Polignano a Mare
Polignano a Mare is perched upon 20m high limestone cliff edges overlooking the dreamy crystal clear waters of the Adriatic sea below. With many excellent restaurants, historic buildings and wonderful beaches, it ensures a great destination for a relaxing holiday or definately worth a visit if you are in this region of Puglia.
The tiny old town, reached through the Porta Vecchia gate to the old quarter is still contained within its ancient protective walls and is connected to the newer city by a bridge, so it maintains its antique character. Take a boat to one of the many caves that line up along the coastline. Or arrive on foot at the Grotta Palazzese, the so-called "palatial cave" where you can dine in an restaurant set into the cavern. The center of the old district is the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, which is an open-air living space surrounded by pretty buildings and spotted with potted palms.
After a stroll through the town and a coffee in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, why not pop down to the Blue Flag beach, just a few minutes' walk from the old centre? A firm favourite with the locals, the beach has crystal clear waters and is flanked on two sides by cliffs from which children and teenagers dive all through the day until sunset.
The city hosts a colourful annual kite festival in May, perfect for the children. In mid-June, the big party to celebrate the patron saint is held with solemn processions followed by a civic party features rides, games, concerts, food and fireworks. The maritime traditions of the town come to life in August when they throw a fish festival. The famous cliff edges have even hosted the Red Bull diving competition in recent years.
Just 10 minutes drive north of Monopoli, you'll quickly see why Polignano a Mare is called "the pearl of the Adriatic". It is also a good base for exploring the central towns of Alberobello, Ostuni, Martina Franca, Locorotondo and Cisternino.
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