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  • Writer's pictureFilippo Milano

Best Beaches in Terra di Bari, Puglia

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

The most beautiful beaches in Terra di Bari, perfect for everyone.

Welcome to my blog and welcome to Puglia. Below is a list of my favourite beaches in Terra di Bari.

“For the second year running, in 2018, Puglia received the prestigious award of “Best value travel destination in the world”. According to National Geographic, Puglia is the most beautiful region in the world, a matter of pride for all people leaving in Puglia and, more generally, for all Italians.”

In order to see the best of Puglia, I’d strongly recommend hiring a car. Public transport will allow you to visit Puglia’s towns and cities, but to find the best secret beaches, you’re going to need your own car.

1. Polignano a Mare

Polignano a Mare is a town known for its stunning beaches. There is the the white-pebbled Lama Monachile, also known as Cala Porto, which is bordered by a Roman bridge, and The Ponte dei Lapilli, a sheltered cove nestled at the bottom of a cliff.

Overlooking the sea, San Vito Abbey has a Romanesque church and a 16th-century tower.

"Nel blu, dipinto di blu" popularly known as "Volare" is a song recorded by Italian singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno, considered the first Italian cantautore. Domenico Modugno was born in Polignano a Mare in 1928 and I think everyone has listened to this timeless song.

The town has dedicated a statue and waterfront to the great Domenico Modugno.

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, established in 2009 and created by Red Bull, is an annual international series of cliff diving events.

Polignano a Mare is one of the places chosen by Red Bull due to its beautiful, high cliffs, with the team coming every year in the summer. Unfortunately, the 2020 event has been cancelled.

For the younger crowd, there are an abundance of bars, discos and lidos along the seafront in the areas between Polignano and Monopoli – all of which are lively with music and parties.

2. Monopoli

Monopoli is an ancient town that has been inhabited since 500 BC, and it actually takes its name from the early Greek city that was founded here. “Monos Polis” means singularly unique.

And the city still has that special, hard-to-find feeling that has faded from so many other Italian towns that end up on the main tourist routes.

This is still very much a port city and, like many of the towns in this part of Puglia, the Monopoli's centro storico is built of white stone and dotted with other white-washed buildings, all of which contrasts perfectly with the bright blue Puglia skies.

Around almost every corner, there seems to a be a stone church with carved reliefs and sculptures – with each more beautiful than the last.

The town true highlight is the port. This is where you can come to walk along the water, watch the simple boats bob as the tide comes in, and stop to admire the fast handwork of fishermen repairing nets as they sit along the lungomare (seafront promenade).

3. Trani

Trani is a historic fishing port between Bari and Barletta on the Adriatic coast. It's on Italy's mainline railway network so is easy to reach, and it's a lovely place to explore, wander or relax.

Trani makes a good day-trip if you are staying in Bari or nearby. It would also make a good alternative base for seeing the area.

The essential thing to see in Trani is the cathedral, the Cattedrale di San Nicola Pellegrino, which dominates the seashore from a spectacular position at the water's edge.

Near the cathedral is the church museum, the Museo Diocesano, which exhibits a collection of sculpture and archaeological findings from Trani's churches.

Trani's defensive fortress, the Castello Svevo, is on the shore just beyond the cathedral. It dates to 1249 and is one of the many castles built in southern Italy by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, one of the area's most interesting historical figures.

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