So you’re in vacation, stacking up museums and tours in your schedule, and walking in pride with bags of Sephora, Longchamp, Nike (bla bla bla). You now know why do you feel even more tired than before. Take a real break, just get into the water, stroll around alleys and let the breezes make your hair standing right above the cliff overlooking the borderless ocean. Does it sound like Polignano a Mare to you? Yea, it totally does to me.
Polignano a Mare is famous for 2 things, the Red Bull cliff diving event in Sept 2015 and the restaurant inside the cliff. It’s of no surprise that I didn’t attend both attractions.
The coastal jewel was not an expected destination, at least, not until that particular morning. Catch a train from Bari to Lecce, Polignano a Mare, Monopoli and other seaside cities, which are probably too small and too southern for a weekend getaway or honeymoon or summer holiday, stand in line with the azure curve.
Just a 10-hour difference by boat, the land across Adriatic Sea from the ‘heel’ is flooded with beach lovers every summer while it’s pretty calm over here without much disturbance. If you don’t mind a less expansive and less jam-packed holiday by the rocky beach right beneath the cliff where all those white houses locate, all these small little towns in Puglia region is the perfect alternative.
Instead of the Roman architecture, this part of Italy is more like the Greek. As in Alberobello and Matera, shades is the street artist, giving definition and depth to the white on white, salmon on salmon maze of cubes. Shadows are the naughty children trying to hide their favourite treasures from other people. The gentle touch between the water and the rocks is your all time Spotify playlist in a post-summer weekday.
The interesting part comes from the random yet poetic quotes written on doors and walls while you are chasing after rays of sunlight at the corner. Mostly they are written in simple Italian, so you do not need to be proficient in Italian in order to understand them. It’s like playing hide-and-seek, which motivates you to explore more thoroughly.
To me, the best way to enjoy Polignano a Mare or Monopoli or Ostuni would be a relaxing afternoon with your books, music, camera, sandwiches and wine under the sun with few other tourists (maybe local) who share the same interest in spending time in non-touristic places at leisure.
Little tips from me
- Trenitalia is your only chance to get to these cities (apart from driving)
- Bring your own lunch/wine since only few dining options is available
Not sure if you also like to spend a lazy afternoon in vacation as well, but I highly recommend it! xx