Tis Returns to Italy! Day 66: Getting to Know Polignano a Mare

Published by Lisa Tisdale on

Lama Monachile Beach Polignano a Mare, Italy
Lama Monachile Beach Polignano a Mare, Italy

Lisa of Tis Travels is on a three-month journey through Italy, exploring, eating, and living like an Italian. Follow along on “Tis Travels” on Facebook and Instagram!

My first full day in Polignano a Mare was technically All Saint’s Day, despite the fact that the residents had been partying in the streets yesterday when I arrived, continuing until late in the evening. Today, the town seemed like a college kid with a bit of a hangover. It was trying to rally but not really able to get going.

All Alone By the Sea

On the other hand, I had turned in reasonably early and sober. This morning I woke up excited to explore this beautiful town in the early morning hours. 

I dressed quickly and headed for Lama Monachile beach, the most popular spot in town and one of the most famous in the southern region of Puglia. The tiny pebble beach is tucked between two cliffs. In the high season, it is very hard to find a spot here. 

When I arrived, the beach was completely deserted. My only company was two fishermen in rowboats out on the water trying to pull some treats out of the sea. I watched as they rowed up to the various coves and tried their luck. 

Enjoying a Slower Pace 

As I soaked in the peaceful morning, I thought of how much I was enjoying Italy during the off-season. I’ve never been here this late in October. It is such a treat to see these places with a different, quieter lens. All the hectic bits are removed, leaving just the beautiful parts. 

While it has been a bit cool at night, that alone has been a different experience. It changes the mood of a city, almost forcing everyone to live a bit slower.

Assaulting the Butcher

After leaving the beach, I walked around town, getting to know my new home. 

I stumbled upon a supermarket. Needing to stock up on some things to cook, It was scheduled to open in 2 minutes but I figured with Italian time they might not open for a while. 

At precisely 8:30 am, a man opened the doors and greeted two older men jumping out of their cars. As the men rushed inside they all exchanged friendly “Buon giornos”. I realized the two men were in a competition. The goal was to reach the butcher first. He was ready for them, knife in hand, meat selections displayed, flashing a disarming smile.

Ahh, now I get it. They both wanted the first shot at the meat available for the day in this tiny market. Cute. 

Polignano Introduces Itself 

During my work breaks, I took walks around, observing the city. I love just letting a place introduce itself to you slowly. Just sit back and watch and you can easily learn all you need to know, no guidebook required. While we all don’t have the luxury of spending as much time as I have, when given the chance, I highly recommend the experience. It’s never disappointed me.

Cheeky Bar in Polignano a Mare, Italy
Cheeky Bar

Today, my biggest curiosity has been the very popular cheeky corner bar (caffè). The entire town seems to base out of that ridiculously pink and blue bar that sells a lot of gelato, espresso and drinks. 

I will definitely have to unlock the mysterious magic of that place! Stay tuned!

Ciao for now!


Lisa Tisdale

Lisa Tisdale has traveled all over the world, writing about her experiences and making local contacts. She recently completed a three-month trip through Italy, exploring her favorite country’s food, wine, and sites, and making new friends!

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