A Pocket Guide to Locorotondo, Italy

Conical 'trulli' houses are just some of the unique sights around Locorotondo
Conical 'trulli' houses are just some of the unique sights around Locorotondo | © allOver images / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Kim Gregory
14 October 2021

This historic southern Italy town, with its distinctive ‘cummerse’ houses surrounding the hillsides of the Itria Valley, is often referred to as one of Puglia’s prettiest places. Judge for yourself as you wind through its historic centre and streets of traditional whitewashed houses, churches and restaurants, stopping for some regional dishes and local sparkling wine. This is your pocket guide to Locorotondo, Italy.

Explore Locorotondo and so much more by booking yourself onto a 10-day tour of southern Italy via Culture Trip.

Things to do in Locorotondo

You don’t need more than a few hours to explore Centro Storico – the pedestrianised, circular historic centre of Locorotondo – but that isn’t the way here. Relax into the slow pace of life, meandering through narrow paved alleys while marvelling at the whitewashed, balcony-clad and plant-strewn houses. Look up to spot baroque archways and traditional cummerse architecture, and don’t miss the elaborate sculpted archway of Palazzo Morelli on residential Via Morelli.

The alleyways of Locorotondo are crammed full of things to spot | © Stefano Valeri / Alamy Stock Photo

Browse authentic local craft shops; pause in atmospheric Piazza Vittorio Emanuele for rich Italian coffee; take in the surrounding valley from high-up streets like Via Nardelli. As you wander, you’ll come across tucked-away churches including the town’s oldest, Chiesa della Madonna della Greca. Two others, Chiesa Madre San Giorgio and Santuario di San Rocco, are dedicated to the town’s patron saints.

True to Italy, Locorotondo offers excellent dining. Controra bistro serves meat and cheese boards alongside excellent rural views, while you’ll get delightful seafood small plates with cocktails and limoncello at Bespoke Puglia Risto Bistrot. Be sure to search menus for local speciality u tridde – fresh pasta in turkey broth.

Save room for dessert like Locorotondo’s restaurants save room for you | © Kevin Charles / Alamy Stock Photo

Wine lovers will be delighted to learn that Locorotondo is famous for its sparkling white, produced since the 1930s. Most restaurants will serve it but, for extra fun, head to the main producer nearby – Cantina del Locorotondo – for tasting sessions and cheap bottles.

Best beaches near Locorotondo

Drive half an hour from Locorontondo to reach some of Puglia’s best beaches. There’s one for every mood, group and trip, starting with the iconic Cala Porto. This small beach sits in the basin of picturesque clifftop town, Polignano a Mare. Sunbathe while marvelling at the limestone cliffs and whitewashed town, which you can explore afterwards.

Families should head to Lido Morelli, a long stretch of powdery sand with calm, shallow waters that kids will love. Amenities include a car park, sunbeds, and a bar serving drinks and snacks.

Meanwhile, get lost in nature at sandy Pilone, with its aromatic vegetation and juniper trees. Stay at the neighbouring campsite to wake up just steps from the waves.

Seeking seclusion? You’ll love Blue Flag-awarded Quarto di Monte near Monticelli. The sandy bay is surrounded by rocky cliffs, dunes and greenery.

Cala Porto’s limestone edges make it one of Puglia’s most spectacular beaches | © Michal Ludwiczak / Alamy Stock Photo

Getting around Puglia

There’s much to explore beyond the historic centre of Locorotondo. Rent a car to drive around Puglia (a great way to beach-hop) or take short train rides from Locorotondo railway station to nearby destinations, like coastal Bari and trulli village Alberobello.

The conical ‘trulli’ houses of Alberobello are as Italian as a Fiat 500 | © ian stuart / Alamy Stock Photo

However, the best way to adventure in this stunning rural region is on two wheels. Rent an e-bike and spend the day exploring Istria Valley’s scenic countryside trails, stopping at secluded olive groves and vineyards for tasting sessions. Both come with sides of sunshine, spectacular views and, often, delicious local nibbles. Revel in passing flower meadows, rural churches and shops selling stacks of authentic local produce, then pull up at Alberobello to explore the streets of Trulli up close. Don’t worry about the heat: long-running e-bikes make for an easy journey.

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