Here are some of the amazing surrounding areas to where I stayed in Castellana Grotte. Including but not limited to, beautiful cathedrals, restaurants in caves, ancient cities and Santa's remains? (Who knew?)
The nearest town to Castellana is Monopoli. I short 15-20 minute drive through winding roads down to the sea.
This is La basilica di Maria Santissima della Madia. The most beautiful cathedral (that I know plan to marry in one day). A must see! The details alone are unbelievable!
Make sure to stop at one of the MANY panifici (or bakeries) for local delicacies. One of my favorites (pictured here) is intorchiate, a braided salty and sweet cookie type treat.
This place right here. In love. Polignano a Mare. A cliff side ancient Italian city. Unreal.
I arrived just as the "off season" began so this restaurant, in the picture above, was closed. It's built into the side of the cliffs and open to the sea. I have to return during the summer season just to go here if nothing else!
The local beach. Packed in the Summer months, I had it (almost) to myself. This picture doesn't do it justice.
One of the most enchanting things about Old Town in Polignano a Mare are the writings on the wall, so to speak. Famous quotes from all the worlds greats line the walls, stairs, doors of this charming little town. Magical.
Next was Bari, the closest large city. Interesting fact: Santas remains lay beneath this alter! I really interesting story behind this too if you have the chance!
Next on the list were the Trulli in Alberobello, a village filled with these unique conical shaped stone houses.
If you want to go off the beaten track of where everyone goes in Italy, definitely visit Apulia. This is by no means an extensive list of all the places to visit. If you want to experience real Italy, this is the place and I promise you wont be disappointed!