Slightly less known than its other coastline neighbours, Polignano a Mare is one of those tiny idyllic fishing villages in the heel of Italy (Apulia) that pulls you straight into holiday mode. With views like no other, the sunbleached stone buildings create a fairytale-like feeling into the city, where life seems one step more peaceful than else where. I could listen to the church bells of Chiesa Matrice every hour, sip on aperols in a cozy corner cafe on Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and get lost with the poetry left on numerous doors that capture lovers’ confessions. However, the true beauty lays right in front of you, the panoramic view of the crystal clear waters that seamlessly mould with the rocks beneath it. The sound of the majestic waves crushing against the cliff is the best therapy, human can ask for. This town is a place for dreamers ♡
Polignano a Mare certainly lives up to its name as it could not be anymore “at sea“, as it is perched high over a 20 metre limestone cliff that opens up to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic coast. It is another post-card perfect location where you easily get lost in the winding white-washed streets. Splashes of blue details and rusty iron balconies enchant the lanes and it is easy to see why this place is made for lazy strolls with gelato pitstops and balmy nights with no worries in the world.
The origins date back to the 4th century BC during the time of Greek settlers, but it flourished under the rule of the Romans. History has left an imprint on the walls and the rough sea has formed beautiful coves and mouldings in the rock over time. I’m sure you have come across restaurant Grotta Palazzesse (that is built into a cave) on pinterest, that attracts people from across the globe because of its unbelievable views that send chills down your spine.
I remember five years ago my hubby and I sailed past Polignano a Mare from Monopoli and the view from sea took my breath away. It looked surreal with the built-in-houses on the steep cliffs and the beach that is wrapped around the walls of the old town. The waves rocked back and forth despite it being a calm day at sea and they danced around the white town creating the most magical backdrop for the locals. It’s no wonder, this place attracts swimmers and cliff jumpers during the summer and I can see why italians have made it their secret playground for utter relaxation.
Eat: Mint is the cutest little cafe for something small to nibble on and despite its mixed reviews, restaurant Grotta Palazzesse is a must because its views. Otherwise eat in the old town, not many speak english here, which makes it all the better of a dining experience as it is not tainted by tourist demand. Order seafood, preferably sea urchins or the catch of the day, grilled and whole with a splash of lemon.
Wander: There is much to explore around here that is only a scenic car ride away. Explore Monopoli as it is right next door along with Martina Franca, Ostuni, Loccorrotondo.
Rest: We stayed in Monopoli that is only a 5 minute car ride away that is slightly larger than Polignano a Mare. It makes a great base for exploring the coast line.
Love: Order some coffee flavoured ice cream and get lost in the old town in between the crispy white walls and witness the magical clear waters. Don’t forget to look up and admire the perfect white laundry that blows in the sea breeze and smile at a local elderly that will show true warmth back at you. Shop at the cute hand-made boutiques for summer sandals and sun hats and find a boho dress that no one else will have back home!