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5 Towns in Puglia Off-The-Beaten Path

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The small towns in this part of the country are very different from the Northern Italy. They're great for relaxing and slow-paced trip. It is not about what to see there, but to enjoy this unique atmosphere. Cisternino,  Grottaglie, Taranto, Casamassima, Martina Franca are far less famous than other nearby towns such as Alberobello, Locorotondo and Ostuni, but they are truly hidden gems in Puglia. Be sure to include them on your itinerary if you're planning a family holiday trip to Puglia.


Cisternino with kids

This quaint little town is full of charm. One of the must-do activities in Cisternino is exploring the maze-like historic center. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets, lined with whitewashed houses and colorful flower pots. Cisternino offers plenty of Instagram-worthy spots for photography enthusiasts.


In the evening, be sure to catch the sunset from one of the panoramic viewpoints or bars overlooking the Itria Valley. 


Cisternino is known for its delicious food, especially the famous grilled meats. Head to one of the local butcher shops where you can choose your own cut of meat and have it cooked right in front of you. Be sure to try the local specialty, "bombette," which are small grilled meat rolls filled with cheese, herbs, and sometimes even veggies.


For the little ones, there is a playground in Via del Belvedere with amazing views. 


If you are eager to participate in some activities, you can:


1) Take a guided walking or cycling tour;

2) Stop by the Norman Swabian Tower to learn new things about the region's cultural heritage;

3) Visit the Church of San Nicola Patara;

4) Try extra virgin olive oil or local food and wine tasting;

5) And of course...don't forget the gelato (ice-cream)


Grottaglie with kids

GROTTAGLIE is the capital of Apulian ceramics. This small town has been producing ceramics for centuries. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is just out of this world. You'll find everything from plates and bowls to vases and statues, all beautifully handcrafted by local artisans. No matter the season, the cozy warmth of traditional ceramic workshops never fails to enchant and inspire. But be careful with little kids. They will try to touch everything.


If your children need to let off steam, head to Parco della Civiltà.


The museum is housed in a 14th century castle, Castello Episcopio. This museum is like a time machine that takes you on a journey through the history of ceramics in Grottaglie. You'll get to see some exquisite examples of traditional handmade ceramics that have been made in this region for centuries.

The ticket price is only 4 euros. Children under 5 are free. 

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Martina Franca with kids

Martina Franca is a small but charming town in the province of Taranto, just a few kilometers from the more famous towns of Alberobello and Locorotondo. Martina Franca is home to one of Italy's most important music events, the Itria Valley Festival. 


The best thing to do here is to get lost in the winding cobbled streets of the town's historic centre and admire the beautiful Baroque architecture. While there aren't many activities for kids to keep entertained, it's a great place to visit. Enjoying the view while eating ice cream is also a great way to spend time with the kids.

If you find yourself in Martina Franca Puglia, take a stroll through time and visit Palazzo Ducale in the historic centre. And the best part? It's free!

TOP RATED Tours and Activities in Puglia


Casamassima with kids

Casamassima, a Moroccan-style little town nestled in the heart of Puglia, is a hidden gem that captivates visitors with its unique charm. Known as "the blue town," Casamassima stands out from other towns in the region due to its striking blue-painted houses, an unusual and eye-catching feature.

While the historic center of Casamassima may not be as developed as other small towns in the area, it still holds its own allure. If you happen to find yourself passing through this part of Puglia and have some spare time on your hands, I would highly recommend making a stop to explore the town and its surroundings.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you wander through narrow cobblestone streets adorned with blue facades. Discover quaint cafes and local shops that exude authentic Moroccan influences. Take a moment to appreciate the unique architectural blend that sets Casamassima apart from its neighboring towns.

Although it may not be worth traveling long distances specifically for Casamassima, if you happen to be in the vicinity or are planning a trip nearby, don't miss out on this charming little town. Its distinctive character and picturesque setting make for a delightful detour during your journey through Puglia.


Taranto with kids

Taranto has very ancient origins, dating back to when the Spartans founded the city under the name “Taras” in the 8th century B.C.


The sea is the soul of the city. Due to its geographical position, Taranto is known as "the City of the Two Seas". 

Wondering what are the best things to do in Taranto? 


Here are 5 of our child-friendly activities: 


1)       Take a tour of the Aragonese Castle

2)       Stop by Doric columns of the Temple of Poseidon

3)       Visit the Cattedrale di San Cataldo

4)       Explore the National Archaeological Museum

5)       Try panzerotti in the old town

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