POLIGNANO BY SPEEDBOAT
We reached the marvellous Polignano from Alberobello in about half an hour by car, and we spent here the whole morning. Before beginning our city tour, we went to the harbour, Cala Paura, searching for Dorino. Who’s Dorino? The nicest end craziest local guide in Polignano, who shows you the town from the sea by his speedboat. It was the end of April and sure we couldn’t think to swim during this kind of tour, but we didn’t want to skip the beautiful sea caves. So we took contact with Dorino from home, before leaving: the prices were not cheap, but he could give us that taste of Polignano we were searching for, without spending the whole time, as I heard of other kind of tours.
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Cost: 25 Euro per person (prices 2016 – out of season)
Duration: about 45 minuts (only for the visit to the caves without swimming). Departure h. 9:00 NB: in case the sea it’s too rough or not in good conditions, the trip is cancelled and postponed.
Contact: Dorino Gite in Barca
The fact to be in April precludes a lot of activities, but it includes others that in summer are quite impossible: for example on the speed boat we were alone with just another person, there was no queue to get on, and we could really enjoy the sea in peace.
The trip was very funny because Dorino tells a lot of anectodes, some really peculiar and funny, and we run at high speed for a stretch of path, remembering of the time when my grandfather did the same with his speedboat with me on board!
If you go to Polignano you can’t skip, in my opinion, this kind of trip: the views over Polignano from the sea are incredible and very different than trying to see them only from the land, without considering that the sea caves inside are simply breathtaking! You know, they’re more than 70 and was formed after the action of erosion of the wind and the sea: in one of this caves you can even make a wish. As Dorino said, a medium who visited one of these caves, told there was something magical in it, and anyone who could make a heart wish, could also realize it. True or false, I don’t know, and I can’t even remember IF I made a wish 🙂
A very romantic experience you can do, always on caves theme, is a romantic dinner under the rocks of “Grotta Palazzese”: a restaurant with a very peculiar location, as its terrace is inside a natural cave. It’s well known in Italy and also abroad, that’s why it’s not cheap, but if you have something to celebrate, or you simply want to do something crazy, I’ll leave you the official link site. It’s possible to overnight in its hotel – link to the official site.
POLIGNANO FROM THE LAND
Excited of so much beauty seen inside the caves, we started our tour around the town: the historical centre is really small, so that you can visit it in few time and take then two hours relax time on the beach, if it’s sunny! Our tour of the historical centre began from the “Arco Marchesale”, or Big Door, the only access way to the village in the past; right under the arch is represented the scene of the Crucifixion.
Beyond this door you enter into the old town: the central zone is composed by Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, also called “Piazza dell’Orologio” (clock square) where is the cathedral “Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta”. It’s a very lively square, rich of little shops and small bars at the open air, that underline the Mediterranean athmosphere of the place. What’s enchanting in Polignano is in fact its compact historical centre.
I don’t like to make a list of the monuments and palaces of the town because it would be too boring: what you should do is to go around the narrow streets without a precise destination and observe what peculiar this place has to offer: little white streets, balconies rich of flowers, small coloured doors and some so small that you could think they are inhabited by ghosts.
However, if you’re interested in a museum, I’ll suggest you this one “Museo di Arte Contemporanea Pino Pascali”
Opening hours: everyday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 21:00. Closed on Monday.
Prices: 5 Euro
Going around we found something really curious on the walls and on some stairs of the inner streets of Polignano: there were beautiful poetries written by someone who calls himself “Guido il Flaneur”: he writes on the walls some famous poets’ lines.
Taking the street to the seafront, it’s impossible not to notice the bronze monument dedicated to Domenico Modugno, father of the Italian songwriters, born right here in Polignano. The statute is 3 metres high realized by an Argentinean sculptor; his arms are open towards his homeland. Another hypothesis is that the sculptor was influenced by one of Modugno’s songs “Volare”.
Always from the seafront you have one of the most spectacular ad instagrammable views of Polignano: the classical photo you see in every postcard, that shows our beautiful South in its nicest profile. When I think to Polignano again, I immediately remember this photo, with a marvellous sea and the houses perched on the edge of the cliff overlooking it, as to form a defensive wall.
As last stop of our tour in Polignano, we decided to go to the most touristic cove: it’s well known and super crowded, at few steps from the historical centre. It’s known as Lama Monachile, a bed of a river now dried, that today hosts the tourists who want to enjoy the sea life. The cove is placed between two walls averlooking the sea, but to really enjoy its beauty, you should go on the bridge “Ponte Lama Monachile”, built in the Bourbons age and placed on the ancient Trajan way that linked Rome to Brindisi. From here you have the most suggestive view over the Lama.
Right here we had our packet lunch and then relax lying in the sun: the sea has marvellous colours and it’s very clean, but has a stony bottom that makes it not suitable for children. Also the beach is stony: we didn’t like it very much! If you get away from the centre, you’ll find something better!
Out of Polignano, about 40 minutes on foot (3 km) or 10 minutes by car (4 km), you’ll find the abbey “Abbazia di San Vito”, a Benedictine abbey overlooking directly the sea: built on the beach and very close to the little harbour. We couldn’t see it, but we were very sorry about that! If you have some more time, I suggest you to have a look. The legend tells that a woman was drowning and was saved from San Vito who asked her to move his rests here to this place. That’s why the abbey was founded on this sacred place.
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THE MEANING OF TRAVEL FOR ME
In the last years I follow what Dalai Lama says:” At least once a year go to a place you’ve never been before”.
After years of sufferings and sacrifices, I’ve decided that life is too short and too unpredictable to continue waiting to do what I like and what makes me happy.
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