30 km - Half-day trip
Known as the town of the two seas and the turning bridge (Ponte Girevole), Taranto is home to noble buildings of great architectural interest. The old town is worth a visit for its ancient Greek past and the National Archeological Museum which has a rich collection of artefacts from the Hellenic era.
50 km - Full-day trip
Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town "Sassi di Matera". It grew in height on one slope of the ravine created by a river, the Gravina, that is now a small stream. This outstanding landscape was the first site to be proposed for inclusion on the Unesco List on the basis of both its cultural and natural characteristics and has caught the eye of film directors and movie studios.
60 km - Half-day trip
To visit: The Monastery of San Francesco di Paola, representing the greatest Baroque monument in the city. It has a splendid cloistered-court inside. To see: the Chiesa del Carmine housing a 1530 stone crib scene made by Stefano from Putignano. The massive Castello Episcopio (13th C.) which houses the Museum of Ceramic Art as well as art exhibitions and events. All around the castle, the ceramic district with its cave-like shops carved out of stone.
MARTINA FRANCA - LOCOROTONDO - ALBEROBELLO
77 km - Full-day trip
Lying over one of the last southern hills in the south-eastern Murge, Martina Franca offers its visitors a striking view over the Valle d’Itria. The town is also important for its territory, dotted with the famous trulli and the typical local farms called “masserie”. The area is extensively characterized by a unique karts landscape which is breathtaking. In Martina Franca you should visit the historic town centre, including the Ducal Palace, home to the Valle d’Itria summer festival, which attracts visitors and artists from all over the world, San Martino Cathedral and La Chiesa del Carmine.
The splendid town of Locorotondo in the Itria Valley awaits discovery. It is famous as it has long been recognised as being one of “the most beautiful towns in Italy.” The historic town centre is striking and charming, yet intimate. The characteristic houses have unusual pointed roofs, called “cummerse”. The Town Hall and the University, which was the name given to the town council in ancient times, are also well worth a visit. On the way back you can visit Alberobello, the enchanting town of the "trulli", which is a UNESCO-protected site of artistic and cultural heritage of world importance. The earliest example, Casa D'Amore, which can be admired in Piazza Plebiscito directly opposite the Count's residence, was built using bricks and mortar and even has a balcony.
There are numerous sights to see in Alberobello – the narrow streets of the Monti and Aia Piccola quarters branch out through countless trulli, highlighting the splendour of simplicity. The largest and only two-storey trullo, Trullo Sovrano, was erected in the second half of the 18th century. The Medici Sanctuary, built at the end of the 19th century, serves as more than just a backdrop and even the Pugliese-Romanesque style Church of Saint Anthony, built in 1926, is shaped like a trullo.
CISTERNINO - OSTUNI
95 km - Full Day trip
Cisternino stands on a shelf of calcareous rock in the undulating terrain of south-eastern Murgia. It is touched by the breezes of the nearby Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by lush farmland. Cisternino, perched as it is, is characterised by its typical white-plaster houses. The narrow streets and alleyways are punctuated by geraniums and stonework friezes, as well as by the balconies, arches and stairways which bring to life the incredible historic town centre. Further south is the town of Ostuni, also known as the città bianca or “white city.” It is a splendid town which is dominated by the millennia-old column marking the end of the Roman road, the Via Appia, or Appian Way. The town boasts a host of monuments including the Aragonese and Swabian castles, the Romanesque Church of Christ, the Church of Santa Maria del Casale, Tancredi fountain and the small circular temple of San Giovanni al Sepolcro. The Southern Murgia Museum of Pre-classical Civilisation (il museo delle Civiltà Preclassiche delle Murge Meridionali) is a must-see. The cast of “Delia”, the prehistoric expectant mother found in 1991 and dating back to more than 25000 years ago, can be seen here.
ALTA MURGIA NATIONAL PARK
95 km - Full day trip
The area of the Alta Murgia National Park was formed over the course of millenia by erosion. Gravina canyon in Puglia, which descends towards Matera and the Bradano river, marks the south-eastern border of the Park. Although the countryside has been modified by man over the centuries, Alta Murgia is still home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. The architecturally-varied farmhouses of Alta Murgia are also interesting to see, as is the fascinating castle, Castel del Monte, which sits on a hilltop overlooking the Murge plateau.