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A day in beautiful Polignano a Mare. What to do and see there.


A day is pretty enough to see everything in Polignano a Mare in Puglia. Of course, the town is great for a much longer stay, but if you’re planning to go around Puglia and your time is limited, Polignano a Mare is a must to visit even for a few hours.

I have been there a few times, last time we went more or less two weeks ago on Sunday, after spending the weekend in Milan.

There was a reason for our visit: Red Bull Cliff Diving World Championship.

A woman jumping from the cliff during Red Bull Cliff Diving Championship in Polignanao a Mare into the water.
Red Bull Cliff Diving Championship in Polignano a Mare. One of the divers is getting ready for a dive.


We came there directly from the airport in Bari, we had lunch, which was supposed to be quick, but the food was incredibly tasty, so the lunch was much longer than we had planned. Anyway, after spending a nice time in a small restaurant, we decided to watch the tournament. Even if my partner claims that Polignano a Mare is not the most known place in Apulia, the town was full of people, mainly Italians. Polignano is close to Bari, so many Bariese come there for weekends.

Crowd on the high bridge standing in front of white buildings,
Crowd of fans looking for a good place to enjoy the contest.


This time the diving contest was an additional attraction. After walking up and down we finally found the place from where visibility was pretty good and admire the crazy women and men jumping into the water from 27 and 30 meters.

On of the divers comteping in Red Bull Clii diving champinship jumping into water.
Another diver jumping from the cliff.


The diving championspìhips happen once a year, but even without it Polignano a Mare is absolutely worth visiting. Why? The simplest answer is because it’s very old and beautiful.

A bit of history:

The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, then millennia ago it was settled by the ancient Greeks. There are a few claims if it comes to the establishment of the town. Some historians argue that Julius Caesar was the founder of Polignano a Mare. Whoever it was, thanks to its strategic position on the Adriatic Sea, the town soon became a trade center. In the next centuries, foreign domination led the town to greater development and recognition. In the 6th century, the town was turned into a municipal structure. The Polignano a Mare for the next hundreds of years was dominated by the Normans, who increased the production of olive oil thanks to which the local economy flourished.
Under the Aragonese rules, the town reached its economic and cultural peak.

What is Polignano a Mare famous for? What can you see and do there?

I mentioned above, the town is known mostly locally, but slowly it’s getting recognition also abroad. There are at least a few things woth seeing and making the town popular

1.The Old Town of Polignano a Mare built on cliffs and rocks

The Old Town is an obligatory stop. A white old town rising above the sea is breathtaking.

Old white buildings standing on the cliff above the sea.
The old town of Polignano a Mare.


The main, and only entrance to the old town is the Marchesale arch. The old town combines charming, white-washed streets with beautiful old churches such as the Chiesa of Santa Maria Assunta or Chiesa Matrice. Beautiful small houses with tiny balconies decorated with blooming flowers are connected by arches. It’s not difficult to get lost in the winding streets, but it really doesn’t matter. Before you know it, you will have reached one of three viewpoints offering amazing views of the Adriatic Sea and coastline.

SUPs and boats sailing on the sea along the cliff coastline with white building on standing on the top in Polignano a Mare.
The cooastline of Polignano a Mare.

2.  Have a bath in Lama Monachile/Cala Porto and other beaches along the coast of Polignano a Mare.

Lama Monachile, also known as Cala Porto, is the most iconic beach of Polignano. The beach is easy to reach on foot from the old town via the Monachile bridge. Don’t be surprised, as the place is always busy.

A small sandy beach laying between rocks with small white buildings in the background.
The famous Cala Porto beach in Polignano a Mare.


There are other beaches such as Cala Paura, Cala Incina, and San Vito along the 12 km long coast of Polignano a Mare. Some of them are covered with pebbles beaches, some, especially the small ones are sandy. The seafront is full of caves caused by the activities of the sea. The most famous is the Palazzese cave, where is a restaurant.

Small blue beach wits some people on it surrounded by cliffs and a white building.
The most popular beach in Polignano a Mare is just a few steps from the town centre.


San Vito is worth visiting as there is not only a beach, but also the Abbey, the bay with painted in red, green, and blue boats.

Small blue ang rgeen boats on the sea with an old abbey building in the background.
San Vito.


3. Try ice cream and food

Polignano is full of restaurants, bars, taverns, cafes, gelaterias, street food places, and so on. You won’t be hungry for sure, the only problem might be which place to choose.
In Polignano a Mare you can find dishes typical for the Bari region, such as focaccia or orecchiette, and some that are available only in the town.
What and where to eat you will read in the next post. 

Pistacchio and chocolate ice cream in a cone with a walffle.
Pistachio and chocolate ice cream.

4. Domenico Modugno

Does the name ring a bell? It doesn’t? So what about the massive international hit ‘Volare’?(Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu). The locals are incredibly proud of their favourite son and decided to erect a monument to him.

Still thinking whether is worth going to Polignano a Mare? Don’t think, just go.

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