Photo of Polignano-a-Mare

Visit Polignano-a-Mare

Polignano-a-Mare is a charming coastal town built on the edge of craggy cliffs on the Adriatic coast. The town is very popular with day-trippers from Bari which is 35 kilometers further up the coast and just a half hour drive away.

Explore Polignano a Mare

Italy This Way review: Polignano a Mare is a charming coastal town with an impressive cliff top location. It also has a pretty beach squeezed in between steep cliffs on both sides and some atmospheric restaurants and bars in the caves in the cliff sides. It has recently become something of an Instagram sensation!

Polignano-a-Mare is thought to be the ancient Greek city of Neapolis, and one of the most important ancient towns of Puglia. It has been inhabited since prehistoric times.


When you arrive head to the main square, the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. The Chiesa Matrice Dell'Assunta church sits on the square and inside are some 16 and 17th sculptures and an important 15th century Polytych of the Madonna and Child.

The square is a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by. If you want to treat yourself you will also want to head along the cliffs where there is an amazing restaurant built into the caves of the cliffside and looking out over the sea.

This is the famous Grotta Palazzese which has been used for banquets since the 1700s! There is also a five star hotel, the Hotel Grotta Palazzese and whilst not cheap if you stay here you can have your breakfast in the cave in summer.


The Marchesale Arch was once the main gateway into the old town and has a small church built on the top of it. This was built in the 1500s and contains a 16th century painting of the crucifixion.

The Aldo Moro Square is the most popular square in town and is the location of various events and festivals throughout the year.

The beach at Polignano a Mare with its dramatic cliffs rearing up on either side and the steep arched bridge behind it, is one of the most popular in Puglia. It is called the Lama Monachile beach and also known as the Cala Porte beach.

The bridge is of Roman origin and carries the Roman road the Via Traiana across the beach.

Whilst you are here visit the Pino Pascali museum which is a contemporary art museum and contains many works by Pino Pascali, a leading 20th century artist. The museum is housed in an ancient abbatoir with views over the sea.


Places to visit nearby

A 10th century Benedictine Abbey dominates the nearby hamlet of Saint Vito.

Nearby Alberobello is famous for its amazing trulli and well worth a visit. Locorotondo is one of the most beautiful villages of Italy and another place not to be missed and Monopoli is another coastal town and has a pretty harbour.

This area of Puglia really does have a lot to offer to visitors.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Puglia guide.

See also: 

Photos of Polignano-a-Mare

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Map of Polignano-a-Mare and places to visit


Polignano-a-Mare places to visit



Monopoli is a coastal town with a pretty harbour and a pleasant old town.

Monopoli guide


Alberobello is a beautiful little town full of incredible buildings called trulli with cone-shaped roofs

Alberobello guide


Not to be missed! Locorotondo is one of the 'most beautiful villages of Italy'.

Locorotondo guide


Bari is a coastal city with an interesting historic centre.

Bari guide


Ostuni is known as the 'White City' for its lovely white-washed buildings.

Ostuni guide


Martina-Franca is a pretty hilltop town with beautiful baroque buildings.

Martina-Franca guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Puglia