Five Apulian Hidden Gems That Will Steal Your Heart

Nestled in the picturesque heel of Italy’s boot, Apulia (or Puglia) is a region rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. While destinations like Alberobello and Lecce often steal the spotlight, there are countless lesser-known treasures waiting to be explored. Here, we uncover five hidden gems in Apulia that deserve a place on your travel itinerary.

Grotte di Castellana

Journey beneath the surface of Apulia to discover the mesmerizing world of the Grotte di Castellana, a network of underground caves that stretch for kilometers beneath the earth. Guided tours take visitors on a magical journey through awe-inspiring caverns adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, illuminated by enchanting lighting that highlights the natural beauty of the formations. The highlight of the tour is the Grave, a massive chamber resembling an underground cathedral, where visitors can marvel at the sheer magnitude of nature’s creations.

Grotte di Castellana: sotto la pelle della Valle d'Itria lo spettacolo più  luminoso — Giorni Rubati


Known as the “White City” for its dazzling whitewashed buildings perched atop a hilltop, Ostuni is a sight to behold. Its labyrinthine streets wind their way through the historic center, revealing hidden piazzas, quaint cafes, and panoramic viewpoints at every turn. Wander through the maze-like alleys, visit the imposing Ostuni Cathedral, and soak in the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding olive groves and Adriatic coastline. With its timeless beauty and relaxed atmosphere, Ostuni captivates visitors with its undeniable allure.

16 Best Things to Do in Ostuni Italy, Puglia's White City


Tucked away in the heart of the Valle d’Itria, Locorotondo is a hidden gem known for its whitewashed houses, narrow streets, and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Stroll through its historic center, characterized by its circular layout and charming baroque architecture, and soak in the tranquil atmosphere of this idyllic hilltop town. Be sure to sample the local wine, as Locorotondo is famous for its crisp white wines made from indigenous grape varieties.

Locorotondo, cosa fare e vedere nel borgo bianco della Puglia - Idee di  viaggio - The Wom Travel

Castel del Monte

Perched high atop a hill in the Apulian countryside, Castel del Monte is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s most enigmatic castles. Built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century, this octagonal fortress is renowned for its unique architecture and geometric symmetry. Explore its interior to admire the intricate stonework and marvel at the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Castel del Monte: storia del gioiello Unesco di Andria

Polignano a Mare

Nestled on the Adriatic coast, Polignano a Mare is a postcard-perfect town that exudes charm from every corner. Its whitewashed buildings cling to cliffs overlooking the azure sea, creating a mesmerizing backdrop for exploration. Visitors can wander through the labyrinthine streets of the historic center, marvel at the breathtaking views from the Bastione di Santo Stefano, or relax on the pristine beaches tucked away in hidden coves. Don’t miss the chance to savor fresh seafood dishes at one of the local trattorias while soaking in the laid-back atmosphere of this coastal gem.

Polignano a Mare, il centro storico e le spiagge - Italia.it

Top Travel Italy is an Italian luxury DMC and we are highly specialized in offering bespoke travels, including inspiring cultural tours and authentic experiences, priority and exclusive access to monuments and museums, private transportation, and booking of selected accommodations. We are proud Italy lovers and deep connoisseurs of the excellence of our Country, which we propose as first-hand experiences with an insiders approach. We carefully design our products with a focus on regional wine and culinary excellence, treasures of art and history, artisanal traditions, and outdoor and regenerating activities. We specialize in honeymoons, romantic getaways, and behind-the-scenes tours.

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