Puglia RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Puglia Architecture Guide

By Viator, July 2018

4 13 Reviews | Add your review

Italy is rich in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other architectural marvels, and the southern state of Puglia—the heel in Italy’s boot—is no exception. From a distinctive series of castles built by Emperor Frederick II to its conical trulli houses, here are some of Puglia’s must-see architectural attractions.
 
Trulli of Alberobello
No structures are more symbolic of Puglia than trulli. These humble stone huts, which have been built in the Itria Valley for thousands of years, are notable for their distinct, conical shapes. Venture to Alberobello to see some of the finest specimens—they’ve held UNESCO World Heritage status since 1996.

Otranto Cathedral
From the outside, the Otranto Cathedral—first built by the Normans in the 11th century and featuring Romanesque design elements—might look like any other Italian church. But wander in and you’ll discover an extraordinary medieval mosaic on its floors, depicting the Tree of Life. Adding to the church’s lore is its macabre skull chapel, where the bones of victims of an Ottoman siege can still be viewed.
 
Castel del Monte 
Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II was known as a prominent patron of the arts in medieval Europe, and he also oversaw the construction of numerous castles, forts, and cathedrals across southern Italy. Located near Bari, the UNESCO-listed Castel del Monte is one of the finest, an eight-sided fortress whose design combines numerous architectural traditions.
 
Basilica di Santa Croce
If the Castel del Monte is all geometric sleekness, Lecce’s Basilica di Santa Croce is its opulent opposite. The façade of this baroque basilica is ornamented with incredibly detailed, even playful, stone carvings that depict everything from vegetables to exotic animals. Its ornate interior is also worth exploring.
 
Santuario di San Michele
The UNESCO-listed Santuario di San Michele, located in Monte Sant’Angelo, is a likely stop on any architecture walking tour in Puglia. Legend has it that the archangel Michael left an imprint of his foot in the church’s rock-hewn grotto; in the ensuing centuries, pilgrims left behind their own commemorative footprints.
 
Ostuni Old Town
Beyond any individual structure, Ostuni’s Old Town offers a singular setting all its own. Poised on a hilltop and protected by fortress walls, its brilliant white-washed buildings, all tightly squeezed together, have earned it the nickname of "the White City."

Tours & Tickets

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Salento in One Day from Lecce, Lecce, null
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Salento in One Day from Lecce

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

This tour will give you the opportunity to visit the four most significant towns in Salento: Galatina, Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca and Gallipoli.

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $194.97
Puglia Full-Day Tour: Bari, Trulli of Alberobello, Castel del Monte and Sassi of Matera, Bari, Day ... 
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Puglia Full-Day Tour: Bari, Trulli of Alberobello, Castel del Monte and Sassi of Matera

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 7 Reviews

Discover the Puglia's highlights in this full-day tour. Visit the UNESCO sites of Bari, Alberobello, Matera and Castel del Monte. Drive through ancient roads, ...  Read more

Location: Bari, Italy
Duration: Flexible

From USD $338.82
Private Tour: Trulli of Alberobello plus Wine Tasting, Bari, Full-day Tours
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Private Tour: Trulli of Alberobello plus Wine Tasting

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Discover the fairy tale village of Alberobello on a private 4-hour tour that starts from either Bari or Alberobello. Alberobello is famous for its UNESCO World ...  Read more

Location: Bari, Italy
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.48
Half-Day Boat Excursion with Local Aperitif from Salento, Brindisi, Walking Tours
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Half-Day Boat Excursion with Local Aperitif from Salento

Enjoy the colors of the marvelous sea, taste the flavors of the Salento and dive into a refreshing Salento experience. Explore the Ionian coast with its sandy ...  Read more

Location: Gallipoli, Italy
Duration: 4 to 5 hrs

From USD $70.14
Lecce to Cesine Protected Natural Reserve Full-Day Bike Tour, Lecce, Half-day Tours
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Lecce to Cesine Protected Natural Reserve Full-Day Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

The zone that separate Lecce from the sea proves the beauty of Salento’s landscape and still preserves the traces of the important role that this area played ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $65.39
Rickshaw City Tour in Lecce, Lecce, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
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Rickshaw City Tour in Lecce

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Be captivated by the Baroque beauty of Lecce during this 3-hour rickshaw tour. Choose between a morning, afternoon or evening departure and set off to discover ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $77.27
Bari Bike Rental, Bari, City Tours
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Bari Bike Rental

Discover the wonderful cities of the Apulia region on an alternative way Ride in complete freedom and indipendence by choosing the bike that suits you ...  Read more

Location: Bari, Italy
Duration: 1 to 7 days

From USD $17.83
Semi-Independent Tour to Otranto and Punta Palascia from Lecce, Lecce, Bike Rentals
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Semi-Independent Tour to Otranto and Punta Palascia from Lecce

A tour of the clear blue sea and natural beauty in the most easterly point of Italy, in the most beautiful places of Salento. Your driver will reach you ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $380.43
Semi-Independent Tour to Galatina and Gallipoli from Lecce, Lecce, Self-guided Tours & Rentals
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Semi-Independent Tour to Galatina and Gallipoli from Lecce

A tour rich in history, culture, art and culinary art. The story told through churches, monuments and architecture of the historic center of Galatina and ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $380.43
Tour in the Natural Beauties of Salento: Santa Maria di Leuca and Specchia, Lecce, Self-guided ... 
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Tour in the Natural Beauties of Salento: Santa Maria di Leuca and Specchia

Explore some of Puglia's gorgeous scenery with this 9-hour day trip from Lecce to Santa Maria di Leuca and Specchia. See caves and geological formations, ...  Read more

Location: Lecce, Italy
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $398.26

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