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15 Best Things To Do In Puglia

Puglia, located in the southern part of Italy, is a stunning region that boasts some of the most beautiful beaches, charming towns and villages, delicious food and wine in the country. With a history dating back to ancient times, Puglia has an abundance of cultural heritage sites waiting to be explored by curious visitors.

If you're planning on visiting this magnificent region anytime soon, you'll want to make sure you don't miss out on any of its best things to do in Puglia. In this guide, we'll be taking a closer look at some of the top attractions that Puglia has to offer, so you can plan your itinerary accordingly and make the most out of your trip.

1. I Trulli di Alberobello

Trulli di Alberobello

If you're visiting Puglia, you cannot miss the chance to see the unique and charming town of Alberobello, which is home to the iconic trulli houses. These traditional dry stone huts with a corbelled roof were built by small-scale landowners or agricultural laborers. The trulli of Alberobello are so special that they have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

As you wander the streets of the Rione Monti, you'll see more than a thousand trulli lining the hilly streets and alleyways. The area is small, but it only takes an hour or so to explore the streets. You'll be amazed by the unique architecture of the trulli, which are made entirely of limestone, without any mortar.

The Valle d’Itria, where Alberobello is located, is a stunning region with olive groves, olive trees, and limestone cliffs. The town itself is often referred to as the "white city" due to the whitewashed walls of the trulli. There are plenty of opportunities to take photos, enjoy a coffee or gelato, or shop for souvenirs in the local boutiques.

Overall, visiting the trulli of Alberobello is one of the best things to do in Puglia, Italy. It's a unique and charming experience that you won't find anywhere else in the world.

2. Basilica Di San Nicola

Basilica Di San Nicola in Bari

If you're looking for a spiritual experience in Puglia, visiting the Basilica Di San Nicola in Bari is one of the best places to do so. Built in the 12th century, this basilica is one of the first Norman churches in southern Italy. It's a splendid example of Pugliese-Romanesque architecture, and it was originally constructed to house the relics of St. Nicholas, better known as Father Christmas. The relics were stolen from Turkey in 1087 and brought to Bari by a group of sailors from the city's navy.

Inside the basilica, you'll find a stunning collection of frescoes and mosaics that depict the life of St. Nicholas. The altar is adorned with a silver statue of the saint, and there's a crypt beneath the church where you can see his tomb. The basilica is a popular pilgrimage site, and it's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you're interested in learning more about the history of the basilica, you can take a guided tour. The tour will take you through the church and the crypt, and you'll learn about the legend of St. Nicholas and the basilica's significance to the people of Bari.


Address: Largo Abate Elia, 13, 70122 Bari BA, Italy

Phone: +39 080 573 7111

3. Grotte di Castellana

Grotte di Castellana

If you're searching for a unique and breathtaking experience during your trip to Puglia, the Grotte di Castellana should definitely be on your Italy bucket list. These stunning caves are located in the town of Castellana, and they are a true natural wonder. The caves are famous for their incredible stalactites and stalagmites, as well as their underground lakes and rivers.

One of the best ways to experience the Grotte di Castellana is to take a guided tour. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will take you through the caves and explain their history and geology. You'll get to see some of the most incredible sights in the caves, including the incredible white cave.

If you're interested in history, you'll also appreciate the fact that the Castellana Caves were used as a shelter during World War II. The caves were also used as a location for the filming of the movie "The Nativity Story".

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4. Centro Storico, Lecce

Old Town of Lecce

If you're looking for a city that is steeped in history and culture, then the Centro Storico in Lecce is one of the best places to visit in Italy. This area is home to some of the most beautiful Baroque architecture in Italy, and you'll be able to explore it all on foot. The streets are lined with ancient buildings, churches, and piazzas that will transport you back in time.

One of the highlights of Centro Storico is the stunning Duomo, a Baroque church that dominates the skyline. Inside, you'll find an impressive collection of art and artifacts that are sure to impress. You can also take a street food tour of the area, where you'll sample local delicacies like orecchiette pasta and gelato.

As you wander through the streets, you'll come across trulli houses, traditional dry stone huts with conical roofs that are unique to the Puglia region. These charming buildings are a testament to the area's rich history and culture.

Overall, the historical center in Lecce is a popular destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and architecture. With so much to see and do, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience.

5. Castello Aragonese,Taranto

Castello Aragonese

For a historical and cultural experience in Taranto, Castello Aragonese is one of the more popular places to visit in the Itria Valley. This ancient castle dates back to the 6th century and is situated on the island of Borgo Antico, surrounded by the city's bay. The castle is a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance military architecture, showcasing almost three thousand years of history.

As you enter the castle, you will be greeted by a stunning view of the city and the Adriatic and Ionian sea. The castle's interior features fascinating exhibits and artifacts that highlight the region's rich history. You can also take a guided tour to learn more about the castle's history and the surrounding area.

Castello Aragonese is not just a historical site; it is also an excellent place to enjoy panoramic views of the city and the port. You can take a leisurely stroll along the castle's ramparts and enjoy the cool sea breeze. The castle is open every day, and admission is free.

In conclusion, if you want to experience the history and culture of Taranto, Castello Aragonese is an excellent place to start. With its stunning architecture, fascinating exhibits, and breathtaking views, it is a must-see tourist attraction for anyone exploring Puglia.


Address: Castello Aragonese, 80077 Ischia NA, Italy

Phone: +39 081 992834

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6. Zoosafari in Fasano

Zoosafari in Fasano

If you are looking for a fun experience in Puglia, the Zoosafari in Fasano is one of the top things to do on your Puglia trip. This amazing wildlife park is one of the largest in Italy and offers visitors the chance to see a wide variety of animals up close. With over 2000 animals from 200 different species, you can explore the park by car or on foot and see animals like lions, giraffes, tigers, zebras, and more.

When you visit Zoosafari, you will have the opportunity to learn about the animals and their habitats. You can also participate in feeding sessions and watch the animals interact with each other. The park is divided into different areas, each with its own unique features and attractions. Whether you are a family with kids or a group of friends looking for an adventure, Zoosafari is a great place to spend a day.

One of the highlights of Zoosafari is the safari drive. You can drive through the park and see the animals roaming free in their natural habitats. You can also walk through the park and see the animals up close. There are plenty of photo opportunities, so make sure to bring your camera.


Address: Via dello Zoosafari, 72015 Fasano BR, Italy

Phone: +39 080 441 4455

7. Centro Storico di Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare

If you're on the lookout for a charming coastal town to visit in Puglia, you won't want to miss Polignano a Mare. The town's Centro Storico, or historic center, is a beautiful place in Puglia to see. The old town is perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, providing the best views of the Adriatic coast.

Stroll through the Centro Storico's narrow streets and alleys, and you'll feel like you've stepped back in time. The town's white-washed buildings and colorful shutters add to its charm. Don't miss the Arco Marchesale, the old entrance to the town, which features a drawbridge and iron grate that used to protect the town from invaders.

Polignano a Mare is also known for its beautiful beaches. The town is situated on the Gargano peninsula, which boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in Italy. Rent a car and explore the coastline, stopping at beaches like Lama Monachile and Cala Paura.

Overall, the Centro Storico di Polignano a Mare is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Puglia. Its historic charm, amazing views, and beautiful beaches make it a perfect day trip from nearby towns such as Brindisi and Bari.

8. Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte in Puglia

During your stay in Puglia, you can't miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Castel del Monte. This octagonal-shaped castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most famous landmarks in southern Italy.

Built in the 13th century by Frederick II, the castle's purpose remains a mystery. Some say it was a hunting lodge or a fortress, while others believe it was a place of study and contemplation.

Regardless of its purpose, Castel del Monte is a must see in Puglia. You can explore the castle's interior and exterior with a guided tour. Inside, you'll find a series of rooms and halls, each with unique architectural features and decorations.

Outside, you can take in the incredible views of the surrounding countryside, including the nearby town of Andria. Don't forget to snap a photo of the castle's impressive exterior, with its eight towers and intricate stonework.

In summary, Castel del Monte is a fascinating piece of history and one of the top points of interest in Puglia. A guided tour is highly recommended to fully appreciate its unique architecture and mysterious past.


Address: Strada Statale 170, 76123 Andria BT, Italy

Phone: +39 327 980 5551

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9. Centro Storico Otranto

Otranto town in Puglia

If you're looking for a charming and historic town in the South of Italy, Centro Storico Otranto should be on your list of places to visit in Puglia. The old town is home to many beautiful buildings and churches, including the Cathedral of Otranto, which boasts stunning mosaics. The town is also known for its narrow streets and alleys, which are perfect for exploring on foot.

One of the highlights of the historic centre of Otranto is the Sanctuary of the Martyrs, which is located inside the cathedral. The sanctuary is dedicated to the 800 martyrs who were killed by the Ottomans in 1480. The skulls and bones of the martyrs are on display in the chapel, making it a unique and somewhat eerie experience.

Getting to Otranto is easy, as there are regular buses from Lecce and other nearby towns. If you're staying in Otranto, the old town is just a short walk away. While the town can be touristy during peak season, it's still worth a visit for its historic charm and beautiful architecture. If you have time, be sure to also visit the old town of Gallipoli, which is another charming and historic town in Puglia.

10. Cattedrale di Trani

Cattedrale di Trani

When you visit Trani, you cannot miss the Cattedrale di Trani. This magnificent cathedral is one of the most important landmarks in the city. Built in the 12th century, it is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim, the patron saint of sailors, and it is located right next to the port.

The Cattedrale di Trani is a top tourist attraction for history and architecture lovers. The cathedral's façade is stunning, with a rose window and intricate decorations. Inside, you will find a beautiful nave with columns and arches, a crypt, and a museum. The museum houses a collection of religious artifacts, including a precious 13th-century reliquary.

If you are interested in the history of Trani and its cathedral, you can take a guided tour. You can also attend a mass or a concert, as the cathedral is still used for religious and cultural events.

After visiting the Cattedrale di Trani, you can take a stroll in the nearby port. The port is a lively area with restaurants, bars, and shops. You can also take a boat tour to explore the coast and the sea. Don't forget to taste the local olive oil, which is famous for its quality and flavor.


Address: Piazza Duomo, 1, 76125 Trani BT, Italy

Phone: +39 0883 500293

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11. Santuario di San Michele Arcangelo

Santuario di San Michele Arcangelo

When looking for an awe-inspiring spiritual experience in the region of Puglia, you should definitely visit the Santuario di San Michele Arcangelo. This sacred site is located on top of a hill in Monte Sant'Angelo and is considered one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Italy.

As you enter the sanctuary, you'll be greeted by a stunning view of the surrounding countryside and a sense of peace and tranquility. The complex of churches, chapels, and buildings is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, and its history dates back to the 5th century.

Inside the sanctuary, you can admire the intricate architecture and beautiful frescoes that adorn the walls. You can also visit the Grotto of St. Michael, a natural cave that is said to have been the site of St. Michael's apparition.

If you're lucky, you might even be able to attend a mass or a religious ceremony. The sanctuary is open to visitors year-round, and admission is free. However, donations are always appreciated to help maintain this important cultural and historical site.


Address: Via Reale Basilica, 127, 71037 Monte Sant'Angelo FG, Italy

Phone: +39 0884 561150

12. Cattedrale di Otranto

Cattedrale di Otranto

If you're interested in history and Italian architecture, the Cattedrale di Otranto is a great activity in Puglia. This impressive cathedral dates back to the 11th century and is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture.

As you enter the cathedral, you'll be struck by the intricate floor mosaic, which depicts a tree of life and various mythical creatures. The cathedral also houses a number of important religious artifacts, including the skull of St. Antonio, a bishop's throne, and a 16th-century organ.

One of the most interesting features of the Cattedrale di Otranto is the Chapel of the Martyrs. This small chapel is dedicated to the memory of the 800 martyrs who were killed by the Ottomans in 1480. The walls of the chapel are covered in frescoes that depict scenes from the lives of the martyrs.


Address: Piazza Basilica, 1, 73028 Otranto LE, Italy

Phone: +39 0836 802720

13. Basilica di Santa Croce

Basilica di Santa Croce in Lecce

If you're a lover of Baroque architecture, then you must visit the Basilica di Santa Croce in Salento. The Basilica is one of the most impressive Baroque churches in the province of Lecce. The church was built in the 16th century, and its facade is decorated with a wealth of flowers, saints, animals, and figures. The facade is a masterpiece of Baroque art, and it's worth taking a closer look to admire the intricate details.

Inside the Basilica, you'll find a stunning interior with a nave and two aisles. The nave is adorned with frescoes, stuccoes, and gold decorations, and there are several chapels dedicated to various saints. The most notable art collection in the church is the frescoes done by Giotto, which are considered to be some of the most important in Italy.

The Basilica di Santa Croce is a worth wile attraction in Salento, and it's a perfect place to admire the beauty of Baroque art. We recommend taking a guided tour to learn more about the history and art of the church. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of the Basilica.


Address: Via Umberto I, 1, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy

Phone: +39 0832 241957

14. Duomo di Lecce

Duomo in Lecce

When in Lecce, visiting the Duomo di Lecce is a must-do activity. This beautiful cathedral is also known as the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta or the Cathedral of Lecce. It is located in the heart of the city and has a stunning Baroque façade.

Once inside, you'll be amazed by the beautiful interior, with its intricate decorations and colorful frescoes. The cathedral also houses many statues and paintings in the side chapels, making it a great place to admire art.

If you're interested in history, make sure to take a guided tour of the cathedral to learn more about its origins and significance. You can also attend a mass or other religious service here.

15. Gargano National Park

Gargano National Park in Italy

If you're looking for a nature-filled adventure on the mainland of Italy, the Gargano National Park should be at the top of your list. Located in the Gargano Peninsula, this park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and one of the top attractions in this region of Italy. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare orchids, wild boar, and wolves. It's also home to some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Italy, such as San Domino and Capraia.

The park is situated on the Adriatic Sea and is made up of lush forests, rolling hills, and rocky cliffs. The Tremiti Islands, located just off the coast, are also part of the park and offer a unique experience for visitors. You can take a boat tour to explore the islands and their crystal clear waters.

Gargano National Park is also known for its vineyards and olive groves. You can take a wine tour to taste some of the region's best wines or visit an olive oil farm to learn about the production process.

Best Flights To Puglia

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Puglia. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Puglia.


Q: What is Puglia best known for?

A: Puglia is best known for its stunning coastline. With over 800 kilometers of coastline along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Puglia boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy.

Aside from its picturesque beaches, Puglia is also renowned for its historical sites and architecture. The city of Lecce for example is often referred to as "the Florence of the South" due to its magnificent Baroque architecture. Walking through its narrow streets reveals an abundance of ornate churches and palaces adorned with intricate carvings.

Additionally, Puglia is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Alberobello with its unique trulli houses and Castel del Monte – a mysterious octagonal castle built by Frederick II in the 13th century.

Q: Can you do Puglia without a car?

A: While it may seem challenging to explore this region without a car, it is indeed possible to have an unforgettable experience relying solely on public transportation and other modes of transportation. Puglia has an extensive network of buses that connect major cities and smaller towns, making it easy to navigate from one place to another.

Additionally, the train system in Puglia offers efficient routes connecting different regions within the country. With careful planning and a bit of flexibility, visitors can enjoy the beauty and charm of Puglia without the need for a car.

Q: What is Puglia most famous food?

A: One food that stands out among all others is the orecchiette pasta. Orecchiette translates to "little ears" in Italian, referring to the shape of this small pasta. Made from durum wheat flour and water, orecchiette is typically served with a rich tomato-based sauce. It can also be paired with various vegetables such as broccoli rabe or turnip greens for a flavorful twist.

Another famous food from Puglia is burrata cheese. Originating from Andria, a city in northern Puglia, this creamy delicacy has gained international recognition for its exceptional taste and texture. Burrata consists of an outer shell made from mozzarella cheese filled with a mixture of cream and stringy curd called stracciatella. This luscious cheese can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient in various dishes like salads or pasta.

Q: Are there any sandy beaches in Puglia?

A: While the region does boast numerous beautiful beaches, sandy shores may not be as prevalent as in other coastal areas of Italy. Puglia's coastline is characterized by a mix of rocky cliffs, rugged coves, and pebble beaches. However, that doesn't mean you won't find any sandy stretches to sink your toes into.

One popular sandy beach in Puglia is Porto Selvaggio, located near the town of Nardò. This picturesque beach offers fine golden sands flanked by towering pine forests. It's an oasis of tranquility with calm turquoise waters perfect for swimming or simply basking under the sun. Another notable sandy spot is Baia dei Turchi near Otranto - a small bay nestled amidst dense Mediterranean scrubland. The soft white sand and vibrant blue sea are truly mesmerizing here.

Q: Is Puglia walkable?

A: The answer is a resounding yes! Puglia offers excellent opportunities for walking and hiking enthusiasts to explore its diverse terrain on foot.

One of the main attractions that make Puglia highly walkable is its stunning coastline. Walking along the coastal paths allows you to discover hidden coves and remote fishing villages that are inaccessible by car or public transport.

Q: Is Puglia safe at night?

A: Puglia is generally considered safe at night. Like any other tourist destination, it is important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Most cities in Puglia have well-lit streets and a lively atmosphere even after dark, with locals enjoying their evening strolls or dining out late into the night. However, it's always recommended to stick to well-known and busy areas when exploring at night. As with any travel destination, it's essential to use common sense by avoiding poorly lit or deserted places, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area.

Recommended Hotels In Puglia

Palazzo Daniele

Palazzo Daniele

Located in Gagliano del Capo, 15 miles from Grotta Zinzulusa, Palazzo Daniele provides air-conditioned rooms and a garden. The guest house has a spa experience, with its spa facilities, fitness room and steam room. 

Gallipoli Resort

Gallipoli Resort

Gallipoli Resort is a luxury holiday complex, set in Salento, 2.8 mi from Gallipoli's historical center. It features a large swimming pool, elegant restaurants and bars.

Marenea Suite Hotel deluxe suite

Marenea Suite Hotel

Marenea Suite Hotel features accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a shared lounge. The accommodation offers a private beach area, as well as a garden and a terrace. 


Book Your Hotel In Puglia

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Book Your Flight To Puglia

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Need a Rental Car In Puglia?

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Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Puglia?

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Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

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Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

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Want More Information on Italy:

Be sure to visit our Italy Travel Guide for even more travel tips.

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