Located in the olive growing region of beautiful Southern Italy, the port of Brindisi on the country’s “heel”, has a wealth of wonderful places to explore for cruise ship passengers and visitors.
Did you know Brindisi is where the Appian Way ends? Ancient Rome’s famous road extends right the way from the capital to this port, which enabled the Roman’s to access the Adriatic Sea and the East.
Brindisi’s history is extensive so soaking up the local culture may be preferable for those who enjoy a gentle stroll from their cruise ship. Many of the main points of interest in Brindisi, such as places of worship, are built using the Romanesque style.
If you love cafe culture, Brindisi is brimming with bars and cafes for a frothy coffee and pastry al fresco. Keep in mind many businesses may close during the afternoon for a few hours and reopen again in the evening.
Some cruisers may begin or end their time at sea in Puglia, so if you decide to fly to or from Brindisi Airport it would be worth extending your stay by a day or two to explore the region. One option to explore Puglia is to hire a car, but there is a bus service for €3 that takes you from Brindisi airport into the city, as well as a train station.
Visiting Lecce by train from Brindisi takes approximately half an hour. There’s so many examples of beautiful baroque architecture in Lecce that you can explore on your own by hiring a rickshaw. Lecce also has an abundance of Ancient Roman history with an excavated amphitheatre in the central square and several museums.
Further reading: A full guide to visiting Lecce for the day
The city of Matera appears to emerge out of the rocky landscape it’s built upon. Packed with character, it’s frequently been used for Hollywood movies and was awarded Europe’s capital of culture in 2019, rising from the ashes after being abandoned in the mid-20th century.
Related: Visiting Kotor on a cruise
The trullis of Alberobello are possibly one of the most recognisable images of the Puglia region. Dating back to the 14th century, the round white houses of stone with their dome rooftops use a prehistoric building technique, all of which are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Contrasted against the deep blue skies, the white washed city of Ostuni is bound to impress even the most seasoned of travellers. Ostuni is around 24 miles away by road from Brindisi, and a halfway point between the port city and Alberobello, meaning you could possibly visit both on a day trip.
If you can’t get enough of the blue seas and coastline of Puglia, then you may like to head further south from Brindisi to the town of Otranto, approximately one hour away by car from Brindisi.