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Gay Guide • PUGLIA | Itineraries, Tips and What to See | Practical Complete LGBT Friendly

GAY FRIENDLY PUGLIA / APULIA

Travel solutions with itineraries to discover all the wonders of this destination, places not to be missed, tips about where to sleep and what to eat, and above all many small special tipsto enjoy your journey !


Organizing your trip to visit Puglia can be complex given the size of the region and the great variety of towns, extraordinary villages and unique natural wonders.


Without a doubt the Must-See not to be missed are:

The wonderful Trulli of the Itria Valley

The colors of the sea and the villages of Salento

The breathtaking view of the Gargano

and the Dauni Mountains

The castles of Imperial Puglia

The majesty of the Murgia and the Gravine

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

Visiting this destination depends essentially on how much time you have available to fully enjoy it. So here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:

(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our itinerary)

 

Click'n'Go - Click on the places to find them on the Map

 

WHAT TO SEE in PUGLIA?

PLACES NOT TO BE MISSED in PUGLIA

Itria Valley & Alberobello

Often seen as the symbol of Puglia and synonymous with Italianness. An area rich in food and wine and cultural specialties that welcomes visitors with immense expanses of red earth, where you can admire ancient olive trees and the typical trulli that dominate the landscape. In this area you cannot miss Alberobello, known for its trulli, the beautiful village of Locorotondo, the magnificent Caves of Castellana, the white city of Ostuni and the towns of Cisternino, Martina Franca and Putignano.


Salento

Welcome to the peninsula bathed by the two seas (Ionian and Adriatic), characterized by crystal clear water, stretches of white sand and good food. In this magical land old folkloric traditions resound, such as the Notte della Taranta in Melpignano. In Salento there are ancient farms where you can spend quiet days savoring the traditional dishes of Salento cuisine. The territory is also rich in history and culture, with its early Christian churches, the underground oil mills, the mysterious dolmens hidden among the olive trees and the natural spectacle of the sea caves of Castro. The Adriatic side will surprise you with villages where you will find workshops of Lecce stone and papier-mâché artisans, excellent local wines, desserts, typical pasta, the wonderful cities of Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca, Acaya, Lecce (known as the "Florence of the South ") and natural wonders such as the Alimini Lakes and the Grotta della Poesia, considered one of the most beautiful natural pools in Italy. The Ionian part of Salento presents itself to its visitors as a paradise of tropical waters and white sand beaches such as that of Punta Prosciutto. You will find cities like Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli that will bewitch you with their culture, the sea and the frenetic nightlife.


Gargano

One of the most luxuriant and surprising natural areas in all of Puglia. The Gargano peninsula is dominated by breathtaking views towards the Adriatic Sea. If the hinterland of the promontory is home to the wild Umbra Forest, along the coast you will find golden sandy beaches and small historic villages. Without a doubt, Vieste, a small perched seaside town, is worth a visit. Also, don't miss the pretty towns of Peschici, Rodi Garganico, Monte Sant'Angelo and the religious town of San Giovanni Rotondo, as well as the beautiful Lesina and Varano lakes.


Bari e la Costa

Capital of Puglia and avant-garde city. In Bari where you can explore the alleys of the old part admiring the ladies who prepare the orecchiette with their own hands, go shopping in the shops of typical Apulian products and savor the famous Bari focaccia. A visit to the Basilica of San Nicola is not to be missed. In addition to Bari, the coast is dotted with villages and towns such as the spectacular Polignano a Mare, the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, the fishing town of Monopoli and the splendid Giovinazzo.

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MAP'CITY • BARI


Puglia Imperiale

Frederick II of Swabia was so bewitched by the beauty of Puglia that he chose this territory to build numerous castles. This is, in fact, the area known as Imperial Puglia or Federiciana, home to mysterious places where history and legend mix. Without a doubt you cannot miss Castel del Monte, a true architectural marvel. In addition to the many manors scattered throughout the area, towns and picturesque villages such as Barletta, the city of the challenge, Trani, with its Cathedral that seems to come out of the sea, the seaside village of Bisceglie with its small harbor, Gioia del Colle and Canosa di Puglia.


Magna Grecia, Murgia & Gravine

Another part of Puglia with a lot of attractions and wonderful villages. You can admire impervious canyons, crypts and caves in a setting of vineyards and olive groves. In the Alta Murgia of Bari and near Taranto, the ravines dominate the landscape. Do not miss the territory from Laterza to Gravina in Puglia and the wonderful churches carved into the rock such as those of Massafra and Mottola. In Taranto, on the other hand, you will be overwhelmed by the history and wonders of Magna Graecia, with precious finds and underground itineraries, to discover frescoed tombs and hidden treasures. Mystery and tradition characterize the towns of Altamura and Grottaglie, the home of ceramics. If you love sports and nature, trekking in the Alta Murgia National Park is the one for you. If you prefer to enjoy some sun and beautiful beaches, then Ginosa and Castellaneta Marina await you. Not to mention the local cuisine and wines, with the culinary traditions of the towns of Gioia del Colle and Santeramo in Colle.


Tavoliere delle Puglie

The second largest plain in Italy, where you can admire the Fortore Valley, the Ofanto river valley, the Gargano promontory, lakes and stretches of coastal coasts that enrich the beauty of the panorama of the Italian heel. Driving around you can see numerous expanses of olive groves and vineyards. In a few months of the year, along the Apennine stretches, you can witness transhumance, with flocks brought from the mountains of Abruzzo and Molise to the most luxuriant pastures of the Tavoliere delle Puglie. In this part of the Region there are places that are worth visiting such as the medieval historic centers of San Severo, Lucera, Troia and the seaside resort of Margherita di Savoia, famous for its salt pans and spas.


Dauni Mountains

Also called Subappennino Dauno, a place on the border between Calabria, Molise and Puglia. Between mountains and hills you can take long walks (even on horseback). Here you will find suggestive villages perched on rocky spurs, surmounted by ancient fortresses. In this area, where flora and fauna are kept unaltered, there are ancient villages such as Bovino known for its festivals such as that of the chestnut or the challenge of sautéed pork, and for events such as the "Historical Ride" in traditional costume. Another village not to be missed is Candela. Of medieval origin, it offers a beautiful view over southern Daunia. Finally, admire the marvel of Sant'Agata di Puglia and the city of Troia, famous for its wine and the enchanting cathedral.

WHAT TO SEE in GARGANO?

Vieste

A beautiful seaside village that offers white sand beaches and hidden coves. The center has numerous attractions and beautiful white stone houses. Do not miss the famous "Pizzomunno", symbol of the city, or the stairway of love.

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MAP'CITY • VIESTE


Peschici

Another of the pearls of the Gargano, with its breathtaking views and the beauty of its historical monuments such as the Medieval Castle, the Abbey of Santa Maria di Kalena and the Watchtowers.


Tremiti Islands

An archipelago a few kilometers from the north coast of the Gargano promontory with an uncontaminated sea where you can admire fish and marine animals of the most varied colors. Of the five islands, only two are inhabited: San Nicola and San Domino, home to the port of the archipelago. These islands offer tourists small rocky coves such as the "Cala degli Inglesi" from where you can admire a spectacular sunset and numerous small caves such as the "Grotta del Bue Marino", the "Grotta delle Viole", the "Grotta del Crocodile" and "Pagliai". Not to mention the small beaches that can only be reached by sea. The small island of Capraia is known for the statue of "Padre Pio" submerged a few meters from its shores.


San Giovanni Rotondo & Padre Pio

This town is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Europe. Here you can visit the Convent Sanctuary of Padre Pio which houses the remains of the Capuchin Friar of Pietrelcina.


Rodi Garganico

A village surrounded by olive groves, carob trees, citrus trees, fig trees and large pine forests. You will enjoy its long beaches of fine sand and a crystalline colored sea.


Manfredonia

The town is located in the gulf of the same name and is rich in monuments, starting with the Aragonese Svevo Angioino Castle, commissioned by Manfredi di Sicilia, now home to the Archaeological Museum. In the city there are numerous religious buildings, including the Cathedral of Manfredonia and the abbey of San Leonardo in Lama Volara.


Baia delle Zagare

Also known as Baia dei Mergoli, near Mattinata. Its peculiarity is that it is protected by high cliffs, with two stacks and white pebble beaches. This natural wonder offers the possibility of boat excursions to admire the sea caves of the Gargano.


Torre & Arco di San Felice

The arch of San Felice is a natural structure formed by the accumulation of the same limestone that forms the cliffs of this coast.


Parco Nazionale del Gargano & Foresta Umbra

In the center of the Gargano National Park you find yourself in a real natural oasis, the Umbra Forest, where you can take long walks surrounded by beeches, maples and yews (it is one of the shadyest forests in Italy, hence the name Umbra ). If you are lucky you can also meet various species of animals such as roe deer, badgers or weasels.


Monte Sant'Angelo

Seat of the Gargano National Park, also a place of pilgrimage for the Sanctuary of San Michele.

WHAT TO SEE in SALENTO?

Lecce

Also called the "Florence of the South", it is distinguished from other Apulian cities for the churches and palaces of the historic center in Baroque style (Lecce) and built with the typical limestone. In 2015 it was the Italian Capital of Culture. The center offers tourists the opportunity to admire beauties such as the Cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta. Walking through its streets, you cannot miss the typical dessert, the pasticciotto from Lecce.


Gallipoli

A very popular destination for young people because it offers expanses of beach and Caribbean sea, as well as day and night entertainment such as pubs, nightclubs for nightlife. One of the most beautiful beaches in Gallipoli is the Spiaggia della Purità, which runs along the ancient walls of the Gallipoli Castle. Don't miss the magnificent historic center either.


Ostuni

Known as the "White City" for its historic center entirely painted in white lime. The use of this material is linked to the past when it was used to sanitize houses, palaces and churches. The historic center is characterized by narrow streets and stairways where the souvenir shops and the nightlife stand out.

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MAP'CITY • OSTUNI


Otranto

One of the jewels of Salento, full of history, art, culture and Caribbean beaches. To enter its historic center, surrounded by the Aragonese walls, you cross the historic Porta Alfonsina and find yourself immersed in the beauty of its small craft and food shops. The Cathedral stands out in the square of the village. Also not to be missed is a visit to the Aragonese Castle and the Church of Santa Maria dei Martiri in perfect Baroque style. The seaside coast of Otranto is characterized by many small caves, such as the Grotta Monaca, and by marvelous bays of white sand and crystal clear waters, such as the famous Baia dei Turchi, reachable on foot through a large pine forest overlooking the sea.


Grecìa Salentina

Una One of the most interesting and particular areas of Puglia, where people speak a neo-Greek dialect known as Griko, following the Byzantine domination. The beautiful municipalities of Calimera, Martano, Castrignano de 'Greci, Corigliano d'Otranto, Melpignano, Soleto and many others belong to this territory.delle zone più interessanti e particolari della Puglia, dove la gente parla un dialetto neo-greco conosciuto come Griko, in seguito alla dominazione bizantina. A questo territorio appartengono i bellissimi comuni di Calimera, Martano, Castrignano de' Greci, Corigliano d'Otranto, Melpignano, Soleto e molti altri ancora.


Santa Maria di Leuca

This wonderful town rises between Punta Ristola and Punta Meliso where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet. A popular destination for underwater tourism for its seabed. In the city stand out the Eccletic and Pompeian Villas overlooking the sea and a large staircase of 184 steps that connects the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca to the port. The beach is dominated by a large white lighthouse and the Basilica of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae, a pilgrimage destination.

WHAT TO SEE in MAGNA GRAECIA, in MURGIA and in the GRAVINE area?

Alberobello

City known worldwide for its particular Trulli and UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Exploring the white streets and admiring the roofs of the trulli will make you feel like in a fairytale.

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MAP'CITY • ALBEROBELLO


Valle d’Itria

In the heart of Puglia we find this magical valley, dotted with olive groves and trulli, as well as wonderful farms and vineyards from which an excellent local wine is obtained.


Locorotondo

Named in this way for its round shape, it is one of the most beautiful villages in the Itria Valley and offers breathtaking views. Venture into the white alleys of the historic center to observe the rectangular houses with sloping roofs called "cummerse". From Villa Garibaldi and from the underlying Via Nardelli, called "seafront" even if the sea is not there, you can admire the whole Valle d'Itria.

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MAP'CITY • LOCOROTONDO


Martina Franca

The city of Messapian origin is another of the wonders of this land. Inside its historic center you will find several Baroque-style palaces, beautiful churches and the historic 17th-century Palazzo Ducale.


Cisternino

A small medieval village characterized by Turkish influences. It has been included among the most beautiful villages in Italy for its almost oriental charm, due to an instinctive (i.e. unplanned) architecture that distinguishes the historic center.


Altamura

The city defined as the "Lioness of Puglia" is world famous for its delicious bread, as well as for a historic center rich in art and culture. Altamura hides in the countryside the famous "Pulo", an impressive karst sinkhole about one hundred meters deep.


Gravina di Puglia

Located within the Alta Murgia National Park, the city is famous for the ravines, or rock formations created by the erosion of the water that digs the limestone rock, as well as for the spectacular Aqueduct Bridge.


Grottaglie

Known throughout the world for its ceramics. This town, not far from Taranto, owes its fortune to the clayey soil of its territory on which the production of ceramics is based. The typical artifact is the Pumo, whose name derives from the Latin "pomum" ("fruit"), which has a shape that resembles a bud enclosed between four leaves, a symbol of purity. For years many Apulian families have chosen the Pumo as a decorative element of the facades of their buildings and their balconies (Remember that the Pumo must be given as a gift!).


Taranto

A city historically closely linked to Greece. After being founded by the Spartans it was, in fact, the only colony of Sparta outside of Greece. If you want to discover all its long history and culture, dedicate yourself to a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Taranto. The city is also known as the "city of two seas", because it rises between the Mar Grande and the Mar Piccolo. Do not miss the oldest Doric temple of Magna Graecia with its splendid columns, the Aragonese Castle and the Cathedral of San Cataldo.


Ginosa & Marina di Ginosa

A city rich in art and culture, whose cave houses and rock churches convinced even the director Pier Paolo Pasolini to move some of the shots from the film The Gospel according to Matthew here. Don't miss the spectacular castle. Just outside the city, towards the sea, you will find Marina di Ginosa, the pearl of the Ionian with its unique and wonderful beaches.


Laterza

The city is known for its majolica, white, shiny and finely decorated in blue or yellow. Here, you can also visit the second largest ravine in Europe and the LIPU Oasis.

WHAT TO SEE near BARI and in IMPERIAL APULIA?

Bari

Capital of Puglia, Bari looks like a modern port city. Explore the streets of Bari Vecchia and savor the many local flavors that make it an excellence of the Apulian cuisine.


Polignano a Mare

Birthplace of Domenico Modugno, it is one of our favorite towns. A mix of Arab, Spanish, Norman and Byzantine cultures that can be found amalgamated in its historic center, a real gem.

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MAP'CITY • POLIGNANO A MARE


Trani

Perhaps our favorite city in Puglia, whose cathedral almost seems to come out of the sea simply leaving you speechless.

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MAP'CITY • TRANI


Andria

Famous for the imposing Castel del Monte, Frederick's fortress in the shape of an imperial crown, just outside the city. With an unusual octagonal shape and towers at each corner, also octagonal, this wonderful castle was included in 1996 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Then venture into the streets of the historic center to admire the Cathedral in which the Holy Thorn of the Crown of Christ is kept.


Barletta

The "City of the Disfida" with the historic center dominated by the magnificent Swabian Castle, one of the most beautiful fortresses in southern Italy. Another marvel is its Cathedral, as well as the famous Statue of the Colossus. We also recommend a trip to the Cantina della Disfida, inside a fourteenth-century building in the historic center, where an offense to the honor of chivalry led to the armed dispute of the Challenge of Barletta.


Bisceglie

The town of Simone, a small seaside village with a concentration of alleys that lead on one side to the wonders of the historic center such as the Castle and the Norman Tower, on the other towards the marina, now full of trendy cafes where you can enjoy a good aperitif . The city, however, is famous for its Dolmen, hence the name of "city of dolmens".


Monopoli

Through the cobbled streets and the spectacular churches, the seaside village of Monopoli always manages to remain in the heart of those who visit it.


Molfetta

One of the most important fishing centers in the Bari area, with a historic center where the alleys follow the "herringbone" pattern. We recommend a visit to the Cathedral of San Corrado, the Torrione Passari, the Church of Sant’Andrea and the Diocesan Museum. Just outside the city there is also the famous "Pulo" of Molfetta.


Fasano

The city has become famous because in its surroundings there is the Zoo Safari, the largest wildlife park in Italy, and the archaeological excavations of Egnazia. In addition to these two attractions, the historic center offers marvels of late Renaissance architecture such as the Mother Church and the Baroque Church of Purgatory.

 

Click'n'Go - Click on the Beaches to find them on the Map

 

MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES in PUGLIA


GARGANO:

Baia delle Zagare

Spiaggia di Vignagotica

Tor di Lupo

Spiaggia di Zaiana

Spiaggia di Calenella

Baia di Manaccora

Baia di Campi

Spiaggia di Mattinatella

Murgia della Madonna

Spiaggia di Castello / Pizzomunno


SALENTO:

Punta Prosciutto

Baia dei Turchi

San Foca

Torre dell'Orso

Maldive del Salento a Pescoluse

Torre Lapillo


BARI, BRINDISI e DINTORNI:

Spiaggia di Porto Cavallo a San Vito

Torre Incina a Polignano a Mare

Lido Santo Stefano a Monopoli

Lido delle Rose a Margherita di Savoia

Pane e Pomodoro a Bari

Lido Cala Paura a Polignano a Mare

Spiaggia di Capitolo a Monopoli

Lido Sabbia d'Oro a Torre Canne

Torre Guaceto a Carovigno

Seconda Spiaggia / Lido Matinelle a Trani

BEST NATURAL BEAUTIES in PUGLIA

Cava di Bauxite di Otranto

Discovered in the 1940s, this reddish deposit of Bauxite has now become one of the most admired places in Salento. The infiltration of water in one of the slopes of the karst terrain led to the formation of a wonderful emerald green lake in the crater of the quarry.


Grotta della Poesia in Salento

A few kilometers from Melendugno, precisely in Roca Vecchia, there is one of the most beautiful natural pools in the world. The place is known as the Grotta della Poesia. And if the wonder of the place is not enough for you, a short distance away is also the Poesia Piccola, a second non-bathing cave that offers a breathtaking view.


Grotte di Castellana

If you want to experience an adventure in the center of the Earth, then the Castellana Caves, a few kilometers from Monopoli, are an unmissable destination. The visit is possible with a guided excursion at a depth of about 70 meters, which will allow you to walk among caves with fantastic names, canyons, stalactites and stalagmites. A truly suggestive and fascinating place.

MOST BEAUTIFUL CASTLES to SEE in PUGLIA

Castel del Monte

Castello Svevo di Barletta

Castello Normanno Svevo di Bari

Castello di Trani

Castello Aragonese di Taranto

Castello di Gallipoli

Castello di Acaya

Castello Svevo di Brindisi

Castello Carlo V di Lecce

Castello di Gioia del Colle

BEST MASSERIE where to STAY or EAT in PUGLIA

Masseria Cimino (Savelletri Di Fasano - Brindisi)

Masseria Torre Coccaro (Savelletri Di Fasano - Brindisi)

Masseria Torre Del Diamante (Fasano - Brindisi)

Masseria Moroseta (Ostuni - Brindisi)

Masseria Cervarolo (Ostuni - Brindisi)

Masseria Salinola (Ostuni - Brindisi)

Masseria San Michele (Martina Franca - Taranto)

Masseria Muntibianchi (Otranto - Lecce)

Masseria Montelauro (Otranto - Lecce)

Masseria Alchimia (Fasano - Brindisi)

5 BEST CATHEDRALS & CHURCHES in PUGLIA

Cattedrale di Trani

Basilica di San Nicola a Bari

Cattedrale dell'Assunta a Troia

Santa Maria Annunziata ad Otranto

Basilica di S. Caterina d'Alessandria a Galatina

BEST EVENTS in PUGLIA


Calici di Stelle

During the week of San Lorenzo, wine tastings are organized in the best Apulian towns and in the local farms.


Patronal Festivals (Luminarie Pugliesi)

every town in Puglia is strongly linked to its patron and on the occasion of the celebrations numerous lights are mounted that frame the stalls, music and fireworks.


Night of the Taranta

According to legend, the bite of the tarantula caused hysterics that were treated with music and dance. The musicians played pizziche, or songs with unbridled rhythms, to allow the "tarantata" person to free himself from evil. In the month of August, every year, the Notte della Taranta is celebrated in Melpignano. A great concert that attracts thousands of spectators from all over the world every year.


Putignano Carnival

Among the oldest carnivals in Europe, it is one of the best events in Puglia, among colors and confetti.


If you want to discover all the other events in Puglia, we suggest you click and visit this site Viaggiare in Puglia.

WHERE TO STAY in PUGLIA?

BEST LGBT FRIENDLY HOTELS, VILLAS & APARTMENTS in PUGLIA


BARI & PUGLIA IMPERIALE:

Bari - Al Pescatore B&B

Polignano a Mare - B&B Dei Serafini

Bisceglie - B&B Le Coppe

Bisceglie - La Cattedrale B&B

Bisceglie - B&B Al Porto Novo

Trani - Palazzo Filisio Hotel Regia Restaurant ****

Trani - B&B Porto Trani


GARGANO:

Vieste - Villa Merina

Vieste - White Hotel Resort ****


VALLE D'ITRIA:

Alberobello - TrulliePuglia Resort

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Map'Hotel • TRULLIePUGLIA RESORT

SALENTO:

Ostuni - Relais Sant'Egidio ****

Ostuni - Hotel Ostuni Palace ****

Ostuni - Villa Margareta

Mesagne - Tenuta Moreno ****

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Map'Hotel • TENUTA MORENO

Alezio LE - Tenuta Monticelli

Lizzano TA - B&B Sogno Salentino

Gallipoli - Palazzo Mosco Inn - Dimora Storica

WHERE TO EAT in PUGLIA?

BEST TYPICAL RESTAURANTS of PUGLIA Quality / Price


Bari - €€ - Il Rustico

Bari - €€ - Ristorante Terranima

Vieste - €€ - Ristorante Vecchia Vieste

Vieste - €€ - Grottino

Peschici - €€ - Al Trabucco da Mimì

Peschici - €€ - Il Trabucco

Polignano a Mare - €€€€ - Grotta Palazzese

Polignano a Mare - €€ - Pescaria

Alberobello - €€ -