Hometown of Domenico Modugno, Polignano a Mare is also known by the nickname "Pearl of the Adriatic", for its crystal clear sea with its shimmering iridescent reflexes and caves carved into the rock.
This settlement, located on the sea, was inhabited since the Neolithic Ages, as evidenced by the finds excavated in the district of Santa Barbara. In the III century b.C., the whole region submitted the domination of the Roman Empire and Polignano a Mare became a storage and trading centre where a large reserve goods, such as corn were preserved. Linked to Rome by the via Traiana, the old Neapolis,, became an active trading center and according to the historians, it was the doorway to the East.
In the VI century, for its strategic location, Polignano was under the jurisdiction of the Byzantine Empire, whilst between the IX and the XI century, the city submitted the domination of the Lombards, Arabs and later the Byzantines, which intensified, even more, the relations with the East. With the Normans, who remained in this land until 1194, the prestige and reputation of the country became even stronger.
The Mother Church, the former cathedral, stands on the ruins of a pagan temple and in 1295 was consecrated to the cult of Our Lady of the Assumption.
The layout is a Latin cross plan with one major nave and two aisles, flanked by a XVI century Bell Tower.
Interesting are the Abbey of San Vito, located about 3km from the town, the Town Clock and a still visible section of the antique Roman Via Traiana.
Not to miss: a visit to the fascinating sea caves that dot the coastline.