Polignano a Mare
Nicknamed the ‘’Pearl of the Adriatic sea’’ and hometown of Domenico Modugno, Polignano a Mare lies only 30 km south of Bari, stretching along a jagged coastline characterized by blue flag beaches with crystal-clear waters and partially submerged sea caves.
A meeting point of different cultures, its historic center shows traces of Arab, Byzantine, Spanish and Norman rule, for instance the remains of the four watchtowers that once dominated the old town walls. Particularly interesting are the mother church dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption dating back to 1295 and the archway on the main gate, once the only access to the town.
The sea cave Palazzese is one of the main town’s natural attractions, located right beneath the steep cliff on top of which the town is perched. Legend has it that queen Johanna I of Naples was so captivated by the unfolding spectacle of shimmering lights and colors that she stopped off with her private servant for a romantic elopement.
The seascape of the town is characterised by many small inlets and caves, easily accessible by boat and often linked with the basements of the houses built above. Of particular scientific interest is the untouched sea bed of this area that extends before the town and is the preferred destination for scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts.
One of the breathtaking aspects of Polignano is the wide natural terrace, from where one can take in the view of the historical centre of the village, while perched on a sheer drop to the sea. The fertile countryside of this area is testimony to the presence of ravines, carpeted in vegetation typical of the Mediterranean, and the presence of a large number of archaeological sites. There are many wonderful events to encounter in Polignano, a few examples of these are: the Festival of the Madonna del Carmelo, celebrated from the 15th to 17th July, the Festival of Santi Cosma and Davide that is held 13th August with a procession of the devoted and the Festival of Christ held on 17th September, during which the Holy Cross is carried in procession by the contradas of the town.