Top 14 most beautiful towns in Apulia, which town to choose?

Which towns or villages, close to Bari in Apulia, should you pay a visit to? Which ones are the most beautiful, and do all the ‘white cities’ of Italy live up to their fame? Here you’ll find answers to: what to see, where to go.

Bari – which nearby towns should you visit?

The main strength of Apulia lies in those small towns and villages, right at the edge of Europe. In Poland, we sometimes jokingly refer to them as the Bieszczady Mountains of Italy (since they serve as our southern border). The smoothest way of getting from town to town is by car. However it’s by no means impossible to utilize public transport to visit the most important spots, which you’ll quickly spot by their characteristics white, compact aesthetic on the buildings. Most of them have their centres either on top of a hill, or next to the sea.

Polignano a Mare 

polignano a mare
View of the Polignano a Mare bay and the beach

The most popular town of Apulia and ,detabatably, also the prettiest. It’s located roughly 20 to 30 mins of travel (by train) away from Bari. Apart from the gorgeous beach, the center of the city deserves some attention too. As it usually goes with popular tourist spots, in the warm seasons the place is riddled with tourists.


The panorama of Monopoli, the dock and the bay

Good alternative to the Polignano a Mare. Monopoli is a precious little gem that’s also located very near Bari. Charming little town center, unique white aesthetic of the houses, abundance of beaches, the vast bay and lots of sightseeing – what more could you ask for?



View of Locorotondo

Locorotondo is a small and peaceful town, one of the famous three in the Trullo valley. The centre of the town is tiny and inviting, and additionally the town lives on a hillock, from which you can admire all of the magnificent views of Apulia.


The white city of Ostuni

Another town on a hill. From Ostuni, you can spot the Adriatic Sea, even though it’s not necessarily located near the sea itself. Compared to the aforementioned towns, the centre of Ostuni is quite large and, unfortunately, usually riddled with tourists.


Famous Trulli in Alberobello

Although it’s not the only attraction of the town, Alberobello is most well known for its Trulli. Once again, a beautiful town centre, average size this time. Since the town is incredibly famous, it’s not the greatest of ideas to venture there in search of a peaceful, relaxing stay.



Vieste is a moderately small town located far into the Gargano peninsula, which is quite difficult to get into through the public transport. The town itself is a fairly calm one, consisting of a gorgeous town centre, very reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast.

Monte Sant’Angelo

Monte Sant'Angelo
View of Monte Sant’Angelo from the top

Planning on visiting Vieste? Then you should most certainly come here too! It’s a city known for incredible views (mainly thanks to it being located high up on the hills) of the nearby forests and the sea, as well as one of the most famous catholic sanctuaries, Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo – dedicated to the Archangel Michael. The city’s also got a rich history and was once a capital of a large Norman dominion.


Colourful streets of Manfredonia

Another town on the Gargano peninsula – located close to Monte Sant’Angelo. The town’s not really the crowdy type when it comes to tourists – at least not yet. The place being very colourful, but not too flamboyant, gives it this incredibly warm, inviting atmosphere. For now, it remains a hidden gem of Apulia.


The town centre of Lecce

According to some, Lecce is the ‘Florence of the south’, a ‘capital of Baroque’ in Apulia, if you will. The city’s filled with monuments, squares, churches, schools and art. If sightseeing and art is what drives you, we highly recommend Lecce.


View of Trani

The biggest attractions of Trani are its Trani Cathedral from 1099, dedicated to St. Nicholas the Pilgrim, and the town center. As can be seen above, the views are spectacular.



A town with a gorgeous port and a respectable amount of sandy beaches. As per usual, after hitting up the beach, take a stroll around the charming city center. Otranto’s located quite far south, so it’s not the fastest of journeys. But most certainly a worthwhile one.



On your way down south, pay a visit to Altamura, another one of the white cities. A highlight is without a doubt its “Pane di Altamura” – the famous local bread.


Streets of Peschici

Another town from the Gargano peninsula. Compared to Vieste, it’s equally charming and popular. Peschici offers sandy beaches for relaxation and a stunning view of the Adriatic Sea.


Uliczki Cisternino
Streets of Cisternino

If you’re a carnivore and you’re planning on visiting Alberobello or Locorotondo, we recommend visiting Cisternino as well. The place’s full of butchers, where you can acquire some fresh meat, or go straight for paninis while you’re there.

Martina Franca

Matrina Franca
The town center of Martina Franca

Martina Franca is an averagely sized town close to Locorotondo or Cisternino. It has a fairly sizable town center with some truly charming squares. Worth visiting for a day, and while you’re at it, be sure to give their local paninis a try.

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