Polignano a Mare
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POLIGNANO A MARE

Polignano is a pearl, positioned on a steep sea cliff dotted with grottos and history along the splendid Adriatic coast of Puglia.
Its origins are ancient and connected to the Greek City of Neapolis (IV Century BC), which then became known as Polisnea and Polineanum.

Its territory further North however, was inhabited during the last Ice Age (10.000 years ago), and testimony of villages dating back to the Bronze Age (3.500-1.200 BC) have been uncovered in the present day historical centre.
Polignano was annexed to the Republic by Rome in 270 BC, after the end of the wars with Pirro, and became a statio due to the immense production of grain and its commercial centre and coastal position along via Traiana, which connected Brindisi to the capital. Its geographic position guaranteed wealth and splendour for the entire Emperial reign and only ended with the fall of Rome and subsequent Goth and Vandal invasions (V Century AD).
After the Greek-Gothic War (535-553) won by General Balisario, Polignano became part of the Eastern Roman Empire, and experienced centuries of Longobard (VII Century), Arabic (IX Century) and once again Byzantine (IX-XI Century) domination.
The arrival of the Normans (XI Century) coincided with the beginning of a period of development for Puglia, thus compensating many years of war. The process was reinforced in Polignano due to the presence of powerful Benedictine Monks, who built the San Vito Abbey during this period.
It passed under Swabian domination thanks to the marriage between Enrico VI and Costanza of Altavilla (1186) and remained under their direct administration until the advent of the Angioini (1266), who undertook the fortification of the suburb against possible Turkish invasion.
For a brief period, Polignano was under Venetian domination (1506) and then the Reign of Italy, which in time order was succeeded by the Spanish Crown (XVII Century).
Polignano was struck by the plague in 1690 and during the subsequent century became Bourbon property, following the historical course of the Reign of the Two Sicilies. The City actively participated in the diffusion of Republican ideas, hosting a Carbonara vendita (Smaller city associations linked to the Carbonari movement which promoted independent ideas). The following year it took on the name of Polignano a Mare.
Just outside the City, one can visit the Putignano Grotto, lined with pinkish alabaster, the San Michele Crypt, once dedicated to Apollo and the Marchione Castle (1730).
Today’s Polignano a Mare rightly belongs among the most popular touristic metas of Puglia, thanks to its rather particular coastal reef feature, along which open natural grottos, and also to numerous monuments and buildings of historical and cultural interest conserved in its centre.
Among these, we can point out: the Chiesa Matrice (Matrix Church - 1295) in Romanesque style and the Medieval Santa Stefano Church, which has been deconsecrated.
Walking through the historical centre made up of white stone paved alleyways, Medieval glimpses with Adriatic sea views and delightful traditional restaurants, is a experience which makes a visit to Polignano a Mare worthwhile.
Domenico Modugno, an unforgettable master of popular Italian music, was born here.

POLIGNANO A MARE
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