Polignano - Apulia
Polignano al Mare is a fishing village surrounded by the lush blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. Its skyline is formed by brilliant white square Mediterranean buildings and rocky limestone cliffs. Low scrubby bushes and evergreen trees, as well as precious strips of beach, craggy rocks, coves and promontories cover the land. The town's winding streets are lined with flowering plants.
Polignano to Sea, as it translates, is located on the western coast of Apulia in the "heel" of Italy and was called Neapolis during ancient times.
The numerous coves in Polignano al Mare were formed from the rough sea waves that molded the rock. Some of the caves are deep enough to reach the center of the town. Records from Paleolithic Age humans have been found in several of these caves
In nearby Castellinaria, there is a huge underground cave and grotto that gives so many buildings their name. The underground cavern has crystal clear water and blue stalactites and stalagmites. The Grotta Nera's rock formations look like dripping mud and water that have been frozen in time. The Cavernone dei Monumenti is filled with pillars growing out of the ground, formed of rocks that are green, orange, white and brown. La Grave is a stunning hole in the ceiling of the grotto, through which white sunlight streams, contrasting against the black and green rocks that turn golden in a halo of sun.
Some of the more famous caves are Stalactite Cave (Grotta Stalattitica) and the Cave of the Seal (Grotta della Foca). There is also a quaint museum located on Via Mulisai. The Paleontology Museum, as it is called, houses ceramics, semi-precious stones and obsidian exhibits
The summers in Polignano are hot and dry, and the vacation spots fill up quickly. The beaches are rocky but beautiful, and there are some sandy beaches available. Winding small roads are excellent for bicycling, and masses of people come to do just that. Unfortunately, many of the roads are not on the maps, and it is easy to lose your way. The locals, however, are known for kindly pointing lost tourists in the right direction. If you plan on spending a significant amount of time on dry land, it is best to go in spring or fall when the weather is more accommodating. The crowds will be, too.