As usual, we had time to kill before we could check into our hotel in Conversano, so we decided to take the scenic route there.IMG_6515IMG_6518 We decided to stop in the  town of Polignano a Mare for a coffee, and a quick stroll around.  This is a really lovely place, and it automatically went on my list of places that I need to return to and spend some time in.  IMG_6523IMG_6524There are grottoes all along the coast of this town.  One of them even has a restaurant inside of it.  We were there early in the day, and the place was closed, but that alone, would be worth returning for.  IMG_6529IMG_6530IMG_6539We found a great café, which is also a B&B, and had coffee and pastry, before continuing on our way.IMG_6538IMG_6541IMG_6542IMG_6545IMG_6546IMG_6547IMG_6550The Chiesa Matrice dell’Assunta is the town’s main church.  While the church itself is quite lovely, inside, there is a large-size nativity, or Presepio, which I found quite beautiful.IMG_6552IMG_6553IMG_6559Nearby is the Spiaggia di Lama Monachile, one of the local beaches.IMG_6564IMG_6567IMG_6581After our short break, we returned to the car, and headed north to Conversano.  I chose to stay for two nights in Conversano, because, for one thing, I’d never been there!  It was also close, approximately 30 km from Bari.  We booked rooms at the lovely Corte Altavilla, located only steps away from the city’s Cathedral.  IMG_6603IMG_6608Conversano is an old city, rich with history.  This is evident everywhere you turn.  I loved exploring and getting lost in its alleyways.IMG_6617IMG_6618La Chiesa di San Benedetto was, unfortunately, closed for renovations while we were there, but we were able to walk around the lovely grounds and the cloisters.  In 1266, this was home to the Cistercian nuns, the only convent in all of Western Europe that allowed its nuns to wear male religious symbols.  IMG_6622IMG_6624IMG_6639IMG_6644IMG_6656This is a very beautiful space.  The columns, along the edge of the cloister, are ornately carved.  There are mosaics on the walls, in various stages of preservation.  IMG_6658IMG_6662IMG_6672IMG_6686IMG_6691IMG_6694IMG_6702Next to this is the Museo Archeologico.  It seems as if almost every city in Italia has its own archaeological museum, and I always find them to be treasure troves of information and art.  It is always worth taking the time to visit these wonderful exhibits! IMG_6823IMG_6825IMG_6827IMG_6714IMG_6717IMG_6721IMG_6719For over seven centuries, the Castle of Conversano housed the city’s Counts and Royalty.  Today, part of the Castle is open to the public, and houses a small, but important, art museum.  IMG_6731IMG_6734IMG_6754IMG_6854IMG_6747IMG_6752IMG_6755IMG_6756IMG_6762IMG_6763IMG_6770IMG_6772IMG_6775IMG_6789IMG_6783IMG_6795IMG_6807IMG_6797IMG_6818IMG_6809IMG_6874IMG_6908IMG_6808


Next up: More from Conversano!


Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from bella Puglia, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!

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