10-day Puglia Itinerary – The perfect Italy road trip


Puglia, also called the heel of the boot of Italy, is a region that is home to many cute towns, such as the white town Ostuni, the picturesque Monopoli and Gallipoli as well as the famous trulli village Alberobello. The great thing about visiting Italy is that great food is guaranteed. We did spend 10 days in Puglia, and visited in October 2020, during Covid. This meant, it was way quieter than normal, and at a certain point during our holiday, it even felt too quiet. I would recommend visiting Puglia, when you can, in shoulder season. With this 10-day Puglia Itinerary, I’ll show you our travel route, which I would refer to as the perfect Italy road trip. There wouldn’t be a single thing that I would have changed, except for adding more days and spending a little longer on the beach and in a Masseria. 

How to get around in Puglia?

As this guide describes a road trip, I would 100% recommend renting a car. It gives you an amazing amount of freedom and allows you to visit smaller villages and beaches along the way. I’m always a big fan of rentalcars.com for car rental. We managed, to park for free during our entire trip! Of course, this needs some research and sometimes a bit of walking to your Airbnb/hotel. Train lines in Italy are quite easy to use and many of the below-mentioned villages and towns are connected, however, of course, it is way harder to visit the beaches or to combine several towns in one day. 

* Note: All links below link to detailed travel and city guides

Day 1 || Head to Lecce and discover the city

Day 2 || Discover Gallipoli (+ Corigliano d’Otranto)

Day 3 || Discover the south of Puglia (Grotta della Poessia)

Day 4 || Matera (Sassi Barisano)

Day 5 || Matera (Sassi Caveoso)

Day 6 || Polignano a Mare (via Altamara, Castel del Monte, Bari)

Day 7 || Monopoli & staying in a Masseria

Day 8 || Valle d’Itria (Cisternino, Locorotondo, Martina Franca)

Day 9 || Alberobello & Ostuni 

Day 10 || Ostuni

Day 1 || ARRIVAL IN LECCE Lecce and discover the city

We flew from Amsterdam to Brindisi, where we rented our car and started our trip. Lecce was the first stop, and what a great first stop this was. I quite fell in love with Lecce, and after the whole holiday, we dare to say this was our favorite city. There is an opportunity for quite some day trips, but it is the perfect base to spend your evening due to the many restaurants and bars in Lecce. Next to that, there are many pretty places to visit, so don’t forget to also spend one of your days discovering Lecce itself. 

Night 1: Stay the night in Lecce, click on the link to learn more about the hotels.

Chiesa di San Matteo, What to do in Lecce
What to do in Lecce, Puglia, Italy

Day 2 || Discover Gallipoli as a day trip from Lecce (+ Corigliano d'Otranto)

Gallipoli (click for a photo gallery) is a cute little beach town worth visiting. We loved walking along the seafront while crossing through the cute alleys in the city center on our way back to the car. Unfortunately, no nice restaurant recommendations from our side, as the restaurant we ate at wasn’t too good. I would recommend heading into town for a restaurant instead of going for a beach view. On our way to Gallipoli from Lecce, we also crossed Corigliano d’Otranto. The place is not special, but it is fun to see some smaller and fewer tourist places around as well. After our day trip, we returned to Lecce to spend the evening and head out for drinks and dinner. 

Night 2: We stayed the night in Lecce to not switch hotels daily. However, if you would like, you could also stay in Gallipoli to enjoy some beach views! Visit the links below to learn more.

Corigliano d'Otranto, The south of Puglia
Beach in Gallipoli, Puglia, Italy


The south of Puglia is also home to many beaches and my favorite, the Grotta della Poessia. We spend a day driving south along the coast. Unfortunately, the weather turned bad and hence we couldn’t visit all sights we planned for. This article, on day trips around the south of Puglia, covers a full overview of what places to visit from Lecce.

Night 3: We stayed in the same hotel in Lecce as before.

Grotta della Poessia, South of Puglia, Lecce, Italy

Day 4 || From Lecce to MATERA and explore Sassi Barisano

Even though Matera isn’t officially part of Puglia, but belongs to the Basilicata province, it’s often combined and added to a Puglia itinerary; and for a reason. The city is beautiful and worth discovering. The most striking thing about Matera is that it consists of two Sassi. On the first day in Matera, we focused on exploring one of them, named Sassi Barisano. Read everything you need to know about Matera in this specific Complete Matera City Guide. 

Night 4: We stayed in Matera. Explore the best hotels in Matera below.

City Guide View over Matera, Puglia, Bascilicata, Italy
Matera Viewpoint Palombaro lungo, Italy


On the second day in Matera, we spend discovering Sassi Caveosa. Personally, Sassi Caveosa was my favorite as there were so many amazing alleys to discover and photograph. 

Night 5: We stayed in Matera. Explore the best hotels in Matera below.

Views overlooking Materas Nature
Sassi Caveoso, Matera, City Guide Italy

Andalusia might be one of my favourite destinations in the world. The south of Spain has so much to offer and discover such as the beautiful cities Seville and Granada as well as the smaller cute towns like Vejer

Find your road trip itinerary here.

Day 6 || Polignano A Mare (Via Altamura, Castel del Monte and Bari)

Day 6 was packed. We departed from Matera early in the morning and had a quick stop in Altamura to stroll around and head for a coffee. Afterward, we continued our journey to the more famous Castel del Monte. I have to admit, the outside is pretty but it’s not necessarily worth it to visit the inside, especially unguided as you just walk through empty rooms. After we visited the castle, we continued to Bari for a stroll around town and some lunch. Want to know more about this little side road trip in Puglia? Check out everything about our day tour past Altamura, the castle, and Bari here.

The last stop of the day and our place to stay the night was Polignano a Mare, a cute coastal town with one of the most iconic views of Puglia. Stopping at Polignano a Mare? Make sure to check out this full travel guide to Polignano a Mare.

Night 6: We stayed for 1 night in Polignano a Mare, in the lovely Nisea! Find more hotels below.

Castel del Monte, Puglia, Italy
Polignano a Mare, Puglia, Italy

Day 7 || Visit MONOPOLI AND stay the night IN A MASSERIA

We started our day with breakfast in Polignano a Mare before checking out of our great apartment and starting the next day. Visiting Monopoli was next on our list, where we strolled around and enjoyed some takeaway lunch from a cute bakery. Afterward, we continued our journey to Masseria Montenapoleone to relax by the pool for the remainder of the afternoon and to fully soak in the experience of staying in a Masseria. Do you want to learn more about staying the night in a Masseria? Click here to learn all about the Masseria experience.

Photographic Guide to Monopoli - Old harbour of Monopoli, Italy
Dinner area of Swimmingpool of Masseria Montenapoleone, Puglia, Italy


Day 8 of this 10-day Puglia itinerary was marked by exploring the first villages of the Valle d’Itria, the beautiful area famous for some cute little towns and the trullis. We decided to leave Alberobello the next day, to be able to go early in the morning and escape the crowds. Unfortunately, the weather turned bad this day which meant that walking around and sitting on a terrace wasn’t possible this day. Still, we had a great time exploring these villages. Learn more about them and check out my favorite snapshots here. We even spend the night in a trulli (or well, unfortunately, the house connected to it). 

Night 8: We stayed near Locorotondo.

Locorotondo, Valle d'Itria, Puglia, Italy
Martina Franca, Valle d'Itria, Puglia, Italy

Day 9 || visit ALBEROBELLO and head to OSTUNI

As mentioned, we wanted to visit Alberobello early in the morning as this might be the most famous place in Puglia because of the Trulli houses. We mentioned beating the crowds, probably also due to visiting during COVID, and enjoying Alberobello to the fullest. There is not too much to do, but it’s a great place for photos! After we visited Alberobello in the morning, we continued our journey to the final destination of the trip: Ostuni. We enjoyed lunch, soaked up the sun, and went for dinner to leave exploring the city in more detail the next day. 

Night 9: We spend the night in Ostuni, to have the afternoon to explore the city and have the best restaurants available.

Viewpoint over Alberobello, Puglia
Quick Guide to Alberobello, Puglia, Italy

Day 10 || OSTUNI

On the final day of this 10-day Puglia itinerary, we spent in the beautiful town of Ostuni. We wandered around, made loads of pictures, visited a great viewpoint, visited a very famous bar, and enjoyed the last rays of the sun as well as the stunning Italian food. Learn more about what to do, see, eat, and where to stay in Ostuni here. 

Night 10: We spend our final night in Ostuni, before waking up early and driving back to the airport.

Famous door in Ostuni (Porta del Paradiso), Puglia
View from Viewpoint Corso Vittorio Emmanuel II, Ostuni, Puglia

Check out all guides about Puglia here:

Check out all guides about puglia here:


10 day Puglia itinerary, your perfect Italy roadtrip


10 day Puglia itinerary, your perfect Italy roadtrip


10 day Puglia itinerary, your perfect Italy roadtrip