I’ve been visiting Puglia since the early 2000’s, first as a cycling guide, and now with my family. Tourism has grown so much, but there are still some ‘hidden gems,’ and Locorotondo is one of them. The town is often passed over for other Valle d’Itria favorites like Polignano a Mare, Alberobello, and Ostuni…
But, don’t miss a chance to while away an hour or two, or an entire afternoon or evening in this charming, real town with a gorgeous historic center and jaw-dropping views of the countryside below.
Make room in your itinerary for a visit to Locorotondo, one of the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia (Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages). You can thank me later (or buy me a spritz in the piazza).
Visiting Locorotondo with your family?
Check out our tips for visiting Locorotondo with Kids!
Fun Fact: Locorotondo means ‘the round place.’ The name is derived from the Latin locus (place) + rotundus (round).
Where is Locorotondo?
Locorotondo is in southern Italy, in Puglia’s Valle d’Itria (Itria Valley), my favorite part of the region. It’s just 20 kilometers from the beaches on the Adriatic Sea, and it’s about halfway between the Bari Airport (BRI) and the Brindisi Airport (BDS), taking around an hour to drive from either of them.
I recommend focusing your visit on the centro storico (historic center), the ‘round’ section in the southern part of the city.
Why Visit Locorotondo?
As I mentioned above, although Locorotondo is welcoming to visitors and has plenty of great restaurants and cafés, the town doesn’t exist to serve tourists.
Come here to wander the lanes, find beautiful photo opportunities, and enjoy Puglia living – alongside the locals.
When to Visit Locorotondo
Fortunately, Locorotondo isn’t entirely overrun with visitors, so you can enjoy a visit even in the summer months (but definitely don’t expect to be alone).
We love visiting in the spring or fall (May, early June, September, and October are our favorite months), when a visit isn’t too hot, the weather is nice enough for the beach, and the crowds aren’t as intense as during the high summer season.
Locorotondo is also one of the best towns in Puglia to visit for the holiday season, so if you find yourself in Puglia on Christmas vacation, be sure to stop in town to see the holiday lights, presepi, and Christmas trees decorating the whitewashed lanes and piazzas.
What to Do in Locorotondo
Whether I’m alone or with my kids, here’s what I like to do on a visit to Locorotondo:
Hang with the Locals in the Villa Comunale
This small community garden is shady and full of benches and nice views of the countryside – it’s also called the Belvedere. Take a seat on a bench and take a break from the summer sun, or practice your Italian with the locals.
Helpful Tip: There is a water fountain and a public toilet on the street just below the Villa Comunale.
Walk Along Via Nardelli
Also known as the Lungomare, even though we’re far from the sea, this sidewalk along the city walls has beautiful views of the countryside below town. Stop at a café for a snack or aperitivo.
Drink the Local White Wine
Take a seat at one of the cafés or wine bars on via Nardelli and enjoy the view while you sip on the DOC white wine (Locorotondo DOC), made from the vineyards you can see surrounding the town. It’s dry and fruity and perfect on a sunny day in Puglia.
Or, try the bubbly version – the sparkling Locorotondo Spumante DOC.
Another nice place to sit and sip is in the tiny Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.
Wander the Narrow Lanes
This is the best part of visiting Locorotondo. I usually roll my eyes when I’m visiting a new place and someone tells me to ‘get lost wandering the streets,’ but it really is nice to just stroll the tiny pedestrian streets of Locorotondo’s old town. And, it’s tough to get lost because the historic center is so small!
You’ll likely run into:
- Palazzo Morelli – Baroque palace from the early 1800s, and one of Locorotondo’s most recognizable buildings with its intricate stone doorway and iron balconies.
- Chiesa di San Nicola di Myra – It’s worth peeking into this small church to see the frescoes on the ceiling.
There are a few gelaterie in town. Our favorite is Gelateria del Corso, which is just across the street from the huge Piazza Aldo Moro. You can eat at the café or in the piazza – there are a lot of benches and it’s a nice spot for people-watching.
Browse Locorotondo’s Shops
There aren’t many of them, but we enjoy perusing the shops in Locorotondo, looking for special souvenirs like ceramics or olive oil in beautiful containers.
Have a Leisurely Meal in Locorotondo
If you’re the type of person who loves sitting down for a slow-paced meal, you’ll love Locorotondo. You’ve got a nice selection of restaurants that serve the local population (meaning they have to serve great food or they’ll go out of business). A few restaurants you may want to try:
- Osteria Il Rosone (via Dogali, 6) – Cozy, bright restaurant. Try the local strascinati pasta (similar to orecchiette).
- Ai Tre Santi (via Dotto, 51) – Lovely setting, perfect for a date or with a small group. Typical cooking, pair your courses with the local wines.
Things to Do Near Locorotondo
- Sample cheeses at Caseificio Salatino – and you may even be able to watch them making mozzarella or other cheese. You can also purchase the cheeses – perfect for a countryside picnic!
- Check out the olive groves – The olive trees in Puglia are some of the oldest in the world! These ‘monumental’ olive trees are gorgeous to look at and photographers will love spending some time in the groves. Some of my favorite snapshots from Puglia are of my kids in an olive grove.
- Visit Cisternino – A close second in our list of favorite small towns in Puglia. If you enjoy your visit to Locorotondo, you’ll like the vibe of Cisternino as well.
- Alberobello – The UNESCO World Heritage site full of the famous trulli (those stone buildings with the conical roofs) is worth a stop. We visit every time we’re in Puglia because there’s nothing like it!
- Go for a swim – The beaches of the Adriatic are just a 25-minute drive from Locorotondo. We like the sandy beaches of Capitolo and the Parco Naturale Regionale Dune Costiere da Torre Canne a Torre San Leonardo
- Carnevale in Putignano – If you’re in town for Italian Carnival, be sure to visit Putignano to see one of Italy’s biggest celebrations.
- Martina Franca – Attend the summer opera festival (Festival Valle d’Itria).
How to Get to Locorotondo
Drive to Locorotondo – Although you can technically arrive by public transport, it’s not efficient. The best way to get to Locorotondo is with your own car.
Parking – The most convenient parking is the garage underneath Piazza Aldo Moro. You can walk up to Piazza Moro and up Corso XX Settembre into the historic center. Read more about Parking in Italy.
Getting Around Locorotondo
You can easily move around Locorotondo on foot. Make sure you have decent soles on your shoes, as the large cobblestones can be slippery, wet or dry.
Locorotondo Italy FAQ
Locorotondo is best visited in a leisurely fashion, but if you want to see some of its sites, you can check out:
Porta Napoli (the main entrance to the pedestrian centro storico – historic center).
The Gothic church Chiesa Rettoria Madonna della Greca for its rose window
The towering Church of Saint George the Martyr (Chiesa Madre di San Giorgio Megalomartire) for its ‘Last Supper.’
The Chiesa di San Nicola di Myra for its frescoes.
The Chiesa della Madonna del Soccorso for the painting of Mary with a stick, protecting Jesus and driving away evil.
The Chiesa di San Rocco for its wooden statue of St. Rocco.