Settled since prehistoric times, Polignano a Mare is believed to be the site of the ancient Greek city of Neapolis of Apulia
. This historical city has been the harbour of many different influences for centuries. The remains of the Roman domination are scattered throughout the streets and shores, one of the most poignant being the remains on the bridge along Via Traiana that overlooks the glistening swells of the Adriatic Sea. The artistic hand of the sculptor Stefano of da Putignano has left its own imprint on the city, his authenticity displayed in the church of Chiesa Matrice di Santa Maria Assunta, also known as the Matrix Church, where its embellishments date back to the year 1628. Polignano a Mare is definitely a city that has flourished under the of influences of great regimes and individuals, although in its own right there is no denying its nature of true Italian authenticity. Quaint bars are nestled at every other corner serving gelato and espresso’s, savor their taste as you gaze at the architecture infused by the Greeks and Romans.
Wandering through the winding side streets, rusty Vespa’s and quirky Fiat 500s hide from the glare of the sun in the cooling alleyways. Rustic bakeries are easily found by following the distinct scent of freshly baked focaccia, which makes for a perfectly light Italian lunch. Venturing out of the side streets and towards the seafront, the smell of fresh seafood and Puglian
delicacies is almost overwhelming. Sheltered from the gust of the Adriatic L’Osteria di Chichibio offers some of the best seafood, from a raw seafood antipasti to Spaghetti alle Vongole Veraci and the Adriatic specialty Scorfono. Also known as Scorpion Fish, it has fiery red scales and a poisonous spine that is carefully removed before cooking, offering a distinct taste and Puglian flare.
One of the main charms of Polignano a Mare, is the ravine known as Lana Monachile. Protected by the walls of the surrounding town it is a vision of glistening crystal-clear waters. In his book, Mediterranean: A Cultural Landscape, Predrag Matvejevic describes the Adriatic as the sea of intimacy
, its soothing temperature and turquoise colour gives it a warm and welcoming attraction that draws you in, further into its embrace. As locals bathe on the pebbled shore, young children leap off the surrounding cliff precipice, fostering the frenzy of cliff diving that has been rushing through the city since the RedBull Cliff Diving World Series which first came to its shores in 2009. Though the Adriatic is the sea of intimacy in many ways, stretching from the north of the Mediterranean Sea from Po Valley to Otranto, it connects the coasts of Italy
, Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia
, Montenegro, Slovenia and over 1,300 islands in its path.
Although Polignano a Mare has been shaped and nurtured by ancient leadership and domination, it has a contrasting sense of livelihood that comes with its sense of age. It takes pride in its prehistoric heritage but has fostered modern quirks, making it the contesting new found treasure of Puglia.
If we've tempted you into dreaming about the blue shore of Southern Italy, than our Italian Travel Specialists would love to hear from you on 01694 722193 and discuss your holiday requirements or click here to request a call back.