Included in CNN’s guide to the 52 beaches to visit in 2018, Polignano a Mare, is a shining gem on the Italian Adriatic, just over 18.5 miles from Bari, where history, culture, impressive landscape, and culinary delicacies meet and mingle into a unique combination. A combination that inspired Domenico Modugno, born in Polignano a Mare in 1928, to write one of the most iconic Italian songs to represent Italy all over the world, ‘Nel blu dipinto di blu’, better known as ‘Volare’.
As proven by archaeological excavations in the locality of Santa Barbara, the area has been settled since prehistoric times, and it has never lost its appeal. Indeed, in the picturesque historical center there are traces of its Arab, Byzantine, Spanish and Norman past. It was so important to the Romans that Emperor Trajan built his Via Traiana through the town with a bridge that still today constitutes an amazing backdrop and a privileged point of view on the main beach, Lama Monachile, which looks like a fjord but is the mouth of a dead river. The small sandy beach with crystal clear waters is flanked on two sides by 20 meter-high limestone cliffs pitted with caves carved by the sea; perched on top of them there is the historical town center. The cliff is also the location of an annual cliff diving contest that attracts up to 45,000 spectators.
Polignano a Mare is renowned for seafood, often eaten raw, and also for the scrumptious ice cream. In particular the ‘cono tuffato‘, which is an ice cream cone plunged into whipped cream before being served.
Ilona Catani Scarlett