There is much to see and explore in Puglia and for that reason, I’m very happy we’ve rented a car and had the opportunity to visit some nice locations on our way from destination to destination. On one of the days of our Puglia itinerary, we went en route from Matera to Polignano a Mare, we managed to visit Castel Del Monte, Bari & Altamura. We visited Altamura quickly as we drove almost past it and had a coffee near the main square and wandered around. Afterwards we headed to Castel del Monte after which we continued to Bari to arrive at lunch time. As Bari is a big city in Puglia, you can probably spend more time there than we did and stay for a night instead of just visiting during the day and enjoying some lunch. After the lunch and stroll, we continued to arrive in Polignano around 3ish where we walked around and settled down for a drink.
Our day started in Altamura, where we parked at a parking near the market (this doesn’t cost much, so we decided to just drive to the city center and park at a free spot). We strolled around the small alleys, took some shot from the daily life going on in Altamura and wandered towards the main square. At the main square, we sat down at Caffe Ronchi for a croissant and a good cappuccino, the perfect start of another day in Italy.
After a stop in Altamura, we continued and drove to Castel del Monte. There is a parking lot, where you have to pay 5 euros to park your car. A really short walk leads you to the castle. You can walk around the castle and admire the wide views around as well as the interesting shape and look of the castle it self. Next to that, you can also get a ticket and enter the castle. Tickets can solely be bought online and had to select a time slot. You can buy your tickets to get in here. Tickets to get in the castle are 7 euros. When we were there, in front of the castle there were some guides offering a guide through the castle. To be honest, the castle itself is not quite interesting as all rooms are empty. Sometimes, the castle hosts exhibitions. Therefore, I wouldn’t necessarily go in unless you’re really interested in the history and the castle, but then I would advise to go for a guide or an audio guide to learn more about the history of the different rooms.
Bari, the largest city in Puglia and also where many might arrive when starting a Puglia road trip. We decided to not stay in Bari as there were so many other great places to visit and we’ve heard mixed stories about having to stay in the city or not. We actually liked the city when strolling around, so one or two nights wouldn’t have been bad to explore the city a little bit more. I thought the city was really authentic and it really shows the Italian vibe with the different colors, citizens on the balconies and flowerful alleys. We had lunch at Osteria Le Arpie that we got recommended and for a reason. The place was also packed with locals and we had to wait for a little bit before we actually had a seat.
After our visit to Castel del Monte, Bari & Altamura we continued our trip to Polignano a Mare, another great town in Puglia worth visiting. Even though the day was quite packed, I enjoyed the various stops as all places had a different vibe.