Polignano a Mare is a small town few km far from Bari, the main city in Apulia, a region in South italy.
It’s easy to reach Polignano, in fact Bari has an international airport with low cost flights.
You might consider to visit one of the most amazing town in italy. I’ll never give up with this: italy is not Venice, Florence, roma…
There is so much to see, every little town has something to offer and South italy, even more, in terms of history, coastal and seaside beauties, out-standing food, good wine…
If ancient greeks and romans used to spend their vacation in South italy, well…there should be some reasons!!!! 🙂
It is mostly about the sea, relax and food.
The city itself, the old part, stays on the scenic cliffs. You can find one of the most amazing restaurant in Europe, built inside the limestone rock, with a natural view of the sea.
Imagine a deep blue sea, white small houses in mediterranean style and warm sun welcoming you every day, this is Polignano a mare!
Moreover there are 2 things that make Polignano a mare even more UNIQUE:
Everybody knows that italian ice cream is the best and there should be a place where it is better than everywhere else. This place is Bar Turismo, in Polignano!
Believe it or not, in an old, small, un-trendy and (not intentionally) ‘vintage’ bar, you will find a man who will serve you the most delicious gelato on earth!
Ice cream here is prepared with the original ARTISANAL recipe, not with industrial powders ( as in 99,99% of other premises). Few ingredients: milk, eggs, sugar, adding the main ingredients, according to the final taste, chocolate, nuts, coffee…
Long story-short, find this little bar, just before entering the old town, ask for chocolate and nuts ice-cream, with home-made coffee cream. Eat it inside the bar or nearby. Now if you are brave enough, leave without ordering another one! I’m sure you’ll be happy to find yourself weak and go inside for a new gelato! 🙂
Could you tell me the most famous and well known italian song?
‘Nel Blu dipinto di blu, (VOLARE)’ most likely it is the song that everybody associate with italy (over 22 milions copies sold all over the world). Well, the author and singer of the song is Domenico Modugno, born in Polignano (9/1/1928), one of the best italian music artist, ever.
He was (together with Renato Carosone) the only italian singer able to sell his songs to the american market, in the original italian version. I don’t remember any other post with a music video, this time I have to do it 🙂
Please enjoy these incredibly nice songs, I’m sure they will bring a sudden happiness:
If it wasn’t enough…
Grottaglie is the capital of ceramic in South italy.
The town can be reached via air through 2 airports, Bari and Brindisi, both within less than 100 km.
It’s a beautiful, though not touristic, town in Apulia, a region that has been re-named by british as salentoshire and trullishire, due to the raising number of english travellers in love with this region.
And I can’t agree more!
There are so many reasons to visit this land, I’ll try to list few:
Expect a warm sun, almost the whole year, during summer time, expect a really warm weather! 🙂
Ionian sea is only 20 km far, it’s the most beautiful sea in continental italy. Adriatic sea is only 60 km far. Ideal for an affordable coast-to-coast. In land is very green and refreshing, with pine forests, fertile soil to grow olives, tomatoes, almonds and every good product.
Another interesting caratheristic are the ‘gravine’ kind of caves in natural canyons, where the ancient population lived many centuries ago
You might not be aware of the fact that an high % of the wine produced in italy has a base made with grapes from this land. The wine ‘Primitivo di Manduria’ (a town far only few km from Grottaglie) is a must to try.
As mentioned in the landscape, here you can try wonderful BIO products from agriculture. Tomatoes, almonds, grapes, olives, all sort of salads, watermelon and so on…
My recommendation is to enjoy a great dinner at ‘Casa Lacorte‘, in the historical part of the town. This newly open restaurant has an amazing terrace and also the internal part is very nice. A must to try is the fave’s cream (see picture)!
Grottaglie has one of the biggest historical centre in the whole region.
Few years ago a talented and smart young local decided to invite the most famous street artists from Europe, to redecorate streets and buildings.
Unfortunately the festival (FAME) had been active only for few years, however the pieces of ART are still visible all around the town.
Take a stroll and admire all of them, there are many huge graffiti taking the whole building, as well as smaller ones.
Art lovers will find Grottaglie a paradise also for its ceramics.
The city is considered the ‘capital’ of this ancient art.
There is a nice neighborhood/district all dedicated to small stands and shops, where you can fine real pieces of handcraft art.
Everywhere entrance is free, feel free to ask about the products (however english is not widely spoken, you know italians :)…), take pictures and admire the steps of the long process and creation of a ceramic pitchers, jars, urns…
Grottaglie has an old castle, entrance is free together with its museum of ceramics.
Despite the evident language barriers, do not hesitate to ask for any information.
Locals are incredibly nice and kind and will do their best to help out.
The atmosphere in town is really easy-going, we are in deep South italy, stress is something far from the daily life.
Expect shops to be closed after lunch, until 16 or even 17, because ‘siesta’ is not only a spanish habbit!
Best meeting point for a nice chat with locals is Bar delle Torri. The owners, Ciro and Saverio have created a very pleasant place where to have a drink and in general, good time.
Well…this is something that you should try!
Here is the best place at very good price.
Not easy to get back in the writing habit! My last post was something like 4 months ago and many things changed since then.
Don’t want to bore my 4 dear readers but let me tell you something related to this post, a nice italian song from the golden 80’s said ‘…voglio andare ad Alghero…in compagnia di uno straniero…’, which means ‘wanna go to Alghero with a foreigner companion’.
Well, I did it and my foreigner companion is my beloved girlfriend from Slovakia. I hope a bit of gossip could help rising my followers and contacts 🙂
Anyways, let me start describing Alghero, a small city in Sardinia, the second biggest island in the mediterranean sea (after Sicily), with a very close airport with several low-cost flights from all over Europe.
Alghero is famous for its dialect with catalan’ roots and for its red coral jewelery. The nice city is a very well-known touristic destination, during summer there are many visitors, enjoying the beautiful beaches, sun, good food and nightlife
For this reason I decided to go off-season. Plus I needed a short break after the long polish winter…oh yes! this would be my second gossip news that I’ll treat in more details in the next posts.
To be honest in this period of the year many restaurants, bars and other premises are closed, awaiting for the peak season, however for a budget traveller like me it wasn’t such a big deal.
I could enjoy the more genuine city soul, local people were happy to see tourists and like to take care of them.
I happened to stop in a small bar (nearby the cathedral) for a couple of glasses of ‘cannonau‘ and ‘buio‘, sardinian good quality wines, receiving appetizers and snacks, mostly from genuine local products, such as olives, ‘pane curasau‘, sausages, ‘pecorino‘ cheese…
The same happened in the small B&B run by Giovanni (email@example.com), where I spent 4 nights in a double bed room, for 28Euro/night.
Every morning the owner was preparing a tasty breakfast with local bread, cheese, vegetables, organic extra virgin oil, fresh baked pastries…
In summer, no doubts!
Enjoy the sea and the beaches. Sardinian sea is considered the most beautiful in Europe.
Long white sands beaches are all along the northern cost.
The most famous beach is ‘spiaggia delle bombarde‘, few km far from the city.
Other beaches are ‘Mugoni‘, Lazzaretto, Lido…
Something not to be missed is definitely ‘Capo Caccia‘ and its famous ‘Grotte di Nettuno’, a natural cave accessible either via sea (with organized boat tour, only with good weather!) or via the spectacular ‘Escala del Cabirol’ – Cabirol steps.
You will never forget about its 600 steps, effort paid back by an incredible view.
Capo Caccia is a beautiful cliffs at the end of a natural fiord.
There is also a very nice spot where to enjoy a breathtaking sunset…
Narrow streets, with numerous bars, cafes, restaurants (renowned for excellent seafood like spaghetti with sea urchins) and small artisanal shops.
There are also interesting markets with food and local products, during the week-days.
The road from Alghero to Bosa, a smaller town towards the south coast is also worth, for the beautiful view.
Last but not least, let me suggest to try the sardinian beer ‘Ichnusa’.
Italian beers are not that bad, after all… 🙂