Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Puglia

Castel del Monte

You'll see Castel del Monte, an unearthly geometric shape on a hilltop, from miles away. Mysterious and perfectly octagonal, it's one of southern Italy's most talked-about landmarks and a Unesco World Heritage Site.…
Top Choice Cathedral in Otranto

Cathedral

Mosaics, skulls, crypts and biblical-meets-tropical imagery: Otranto's cathedral is like no other in Italy. The church was built by the Normans in the 11th century, though it's been given a few facelifts since. Cove…
Top Choice Basilica in Bari

Basilica di San Nicola

Bari's signature basilica was one of the first Norman churches to be built in southern Italy, and is a splendid example of Puglian-Romanesque architecture. Dating to the 12th century, it was originally constructed t…
Top Choice Cave in Monte Sant'Angelo

Santuario di San Michele

Over the centuries this sanctuary has expanded to incorporate a large complex of religious buildings that overlay its original shrine. The double-arched entrance vestibule at street level stands next to a distinctiv…
Top Choice Basilica in Lecce

Basilica di Santa Croce

It seems that hallucinating stonemasons have been at work on the basilica. Sheep, dodos, cherubs and beasties writhe across the facade, a swirling magnificent allegorical feast. Throughout the 16th and 17th centurie…
Top Choice Puglian in Vieste

Vecchia Vieste

The best in Vieste can be found in the stony cavernous interior of this modest restaurant that sells what is possibly the best homemade, hand-shaped orecchiette in Puglia (and that's saying something). Try it topped…
Top Choice Puglian in Lecce

Trattoria Il Rifugio della Buona Stella

A third-generation family restaurant in a gorgeous Leccese building with sandy stone walls and medieval decor, this wonderful trattoria serves fine food at sale-of-the-century prices (secondi from €6.50!). Start off…
Top Choice Museum in Lecce

Museo Faggiano

Breaking the floor to replace sewer pipes led the owner of this private home to the chance discovery of an archaeological treasure trove. Layers of history are revealed beneath the floors starting with the Messapii …
Top Choice Osteria in Bari

Paglionico Vini e Cucina

Run by the Paglionico family for more than a century, this 100% Italiano osteria (casual tavern) is an absolute classic. There's no menu, just a chalkboard displaying what's cooking that day. It's all fine salt-of-t…
Top Choice Museum in Taranto

Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Taranto

In the new town is one of Italy's most important archaeological museums, exploring ancient Taras. It houses, among other artefacts, the largest collection of Greek terracotta figures in the world. Also on exhibit ar…