Posted by Carter | Under Travel Tips
Thursday Mar 24, 2016
The Best Italian Beach Towns: Bari to Puglia
Puglia is the region that is on the heel of Italy’s boot, aka the most southerly part of the country and one of the most beautiful. Thanks to the slimness of its shape, the region is completely surrounded by beaches, some of the best beaches in all of Italy.
Known for its sunny weather and perfect villages and towns, Puglia is one of the best places to take a summer vacation in Italy.
Plenty of the locations in the region are also the best Italian beach towns you can find in the country, from the quaint undiscovered village of Bari to the street markets of Monopoli, here’s your guide to some of the best Italian beach towns in Puglia:
The old town of Bari and its Nature Reserve are stunning. Close to the sea, the town has some of the region’s most beautiful architecture, narrow and winding streets, a seaside promenade, and a powerful old castle. Not known to many tourists, you get to meet plenty of local residents and try lots of local food here, including freshly-caught fish. The village is also very close to the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve, a protected marine life area that is about an hour away from the village by car. Here you can find plenty of Mediterranean-style beaches, with dunes and marshes, as well as traditional olive groves.
The most southerly part of Puglia, the Salento Peninsula is home to the beautiful town of Gallipoli. Experience this quiet and peaceful beach town with just under 30,000 inhabitants on your Puglia journey. The town, which translates to mean beautiful city, has an old town center, which is connected to the rest of the city via an old 17th century bridge, while much of the city was built as far back as the 13th century. The town is also home to a number of long sandy beaches with turquoise waters.
Known as the “Florence of the South,” Lecce is the gem of the Salento peninsula and one of the top destinations in Puglia to visit by car rental. You can find a number of incredible historic landmarks in this quaint village, including Baroque monuments, churches, and squares. The town has so many famous sites that also goes by the name of “Baroque City.” All of the buildings are made with Lecce stone, which makes the town look distinctly different from the other Puglian towns, and it offers its own local cuisine that you cannot find anywhere else in Italy.
The town of Monopoli has an old town center that is worth exploring, some great beaches, and plenty of seafront-facing restaurants and bars. Enjoy the town’s colorful regular street market and its historic cathedral, with a 17th century bell tower. You can swim at beaches in the town and take a stroll along the town’s seafront promenade, where you can view the overbearing structure of Charles V Castle, which was built in 1552.
Santa Maria di Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca, also known as just Leuca, is the most southern town in the region and is on the Salento peninsula. This is where the two seas of the Adriatic and Ionian merge. The town has been popular with wealthy Italian tourists since the early 20th century, and you can still see the spectacular old villas that line the seafront here. Climb the town’s impressive old lighthouse, which was built in 1864 for a great view of the town and the coastline. You can also spend time enjoying the nearby sandy beaches of Posto Vecchio, Pescoluse and Felloniche and take a boat from the town to islands and geological formations!
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