The stunning region of Puglia in Southern Italy is one of the most unspoilt and authentic places to visit in the country. More specifically, the charming port city of Bari is the region’s capital and definitely the best place to use as a base from where to explore the beauties of Puglia.
Bari Old Town may strike first-time visitors as a bit rough around the edges. Yet Bari is an irresistibly authentic city with an inescapably vintage air.
It is a quintessentially Italian town where you can buy handmade pasta from ladies selling their fresh produce at the side of the street, watch as locals chat the evening way at makeshift living rooms of plastic chairs and tables set up outside their front doors and stroll along a splendid promenade at sunset.
Apart from its own beauties though, Bari is also the perfect place from where to take easy day trips to several amazing destinations across Southern Italy.
Quaint coastal towns, historical landmarks and natural wonders are just a short drive or bus ride away from Bari.
Two of the loveliest places to visit on easy day trips from Bari are Alberobello, a picturesque town that seems to have sprung out of the pages of a fairy-tale, and Monopoli, one of the most gorgeous seaside towns in Puglia.
Alberobello day trip from Bari
Alberobello is a town in Itria Valley, an area in Puglia which is famous for its gorgeous countryside. However, there is one more reason why Itria Valley is really worth a trip in its own right.
This is the area that coincides with Italy’s so-called Trulli zone.
A Trullo is a type of building which is unique to Puglia. Trulli is round stone buildings with conical roofs which were used as stables or storage rooms in the past. Nowadays, most of them are restored to perfection in order to house restaurants, B&Bs and souvenir shops.
Alberobello is abundant in Trulli, some of which are among the best preserved in Puglia. A visit to Alberobello is mandatory so as to check out this impressive architectural style. Walking around Alberobello is a unique, almost surreal experience. No wonder why Alberobello is one of the most photographed and visited places in Southern Italy.
How to get from Bari to Alberobello
Alberobello is one of the best day trip destinations from Bari. This is mainly because it’s only an hour’s drive to get from Bari to Alberobello. If driving is not an option, you can also get to Alberobello from Bari by means of public transport, either train or bus.
How to spend a day in Alberobello
The historic centre of Alberobello, which is the very heart of the Trulli zone, is really compact. Therefore, a day trip is enough to check out everything there is to see in this wondrous place.
The best place to start a day trip in Alberobello is Rione Monti. This area in the historic centre of Alberobello is the most visited and touristy part of the town and for a good reason. Rione Monti is home to more than 1000 Trulli and walking among them is a unique experience like no other.
Rione Monti is where the majority of Alberobello’s souvenir shops and cafes are situated. It’s almost impossible to enjoy Rione Monti without crowds during peak hours so try to visit as early in the morning as possible.
Once you’ve had enough of wandering around this gnome-like village (if that’s even possible), it would make perfect sense to visit Belvedere Santa Lucia, a terrace from where the views to the Trulli of Rione Monti are literally breathtaking.
The next essential stop is Trullo Sovrano, a museum that gives a fantastic insight into how life in a Trullo used to be in the past. The only two-storey Trullo building in Alberobello, Trullo Sovrano is situated near the edge of the town’s historic centre. Stepping inside Trullo Sovrano feels like taking a trip into the past.
The museum’s several rooms (bedroom, kitchen, dining room etc.) are decorated in the exact same way they were back in the 8th century when the Trullo was built.
In the spirit of saving the best for last, you should end your Alberobello day trip with a stroll around Rione Aia Piccola, which is the second-largest Trulli neighbourhood in the historic centre of Alberobello.
Although Rione Aia Piccola features less Trulli buildings than Rione Monti, about 500 to be precise, these are mostly inhabited by locals.
Therefore, Rione Aia Piccola is the most authentic part of Alberobello. It is there that you will experience the unique vibes of Alberobello at their best. Ultimately, it is there that Alberobello will manage to forever steal your hearts and make you promise that you will be back for more before too long.
Monopoli day trip from Bari
Alberobello may be one of the most gorgeous places to visit in Puglia but who doesn’t love a day spent by the sea? Therefore, another fantastic and super easy day trip to plan from Bari is the one to the beautiful coastal town of Monopoli.
Monopoli is an ancient city which was inhabited since 500 BC. Similar to many other towns in Southern Italy, it was founded by Ancient Greeks. Proof of that is the town’s Greek name which loosely translates to Unique City (Monopoli = Moni Poli), which is quite an accurate name considering Monopoli’s incredible charm.
Situated on the Adriatic Coast of Italy, Monopoli is often overshadowed by its more popular neighbour, Polignano a Mare.
This is why Monopoli remains largely off the radar of mass tourism. In fact, few places in Southern Italy can beat Monopoli’s authentic ambience. This gem of an Italian town seems to enjoy a state of absolute peace and quiet where local life goes on absolutely undisturbed.
How to get from Bari to Monopoli
The cheapest, quickest and, hence, the best way to get from Bari to Monopoli is by train. There is a frequent train connection between the two cities, and the journey time is just 20 minutes each way.
By car, it takes about 40 minutes or a bit more depending on traffic conditions.
How to spend a day in Monopoli
A day trip in Monopoli should always start with a stroll around the compact and incredibly picturesque Old Town. The latter’s whiteness reminds of a traditional village on a Greek Island but with an Italian touch.
And this is a combination whose beauty is hard to beat. Moreover, getting lost in the narrow alleys of Monopoli Old Town is the best way to witness the town’s authentic vibes.
After strolling around the wonder that is Monopoli Old Town, Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi is the ideal place to catch your breaths. This quaint square is vibrant with local life all day long and, thus, the best place to enjoy a glass of wine, a cup of coffee or a quick lunch before resuming your walk around Monopoli and getting ready for the best that’s yet to come.
Undoubtedly, the most fantastic thing to do in Monopoli is to take a long leisurely walk along the town’s superb promenade. Taking in the beauty of the gorgeous Italian architecture as the sea breeze fills the air with the scent and the very essence of the Adriatic Sea is a truly amazing experience.
Yet the best part of walking along the coast in Monopoli is visiting the town’s Old Port, which is hands down the most picturesque part of Monopoli.
The traditional blue fishing boats resting on the calm sea waters which are adorned by the reflections of the stunning buildings that line the shore is an image of Monopoli that you won’t easily forget.
It is because of this very image that you’ll want to keep going back to Monopoli so as to re-live the most magical moments among smiling locals and fellow enchanted visitors.
Are you planning a visit to Rome next?
Puglia is a land abundant in natural charms and architectural treasures alike. Unlike other destinations within the country, Puglia is also the ideal place to experience authentic Italy at its best.
Starting from Bari, the region’s rather rugged but utterly picturesque capital, there are countless lovely places to explore on easy day trips.
Yet Alberobello and Monopoli certainly top the list of the places that you most definitely need to see in Puglia.
Katerina and Maria started It’s All Trip To Me in an effort to help people with full-time jobs travel more by making the most of their vacation time. They achieve that through the highly informative travel guides and carefully planned-out itineraries they publish on their website.
Katerina captures their travel moments to eternity through her camera while Maria is the one who puts them down on paper.
They currently live in their hometown Athens, but they have a strong passion for Italy, which they visit at least a couple of times every year. Facebook Instagram Pinterest YouTube Twitter Linkedin