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Crystal clear waters and cliffs pitted with caves carved by the sea give Polignano a Mare its uniqueness. A small town, known also as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” it’s just over 30 km (18.5 miles) from Bari.
Poligano is the birthplace of the renowned singer Domenico Modugno, who became famous for his song Nel blu dipinto di blu (“In the Sky, Painted Blue”). The fascinating historical centre reveals traces of its Arab, Byzantine, Spanish and Norman past, including the remains of the four watchtowers that once guarded the ancient town.
Head through the Arco della Porta (the Door Arch), once the town’s only entrance, and you’ll find yourself in the magical centre, home to the 13th-century Mother Church dedicated to the Assumption. Another must-see is the town’s former slaughterhouse, which has been renovated and today houses the Pino Pascali Museum Foundation and its collection of works by Puglia’s renowned artist and sculptor.
The high cliffs and jagged coastline between Palazzese Cave and Lama Monachile, make Polignano’s shoreline one of Puglia’s most beautiful coastal stretches, peppered with hidden inlets and charming sandy bays.
A few kilometers from the town center, along a stretch of the ancient Via Appia Traiana, you reach the suggestive resort of San Vito.
Here, in this area of great archaeological importance, stands the medieval San Vito Abbey, which imposes on the visitor’s gaze for its majestic appearance.
The legend of the Basilian monks who escaped from the East tells of the rug in the year 801 of Princess Florenza, with the relics of the saint and its precursors, Modesto and Crescenza, which are then kept inside the building.
Mansion of the Friars Minor Convent of the SS. Apostles from the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries, the abbey in 1785 became part of the properties of Regio Demanio. Today it belongs to Marquises La Greca, who make the small chapel available for Sunday religious functions.
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