Noci is a pretty town halfway between Bari and Taranto, on the promontory of the Murge (Apulian Hills). Nestled in the area of the trulli and caves, Noci is surrounded by an important naturalistic heritage of woods and forests, a real green lung, which contains the jewel of the old town, dotted with "gnostre", original places, closed on three sides and facing the street. Between the countryside, fortified farmhouses and country houses stand out, ideal to spend a day in contact with nature and taste the famous dairy products directly from the producer. A few kilometers from the town you can reach the Church of Santa Maria della Scala, with adjoining Benedictine convent and a book restoration workshop. You have to visit the abbey church of Barsento that it was built according to the legend for the monks of Saint Equizio, abbot of Pope Gregory the Great in 591.
Alberobello is the famous country of trulli, houses built with dry stone in white lime, with a cone-shaped roof, often embellished with zodiac or religious symbols. In 1996 the town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Rione Monti, the oldest in the city, is a maze of winding alleys, with more than 1000 trulli. You have to visit the Trullo Sovrano,with two floors and the Church of St. Anthony in the shape of a trullo, which has a Greek cross plan, where stands a dome of 21 meters. Also the Basilica dei Santi Medici is worth a visit, which houses images of the Madonna of Loreto and the patron saints Cosma and Damiano.
Locorotondo is one of the "most beautiful villages in Italy" and is perched on a plateau in the area of Murge of Trulli, in the heart of Valle d'Itria. As the name indicates, the characteristic circular shape of the town encloses the ancient heart of Locorotondo, which is a unique monument that exerts charm, with its white houses, paved lanes, elegant portals and flowered balconies. Typical of the town of Locorotondo are the so-called "cummerse", small houses with a regular geometric shape and a sloping roof, whitewashed, today restructured and scattered throughout the historical center. There are many churches to visit, including the Church of Addolorata, the Holy Spirit, St. Nicholas, St. Roch and the Madonna della Catena.
Located in the hills of the Murgia, Martina Franca owes its name in part to the devotion to San Martino, which saved its inhabitants from enemy invasions, and in part to the times when Philip of Anjou offered to its inhabitants tax exemptions. The town is an important center of history and art. The historic center is characterized by characteristic white houses that develop vertically and wind down in winding streets. Of notable interest is the sumptuous Baroque of Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Martucci, Palazzo dell'Università, Palazzo Motolese, Palazzo Maggi, Palazzo Ancona and, within the medieval walls, the precious Basilica of San Martino which houses the sculptures of Stefano da Putignano and Giuseppe Sammartino.
Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world whose territory holds evidence of human settlements starting from the Paleolithic and without interruption until today. It represents an extraordinary page written by man through the millennia of this long history. Matera is the city of the Sassi, the original urban nucleus, developed from the natural caves carved into the rock and subsequently modeled in increasingly complex structures within two large natural amphitheatres that are the Sasso Caveoso and the Sasso Barisano. Today the Sassi of Matera offer the visitor a great cultural landscape, which is why UNESCO has included them in the World Heritage list. Matera has been designated European Capital of Culture for 2019.
Picturesque and all to discover is Ostuni, the White City. Renowned tourist destination, Ostuni boasts a wonderful medieval village, full of narrow streets and whitewashed houses in a maze that resembles an Arab casbah. A walk in the old town, called the "earth" to distinguish it from the more recent "marina", offers picturesque views of alleys, steep stairways, courtyards and squares overlooked by white houses embellished with geraniums, artisan shops, typical restaurants and shops. Do not miss the Cathedral and the portal of the Church of the Holy Spirit, dating back to 1450, today recognized as a national monument. Other attractions of Ostuni are the 17 kilometers of beaches; the coast also hosts a natural reserve in the area of the lido Morelli.
POLIGNANO A MARE
A crystalline sea and the rock embroidered by impressive cavities, carved by the sea, are the distinctive signs of Polignano a Mare, known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic". The birthplace of the singer Domenico Modugno, Polignano enchants its visitors with its historical center full of Arab, Byzantine, Spanish and Norman traces. From the Arch of the Door, once the only access to the town, one enters the magical village, embellished by the Matrice Church dedicated to the Assumption. The profile of the coast, the high cliffs and the jagged coastline, from Grotta Palazzese to Lama Monachile, make the coast of Polignano one of the most beautiful in Puglia, between hidden coves and delightful sandy inlets.
GROTTE OF CASTELLANA
Considered the most important speleological complex of Italy and Europe, the Grotte of Castellana are particularly appreciated for the wealth of crystalline concretions, the remarkable extension and the spectacular vastness of the natural tunnels. The caves represent the result of the erosive action of an ancient underground river that has carved and shaped the limestone rock for centuries, the soul of the Murgia. It was in 1938 that the speleologist Franco Anelli discovered the precious site, about 3 kilometers of underground ways, divided into two paths that reveal wonderful scenery. Among colossal stalagmites and stalactites and large caverns adorned with games of shapes and colors, it is possible to admire the White Cave, the Altar Cave, the Dome Cave and the Crib Passage, where lies a stalagmite of Marian features called Madonnina of the caves.
ZOO SAFARI OF FASANO
The Zoosafari of Fasano was the first wildlife park in Italy and is one of the largest in Europe. In an area of 140 hectares it houses about 1700 specimens of 200 species of animals living in semi-liberties, such as lions, tigers, elephants, antelopes, zebras and many others that can be observed on board their vehicle in the long Safari Circuit that ends with the pond of pink flamingos. On the panoramic train, the Metrozoo, you can watch the animals from above; the passage on the Lake of the Great Mammals is particularly striking, where polar bears, seals, rhinos and hippopotamuses move among islets and waterfalls. Also interesting are the Village of the Monkeys, the Tropical Room with aquarium, reptile and vivarium. Over time, the Park has expanded including a Luna Park, Fasanolandia, with over 25 attractions for all tastes, and variety shows and illusionism on stage in the multi-purpose theater.
Monopoli represents, on the Adriatic, one of the most active and populous ports in the region, famous for its characteristic historical center of high-medieval origin that, superimposed on the remains of a messapic center fortified as early as the 5th century BC, overlooks the sea surrounded from high walls. Monopoli is also called the city of the "hundred contrade", or country villages, authentic identity of the experience of the bucolic hinterland of this "heart of Puglia". They are characterized by the presence of ancient fortified farms, rock churches and settlements, trulli, neoclassical patrician villas and farmhouses. The coast, almost 15 kilometers long, is low and jagged: with over 25 bays and wide sandy stretches it is particularly suitable for bathing and exploring underwater life. The coastal plain is an evocative landscape due to the presence of monumental ancient olive trees, a living testimony to the history of the territory.