Must visit places in Italy. Part three – Southern Italy
If you wish to visit Puglia (Apulia), you should start by seeing the city of Bari and then visit other towns like Alberobello and Polignano a Mare. Trust me, you’ll have an unforgettable vacation if you chose to see this places. Here is a guide to what you can do in Southern Italy
Bari, the sun bathed city that provides visitors with all the vacation to do’s that they dreamt back home. Good food, beautiful views over the magnificent and historic filled Adriatic Shores, exquisite shopping and, most importantly, that feeling we all long for, found only in a handful of cities all over the globe, peacefulness.
After travelling all of Itally, north to south and east to west, I can most definitely tell you, that Bari, has something that words alone cannot describe. I genuinely think that Bari is the italian city that is perfect if your vacation is all about relaxation, the joy of life and tasting good food.
In Centro Sorico (the old town) there are a plethora of good restaurants catering to fish lovers everywhere. Every morning, when the sun barely sets on this former fishing village, the fisherman come and sell their daily catch. This is a sight to behold, especially since the fishing port is close to the city center. Should you want to witness it yourself, a walk down Corso Vittorio Emanuele gets you to the center of the action.
While you are here, visit the Basilica of San Nicolo, and important place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics in Europe. Bari Castle, with it’s magnificent structure that rises over it’s surroundings, provides a marvelous viewing point of the city. Go there to snoop on the lovely scenery and make memories you will treasure for years to come. If, on the other hand, art is your guilty pleasure, and artists like Tintoretto, Bellini or Veronese are always on your mind, then Pincaoteca Proviciale (Bari Provincial Art Gallery) it the place you want to spend at least a couple of hours in and let yourself be delighted by their stunning works of art.
2. POLIGNANO a MARE
Polignano is the place where you forget about yourself. Just being there, watching the Adriatic Sea and the limestone cliffs, gives you a good reason to be alive.
You probably know the famous restaurant in the cave. Well, that restaurant is located here, in Polignano. I might be wrong but I think most people come here for the Grotta Palazzese and then they discover this amazing town placed on top of the cliffs. At least, I must admit, this is how I decided to go to Polignano. For Grotta Palazzese you need to make a reservation and specify the hour you wish to go there. The place is indeed amazing. The atmosphere too. The food could have been better but, well, not everything in life is perfect.
Some say Polignano a Mare is the most romantic place in the region of Puglia. I think it’s a good spot for meditation. It’s probably because „we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” (a quote I like, by Anais Nin). Polignano is one of those small places that causes huge feelings. After all this time after being there, whenever I think about Polignano, I feel the need to go back, even for a day.
The charming city of the one thousand trulli should definitely be on your list if you plan to visit Southern Italy. Alberobello is a unique architectural heritage.
These stone houses with a strange conical shape are traditional in the area, but the best preserved ones are those in Alberobello. The word „trullo” comes from the Greek „trullos”, which means „dome”. The oldest trulli dates back to the 16th century, but is believed to be much older. The thick walls of these one-room houses and a pantry indicate the fact that they were cool in the summer and well-insulated to keep warm in the winter. On some roofs you can see religious or astrological symbols painted with white. Their role was to drive out bad luck.
Walking on the streets of this unusual Italian city, you have the impression that you have stepped into a story. The famous houses are now shops where you find local goodies. You also have the opportunity to see their interior which is not as small as you might think.
Wherever you chose to go, remember to stay present in the moment and to appreciate the „little things” such as a trulli house.