Polignano a Mare, Monopoli & San Vito: tips for your day trip

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The beautiful coast around the two towns of Polignano a Mare and Monopoli is one of the most photogenic and most visited travel destinations in Puglia. In particular, the whitewashed houses of Polignano a Mare, which are pushed directly onto the edge of the cliff, are one of the most popular photo motifs in Puglia.

We visited Polignano and Monopoli as part of a day trip on our road trip through Puglia – and also made a short detour to San Vito. On a full day you have enough time to visit the most important sights and most beautiful places. In this blog article we tell you our tips for Polignano a Mare, Monopoli and San Vito.

1. Polignano a Mare Worth knowing & information about Polignano a Mare Polignano a Mare is known for its spectacular location on the cliffs of Puglia. The houses are crowded right onto the edge of the cliff – wow! The town is one of the most touristy in Puglia. Especially in the summer months one really has to speak of mass tourism. Even in the low season when we visited, there was still a lot going on in the tiny old town of Polignano. There are numerous caves around the cliffs in front of Polignano. If you stay longer, you can explore it as part of a boat tour. For your visit to the old town with the most important sights and vantage points, we recommend a time budget of approx. 2 to 3 hours – if you eat something If you want, then correspondingly longer. Outside the old town there are some Paid parking. We parked our car at Parcheggio San Francesco e Sant’Oronzo. From there it’s tight 10 Minutes walk to the old town. Sights & Tips for Polignano a Mare Beach Lama Monachile One of the most famous photo motifs in Polignano a Mare is the legendary city beach called Lama Monachile. The small, picturesque bay is located directly below the old town.

From many vantage points you can enjoy a fabulous view of the Lama Monachile. The two most well-known are:

From the bridge called Ponte Borbonico, which you will pass more or less automatically on the way to the old town. From the viewing terrace called “Belvedere su Lama Monachile” (located within the old town). Of course you can also walk down to the beach and, if necessary, go swimming. A pebble beach and beautiful, clear water await you. Keep in mind that the beach is usually packed in the high season (July, August) and you can hardly get a spot.

Old town of Polignano a Mare Through the Arco Marchesale, Polignano’s medieval city gate, you get directly into the alley labyrinth of the old town. The old town of Polignano a Mare is situated on a promontory and is closed to traffic.

It’s best to just let yourself drift – the old town is not very big and can be explored quite quickly. Pretty soon you will probably end up in Polignano’s rather spacious main square, the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. Not only numerous cafes and restaurants are located here, but also two important sights of Polignano a Mare.

On the one hand, the most important church of Polignano a Mare, the Chiesa Matrice di Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo, is enthroned here. It’s certainly not one of the most impressive in Apulia, but if you’re already there, take a look inside. And secondly, in the main square there is also the Palazzo dell’Orologio with its pretty clock tower.

You’ll soon realize that the historic center of Polignano is insanely touristy. Souvenir shops are lined up and it is incredibly crowded here, especially in high season. Just a little warning.

Viewpoints in Polignano a Mare In Polignano a Mare there are several vantage points which, in our opinion, are among the highlights of the town. Don’t miss the following:

Belvedere su Lama Monachile: The best view of the Lama Monachile (see above).Belvedere Terrazza Santo Stefano: This vantage point is in the very north of the old town. From here you have a great view of the coast.Grotta dell’Arcivescovado: Located near the Belvedere Terrazza Santo Stefano and offers a similar view of the cliffs. Scogliera del Lungomare Modugno: The only viewpoint in our list that is outside the old town. From here you can photograph the postcard motif of Polignano a Mare. (In the autumn 39611 the place has just been renovated.) Culinary tip: Restaurant Mint Cucina Fresca Polignano was the last stop on our day trip, so we stayed for dinner and reserved a table at the Mint Cucina Fresca restaurant.

A small, very hip restaurant awaits you here in the middle of the old town. The restaurant is primarily frequented by tourists, but this is the case almost everywhere in the old town.

On the small menu there are creative fusion dishes – from vegan to vegetarian to fish and meat, everything is included. Important to know: If you are looking for classic Italian cuisine, you are in the wrong place. It tasted really good and we were happy about an evening away from pizza and pasta.

More info & reservation: Mint Cucina Fresca

2. Monopoly Worth knowing & information about Monopoli Nearly 12. Residents Monopoli is not that small. However, the historic old town of the small town is pleasantly manageable. In case you’re wondering about the similarity in name : The city of Monopoli has nothing to do with the famous game Monopoly.Monopoli is a beautiful port town whose whitewashed houses make for the perfect photo opportunity. We personally liked the relaxed flair here. In any case, there is not nearly as much going on as in Polignano a Mare. For your city tour of Monopoli we recommend about 2 to 3 hours. We parked quite close to the center at the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. We found a place there in the low season without any problems. Sights & Tips for Monopoli Basilica Cathedrale Maria Santissima della Madia Monopoli’s most important sacred building is the Basilica Cattedrale Maria Santissima della Madia. The church originally dates from 12. Century and was in 12. Century converted to a baroque work. Inside, the church gives a very special impression due to its marble columns. It’s worth taking a look inside.

Cala Porta Vecchia (city beach) Once you have walked from the cathedral through the pretty alleys of the old town, you end up quite quickly at the City beach, the Cala Porta Veccia, a small sandy beach with rocky sections. From the small viewing terrace on the southeast shore of the beach you have a nice view of the beach and the whitewashed houses of Monopolis.

Of course you shouldn’t expect a perfect bathing bay here, but for a city beach in the immediate vicinity Close to the old town, the beach made a very nice impression on us.

Castello Carlo V & City Walls You can already see the historic city wall (“Bastione di Babula”) from the beach. At the northern end of the old town you finally reach the Castello Carlo V, that from the 12. century. Only parts of the former facility still exist today.

The Castello can also be visited (during opening hours) – we only admired it from the outside and from there we went forward to the lighthouse of Monopoli walks.

Porto Antico (Old Port ) From Castello Carlo V it is only a stone’s throw to Porto Antico, the old port. Numerous small fishing boats are anchored here in front of a picturesque old town backdrop . Although the water was unfortunately (at least during our visit) very dirty and full of rubbish, we found the maritime flair here very nice.

Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi Last but not least: Behind the Porto Antico you get back to the old town of Monopoli and thus pretty quickly to the Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, one of the central squares of Monopoli . There are not only numerous cafés and bars here, but also the Torre Civica Secolo XVI Monopoli, a historic city tower.

Culinary tips for M onopoli Finally, a few recommendations if you are in Monopoli looking for a café, restaurant or a Gelateria bist:

Rosso Granato Monopoli: A small, quite hip restaurant that serves modern Italian cuisine. At lunchtime there are changing daily specials. The staff is extremely friendly. You can sit both inside and outside in the small guest garden (on the street). Overall, great value for money.

Terrazza Don Ferrante: This restaurant is located on the rooftop of the 5-star boutique of the same name. Hotels Don Ferrante and is also open to external guests – for example for lunch or simply an afternoon coffee with a view. Great location with high prices.

Gasperini: Perhaps the best ice cream in Monopoli is available in this nice gelateria.

Terrazza Don Ferrante Rosso Granato 3. San Vito San Vito is a little out of step, because here no city awaits you, but “only” a beach town – a pretty special one for that. A mighty, historic abbey (Abbazia di San Vito) is enthroned here and makes for a really special photo motif. The abbey is privately owned and therefore unfortunately cannot be visited.

As special as the scenery is, the beach itself is not outstanding in our eyes. To be honest, we didn’t find the water particularly inviting for swimming because of the garbage. We would therefore not recommend San Vito for a day at the beach. If you get hungry or thirsty: There are a few bars around the beach – some of them almost directly on the water.

San Vito is just a ten minute drive north of Polignano a Mare. If you have the time and desire, a short photo detour is worthwhile.

4. Homebase: Where to stay for the day trip? We have set ourselves as homebase in this part of Puglia we chose the small town of Putignano. From there we not only explored Polignano, Monopoli and San Vito, but also Bari.

We chose the wonderful Dimora Clementina – a wonderful place to stay that we warmly recommend be able. Design and equipment are really at the highest level. We felt incredibly comfortable.

Another highlight is the great breakfast, which the friendly owner prepares with a lot of love every day. Our conclusion: Top price-performance ratio!

You can book the accommodation here: Dimora Clementina

Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to Polignano a Mare, Monopoli and/or San Vito in Puglia? How did you like the places? Would you like to add any other tips? Or do you have questions about your day trip? We look forward to your comment!