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To discover how come Polignano, on the Adriatic coast of Puglia, Italy is so very popular and loved by visitors from both Italy and further a field, all you need do is see some of the photographs on this site. It's location on top of the limestone cliffs overlooking the azure sea make it a spectacular sight on its own, but if you then include the historic old town with narrow roads and alleys twisting and turning in a maze of houses, shops, bars and restaurants, it becomes everyone's idea of the perfect Italian coastal town.
Getting there from either of the international airports is easy using the coast road (SS16) it is approximately 30 miles from Bari and 50 miles from Brindisi, both an easy and relatively pleasant drive. There are 3 exits to Polignano, just take whichever is most convenient and then the hard part find somewhere to park, many roads are off limits to visitors so park where you can and don't forget to buy a ticket!
Polignano is in the province of Bari, in the region of Apulia or Puglia and has a population of a little less than 20,000 people but this is increased greatly at the weekends, holidays and of course especially August when a lot of tourists to stroll through this perfectly adorable little town.
The Entrance to the old quarter is between the Ponte Lama Monachile and the Piazza G. Garibaldi on the main road through the town, through the 16th century archway, the Arco Marchesale, which was once the only entrance to the original fortified town that was completely walled and moated on the land side.
You can actually, if you look closely as you enter, still see the evidence of the chain holes for the drawbridge, the old sentry stations, the grove for the portcullis and various other doorways.
Once inside you enter a labyrinth of alleys and narrow streets that have changed little through the centuries, with plenty of pavement restaurants and bars to keep you refreshed during your stroll. There are a few other shops with the usual tourist stuff to try to tempt you to part with a few euros for a souvenir or two.
The main attraction which brings visitors to the town from far and wide is of course the famous historical centre which is beautifully preserved and sitting precariously on the limestone cliffs, which are riddled with caves, above the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Wandering through the town you will also find various view points overlooking the sea where you can take some sensational photos and marvel at the houses perched precariously on and into the rock face.