What to see in Puglia: 7, 10 or 15 day itinerary between Bari and Salento

byVerónica Crocitti
Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

From Bari to Salento, passing through Lecce and Brindisi: the best things to see in Puglia with an itinerary of 7, 10 or 15 days.

The Pugliait is a land that knows how to make itself loved. White beaches, crystalline seas, good food, good wine and an always warm welcome are the leitmotiv of one of the sunniest and most carefree regions of Italy.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

I had the pleasure of traveling on the road among the wonders of Puglia thanks to "Scorci di Salento", a project to promote the area created in collaboration with theDAT – Flights to Sicilythe hotel chainCDS Hotelsand the car rental agencyItaly Car Rent.

In this article I want to leave you the 7, 10 or 15 day itinerary – which can be remodulated according to the time you have available – which I followed myself, making a total of about 1000 km of road, rigorously on the road, along the south coast -eastern ofPugliabetween Bari,Toast, Lecceand Salento.

Itinerary of 7, 10 or 15 days in Puglia and main things to see

If you are planning a road tripPuglia, the itinerary that you will find below will be very useful for you to take note of the main stages to enter, the things to see in Puglia and the advice regarding accommodation, travel and curiosities.

What I propose is an itinerary in Puglia that you can remodulate over 7, 10 or 15 days, depending on the time you have available and how much you want to spend it wandering from location to location or staying in total relaxation in a resort or on a very white beach like that of the Maldives of Salento.


Bari, the regional capital, can be a good starting point for your itinerary in Puglia. To visit the historic center and the picturesque Bari Vecchia well, you will need at least one day. Absolutely not to be missedSt. Nicholas Churchwhich houses the relics of the Saint and is among the most significant examples of Apulian Romanesque architecture, theSwabian-Norman Castle, in the top ten things to see in Puglia, and theseafrontwith late Art Nouveau buildings. If you are an art lover, I also recommend a visit to theCorrado Giaquinto Art Galleryfrom Bari.

Curiosity! Legend has it that St. Nicholas of Myra, whose relics are kept in the Basilica of San Nicola in Bari, is the bishop who gave birth to Santa Claus, our Father Christmas.

The surroundings of Bari

Among the stages of a perfect itinerary in Puglia of 7, 10 or 15 days, some of the splendid places that are scattered throughout theprovince of Bari. Among these, I believe that the unmissable ones are Monopoli, Polignano a Mare,Locorotondo, Alberobello with the Trulli and the Caves of Castellana.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

In order to be able to visit all these areas, I advise you to carve out at least 3 full days and to base yourself, in terms of accommodation, in a central area such asMonopoli. From there you can in fact move easily and dedicate at least half a day to each stage.

If you are looking for accommodation in Monopoli, know that the CDS Hotels chain has just inaugurated thePorto Garden Resort, a stone's throw from the sea. It is a 4-star structure equipped with all comforts with terraced studio apartments, two swimming pools, large private internal car parks, various external areas for relaxation, a children's playground, sports fields, bars and restaurants. Absolutely recommended for families.


Called “the city of 99 districts”,Monopolirises on the Adriatic Sea and is one of the busiest and most populous ports in Puglia. The historic center, surrounded by high walls, has origins in the early Middle Ages and is characterized, a bit like all the villages in these areas, by the light colors always tending towards white.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

Among the things absolutely to see in Monopoli della Puglia theCastle of Santo Stefano(built during the Spanish domination), theCathedral Basilica of the Madonna della Madia, The Civic Tower, The Old Port over which dominates theMartinelli Palace, The Bastion of Babula with the adjacent Cala Porta Vecchia beach.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to seeItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

To know!If you are driving, be aware that in Monopoli there is a free, unguarded municipal car park, located in via Nazario Sauro, about an 8-minute walk from the Porto Vecchio.

Polignano a mare

Silhouetted on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the seaside village ofPolignano a mareit is paved with long, narrow streets that wind between low buildings and strictly white houses.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

The historic center of Polignano a Mare enchants with its purity and it is a real pleasure to be able to get lost, and find yourself again, among its glimpses and meanders. Among the things to see stand outMonachile Blade, a beach inlet set between two sheer rock walls (very suggestive), theClock Palace, The Belvedere of Santo Stefano and Largo Ardito, L 'San Vito Abbey(a few kilometers from the historic center) and the numerous sea caves (there are about 70) which can be accessed via boat trips.

To know! If you are driving, be aware that there is a large free car park next to the Polignano a Mare railway station. To get to the center you will then have to walk about 8/10 minutes.


Located on the top of a hill, straddling theMurgia and the Itria Valley, Locorotondois another of the wonders to see, and experience, in Puglia. The city stands out, like all the others in this area, for the intense white color of the houses and a medieval historic centre.

The name Locorotondoderives from the urban conformation characterized by houses (calledcummersefor their typical sloping roofs made of dry stone) arranged in concentric rings that exactly outline a "round place".

What to do and see LocorotondoItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to seeItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

The main attractions of Locorotondo are located within the historic center which can be accessed throughPort of Naples or Porta Lecce. Do not miss the ancient Town Hall with theClock tower, Palazzo Morelli, theMother Church of San Giorgio, the Church of San Nicola and theChurch of the Madonna della Greca, the oldest in the Borgo.

Alberobello and the Trulli

The Trulli ofAlberobellorepresent one of the most coveted and loved destinations in the wholeItaly. At the entrance to the town, on a white staircase, a red inscription has been engraved which well describes what this village represents:

“If you travel the Apulian land,

suddenly you stop to look,

a strange fairy-tale country,

that you seem to dream…”.

A fairytale country, almost painted, which really seems to come out of a book of dreams.

UNESCO heritage since 1996, iTrulli of Alberobello(besides being one of the must-see things in Puglia) they are an ancient type of dry stone conical construction. The name Trullo itself, in fact, derives from the ancient Greek and means "dome". Historians agree that it is a refinement oftholos, but their origins are still uncertain.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to seeItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

Among the most famous Trulli of Alberobello theChurch in TrulloParish of Sant'Antonio, theTrullo Sovereign(among the largest) in piazza Sacramento, theTrullo Siamese in the Monti district and the terraced Trulli with drawingsZodiac signs, planetary, astrological and…. aheartcrossed by an arrow.

Caves of Castellana

Located in the municipality of Castellana Grotte, theCaves of Castellana they are a complex of underground cavities that extend for about 3 km and are characterized by limestone rocks of the Altamura type.

The Caves of Castellaneta can be accessed through theSerious, a deep chasm of about 60 meters which represents the natural entrance to the site. Inside there are rooms with stalactites, stalagmites and small lakes with suggestive colours. Among the main attractions are theBlack cave, the Corridor of the Serpent, theGrand Canyon, The Crystal Pond and the White Grotto.

Bari – Lecce – Salento

Once you have thoroughly visited Bari Vecchia, Bari and the localities located in the province, the itinerary in Puglia of 7, 10 or 15 days that I propose can continue towards the south, with the final destinationSalento.

Before reachingLecce(about 150 km from Bari) there are two stages that I absolutely recommend you include in your personal list of "things to see in Puglia": Brindisi and Ostuni.


With a majestic past and one of the most evocative natural harbors in the Mediterranean,Toastit is a city rich in history, culture and beauty. In my top list of “5 things to do and see in Brindisi” are located in Piazza Duomo with theBasilica of the Visitation, the Port of Brindisi, the two ancient onesRoman columnswhich once represented the end of the Via Appia Antica, the marine protected area ofGuaceto Tower(among the most beautiful beaches of Salento) and Ostuni.


Called "the White City" due to the historic center which was once entirely painted in snow-colored lime, Ostuni stands on three hills at a distance of 8 km from the Adriatic coast. The walk in the heart of the city usually starts fromColumn of Sant'Oronzo, in the central square overlooked by theCommon.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to seeItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

Among the things not to be missed in Ostuni theCo-cathedralwith the wonderful gothic facade, theArco Scoppa, The Liberty Squareand… all the picturesque alleys that wind between white houses and softly colored doors.


Also called the Southern Florence, Lecceit is located in a strategic point of Puglia of which it constitutes the fulcrum of the Salento peninsula.

The peculiarity of Lecce consists in the sumptuous Baroque style which, precisely because of some peculiarities, is definedLecce Baroque. The buildings, typically from the seventeenth century, were all built in Lecce stone, a limestone suitable for working with a chisel which allowed the reproduction of sumptuous decorative elements on all the facades.

Among the things to see in Lecce during this 7, 10 or 15 day itinerary in Puglia are theOld Town, The Basilica of Santa Croce, The Palace of the Celestines, the Charles V castle, theCathedral of Lecce(Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta), the Roman Amphitheater and Palazzo Marrese.

Salento and Salento peninsula

The on the road itinerary in Puglia of 7, 10 or 15 days finally continues towards the last destination: theSalento with its wonderful beaches. At this point you can decide whether to settle in one of themost beautiful beaches of Salentoand spend the days you have available there or continue with another mini itinerary by car along the coast ofSalento peninsulawhich begins in Otranto and ends in Gallipoli. I'll leave it to you below… the decision is yours alone!


Otrantoit could be the beginning, or the base, of your trip/itinerary in the Salento peninsula. You may decide, as I did, to stay in the city and then drive along the coast. If you are looking for accommodation I recommend theCourt of Neptune Hotel, a stone's throw from the Aragonese Castle and the historic center of Otranto. It is a 4-star structure which is part of the CDS Hotels chain and which is located in an ancient residence where, among other things, a Sea Museum is kept. The hotel offers rooms equipped with all comforts, relaxation areas and an attached restaurant, theCourt of Neptune restaurant, which always offers delicious and selected dishes.

The city ofOtranto, which is part of the circuit of the "most beautiful villages in Italy", overlooks the Adriatic coast and is an active centre, full of initiatives and life. Betweenthings to see in the historic center of Otrantostand out theAragonese castle, The Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata, the promenade of Heroes,Door Earth with the adjacent wide and tower Porta Alfonsina and theClock tower.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to seeWhat to do and see in Otranto, PugliaItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to seeItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

Also surroundings of Otrantoteem with wonders among which they deserve a place of honorBauxite quarry, The Alimini lakes, L 'Archaeological area of ​​Roca Vecchiawith next to theCave of Poetryand, not far away, the localities of San Foca and Torre dell'Orso.

What to do and see in Otranto, Puglia

Otranto/Santa Maria di Leuca

From Otranto toSanta Maria di Leucathere are about 55 km of poetry. Set your navigator onstate road 274 Southern Salentowhich runs along the coast (not inland) and then start your on the road. Along this stretch of the Salento coast you will find wonders such asMinervino Tower, Santa Cesarea with its majestic villas, theZinzulusa cave(visit recommended),Cala dell'Acquaviva and the Ciolo.

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Santa Maria di Leuca

Considering the various stops, you should arrive in Santa Maria di Leuca after 3 or 4 hours. The best way to see and experience this area of ​​Salento is definitely by sea, so I recommend ita boat tripwith a visit to the neighboring coves and caves.

In the center of Santa Maria di Leuca are not to be missedBasilica of Santa Maria de finibus terraewith the belvedere next to it, theChurch of Christ the Kingand the splendid onesnineteenth-century villasincluding Villa Mellacqua, Villa Colosso, Villa La Meridiana or Ruggeri and Villa Daniele.

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to seeItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

Santa Maria di Leuca/Gallipoli

From Santa Maria di Leuca to Gallipoli there are about 52 kilometres. Along this stretch of coast there are some of the most beautiful beaches in Salento such asMarina di Pescoluse, Punta della Suina and, a little further north of Gallipoli,Porto Cesareo with Punta Prosciutto.


Tourist destination par excellence, the beautifulGallipolirises in front of the Tyrrhenian Sea and is characterized by three souls: theOld Townlocated on an island about 1.5 km in circumference, thenew villageconnected to the island by a thin strip of land and thebeaches.

Among the best things to do and see in Gallipoli, the pearl of Puglia, I absolutely recommend the walk in the historic center (ancient village) with a visit to theCastle, The Baroque cathedral of Sant'Agata, The Purity beach, The Viceroy oil mill and the tasting ofGallipoli pastry(with dough different from the typical one from Lecce).

Itinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to seeItinerary 7, 10, 15 days Puglia what to see

Instead, they stand out among the best beaches in the areaPunta Suina(for those who love quieter, wilder and more nature-rich places), beachPadula Bianca and beach ofLido Shells.

How to reach Salento and Puglia (even from Sicily) and how to get around

Public connections with the Salento area are not very easy or frequent, especially if you start from areas such as Sicily (my island of origin). To carry out the itinerary that I have just left you, the best way is to reach Puglia directly incar(if you live in nearby Regions) or awayplaneusing the airports of Brindisi or Bari, and then renting a vehicle (I trusted thecar rental Italy Car Rent feeling great).

L 'Brindisi airportit is the closest to Lecce and the Salento area (46 km from Lecce and 96 km from Otranto). If your starting region is theSicily, know that from August 1, 2021 the airlineDAT – Flights to Sicilyopens thedirect routeC.atania-Brindisi (1 hour and 50 minutes of flight).

L 'Bari airportit is instead 166 km from Lecce and 210 km from Otranto.I recommend the trainsince the travel times, from any area you start from, are really excessive. A good alternative could instead be thebusconsidering that many companies carry out direct routes from the main cities of Italy. In any case, once you arrive in Puglia, car rental is absolutely necessary to be able to move freely and visit all the wonders that the Region holds.

Verónica Crocitti

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