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16 Best Things to Do in Polignano a Mare, Italy

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If you’re looking for a beautiful and underrated beach town in Italy, look no further than Polignano a Mare. With its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and charming medieval center, this town is the perfect gem for a weekend escape in Italy. Be sure to check out the town’s attractions, including its hidden beach, before you visit!

Picture it. Crystal turquoise water, hundred-year-old architecture, and beautiful whitewashed buildings are all in a quaint and stunning town.

It’s not a dream, and you can find this exact picture in the coastal city of Polignano a Mare in Puglia, Italy. Polignano is located on the Adriatic Sea, south of Puglia’s capital, Bari. Tourists visit Bari frequently, while Polignano and its sandy beaches are generally overlooked.

But the real treasure in Polignano (aside from its amazing people) is its beach. In the summertime, you can find tourists and locals alike sprawled out on the rocky outcrop of this Italian beach.

Polignano’s beach takes visitors back to a carefree existence, enclosed by decrepit structures and ancient cliffs. You can sunbathe, snorkel, or even cliff jump from this gorgeous location and charming town.

Things to Do in Polignano a Mare, Italy

When visiting Polignano a Mare, be sure to check out the town’s attractions. The town’s hidden beach is a must-see. The beach can be reached by climbing down the cliffs and is one of the most beautiful and underrated in Italy.

Other attractions in Polignano a Mare include the town’s medieval center, the dramatic coastline, and the crystal-clear waters.

1. Pane e Pomodoro

Entrance Sing of Pane e Pomodoro
Bari 065” by Roller Coaster Philosophy is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Address: Lungomare Armando Perotti, 70126 Bari, Italy

One of the highlights of a visit to Polignano a Mare is undoubtedly Pane e Pomodoro, a small but famous beach. This beach is one of the most beautiful and underrated beaches in Italy. This beach is incredible with its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and charming medieval center.

2. The Grotto

Aerial view of Polignano a Mare
Source: Adobe Stock

Address: Polignano a Mare

The Grotto is Polignano, a Mare’s most famous attraction. It’s a natural cave formed over time by the ocean’s waves. The cave is only accessible by boat, so you’ll need to book a tour in advance, but it’s worth visiting. Once inside, you’ll see the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over time.

3. Ponte Lama Monachile Beach

Empty Lama Monachile Beach in Polignano a Mare
Source: Adobe Stock

Address: Via S. Vito, 70044 Polignano a Mare BA, Italy

One of its best-hidden gems is Lama Monachile Beach, known as Cala Porto, which can only be reached by boat. The Cala Porto is a secluded beach surrounded by cliffs and crystal-clear water, making it the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun. Add Cala Porto to your itinerary, for it is a fascinating and famous beach not to miss.

4. Domenico Modugno Statue

Address: Lungomare Domenico Modugno, 70044 Polignano a Mare BA, Italy

Polignano a Mare is home to one of the most famous statues in Italy. You’ll find the Domenico Modugno Statue in the town’s main square.

This statue commemorates the famous singer and songwriter born in Polignano a Mare. Modugno was a renowned star in the 1960s and 1970s and is still remembered for his hits like ‘Volare’ and ‘Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare).’

5. Lido San Francesco

Lido San Francesco in Bari, Italy
Source: Adobe Stock

Address: Via Giuseppe Verdi, 59, 70123 Bari BA, Italy

Lido San Francesco is among the hidden beach gem in Polignano a Mare. With its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and charming medieval center, this long sandy beach caters to multiple tastes.

The beach is located just below the old town center and can be reached on foot or by taking the elevator down from the main square.

6. Centro Storico

Address: 70044 Polignano a Mare, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy

The Old Town is another excellent attraction in Polignano a Mare. This is where you’ll find the town’s charming medieval center close to beautiful beaches. The streets are narrow and winding, and there are a number of lovely churches and historical buildings to explore.

Polignano, a Mare’s Centro Storico, is one of the most charming in Italy. Its narrow streets, arched alleyways, and lovely piazzas make it easy to see why this town is such a popular tourist destination.

Don’t miss the Grotta Palazzese, a natural cave turned into a restaurant. With its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters, Polignano a Mare is one of Italy’s most beautiful beach towns worth visiting.

And thanks to its convenient location just a few miles from Bari, it’s also one of the most accessible. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next vacation to Italy’s remote beach town, Polignano a Mare.

See Related: Things to Do in Venice

7. Terrazza Santo Stefano

Terrazza Santo Stefano in Polignano a Mare
Source: Adobe Stock

Address: Via Porto, 83, 70044 Polignano a mare BA, Italy

One of the highlights of a visit to Polignano a Mare is Terrazza Santo Stefano, a hidden beach below the limestone cliffs of the Old Town. This secluded beach is only accessible by a staircase and is the perfect spot to relax and take in the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Here are some of the best things to do in Santo Stefano:

  • Take a swim in the crystal-clear waters.
  • Climb to the top of the cliffs for breathtaking views of the town and the sea.
  • Explore the charming medieval center, with its narrow streets and picturesque squares.

See Related: Places to Visit in Northern Italy

8. Palazzo dell’Orologio

Address: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 57, 70044 Polignano a Mare BA, Italy

Palazzo dell Orologio is a beautiful palace located in Polignano a Mare. It was built in the seventeenth century and is now used as a museum. The palace is well known for its beautiful clock tower, one of Puglia’s tallest.

See Related: Best Museums in Florence to Visit

9. Lama Monachile Bridge

Lama Monochile Bridge in Bari
Source: Adobe Stock

Address: Piazza Giuseppe Verdi, 70044 Polignano a mare BA, Italy

Lama Monachile Bridge is one of the main attractions in Polignano a Mare. The bridge is a great spot if you love to indulge in a walking tour. This beautiful medieval bridge crosses the canyon, providing stunning views of the cliffs and the crystal-clear waters of the famous beach, Cala Porto.

10. Abbazia di San Vito

Historic Building at Abbazia di San Vito

Address: 70044 San Vito, Polignano a Mare Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy

The Abbazia di San Vito, also known as the Abbey of Saint Vitus, is a Roman Catholic abbey in Polignano a Mare in Bari, Puglia, Italy. The abbey is dedicated to the martyr Saint Vitus.

The current edifice was originally erected in the 11th century, then rebuilt and enlarged in the 16th century. It is a large, three-aisled basilica with a square floor plan, surrounded by a cloister.

The Abbey of Saint Vitus is one of the main tourist attractions. The abbey’s beautiful architecture and location overlooking the vast ocean make it a popular tourist destination.

11. Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo

Boats on a Dock at Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo

Address: Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 90015, Cefalu, Sicily Italy

One of the town’s main attractions is Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, a beautiful promenade that stretches along the coast.

You can admire the stunning views of the sea and the picturesque town center from here. Don’t forget to stop by one of the many cafes or gelaterias for a refreshing drink or treat.

12. Pietra Piatta

Coast of Pietra Piatta in Polignano a Mare, Italy
Source: Adobe Stock

Address: Lungomare Domenico Modugno, 70044 Polignano a Mare BA, Italy

Pietra Piatta is a beach located in Polignano a Mare that is known for its dramatic limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and charming medieval center. 

Some of the best things to do in Pietra Piatta are swimming, sunbathing, and cliff diving. This beautiful beach town is also home to some great restaurants that offer delicious fried fish and bars, so be sure to check them out!

13. Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali

Art at Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali
Source: Facebook

Address: Via Parco del Lauro, 119, 70044 Polignano a mare BA, Italy

The Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali is the only contemporary art museum in Polignano a Mare, Italy. It was founded in 2010 by the artist’s widow, Laura Pascali.

The foundation aims to promote and preserve the artist’s work, Pino Pascali. The foundation organizes exhibitions, both in Italy and abroad, of Pascali’s work.

The Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali also promotes educational activities related to the artist and his work. Visiting the museum is among the best things to do aside from walking at Polignano a Mare’s beautiful beaches.

See Related: Things to Do in Rome

14. Grotta Palazzese

White Building and a Rock

Address: Via Narciso, 59, 70044 Polignano a mare BA, Italy

The Grotta Palazzese is a must-see when visiting Polignano a Mare. It’s a luxury cave and elegant hotel that offers a memorable stay and dining experience. The restaurant’s views are breathtaking, and the food is delicious. The staff is friendly and welcoming, making you feel like a royal.

See Related: Top-Rated Restaurants in Italy

15. Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

Address: 70044 Polignano a Mare BA, Italy

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele is the main square in Polignano a Mare. From here, you can access a staircase that leads down to the beach.

The beach is small and can get quite crowded in the summer months, but it is definitely worth a visit. The water is crystal-clear, and the views are simply stunning.

See Related: Most Beautiful Beaches in the World

16. La Focacceria di Delle Noci Marco

La focacceria di Delle Noci Marco
Source: Tripadvisor

Address: Via S. Vito, 10, 70044 Polignano a Mare BA, Italy

If you’re looking for an authentic Italian dining experience, La Focacceria di Delle Noci Marco is the place to go. This family-owned and operated restaurant serves up some of the best focaccia in town and a variety of other traditional Italian dishes. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, and the service is friendly and attentive.

See Related: Things to Do in Italy

Best Places to Stay in Polignano a Mare

Luxury Hotels in Polignano a Mare

Grotta Palazzese 

White Buildings on a Cliff

The Grotta Palazzese Hotel is located on this beach and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy its beauty and tranquility. The hotel features balcony rooms with sea views, an infinity pool, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. The beach is also a great place to swim, sunbathe, relax, and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Giovì Relais

Luxury Bedroom
Photo by Booking.com

Giovì Relais Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Polignano a Mare, offering its guests a breathtaking view of the ocean.

The hotel is just a few steps away from the old town center and its beaches, and it offers a wide range of services and facilities, including swimming, a spa center, and a restaurant. The hotel also has a bar and a terrace where guests can relax and enjoy the view.

Mid-Range Hotels in Polignano a Mare

B & B Mare Poetry 

B & B Mare Poetry is a bed and breakfast located in the heart of Polignano a Mare. The property offers guests a unique experience, as it is housed in an ancient, completely restored building.

The rooms are furnished with antique furniture equipped with air conditioning, heating, and Wi-Fi. The property also has a breakfast room, a terrace, and a garden.

B & B Mare Poetry is just a few steps away from the beach, the main square, and the old town. It is the perfect place to stay for those who want to explore all that Polignano a Mare has to offer.

Calaponte Hotel

Outdoor Pool in Calaponte Hotel
Photo by Booking.com

The Calaponte Hotel is a luxurious option centrally located in Polignano a Mare. This hotel offers guests a unique and relaxing experience. Some amenities available at this hotel include a heated pool, a spa, and a restaurant. Bask in the sun at Polignano, a Mare’s hidden beach, just a short walk from the Calaponte Hotel.

Budget Hotels in Polignano a Mare

Dimora Grottone – Guesthouse 

Spacious Bedroom
Photo by Booking.com

Dimora Grottone – Guesthouse is a beautiful bed and breakfast overlooking the Adriatic Sea. It’s the perfect place to stay while exploring the charming town of Polignano a Mare. The guesthouse offers luxurious accommodations and breathtaking views of the sea.

BETWEEN THE WALLS bed & breakfast

Stylish Bedroom

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Polignano a Mare, BETWEEN THE WALLS is an excellent choice. This bed and breakfast is located right in the heart of the city. It offers guests some of the best views of the coastline. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the staff is amiable, icing high above the ocean; the cliffs of Polignano a Mare are a sight to behold.

Vacation Rentals in Polignano a Mare

Casa Sant’Antonio Polignano in Picco sul Mare

Windows in a Room
Photo by Booking.com

Casa Sant’Antonio Polignano is a rental property in Picco sul Mare, a small village on Italy’s Adriatic coast. This village is known for its beautiful beaches, and Casa Sant’Antonio is the perfect place to enjoy them.

The house is spacious and has a beautiful view of the Casa Sant’Antonio, a rental property in Picco sul Mare, a small village on Italy’s Adriatic coast.

This village is known for its beautiful beaches, and Casa Sant’Antonio is the perfect place to enjoy them. The house is spacious and has a beautiful view of the sea.

Little House

Room with White Walls
Photo by Booking.com

The rental house Little House in Polignano a Mare is the perfect place to stay if you want to explore all these beautiful town offers. The house is just a few minutes from the beach, so you can easily relax and enjoy the stunning views.

Plus, plenty of restaurants and shops are nearby, so you can quickly get everything you need. If you’re looking for a charming town with plenty of activities and attractions, Polignano a Mare is the perfect destination!

What is Polignano a Mare Known For?

Polignano a Mare
Photo: Antonello

Polignano a Mare is a small town in the Puglia region of Italy. It is situated on a cliff overlooking the vast ocean with just over 20,000 people. The town is known for its dramatic coastline, crystal-clear waters, and medieval center, making it the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a hidden gem in Italy.

Polignano a Mare is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy. The Greeks founded the city in the 8th century BC. In the 19th century, it was connected to Bari by a railway line.

The town has a Norman castle and a medieval old city. It is also home to the Polignano a Mare Cathedral. Polignano a Mare’s sandy beaches are some of Italy’s most beautiful.

The municipality of Polignano a Mare contains the frazioni (subdivisions, mainly villages, and hamlets) of Lama Monachile (the only one within the town’s municipal boundaries), San Vito, and Zona Industriale.

Polignano a Mare today is noted for its scenic cliffs and crystal-clear waters. The main attraction in Polignano a Mare is the picturesque old town, with its narrow streets, limestone houses, and ancient churches. The town’s medieval center is a great place to explore, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

What is Bari?

Margherita Theater and Harbor in Bari
Source: Adobe Stock

Bari is a city in southern Italy. It is the capital of the Apulia region and is the largest city in that area. The port of Bari is an essential stop on the route to Greece and Turkey. The city has a population of about 320,000 people.

Bari is a popular tourist destination because of its beaches and coastline. The city is also home to many historical landmarks. One of the most popular attractions in Bari is the hidden beach in Polignano a Mare. Bari beaches are a sight not to miss when exploring the city.

Bari was founded in the 7th century BC by the Greeks. The city was captured by the Romans in 272 BC.  Bari played an essential role in the First and Second World Wars. The Allies heavily bombed the city during the latter conflict.

Today, Bari is a thriving commercial center home to many universities. The city is also a popular destination for students studying abroad.

Is Polignano a Mare Worth Visiting?

There are many reasons to visit Polignano a Mare. The town’s dramatic coastline is one of its most popular attractions. The cliffs provide stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and the town’s crystal-clear waters.

The town’s medieval center is also worth exploring. The center is full of charming cobbled streets and historic buildings. Polignano a Mare is also home to a hidden beach, which can be reached by climbing cliffs. The beach is one of the most beautiful and underrated in Italy.

How to get to Polignano a Mare

Getting to Polignano a Mare is easy. The town is just over an hour away from Bari Airport and Brindisi-Salento Airport and can be reached by train, bus, or car. Navigating the town is easy via different means of public transport.

The short train ride from Bari is worth your time on public transport to experience this breathtaking beach. Polignano a Mare is connected to the national and international road network through the A14 Adriatica motorway.

The SS16 bis state road connects the town to Bari and Taranto. Several bus routes connect Polignano a Mare with the main towns in Apulia, such as Bari, Brindisi, Fasano, Lecce, and Taranto. Check Flixbus for pricing on getting to Polignano a Mare if you want to save on transportation.

See Related: Best Beach Vacation Spots in the World

Best Time to Visit Polignano a Mare

The best time of year to visit Polignano a Mare is from June to August when the weather is warm and the town is full of visitors. However, the town is also beautiful in the off-season. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, plan your trip for September or October.

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