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7 underrated sights to visit in Puglia (before word gets out)

Puglia beaches

Thanks to social media, nowadays, most people already have a list of sights prior to departure that they think they should visit when they’re traveling, based on all the posts they’ve seen online. This way, however, they might miss on great alternatives to more frequented hotspots.  

On top of that, there are a number of reason to opt for a lesser-known destination:

  • you have already been to most popular sights
  • you can’t get to that area for whichever reason
  • you prefer to avoid the crowds

That’s why we have collated a few suggestions for your next trip to beautiful Puglia! Discover these hidden gems before everyone else and experience a more authentic way to travel. 

a view of a rocky mountain

Rocca del Garagnone

You may know the imposing octagonal castle of Castle del Monte, while fewer people have heard of this magnificent site with ruins of a fortification from the Norman and Swabian period that has now blended with the plateau amid the valley, earning it the name of “the invisible castle”. The view from atop the mountain is breathtaking, and the hike to get there is unparalleled. 


Matera isn’t the only cave town in Southern Italy, Ginosa is also an ancient town with homes built into the stone, and it is not frequented by day trippers, on most days you’ll have the whole town by yourselves. Go back in time and learn how people lived in ages past and at one with nature.  


Grottaglie ceramics may be famous all over the world, but this heritage industry is also part of Laterza’s history, here the MUMA museum showcases exquisite majolica from this area from both the present and past. Not only that, but this hamlet is also impressive in itself, sprawled atop a canyon, surrounded by beautifully wild scenery, with hills criss-crossed by hiking trails, so you can also explore this area on foot, if you wish. 

Ceglie Messapica 

You may recognize the iconic trulli, white circular houses with a grey cone-shaped roof, from the many photos that circulate online, which made Alberobello a renowned destination, but this type of homes can be found outside that town too. If you wish to stay in one, opt for Ceglie Messapica, where there are many hotels housed in trulli and the town is quieter and less frequented by day trippers.


Many flock to Polignano, because of its Instagram fame, but this whitewashed town that juts out into the sea, it’s also a sight to behold. Tiny lanes lined with traditional stone homes framed by colorful shutters lead to the marina, a beautiful waterfront area complete with a promenade and seaside restaurants, overlooked by the church and an ancient round fortification. 


If you find yourself closer to Taranto than Bari (Puglia’s capital city), the “Town of two seas” as it’s known among the locals, abounds with things to see, from the Aragonese castle to ancient palazzos: history buffs will definitely enjoy their time here! 

As much as there is to see above ground, Taranto also hides its historical riches underground: the Hypogeum Museum allows you to discover fascinating vaults built by the ancient Greeks who once ruled here. And out at sea you can spot dolphins aboard a catamaran, as there is a protected colony here. 

Taranto beaches 

What really put Puglia on the map were its beautiful beaches, particularly those in the Salento area, dubbed “The Maldives of Salento” for its white-sand coastline and turquoise waters. However, many overlook the equally stunning beaches around Taranto, which are frequented by locals only and offer scenic views and crystal-clear waters too. They can be a great alternative to the more hyped ones, so you can enjoy a quieter day under the sun!

Drop us a line if you’re traveling to Puglia, we can plan a great itinerary for you which includes all these sights and more! When you book with a DMC like AuthenticPugliaTours you’re guaranteed that no tourist-traps are included in your itinerary, only unique and authentic sights instead, so you get to experience Puglia like a true local.

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