Bari, Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, Monopoli, Alberobello, and Matera
Ever since I set foot in Italy for the first time in 2015, I fell in love with the food and the amazing sightseeing that it has to offer, from old buildings with lots of history to beautiful nature or crystal clear water, Italy is among my favorites countries. Therefore I made it my religion to try to get to see as much as I can from it, this April it was time for the Puglia area in the south-east part. Bari, Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, Monopoli, Alberobello, and Matera were all on my list for the 3.5 days city break.
The direct flight to Bari, made me decide upon getting a hotel near Bari Centrale station, Italy’s trains are pretty decent and the chaotic traffic made me want to avoid renting a car, therefore I set my focus on how I could see as much as the area as possible. Also since Bari is pretty small you can get to about anywhere by foot. If you don’t yet have a Booking account and you are looking for a discount on your first trip, you can register using this URL.
Knowing that I would only get 3 full days, I started my itinerary based on the trains that I can catch. The Puglia area is not that big, so adding 2 places in one day wasn’t that difficult, the only impediment was the fact that I was traveling during the Catholic Easter Holiday and many trains and buses had special schedule times. Google maps is not up to date with the trains, so it’s better to ask for additional information if you plan on taking public transport.
In the first day, I went to Polignano a Mare and Ostuni. The first one has amazing views of the gulf, but can be really crowded so keep that in mind if you plan on going to the beach there. Polignano is among the most impressive ones, so make sure to check it out. Ostuni was a bit different, maybe because of the fact that we had to walk to the town, due to the very inconvenient bus schedule, or because it was a rainy day, I cannot say that it made me want to recommend it. Same goes for Monopoli, the city that I saw on the second day, not very impressive if you already saw Bari and Polignano.
Going back to the bucket list destinations, Alberobello should definitely be there. The Trulli houses are a feast for the eyes and if you want the full authentic experience, you should go eat in one of the restaurants found in the small houses. I’ve chosen the restaurant randomly, but the food and the wine were amazing. This is one of the best things about Italy, it doesn’t matter where you eat, the food will be amazing.
I saved the last day for another amazing place that will be in 2019 the cultural capital, Matera. Also the set for famous movies, this city dates back to the ancient people, its caves being proof that this is among the first gatherings in the world. The city is made from rock and most of the old houses are carved from it, even if the story of the city is not a happy one, and it’s people actually fled the town because of the high criminality rate, nowadays many returned for a new life. As a personal recommendation, since the rocks will get very heated during summer, make sure you either visit it when the temperature is not that high or you protect yourself from the sun.
In terms of costs, I can layout the way that I had them divided:
- Plane tickets were a bargain at 35 euros for 2 persons round trip from Cluj-Napoca
- Accommodation in the hotel in Bari for 3 nights with breakfast was 155 euros.
- Transport (trains and buses): 50 euro
- Food, drinks and souvenirs: 300 euro
The total cost of the trip was: 540 euro for 2 persons.
From Matera I got the bus that took me straight to the airport and home to Cluj, caring with me the amazing experience that I had in Puglia. Is this area on your list? Are you also a fan of Italy as I am?
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