polignano a mare
15 June 2018   •   Carolina Attanasio

Instaborghi: Polignano a Mare, Italy, a terrace on Puglia

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«Madame Puglia never disappoints and Polignano a Mare, is one of the Instaborghi not to be missed this summer»

After Sicily we move to Puglia: Instaborghi (click here if you missed the last episode) does not stop even this week, stopping by in one of the most famous villages in Southern Italy. If you are already rolling towards Salento for your beautiful holidays in August, in fact, you would do well to stop a little further north, where the Adriatic breaks on the golden cliffs of Polignano a Mare (official site), one of the brightest pearls of the Bari coast. Here, where the crystalline sea has shaped the meters of rock on which the village rests, the white predominates over the colors and floods the alleys of light. Polignano a Mare is the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, when he wrote Nel Blu dipinto di Blu he must have been lying somewhere overhanging the sea, enjoying the panorama of Polignano, Italy.

Slipping in the historic center, you will notice traces of Arab, Byzantine, Spanish and Norman architecture, which have influenced this area as well as other areas of southern Italy. The coastline slides jagged between coves, sandy coves and sea caves. Continuously under the Blue Flag since 2008, Polignano a Mare is a continuous surprise around every corner, including delightful little bars hidden in the streets, cocktails on small terraces overlooking the spectacular coastline and that kitchen of Mamma Puglia that needs no introduction.

What to see in Polignano, Italy

Polignano is, above all, a place of great naturalistic interest, with its sea caves and the peculiar conformation of the coast, which makes this village recognizable and absolutely unique. The whole country, with its architecture, is absolutely worth visiting. The bridge of the Via Traiana, still practicable, is a legacy of the Roman era that crosses the Lama Monachile, the deep inlet north of the historic center, so called because once – it seems – it was a home of monk seals. The Church of Santa Maria Assunta, in the heart of Polignano a Mare, is the master church of the village, built in 1295 on the remains of a pagan temple. Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque at the same time, it houses the Cappellone di San Vito, patron saint of the village, inside which the relics of the saint are kept. The naves conserve valuable works of art, including the statues of Stefano da Putignano, a Renaissance sculptor famous for his stone crib.

What to do in Polignano, Italy

Number one: the beach along the Lama Monachile, immediately. The famous cove, easily reachable from the center of Polignano a Mare, is the landing place of the crystalline waters of the Adriatic and – above all – a heavenly corner from which to enjoy the view of the white buildings overlooking the bay. The beach is small, true, and you could step on more than one foot in August, but a dip here is mandatory. If you are looking for more airy places, embark on some excursion along the surrounding caves, among the most beautiful in Italy. Within a couple of hours you can explore all the inlets, often enjoying good snacks on board.

 What to eat in Polignano, Italy

As in all of southern Italy, here food is not a parenthesis between one lap and another, but often it is the true motivation of the trip. The local slowfood garrison is the Carrot of Polignano, yes, you understood, the carrot: grown along only 20 hectares near Polignano a Mare, it is famous for its excellent nutritional values, characterized by lower quantities of sugar compared to other carrots. Try it natural or to complete some fish pie, another main ingredient in cooking, which is often combined in sweet and sour with fruit, such as in sea bass tartare and local peach.

A little curiosity about Polignano, Italy

In Polignano a Mare, for a few years now, the famous edition of the Red Bull Cliff Diving (official website), is usually staged, usually in the month of July. The event hosts the world’s elite bravest divers, who come here to launch from a height of 27 meters, which is accessed from a private terrace, through a living room, a very unusual location and, for this reason, absolutely unique.

Carolina Attanasio

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