Itinerary for the Perfect Day in Polignano a Mare

Published on

by Olivia Ellis

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our privacy policy.

Nestled along the stunning Adriatic coast, Polignano a Mare is a jewel in the Puglia region. This charming town boasts breathtaking cliffs, crystal clear waters, and a labyrinthine old town.

The allure of Polignano a Mare lies in its perfect blend of natural beauty and rich history, making it an essential stop on any Puglian adventure.

From the iconic Lama Monachile bridge to the historic centre’s cobbled streets and delicious classic, local dishes, Polignano a Mare offers a glimpse into both the past and the vibrant present of this coastal paradse. Even with just one day in Polignano a Mare, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience!

How Many Days in Polignano a Mare?

Similar to other noteworthy stops in Puglia, Polignano a Mare is a small town with a handful of must-visit spots, making it easy to explore within a day or two.

A one-day visit to Polignano a Mare complements a larger Puglia trip and you can easily explore highlights such as the historic centre and the iconic Lama Monachile Bridge, while enjoying local Puglian delicacies.

If you choose to extend your stay in Polignano a Mare, the town serves as an ideal base for exploring the broader Puglia region and the metropolitan area of Bari. Despite its size, Polignano a Mare offers all the necessary amenities for an extended stay and is perfectly situated for leisurely exploration.

Old Town of Polignano a Mare
Old Town of Polignano a Mare

Getting To & Around Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare is accessible by plane via Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI), which offers both domestic and international flights from within Italy as well as other countries in Europe, with a larger number of flights during the summer months.

To reach Polignano a Mare directly from Bari airport, you can take a taxi, bus, or rent a car. The town is about 50 kilometres away, making it a convenient drive or ride. Alternatively, train transport is a quick and affordable option, with just a quick change at Bari Centrale. You can view schedules here.

Once arriving in Polignano a Mare, the town’s train station is centrally located, allowing for easy exploration on foot upon arrival.

Bus services from various Italian cities also arrive in Polignano a Mare, offering more direct routes depending on your departure point.

Once in Polignano a Mare, the town’s compact size means most attractions are within enjoyable walking distance, the best way to explore a small and charming Italian town.

For those staying longer and wishing to explore more of the Puglia region, renting a car is recommended. Public transport options, including local buses, are available to reach accommodations on the outskirts or nearby attractions. You can view car rental options here.

If you prefer to base yourself in Bari and just visit for a day trip, you can organise a group tour or a private tour as well.

Streets of Polignano a Mare
Streets of Polignano a Mare

1-Day Polignano a Mare Itinerary

This itinerary offers a comprehensive exploration of the town’s culture and scenic beauty, ideal for a fulfilling day trip. From historic streets to cliffside views and local traditions, it promises an unforgettable day.

Polignano’s Old Town

Polignano’s old town feels like a step back in time, with its narrow, cobblestone streets and whitewashed houses perched on limestone cliffs, giving an ode to its original settlers, the ancient Greeks.

Its rich history dates back to ancient times when Greeks settled here, supposedly naming it Neapolis. Time seems to stop while wandering around Polignano’s Old Town, or “Centro Storico,” immersing you in a bygone era of the Mediterranean.

The old town’s layout has remained largely unchanged, preserving the unique character of this coastal gem.

Porta Vecchia Gate

Once upon a time, Polignano a Mare thrived as a vital ancient centre in the Puglia region. The Porta Vecchia gate, situated on the eastern side of the old town, served as the sole entrance, symbolizing the town’s strategic importance and bustling trade routes.

While modern infrastructure has since expanded access points, the Porta Vecchia gate retains its historical significance as a prominent landmark in Polignano, making it a must-visit stop while you visit Polignano a Mare.

Poetry Around Town

In Polignano, poetry isn’t just a literary form, it’s quite literally a part of the town. Throughout the old town, verses of poetry from classic poets adorn the walls of the whitewashed homes.

These poetic expressions, often in Italian or dialect, reflect the town’s deep cultural roots and creative spirit.

Keeping an eye out for Polignano’s poetry corners is a fun way to get to know the town on a deeper level while enjoying a bit of a scavenger hunt.

Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption

Visiting the Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption, located off Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II is something that absolutely need to be on any Polignano a Mare itinerary.

Constructed in the 18th century, the church boasts a distinctive Baroque façade and a peaceful interior adorned with impressive frescoes depicting biblical scenes and local saints.

Despite its modest size, the church is a testament to Polignano a Mare’s cultural history and well worth the visit.

Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption
Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption

Domenico Modugno Statue

The Domenico Modugno Statue honours one of Italy’s most famous singer-songwriters, known for his hit song “Volare.”

Located on the seafront, the statue depicts Modugno with arms outstretched, symbolising freedom and passion in his music. It serves as a landmark of Polignano, as well as a tribute to his contribution to Italian culture.

Stop by to take photos and enjoy the scenic views of the Adriatic from this spot just outside the historic centre.

Domenico Modugno Statue
Domenico Modugno Statue

Polignano a Mare’s Food Scene

After a morning of exploration, it’s likely that you’ve worked up quite the appetite and you really won’t be disappointed in Polignano.

Whether you’re keen to sample local street food like panzerotti or arancini, savour fresh seafood dishes such as grilled octopus or seafood pasta, or indulge in fluffy focaccia Pugliese, topped with tomatoes and olives, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

My personal favourite, though lesser known, form of pizza is panzerotti. Originating from Puglia, it features golden, crispy dough encasing a delicious filling of tomato and mozzarella.

In Polignano a Mare, you’ll find no shortage of these delectable fried treats. Beloved local spot La Rotellina is the perfect place to try both savoury and sweet panzerotti.

Da Luciano, a cafeteria-style restaurant in Polignano a Mare, is renowned for its fresh, locally sourced seafood and local dishes, such as focaccia Pugliese. This cosy, family-run restaurant offers authentic Puglian dishes that beautifully showcase the region’s finest flavours.

Another option is Braceria – Friggitoria Largo Ardito which offers a delightful blend of grilled and fried seafood. This popular spot pairs stunning sea views with smoky, flavourful dishes cooked to perfection.

If you have the time, you can also join a food tour to learn more about the culinary scene in the town.


Belvedere Terrazza Santo Stefano & Lama Monachile Bridge

Belvedere Terrazza Santo Stefano in Polignano a Mare provides a panoramic viewpoint of the sea and the town’s cliffs. It’s a great spot to soak in the Italian coastal landscape, with its blue waters and rugged, limestone cliffs.

From the terrace, you can feel the sea breeze and see the whitewashed buildings of Polignano a Mare. Sunsets here are particularly beautiful, with the sky painted in shades of orange and pink.

Just a short walk away, you can also find the Lama Monachile Bridge – also known as Ponte di Polignano or by its long-form name, Ponte Borbonico su Lama Monachile.

This historic Roman bridge spans a deep ravine, offering panoramic views of the town and of the iconic Lama Monachile beach below. Make sure to take the time to walk across the bridge and take in the gorgeous views – it’s one of my favourite things about visiting Polignano.

Lama Monachile Beach
Lama Monachile Beach

Aperitivo at SanBè

End your day with a classic Italian aperitivo at SanBè, located in the charming Piazza San Benedetto. As the sun sets, the piazza comes alive, offering you the perfect blend of local culture and easy relaxation.

Sip on a refreshing spritz or a glass of local wine while indulging in a selection of delicious Italian finger foods. The picturesque surroundings, with historic buildings and local evening life, create an unforgettable atmosphere.

Have More Time?

If you have more than a day in Polignano, it’s the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into its charm and move at a leisurely pace. With extended time, you can explore further into various aspects of the town and its culture, bath in the dreamy Adriatic, and enjoy views of Polignano’s rugged coast from a boat.

Polignano a Mare also serves as an excellent base for exploring the wider Puglia region.

Lama Monachile Beach

Visiting the beaches of Polignano a Mare offers a perfect blend of relaxation and natural beauty. The most renowned beach, Lama Monachile, is nestled beneath Lama Monachile Bridge and boasts crystal clear, azure waters.

This picturesque spot is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, or simply enjoying the stunning coastal scenery. The pebble beach and sea create a striking contrast, providing an idyllic backdrop for a day by the water, perfect for if you’re staying in Polignano for an extended period.

Despite its size, the beach’s unique setting and breathtaking views make it well worth a visit. Keep in mind, that since this is the town’s most popular beach, crowds fill up quite quickly, so make sure to arrive early.

Boat Tour

A boat tour of the grottoes around Polignano a Mare is an unforgettable experience, offering a unique perspective of the town’s stunning coastline. As you sail along, you’ll explore a series of sea caves and grottoes carved into the cliffs.

Taking a boat tour provides an up-close look, allowing you to take in the stunning light within the caves. Boat tours such as this 2-hour trip include an aperitif, but there are lots of day-time options such as this small group tour or this private tour.

On the water near Polignano a Mare
On the water near Polignano a Mare

Explore Puglia

Exploring the countryside near Polignano a Mare offers a glimpse into Puglia’s scenic landscapes. Known for its olive groves and vineyards, this region is dotted with charming towns and traditional trulli houses.

Alberobello, Locorotondo, and Martina Franca are nearby, each with unique architecture and character. These towns are easily accessible by car or train from Polignano a Mare, making them convenient day trips to explore Puglia’s rich cultural heritage and stunning views.

You can also visit other nearby gems like the whitewashed town of Ostuni, the beautiful seaside town of Monopoli and the historic city of Lecce, making your stay in Polignano a central point for broader adventures in southern Italy.

View of Alberobello
View of Alberobello

Where to Stay in Polignano a Mare

Malù Bed&Breakfast – This lovely bed and breakfast offers gorgeous sea views and has a range of double rooms and suites available, There is also a great breakfast each morning, a terrace to enjoy and private parking available.

San Michele Suite – A beautiful, luxe option, this is a great option for those looking for a high-end stay in Polignano. Situated on the beach, there are plenty of gorgeous rooms, breakfast, a terrace and many other amenities.

C’era una Volta Apartments – Located in a classic, whitewashed building in the centre of Polignano, these apartments are an excellent option for those after their own space. There are a few one-bedroom flats to choose from and all are equipped with air conditioning.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Polignano hotels!

Polignano a Mare undoubtedly stands out as one of Italy’s most stunning coastal destinations, ensuring that whether you stay for a day or a week, you’ll be eager to come back.

Are you planning a visit to Polignano a Mare? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Like It? Pin It!
Avatar photo

Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

Leave a Comment