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Our Puglia Road Trip Itinerary


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Dorene Newlin



Welcome to the picturesque region of Puglia, located in the southern part of Italy. Known for its stunning coastline, charming towns, and rich history, Puglia offers a magical experience for travelers. With its unique landscapes, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, it’s no wonder that Puglia has become a popular destination for those seeking an unforgettable road trip adventure.


Embarking on a road trip through Puglia not only allows you to explore its diverse landscapes, but also provides the flexibility to discover hidden gems and immerse yourself in the local culture. From the bustling streets of Bari to the fairytale-like Trulli houses in Alberobello, and the stunning beaches of Polignano a Mare, every stop is a new opportunity to be captivated by the beauty of this region.


During your Puglia road trip, you will have the chance to indulge in mouthwatering local dishes such as orecchiette pasta, burrata cheese, and taralli. The region’s rich heritage can be seen in its beautiful architecture, intricate cathedrals, and ancient ruins. With its relaxed vibe and natural beauty, Puglia offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


This comprehensive itinerary will guide you through the must-visit destinations in Puglia, ensuring that you make the most of your trip. From exploring the historic city of Lecce to witnessing the mystical allure of Matera, each day will be filled with adventure, culture, and unforgettable memories. So buckle up, hit the road, and get ready to fall in love with the enchanting region of Puglia.


Day 1: Arrival in Puglia

Welcome to Puglia! Your road trip begins with your arrival in the vibrant city of Bari. After checking in at your accommodation, take some time to settle in and get acquainted with the city.


Bari, the capital of the region, offers a mix of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. Start your exploration by wandering through the narrow streets of the historic Old Town, known as Bari Vecchia. Here, you’ll find charming stone buildings, hidden courtyards, and picturesque squares. Don’t miss the iconic Basilica di San Nicola, home to the relics of Saint Nicholas.


As the sun starts to set, make your way to the waterfront promenade, Lungomare Nazario Sauro. Take a leisurely stroll along the sea, soaking in the stunning views and enjoying the refreshing sea breeze. This is the perfect spot to relax and unwind after your journey.


For dinner, indulge in some of the region’s culinary delights. Puglia is known for its fresh seafood, so be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as oysters, mussels, and grilled fish. Pair your meal with a glass of crisp local white wine, and savor the flavors of Puglian cuisine.


After dinner, take a leisurely walk back to your accommodation, immersing yourself in the lively evening atmosphere of Bari. The city comes alive at night with bustling squares, lively cafes, and vibrant street performers.


As you settle into your first night in Puglia, reflect on the excitement that lies ahead. The next few days will take you on a journey through the beautiful landscapes, charming towns, and cultural treasures that make Puglia so special. Get a good night’s rest, as tomorrow you’ll be ready to embark on your adventure.


Day 2: Exploring Bari

Get ready to dive deeper into the wonders of Bari! Today is dedicated to exploring the vibrant city and uncovering its hidden gems.


Start your day with a visit to the stunning Castello Svevo, also known as the Swabian Castle. This medieval fortress stands proudly at the edge of the Old Town, overlooking the sea. Step inside and wander through its ancient walls, exploring the various exhibitions and learning about the castle’s fascinating history.


Next, make your way to one of Bari’s most iconic locations, the Basilica di San Nicola. This grand church is a significant pilgrimage site and serves as the final resting place of Saint Nicholas. Admire the intricate details of the facade and step inside to marvel at the stunning Byzantine-inspired interior.


As you continue to meander through the narrow alleyways, you’ll encounter the local markets, such as Mercato Coperto and Mercato del Pesce. Indulge in the sights, sounds, and aromas of these bustling markets, where you can find an array of fresh produce, local cheeses, and traditional delicacies. Take the opportunity to sample some taralli, a popular snack in Puglia.


For lunch, head to a traditional osteria or trattoria and savor authentic Puglian dishes. Dive into a plate of orecchiette, a traditional pasta shaped like little ears, served with a rich tomato sauce and topped with grated cheese. Don’t forget to pair it with a glass of Primitivo, a renowned red wine from the region.


In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk along the Murat district, a more modern part of Bari. Here, you’ll find elegant boutiques, charming cafes, and beautiful squares, such as Piazza del Ferrarese and Piazza Mercantile. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and maybe even indulge in a gelato as you soak in the sun.


As evening approaches, head back to the Old Town and find a cozy restaurant for dinner. Sample some of the local seafood specialties, such as fritto misto di pesce, a delightful mix of fried fish and seafood. End your evening with a relaxing stroll along the illuminated promenade, taking in the stunning views of the city as it glows under the moonlight.


With the first two days in Puglia filled with exploration and discovery, you’ve only scratched the surface of what this enchanting region has to offer. Get a restful night’s sleep, as tomorrow you’ll continue your road trip by venturing further into the heart of Puglia.


Day 3: Discovering Alberobello

Get ready for a day of fairytale charm as you make your way to the enchanting town of Alberobello. Known for its unique trulli houses, Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit destination in Puglia.


As you arrive in Alberobello, you’ll be greeted by a landscape straight out of a storybook. The town is filled with rows of whitewashed trulli, traditional cone-shaped houses made of limestone. Take your time to wander through the narrow streets, admiring the intricate details of these iconic structures.


Start your exploration at the Rione Monti district, where you’ll find the densest concentration of trulli houses. Explore the winding alleys and marvel at the unique symbols painted on the roofs, which signify family lineage or religious beliefs. Don’t miss the opportunity to step inside one of these trulli to see the traditional furnishings and experience the cozy atmosphere.


Make your way to the Trullo Sovrano, the only two-story trullo in Alberobello that is open to the public. Step inside this perfectly preserved trullo and learn about its history and the lifestyle of the people who once inhabited it.


Take a break from exploring and indulge in some local delicacies. Alberobello is known for its delicious food, so be sure to try some traditional Puglian dishes. Sample the famous burrata cheese, made from fresh mozzarella and cream, or enjoy a dish of savory orecchiette pasta, a local specialty.


In the afternoon, venture outside of the town center to explore the stunning countryside. Take a short hike to the nearby Trullo Sovrano Aia Piccola, a charming farm where you can learn about the agricultural traditions of the region and get a glimpse into rural life in Puglia.


Before leaving Alberobello, be sure to visit the Trullo Church of St. Anthony. This small church showcases the fusion of religious and architectural traditions, with its trulli structure and beautiful frescoes inside.


As the day comes to a close, find a cozy spot in one of the local trattorias and indulge in a leisurely dinner. Sample some of the region’s famous wines, such as Primitivo or Negroamaro, and savor the flavors of Puglian cuisine.


With the magic of Alberobello still fresh in your mind, rest up and prepare for another exciting day of your Puglia road trip. Tomorrow, you’ll continue your journey and discover more of the hidden treasures that await you in this captivating region.


Day 4: Coastal Charm in Polignano a Mare

Get ready to be captivated by the breathtaking coastal beauty of Polignano a Mare. Known for its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and charming old town, this coastal gem is a highlight of any Puglia road trip.


Start your day with a visit to the stunning Lama Monachile beach, also known as Cala Porto. This small but picturesque beach is nestled between towering cliffs, creating a breathtaking setting. Take a dip in the azure waters or relax on the pebbly shore as you soak up the sun and admire the surrounding beauty.


Next, make your way to the heart of the old town. Stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets, lined with white-washed buildings adorned with colorful flowers. Explore the hidden corners and charming squares, such as Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, and take in the laid-back atmosphere of this coastal gem.


One of the iconic landmarks of Polignano a Mare is the Grotta Palazzese, a stunning cave restaurant perched on the cliffs. While reservations are required well in advance, taking a moment to admire the breathtaking views is a must. The crystal-clear waters crashing against the rocks create a truly magical scene.


For lunch, indulge in the local seafood delicacies for which Polignano a Mare is renowned. Treat yourself to a plate of fresh grilled fish or sample some of the local specialty, such as stuffed squid or seafood pasta. Pair your meal with a crisp glass of white wine, and savor the flavors of the Adriatic.


In the afternoon, head to the Balconata sul Mare, a panoramic terrace that offers stunning views of the sea and coastline. Admire the mesmerizing panorama and take some time to relax in this idyllic setting.


For those seeking an adrenaline rush, consider taking a boat tour along the coast. Explore hidden coves, admire the limestone cliffs, and even have the opportunity to swim in the crystal-clear waters. This offers a unique perspective of Polignano a Mare and allows you to fully appreciate its natural beauty.


As the sun begins to set, find a spot in one of the seaside bars or rooftop terraces for an unforgettable sunset experience. Watch as the golden hues paint the sky and the sea, creating a magical ambiance that is sure to leave you in awe.


End your day with a delightful dinner at one of the local trattorias, savoring the flavors of the region with each bite. Indulge in some traditional Puglian desserts, such as pasticciotti or cartellate, to end your day on a sweet note.


With memories of Polignano a Mare etched in your mind, rest well and prepare for the next stop on your Puglia road trip. Tomorrow, you’ll continue your journey and discover more of the treasures that await you along the captivating coastline of this beautiful region.


Day 5: Baroque Beauty in Lecce

Prepare to be enchanted by the baroque beauty of Lecce, a captivating city known for its exquisite architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture. Today, you’ll delve into the treasures of this magnificent gem of Puglia.


Start your day by immersing yourself in the heart of Lecce’s historic center. As you wander through its ancient streets, you’ll be captivated by the ornate facades, intricate balconies, and elaborate churches that showcase the city’s baroque splendor.


Begin your exploration at Piazza del Duomo, the main square of Lecce, which is home to several architectural wonders. Marvel at the grandeur of the Lecce Cathedral, adorned with intricate carvings and a stunning rose window. Admire the graceful statue of Sant’Oronzo, the city’s patron saint, and explore the nearby Bishop’s Palace with its elegant courtyard.


Continue your journey through the city’s charming alleyways, where you’ll stumble upon hidden gems including the Basilica di Santa Croce. This masterpiece of Baroque architecture features a façade adorned with intricate stone carvings, showcasing the skill and craftsmanship of Lecce’s artisans.


If you’re interested in history, make a stop at the Museo Faggiano. This unique museum will take you on a journey through time as you explore the layers of history that have been uncovered in the basement of the Faggiano family’s house. From ancient Greek and Roman artifacts to medieval frescoes, this hidden gem offers a fascinating glimpse into Lecce’s past.


For a taste of local gastronomy, head to one of Lecce’s traditional trattorias and indulge in some of the region’s culinary delights. Sample the famous Puglian street food, such as rustico leccese, a savory pastry filled with béchamel sauce, tomato, and mozzarella. Don’t forget to try the local wine, such as the robust red wine Primitivo, which pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of Puglian cuisine.


In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll through Lecce’s picturesque streets and discover the city’s hidden corners. Explore beautiful squares like Piazza Sant’Oronzo, where you can see the remains of a Roman amphitheater and enjoy a coffee at one of the outdoor cafes.


As the sun begins to set, make your way to the scenic promenade of Lecce. Take in the breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and enjoy the relaxing ambiance. This is the perfect spot to unwind and reflect on the beauty and history that you’ve experienced throughout the day.


End your day in Lecce with a delightful dinner at a traditional restaurant, savoring the flavors of Puglian cuisine. Indulge in some local desserts, such as pasticciotto or zeppole, and toast to the memorable day you’ve had in this extraordinary city.


With the charm of Lecce lingering in your thoughts, rest well and get ready for the next leg of your Puglia road trip. Tomorrow, you’ll continue to immerse yourself in the wonders of this captivating region.


Day 6: Visiting the Trulli of Ostuni

Get ready to explore the fairytale-like town of Ostuni, famous for its whitewashed buildings and picturesque streets. Today, you’ll immerse yourself in the unique charm of the trulli houses and discover the captivating beauty of this Puglian gem.


Start your day by making your way to the historic center of Ostuni, also known as the “White City.” As you wander through its narrow alleyways and climb up its winding streets, you’ll be mesmerized by the dazzling white buildings that define the town’s architecture.


Make your way to Piazza della Libertà, the main square of Ostuni. Marvel at the grandeur of the Ostuni Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture with its intricate rose window and ornate decorations. Take a moment to absorb the breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside from the square.


Continue your exploration by venturing into the old town’s labyrinth of streets. As you meander through the whitewashed houses, you’ll encounter the iconic trulli, cone-shaped buildings made from local limestone. These unique structures are found throughout the region, but Ostuni is a particularly remarkable place to witness their beauty.


Take the time to explore the trulli district of Ostuni, known as Rione Monti. Admire the intricate details of these ancient houses, their whitewashed walls adorned with colorful flowers and striking symbols. Don’t forget to capture some memorable photos as you navigate through the narrow streets and snap the picture-perfect postcard views.


For lunch, savor the flavors of Puglian cuisine in one of the local trattorias. Indulge in dishes such as orecchiette with cime di rapa (turnip tops) or perhaps try some local cheeses and cured meats. Pair your meal with a glass of refreshing local wine and delight in the culinary delights of the region.


In the afternoon, take a short drive to the nearby coastal town of Villanova. Stroll along the picturesque harbor, lined with colorful fishing boats, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. If time permits, you may also choose to take a boat tour to explore the stunning coastline and perhaps even swim in the crystal-clear waters.


As the day comes to an end, make your way back to Ostuni and find a cozy spot for dinner. Enjoy the local cuisine while relishing in the intimate ambiance of the town. Perhaps try some local seafood, such as grilled octopus or frutti di mare, or indulge in some traditional Puglian desserts, such as pasticciotto or almond cake.


Reflect on the unique allure of Ostuni and the beauty you’ve witnessed throughout the day. Tomorrow, as you continue your Puglia road trip, new adventures await in the charming coastal town of Gallipoli.


Day 7: Enjoying the Beaches of Gallipoli

Get ready to relax and soak up the sun as you spend a day exploring the stunning beaches of Gallipoli. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and pristine sandy shores, Gallipoli is a coastal paradise that offers the perfect opportunity to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the Adriatic Sea.


Start your day by heading to one of the beautiful beaches near Gallipoli. One popular choice is Baia Verde, located just a few kilometers away from the town center. Here, you’ll find long stretches of soft sandy beaches, lapped by the clear waters of the Ionian Sea. Set up your spot on the beach and spend your morning basking in the sun or taking a refreshing swim in the inviting waters.


If you’re in the mood for a little adventure, consider renting a kayak or paddleboard to explore the stunning coastline. Glide through the calm waters, observing the picturesque cliffs and hidden coves that dot the shoreline. Enjoy the feeling of freedom as you paddle along, embracing the serenity of the sea.


For lunch, make your way to one of the charming beachfront restaurants and indulge in some of the region’s delicious seafood. Sample fresh local catches, such as grilled fish or seafood pasta, paired with a refreshing glass of local white wine. As you savor your meal, take in the panoramic views of the sea, creating the perfect backdrop for a leisurely lunch.


In the afternoon, venture into the historic center of Gallipoli. Explore its maze-like streets and discover its rich history, combining both Italian and Greek influences. Visit the impressive Gallipoli Cathedral, with its grand façade and stunning interior, where you can appreciate the beauty of its architecture and religious artworks.


Take a stroll along the picturesque promenade, Lungomare Galilei, and enjoy the stunning sea views. Admire the charming fishing boats bobbing in the harbor and take a moment to stop at the Castello di Gallipoli, where you can learn about the city’s maritime history and enjoy panoramic views from its rooftop terrace.


As the day begins to wind down, make your way back to the beach to witness a breathtaking sunset over the sea. Find a serene spot on the sand, sit back, and feel the gentle evening breeze while the sky transforms into a palette of vibrant colors.


End your day with a delightful dinner at one of the many waterfront restaurants, savoring the flavors of Puglian cuisine. Indulge in some local desserts, such as pasticciotti or gelato, and toast to the idyllic day spent in the beauty of Gallipoli.


With memories of the stunning beaches and enchanting atmosphere of Gallipoli, rest well as you prepare for the next adventure on your Puglia road trip. Tomorrow, you’ll continue your journey to the captivating town of Otranto.


Day 8: Exploring the White City of Otranto

Get ready to step into a captivating world of history and charm as you explore the beautiful “White City” of Otranto. Located on the easternmost point of Italy, Otranto is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, stunning coastlines, and rich cultural heritage.


Begin your day by visiting the Otranto Cathedral, a true masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. Step inside and marvel at its breathtaking mosaic floor, dating back to the 12th century. These intricate mosaics depict biblical scenes and mythical creatures, making it one of the largest and most impressive mosaics in the world.


Take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Otranto’s historic center. Admire the white-washed houses with their vibrant blue doors and windows, creating a picturesque atmosphere. Explore the narrow alleyways, filled with boutique shops, artisan workshops, and cozy cafes.


Make your way to the Aragonese Castle, a fortress perched on a hilltop overlooking the sea. Take in the panoramic views of the Adriatic and the town below as you walk along the castle walls. Inside, discover the castle’s rich history through the various exhibitions and displays.


Continue your exploration to the Church of San Pietro, just a short distance from the castle. This small church holds a significant collection of medieval frescoes, showcasing the artistic talents of the time. Admire the intricate details and vibrant colors of these ancient artworks.


For lunch, indulge in the flavors of Otranto with a traditional seafood feast. Try local specialties such as frittura di paranza, a mix of fried small fish and seafood, or the famous ricci di mare, sea urchins, which are a delicacy in the region. Pair your meal with a glass of the local wine, such as the refreshing white wine, Salice Salentino.


In the afternoon, head to the stunning Baia dei Turchi, a pristine beach just a short drive from Otranto. This idyllic stretch of coastline is known for its turquoise waters and fine white sand. Relax on the beach, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, or explore the surrounding nature reserve with its lush pine forests.


As the day comes to an end, make your way back to the town and find a cozy restaurant for dinner. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Otranto as you savor the flavors of Puglian cuisine. Try some traditional desserts, such as pasticciotto or zeppole, and toast to the unforgettable day you’ve had in this stunning coastal town.


With the beauty and history of Otranto lingering in your mind, rest well as you prepare for the next leg of your Puglia road trip. Tomorrow, another adventure awaits as you continue to discover the wonders of this mesmerizing region.


Day 9: Discovering Matera

Prepare to be transported back in time as you embark on a journey to the ancient city of Matera. Located in the neighboring region of Basilicata, Matera is renowned for its unique cave dwellings, known as Sassi, and its rich historical and cultural heritage.


Start your day by exploring the Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest inhabited settlements in the world. Wander through the narrow streets and winding alleyways, marveling at the ancient cave dwellings carved into the limestone rocks. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and architecture of Matera as you discover the rich cultural heritage preserved within the Sassi.


Visit Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, a cave dwelling that has been transformed into a museum, offering a glimpse into the daily life of the people who once inhabited these caves. Step inside and see firsthand how families lived, cooked, and slept in these unique dwellings.


Next, make your way to the breathtaking rupestrian churches, also known as rock churches, which are scattered throughout Matera. These ancient churches are carved into the rock and feature beautifully preserved frescoes that depict biblical scenes. Explore the churches of Santa Lucia alle Malve, San Pietro Caveoso, and Madonna delle Virtù to admire the exceptional artistry and spirituality of these sacred spaces.


For lunch, savor the flavors of Matera by indulging in some traditional dishes at a local trattoria. Try some delicious local specialties such as orecchiette pasta with cime di rapa (turnip tops), lamb stewed with locally sourced ingredients, or the famous Matera bread, made with durum wheat in a wood-burning oven. Pair your meal with a glass of Aglianico, a robust red wine from the region.


In the afternoon, take a guided tour or explore the newer part of the city, known as the “modern” Matera. Here, you’ll find elegant squares, lively cafes, and boutique shops. Visit Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the main square of Matera, and enjoy the panoramic views overlooking the Sassi.


As the evening approaches, take a moment to relax and reflect on the captivating beauty of Matera. Its unique architectural landscape and rich cultural heritage create an atmosphere unlike any other. Find a cozy restaurant for dinner, enjoying the local cuisine and savoring the flavors of Puglia and Basilicata.


With memories of Matera etched in your mind, rest well and prepare for the final day of your incredible Puglia road trip. Tomorrow, you’ll bid farewell to this remarkable region, taking with you cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for the beauty and diversity of Italy.


Day 10: Farewell to Puglia

As your Puglia road trip comes to an end, take the final day to bid farewell to this breathtaking region and reflect on the incredible journey you’ve embarked upon.


Savor a leisurely breakfast, perhaps trying some local pastries and a strong Italian espresso. Take a moment to reminisce about the unforgettable experiences you’ve had throughout your time in Puglia – from exploring the historic cities and marveling at the unique architecture to indulging in the delicious cuisine and soaking up the sun on its pristine beaches.


Before you depart, take the opportunity to do some last-minute shopping. Puglia is famous for its traditional crafts, such as ceramics, woven baskets, and intricate lacework. Visit the local markets or artisan shops to find a special memento to bring back home, a reminder of the beauty and charm of Puglia.


If time allows, you may choose to make a final stop at a nearby winery or olive grove. Take a tour, learn about the intricate process of wine or olive oil production, and indulge in some tastings. This offers a fitting end to your Puglia road trip, as both wine and olive oil are renowned products of the region.


As you make your way to the airport or train station, take one last glance at the picturesque landscapes that have become familiar to you during your time in Puglia. Bid arrivederci to the stunning coastline, charming towns, and warm hospitality that have made your trip so memorable.


As you travel back home, cherish the memories of your Puglia road trip. Take a moment to share your experiences with friends and family, reminiscing about the captivating beauty, delicious food, and immersive cultural encounters you’ve had in this enchanting region.


While your Puglia adventure may be coming to an end, the memories created and the impressions left on you will last a lifetime. Keep the spirit of Puglia alive in your heart and remember that this captivating region will always welcome you back with open arms.


Farewell, Puglia, until we meet again!



As you come to the end of your Puglia road trip, you can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for the incredible experiences and unforgettable memories created along the way. From the vibrant streets of Bari to the fairytale-like trulli in Alberobello, the charming historic centers of Lecce and Ostuni, and the breathtaking coastal beauty of Polignano a Mare and Gallipoli, Puglia has left an indelible mark on your heart.


Throughout your journey, you’ve immersed yourself in the rich history, culture, and natural landscapes that make Puglia so unique. From exploring ancient churches to savoring delicious local dishes, each day brought new discoveries and moments of awe.


The warmth and hospitality of the people you’ve encountered along the way have added a special touch to your experience. Whether it was the friendly locals who welcomed you into their trattorias or the passionate artisans who shared their craft, their genuine kindness and willingness to share their culture have made your trip even more memorable.


As you reflect on your time in Puglia, you realize that this region truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, a food enthusiast, or a nature explorer, Puglia has it all. From the ancient ruins and exquisite architecture to the crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes, every corner of Puglia has its own story to tell.


As you prepare to say arrivederci to Puglia, you carry with you the beauty, charm, and vibrancy of this extraordinary region. The memories and experiences will stay with you, reminding you of the joyous moments and the remarkable diversity that Puglia offers.


Take the spirit of Puglia with you as you continue your journey through life. Let the lessons learned from this enchanting region inspire you to embrace new experiences, cherish the beauty around you, and treasure the connections you make with both places and people.


Thank you for joining us on this Puglia road trip and allowing us to be your guide through the captivating wonders of this region. Until we meet again, may Puglia’s beauty continue to inspire and fill your heart with joy.