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Things to do in Puglia

Things to do in  Puglia

Welcome to Puglia

The “heel” of Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula, Puglia has claimed its place in the travel limelight after centuries of obscurity. Once visitors discovered its scenic coastline and countryside, flamboyant architecture, and unparalleled cuisine, it was only a matter of time before word of this region’s wonders spread. Today, travelers keep busy exploring Bari and Lecce, marveling at Alberobello’s trulli and the hill towns of the Val d’Itria, discovering the sea caves near Polignano a Mare, and delving into the local cuisine with wine and olive oil tastings, food tours, and cooking lessons.

Top 15 attractions in Puglia

Trulli of Alberobello World Heritage Site (Trulli di Alberobello)

Feel like you’ve been dropped into a gnome village with a visit to Alberobello, one of the most unique towns in Italy and home to over 1,000 roundtrulli, fairy-tale-like whitewashed cottages topped with conical roofs. The trulli of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a top destination in Puglia’s Itria Valley and a must for photographers.More

Lecce Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica Di Santa Croce)

In a city famous for its gorgeous baroque architecture, the Lecce Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica Di Santa Croce) is a standout. With a glorious stone facade decorated with ornately carved animals, gargoyles, flora, and a large rose window, this 17th-century masterpiece is a feast for the eyes and a highlight of Lecce.More

Lecce Roman Amphitheatre (Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce)

Lecce is known for its 17th-century Baroque beauty, but the city’s history stretches back to the Roman empire. Nowhere is this legacy more evident than in Lecce’s Piazza Sant’Oronzo, where theLecce Roman Amphitheatre (Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce) from the second century BC is still used today for performances.More

Trullo Sovrano

The only trullo built on two levels in the UNESCO-listed village of Alberobello, the Trullo Sovrano is one of the most striking examples of the unique stone dwellings with conical roofs. Learn what it might have been like to live in one as you explore the re-created period living area, kitchen, and bedroom inside.More

Porta Napoli

Lecce’s imposing Porta Napoli is a 16th-century triumphal arch that once served as the main entrance into the historic city center. Modelled on triumphal arches from ancient Rome, its neoclassical design is a departure from Lecce’s ornate baroque style and the soaring marble gate is considered one of the city’s architectural treasures.More

Piazza del Ferrarese

Piazza del Ferrarese is, along with the adjoining Piazza Mercantile, the main square in Bari’s historic center (Bari Vecchia. Today the largest city in Puglia, Bari has a rich history and vibrant local culture; experience both with a visit to the bustling cafès and shops on this newly renovated 17th-century square.More

Lecce Cathedral (Duomo di Lecce)

Lecce is famous for its sumptuous baroque architecture, and the Lecce cathedral (Duomo di Lecce) is one of the most ornate examples. Its magnificently carved and adorned Leccese-stone facade is a 17th-century masterpiece and one of the highlights of this city on Puglia’s Salento peninsula.More

Swabian Castle (Castello Svevo)

The 12th-century Swabian Castle (Castello Svevo), with its fortified ramparts and vaulted halls, is one of top sights in Bari and a refreshing break from the port city’s Romanesque churches and art collections. Climb the Hohenstaufen tower and Aragon walls for sweeping views of the city and sea.More


This unassuming seaside town on the coast of Puglia was a major maritime power in the Middle Ages, and home to one of the largest Jewish communities in southern Italy. Today a relaxed port city, Trani is dotted with vestiges of its former glory, including the romanesque cathedral, Scolanova Synagogue, and medieval fort.More

Church of Saint Irene (Chiesa di Sant'Irene)

Lecce is home to some of the most magnificent baroque churches in Italy, and the sumptuous Church of Saint Irene (Chiesa di Sant'Irene is one of the city’s architectural gems. Its facade is a masterpiece of 17th-century stonework and, inside, the twin altarpieces facing each other across the transept are equally dazzling.More

Castel del Monte

The imposing 13th-century Castel del Monte’s octagonal ramparts and towers are so iconic that an image of the UNESCO-listed fortress graces one-cent coins issued in Italy. Explore one of the most impressive of the many castles built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in southern Italy and Sicily during his influential reign.More

San Giovanni Rotondo

One of the top pilgrimage destinations in Italy, the town of San Giovanni Rotondo was home to the priest Padre Pio, canonized in 2002. Faithful from around the world flock to the town to honor its most famous resident, paying homage in the Sanctuary of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina and Santa Maria delle Grazie, where the saint is buried.More

St. Nicholas Basilica (Basilica San Nicola)

The Basilica di San Nicola is a centerpiece of Bari Vecchia, the old town at the heart of the modern city of Bari. The largest city in the region of Puglia and a major port on the Adriatic, Bari has a rich and varied history, and a visit to its imposing 12th-century Romanesque basilica is a must for architecture enthusiasts.More


Puglia’s modern inland city of Foggia is a popular day trip from Bari and convenient base for exploring nearby Lucera, Troia, and the Gargano peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. Top attractions include the 12th-century Cattedrale della Santa Maria Icona Vetere, the archaeological collection in the Civic Museum, and Villa Comunale park.More

Gargano National Park (Parco Nazionale del Gargano)

Part of a lush promontory along Puglia’s coastline, the Gargano National Park (Parco Nazionale del Gargano) is just the place for travelers needing a respite from urban chaos. Known for dramatic coastal cliffs, Adriatic views, and vast expanses of countryside, the park is also home to the San Giovanni Rotondo pilgrimage site.More
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Top activities in Puglia

Boat tour of the Polignano a Mare caves with aperitif
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UNESCO's Alberobello and Matera from Bari
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Private Tour: Lecce Guided Walking Tour

Private Tour: Lecce Guided Walking Tour

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Ostuni, Alberobello and Polignano a Mare Independent Tour. Departing from Lecce
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Bari Street Food Bike Tour

Bari Street Food Bike Tour

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All about Puglia

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People Also Ask

What is Puglia known for?

With 500 miles (800 kilometers) of coastline, this southern Italian region is famous for its endless beaches. Puglia is also known for its inland hills blanketed in olive groves—the region produces more olive oil than any other in Italy—and dotted with whitewashed villages, fairytale-like trulli dwellings, and baroque cities.

Is Puglia worth visiting?

Yes, visit Puglia to experience its cultural treasures and seaside fun. Fans of history and architecture love its extravagant 17th-century towns, foodies revel in the unbeatable local cuisine, and just about everyone is drawn to its golden sands lapped by turquoise waves along the Adriatic and Ionian shores.

What is an important activity in Puglia?

Tourism and agriculture are the two mainstays of Puglia’s regional economy. The former is focused along the coastal resorts and historic hill towns and the latter in the “breadbasket” countryside of the Itria Valley and Salento Peninsula, where the area’s excellent olive oil, wine, cheese, and other specialties are produced.

What is there to do in Puglia?

Puglia’s coastline is a hub for watersports, boating, and beach retreats, while the pristine countryside is a popular destination for hiking, biking, and wine and food tours. There are UNESCO-listed towns filled with baroque gems to visit, plus natural caves, medieval castles, and traditional walled masserie estates with farm-to-table restaurants.

How can I spend 5 days in Puglia?

Begin by exploring Gargano National Park at the north end of the region before heading south to the historic port city of Bari on your second day. Spend the third day exploring Alberobello and the Itria Valley before ending with two days in Salento to admire Lecce and the coast.

How many days do you need in Puglia?

Puglia is a sprawling region packed with cultural treasures and dazzling coastline, so you’ll need at least five days to touch on the highlights. For a more relaxed pace and time to both sightsee and unwind at the beach, plan on spending a week in Puglia.


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Frequently Asked Questions
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