Holiday House Girasole
is in the charming Polignano a Mare
a wonderful tourist center, 30 kms far from Bari, in south direction, where the waters of the sea are limpid and crystalline. Many say that it's a source of inspiration for poets and artists, with its colorful union of eart and sea.
"From time to time on the coast there are cities of a dazzling white that seems to come out of the thousand and one Nights, as Polignano a Mare, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea"
Joseph Viktor Widman, German traveller of beginning of the 20th century, wrote this words fascinated by the evocative beauty of our territory, along the coast between quite inlets and intriguing caves.
Very old and mysterious is the origin of Polignano, the ancient Neapolis. Was it a colony founded in fourth century BC by Dionysius II of Syracuse for guaranteeing maritime navigation or ancient neolithic settlement? Recent archaeological surveys carried out in the territory, have certified the existence of villages dating back to the Bronze Age and in the north of the town where has been discovered villages dating back even glacial age.
In the second half of'700 excavations were carried out in some gardens of Bishop Refectory, close to the square Aldo Moro, where most probably stood an ancient necropolis. Many finds includs vases and coins of precious mould greek, arguing that Polignano probably produced its own coin.
Surely there were the landing and the establishment of Iapyges before, and Romans after (in the third century BC) that had made of Polignano a very active places, located in the famous Trajan street that connected Rome to Brindisi, a privileged brigde for exchanges with the East. Because of this feature in later centuries it was firstly under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Empire and landong place for Lombards, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans.
What to see In the heart of the old village is located Vittorio Emanuele Square, with its clock winded by rope pulling. In the square is located also the old Parochial House of 1596. Immediately after there is the old Judea (the Jewish ghetto) and the former Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral. It keeps esteemed works of art of Vivarini and Stefano from Putignano, including "The Crib" (National Monument) carved in ‘500 carparo. In the historical center are located the old Church of Purgatory and the former Santo Stefano Church, dedicated to the Pino Pascali Art Gallery.
Polignano a Mare is also trove of archaeological wonders, with a wealth of caves, caverns and depths where were found archaeological finds of all time. Grotta del Commisso, di San Lorenzo, del Cagione, Caselle, di Valentini, dei Ladroni, del Guardiano, del Muretto, delle Rondinelle, della Foca, in the village Grottone. Polignano too has its caves. The principal and largest caves are Grotta Azzurra, dell’Arcivescovo, Ardito, delle Monache, dei Colombi, one of the most beautiful and fascinating caves, for its green and blue colours. There are also minor caves, created by sea during the ages.In this enviable heritage of caves, majestic and impressive stands out the Grotta Palazzese, undisputed Queen of the caves and caverns not only of Polignano a Mare but of the whole Apulia. Marquis Leto named it because they included this cave in the goods of palace. Many caves, especially the minors, were visited nearly all from the sea with boats or amphibians.
The Abbey of St. Vito stands at about 3 km from Polignano. The town has a natural harbour, which over the centuries was a favourite destination for foreign populations and invaders. According to legend, on these shores landed, in 801, the ship of Princess Florenza with the relics of the body of St. Vito and his tutors Modesto and Crescenza. Those relics would had been kept by the basilian monastic community, living in caves below the present abbey. From the fourteenth to eighteenth century, the abbey was the residence of the Conventual Minor Friars of SS. Apostles and, in 1785, became part of the assets of the Regio Demanio. Later, in 1866, the state has sold the complex to Marquis La Greca, the current owners. To the monastery is attached a small church of well-preserved Romanesque style, which has three naves, separated by regular pillars.
Isolated, not far from the town of Polignano a Mare, detached a few meters from the mainland is the majestic and lonely Scoglio dell’Eremita. Along a beautiful promenade, it's easy to get there, with a delightful walk that goes from Largo Ardito to Campo Sportivo .
Church Matrice: Former cathedral, it keeps inside the artistic crib by Stefano from Putignano, which has become a stamp from Zecca dello Stato
Church of Santo Stefano: Born as a church for lower classes (noble people was married only in the Cathedral) today is place of artistical exhibitions.
Church of Saints Cosma e Damiano: Inside there are two sculptures created by artist Stephen from Putignano and the altar from the Baroque monastery of St. Benedict.
Church of Purgatory: It holds today an organ and altars of Neapolitan artists.
The San Vito Abbey: Created in the Norman period, today is owned by the Marquis The Greek. Legend says that in 801 the ship of Princess Florenza landes on these shores with the relics of the body of San Vito and his tutors, Sants Modesto and Crescenza.
Church of Saint Anthony: It was originally, thanks to continuous trade with the East, dedicated to Saint Mary of Constantinople, than was first a monastery and then e hospital, today seat the local ASL.
Polignano a Mare is also famous for being the origin town of two of the major Italian protagonists of music, culture and art: Domenico Modugno, songwriter and actor, interpreter of the famous song "Nel blu dipinto di blu - Volare" and Pino Pascali, sculptor and set designer , One of the most important exponents of the poor art, born from parents of Polignano.