my car stolen in this small town, I know I will be back.    

Ostuni

Ostuni

photo: mytravellinglens.com

Ostuni is about 10 km from our location. I enjoyed my short visit last year. Main sights include the Old Town, Cathedral of Ostuni and the Bishop's Palace.

 Alberobello

Alberobello, Apulia, Italy

photo: mytravellinglens.com

The famous Trulli town is about a half hour drive (30 km) from our location. From previous trip I found it is best to get there very early in the morning before the streets, and parking lots fill up. It is a busy place and you get the tourist feel quickly.

Locorotondo

Beautiful white washed buildings, The town is large but has a relatively small historic centre that is easy to walk. Located about 25 km from our 2024 location, we enjoyed our visit in 2023 to this town.

Cisternino

Cisternino: is about 20 km from our 2024 location in Puglia. The main sights include the historic center, Church of San Nicola, Torre Civica, and the cobbled stone alleyways, beautiful doors and windows and of course a selection of churches. The town is said to have a quaint atmosphere.

Walk up the Ponte della Madonnina, not a bridge, but a set of stairs in the town that offers a great view.

Piazza dell’Orologio or sometimes referred to as  iazza Vittorio Emanuele II has the  1850 clock tower is located. This is the heart of Cisternino. Cafes and people watching. 

Martina Franca

Martina Franca is about 20 km from our 2024 location. We enjoyed our visit in 2023, although don't try to go on a Sunday as parking is a challenge. See the Basilica di San Martino, Piazza Plebiscito, and the Palazzo Ducale.

The inital growth of the town was because in 1310 Phillip of Anjou granted tax-free status to the town. People came and built beautiful homes. 

Lama is the historic centre of the town.

Palazzo Ducale, in Piazza Roma, is the 17th C palace of the Caracciolo family, the Dukes that ruled over the city. 

Fasano 

Gsdsno, Provence of Brindisi, Region of Apulia, Italy

Second most populated town, after Brindisi in that Provence. The via Appia, the old Roman road from Bridindisi to Rome runs alon Fasano's cost and is visible today..

Located just outside the town is Selva di Fasano, a garden with villas. 

Torre Canne

It is actually attached to the town of Fasano.  A coast town with no defense castle, but a lighthouse. 

Summer Italy, describes as . The town offers a quaint and laid-back atmosphere with beachfront restaurants and cafes and a smattering of shops.. Some articles describe it as aquaint fishing town,. 

Andria

 It is about an hour and twenty minutes to travel form Monopoli to Andria.  Here is the impressive Castle del Monte (20 minutes from the city itself). A 13th C castle built by Emperor Fredrick II. In the town itself is the impressive Cattedrale de Santa Maria Assunta, a 14th C Baroque style church

The Piazza Catuma is the main square in Andria. At the centre of the square is a huge circular ring, withy diagonal decoration. Around the square are bars, cafés, and restaurants.    

Otranto

Ancient port, modern marina town, compact historic centre..

The town is famous for the mosaic-floored cathedral. 

 Trani

We enjoyed our previous visits to this town. I even picked up a great pair of glasses here.

 

Pen Stores

LA STILOGRAFICA DI CIARROCCHI FRANCESCO 

CORSO GARIBALDI 55
60121 ANCONA Italy

Considerations

Brindisi: 20 km - Roman Column, Aragonese Castle, Church of San Giovanni al Sepolcro

Ceglie Messapica: 10 km - Main Sights: Ducal Castle, Historical Center, Church of San Rocco

Taranto: 70 km - Main Sights: Aragonese Castle, Taranto Old Town, National Archaeological Museum

Grottaglie: 40 km - Main Sights: Ceramics Quarter, Castle Episcopio, Museum of Ceramics

 

Castellana Grotte: 30 km - Main Sights: Castellana Caves, Church of San Giovanni Battista

Fasano: 15 km - Main Sights: Fasano Old Town, Selva di Fasano, Zoosafari

Matera (in Basilicata, but relatively close) - 100 km - Main Sights: Sassi di Matera, Matera Cathedral, Caveoso and Barisano districts Please verify current distances and details locally, as they are approximate values based on historical data.

 

Carovigno

We will be staying near the town of Carovigno, known for its charming historic center, beautiful coastline, and cuisine.

Castle of Dentice di Frasso the Castle of Dentice di Frasso is a well-preserved medieval castle located in the historic center of Carovigno. Dating back to the 15th century, the castle offers guided tours of its rooms, courtyards, and defensive walls.

The historic center of the is written up to be interesting. It has narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, scenic squares, and historic churches. The Church of St. Mary of the Assumption (Chiesa Matrice) and the Church of St. Theresa that are noted to see.