Most Beautiful Villages in Puglia

Most Beautiful Villages in Puglia

Sitting on the spur of the boot of mainland Italy, Puglia’s envious geography encompasses a sweeping mass of countryside filled with olive groves and orchards and a rugged coastline where turquoise waters meet sandstone cliffs. But it is perhaps within the walls of some of the most beautiful villages in Puglia where you can really get under the skin of what it means to live the true ‘dolce vita’ (the sweet life) – be that learning age-old culinary traditions, admiring medieval architectural masterpieces or simply manifesting the concept of ‘il dolce far niente’ (the sweetness of doing nothing). Whatever the sweet life means to you, we have no doubt that Puglia is the place to be to make it happen. 


  1. Matera
  2. Polignano a Mare
  3. Ostuni
  4. Alberobello
  5. Conversano



Cruise to Matera like James Bond  

A crisp Aston Martin winds along a coastal road before cruising into a white-stone city carved straight out of a rocky outcrop in the middle of the emerald Italian countryside. Yes, that’s right, Matera was the first location of the latest instalment of the James Bond franchise: No Time To Die. And it’s not hard to see why: it’s a seriously romantic setting and those wiggly narrow streets are perfect for an iconic chase scene (though hopefully you won’t be doing any of that). Besides the beauty of the village itself, Matera is also a big hit among history buffs keen to admire the Sassi Rock Churches – incredible monasteries, houses and cisterns that have been built in limestone rock since the Middle Ages. To make your trip feel that much more James Bond-esque we can arrange for you to hire a luxurious car to explore the incredible roads through Matera yourself. Make sure to have the movie’s beautiful ‘To Matera’ theme playing at full blast to really feel a part of the scene.


Polignano a Mare

Drink in the Views of the ‘Amalfi of Puglia’

Cruising its way onto our roundup of the most beautiful villages in Puglia is Polignano a Mare, a pocket-sized coastal village that doesn’t get its nickname the ‘Amalfi of Puglia’ for nothing. Perched almost impossibly on the edge of rugged sandstone cliffs plunging into the aquamarine waters of the Valle d'Itria coast are a network of chalky white buildings that house everything from quaint seafood restaurants and boutique hotels to Romanesque churches and vibrant art museums. The village is also home to one of Puglia’s most photographed beaches – a tiny pebbly cove framed by the dramatic Ponte Borbonico di Lama Monachile bridge and surrounding clifftop buildings. For a change of pace, we can whisk you off on a private boat trip to admire another of the village’s most beautiful coastal gems: the sea caves. Mother Nature created quite the masterpiece with these caves – think crystalline turquoise waters framed by earth-toned cliffs with rays of sunshine peeking through. 



Meander Through the ‘White City’

Characterised by its idyllic white-washed houses clambering up the hillside, Ostuni is a village that reveals a never-ending stream of beautiful details at every corner – pink roses hanging out of tiny windows, baby-blue vespas lining cobbled streets and artisan markets selling their finest ceramics. Ostuni also showcases an abundance of historic sites, including a Gothic white stone cathedral and a Baroque church, which can be explored in the company of one of our knowledgeable local guides. 



Admire Some of Puglia’s Most Unusual Architecture

Besides being one of the most beautiful villages in Puglia, the small village of Alberobello is also one of the most unusual thanks to its vast collection of trulli houses – conical-roofed whitewashed structures that look more suited to a fairytale than an Italian village. The architecture has its roots in the 1500s, when the local ruling family sought to build houses that could avoid property tax by being easily dismantled before an inspection. How the trulli ended up being so longstanding and so beautiful is a bit puzzling; but whatever it is, we have to hand it to those medieval architects. We can arrange for you to visit this one-of-a-kind village in the company of one of our storied local guides, who can bring the curiosities of the region to life with fascinating historical tales.



Learn Local Cooking Secrets in the Countryside

As you drive into the tiny walled town of Conversano, through a panorama of olive groves and fruit-tree orchards, you immediately know you’re in the heart of rural Puglia. Tucked away from popular coastal haunts, Conversano has retained its ancient medieval beauty and deeply-rooted traditions, making it one of the best places to experience traditional Puglian life. After spending a leisurely few hours exploring the sites of the village, we can arrange for you to visit a nearby masseria (fortified farmhouse) in the heart of the surrounding countryside. Here you can learn the beautiful qualities of local culinary traditions during a hands-on cooking class, such as the use of ancient techniques, the properties of signature produce and the history of family recipes.

Header Image: Lucy Laucht