Written By Jayne
Elopement Location Inspiration
Featured Travel Locations
If the idea of getting married in Puglia lights a fire in your soul — or was already on your elopement bucket list — and the dates I’m there align with when you want to get married, all of my travel fees are waived! My dates for Puglia are currently flexible in the month of September 2023. Want to come with me? Let me know ASAP.
Before I get to the GOOD STUFF, I wanted to tell you about my featured locations. A featured location is somewhere I already have plans to be. If the dates I’m there align with when you want to get married, all of my travel fees are waived! (A $1,000 savings!) So yeah, you could technically count this as a reason to shuffle the budget and fit in an epic activity on your big day. That’s enough cash for a private wine tasting, a beachside horse back ride, or even a massive upgrade to wherever you’re staying!
Written by the wonderful Sam Tatro of Undiscovered Path Home
Planning to elope in Italy? If you’re looking to skip the popular destinations like Rome or Venice, and go somewhere more adventurous and authentic, there’s nothing more fitting than eloping in Puglia. The Puglia region is located in Southern Italy, on the “boot of the heel” – if you’re looking at a map. This charming region has it all: crystal-clear waters, romantic cliffside spots, authentic Italian food, and that laid-back vibe that is perfect for a more relaxed, luxurious elopement.
It can be difficult and overwhelming to figure out how to plan an elopement in Italy, let alone an elopement in Puglia, an off-the-beaten path destination. But if you’re looking for the best place to elope in Italy, this is IT. That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to planning the perfect elopement in Puglia.
Puglia is, hands down, one of the best places to elope in Italy. This romantic and charming destination has it all: rocky cliffside views, crystal clear waters, sprawling, private beaches, handmade pasta, groves of olive trees, and Santorini-like white cities. I promise you’ll fall in love the second you step foot off the plane!
I’ve broken down each Puglia elopement location based on the nearest big city – but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in Bari, for example.
For those adventurers looking to cut down on driving time, Bari is the perfect base in Puglia to plan your elopement. This rustic city has it all: authentic restaurants, seaside views, history at every turn, and that relaxed vibe. From Bari, you can take trains to two of the most beautiful spots in the upper region of Puglia: Polignano a Mare and Monopoli.
Polignano a Mare is one of the most breathtaking and popular spots in Puglia, and for a good reason. This romantic city has a picturesque cove nestled between jutting cliffs. There’s also a cliffside restaurant overlooking the water that went viral online a few years ago. Polignano a Mare has some beautiful, secluded spots to the south that make gorgeous spots for your intentional elopement.
If you’re looking for the best beaches near Bari, look no further than Monopoli. This forgotten-by-time town, a melange of pastel-colored buildings, has stunning cove beaches all along the southern stretch of its coastline. Some of the cliff sides? EPIC elopement spots. Plus, you can spend the day renting bikes for a couple euros and cruising down the coast, stopping at your favorite beaches.
Otranto is located further down the eastern coast of Puglia, and it makes for a perfect base to explore some of Puglia’s hidden treasures. The Otranto region is also home to some of Puglia’s most beautiful beaches – all untouched. If you’re looking for a rocky, cliffside elopement, we can find THE spot in this area. There are dozens of secluded spots south of Otranto.
There are few places as breathtakingly beautiful as Torre Dell’orso. This unique stretch of coastline, complete with jutting rock fixtures off the coast and cliffside viewpoints, is one of the most beautiful destinations in Puglia. In fact, you’ve probably seen the turquoise waters of Torre Dell’orso on Instagram!
This stretch of coastline, a one-hour drive from Otranto, offers several unbelievable places to say your vows and commit to spending a lifetime together. During the summer, this beach can be quite busy, so I’d recommend planning a sunrise elopement to avoid crowds. Likewise, nearby spots offer amazing views with fewer crowds.
You won’t find most of Puglia’s hidden gems on a map. Most of these beautiful beaches are discovered by local word-of-mouth or zooming in on Google Maps. Grotta delle Striare is a great example of a hidden favorite along the Puglia coast, just south of Otranto. This beautiful cove offers stunning waters with a grassy field atop, overlooking the cliffside.
Gallipoli is nestled on the western side of the “heel of the boot,” and this lively city offers a great mix of nightlife and beautiful beaches. This old town makes a perfect base to explore some of the nearby treasures: Porto Cesareo, Maldives of Salento, and Lecce, to name a few. Gallipoli literally means “beautiful city” in Greek, and it lives up to the name. Surrounded by water on all sides, you’ll still find authentic parts of Italian life here: fishermen fixing their nets, or bringing in the daily catch. At most restaurants, seafood is the most common thing on the menu – especially octopus and mussels.
The small town of Porto Cesareo may be one of the most beautiful places in Puglia. The tranquil, crystal-clear waters stretch out for miles. It may be one of the most beautiful locations for a peaceful beach elopement. During the day, this elopement spot tends to be quite busy, so it’s best to plan for a early morning elopement.
The Maldives of Salento, located south of Gallipoli, are another beautiful beachside spot for your elopement. Much like Porto Cesareo, this stretch of beach offers turquoise water for miles, a beautiful destination to say your vows.
There are countless amazing, hidden locations in Puglia for a private elopement. Let’s get in touch and find the best fit for you both!
Puglia is the perfect destination for couples seeking out that authentic Italian experience during their elopement. Couples eloping in Puglia will have endless opportunities for adventurous, intimate, and intentional activities around their wedding day. Here are some of my favorite things to do on your elopement day. Of course, we can work together to plan out the perfect day depending on where you plan to stay and where you plan to elope!
No matter what you have in mind, we can make it happen!
Most people don’t know what to expect when they’re planning a trip down to Puglia weather-wise, because they have never visited. The Puglia, Italy weather tends to skew more towards a Mediterranean climate, so expect hot, dry summers and mild winters. If you’re looking for that beachy vibe, I’d recommend visiting sometime between July and August. Temperatures can reach up to 30C (or 90F), and sometimes higher. There’s nothing like Puglia in the summer – you’ll love the gelato and pizzas under shaded patios!
However, if hot weather isn’t your thing, don’t worry: Puglia is still beautiful the rest of the year. I’d recommend visiting during the spring or fall if you want to avoid crowds but still catch some of that gorgeous sunshine. Keep in mind, though, that the shoulder seasons (and winter) have more clouds and more rain.
Italy’s southernmost region has its own unique cuisine, and it’s so unique compared to other parts of Italy. Puglia is home to some of the most beloved Italian staples, including orecchiette and panzerotti. But there’s so much to love about authentic Puglia food. Here are some of the most traditional foods and meals in Puglia:
And of course, don’t forget to try Puglia olive oil! When you’re driving through Puglia, you’ll notice groves and groves of decades-old olive trees. Puglia produces around 40% of the olive oil in Italy!
Okay, now that we’ve covered the types of food you can’t miss, let’s dig into some of my favorite restaurants in the region. Puglia has more than its fair share of jaw-dropping restaurants with authentic, homemade meals. Keep in mind: most meals are served later in Italy – it’s cultural. Expect to eat dinner no earlier than 7 or 8 p.m. for example. Most people also grab lunch much later in the day.
The Puglia region is all about enjoying the nightlife and evening hours, especially during the summer when the temperatures can get too hot during the day. In southern Italy, dinner doesn’t start until 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. (normally later!), so most people will end up staying out and talking with friends and loved ones until midnight – or later, especially Puglia. It’s a big part of the laid back culture.
The “heel” of Italy is a huge area, and there are so many sick places to stay around the Puglia region. Whether you opt to stay in a romantic “Trullo” in Alberobello or luxury hotels in Puglia with a sea view, there’s truly something for everyone in this incredible area. If you want a truly private experience, I’d recommend booking an Airbnb in the region. And don’t worry, no matter where you decide to stay, you’ll never be *too* far from the all-important pizza or gelato supplies.
Here are some of my favorite (and truly awesome) accommodations in the Puglia and Campagna region:
To get to the Puglia region, the best airport for Puglia is the Bari Airport. However, there are two airports that get flights to Puglia, Italy: the Bari Airport or the Brindisi Airport. Which should you pick? Well, it’ll depend on where you fly from. Brindisi caters to more European connections, especially from the UK, but you will probably find more general flights to and from Bari. Budget airlines RyanAir and Wizz Air both fly into Bari.
From Bari, you should plan on renting a car and driving either north or south, depending on where you are staying. One thing is certain: the Puglia region is perfect for road trips!
Alternatively, if you’re planning to spend time further north in Italy before coming down to the Puglia region, you can take public transit to Bari (or your final destination!). Bari is home to a big train station which has connections to several popular spots further south, including Monopoli and Lecce. However, if you plan to stay off the beaten path, you will more than likely need to rent a car.
I’d personally recommend getting legally married in the U.S. to make it easier on you both and then have the symbolic ceremony in Italy.
But if you want to legally get married in Italy, here’s how:
Foreigners planning to get married in Italy do not need to have legal residency for a wedding. Italy will recognize both civil and religious wedding ceremonies (which isn’t always a given if you want to plan a European elopement!).
All your need to get legally married in Italy is the appropriate paperwork, which includes your passport, both your birth certificates, an affidavit, and two witnesses (I can be one of the witnesses!). If you plan to elope in Italy, you will also need to submit a declaration of intent to marry. To learn more about legal marriages in Italy, consider contacting the US Embassy in Italy.
Puglia is such an untouched part of Italy, and it’s the perfect road trip destination. If you do plan to elope in Puglia, I’d recommend renting a car and making a whole trip out of it! After all, Puglia beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world!
Don’t be afraid to rent your car and head off the beaten path to explore the true Italy. There’s nothing more exciting than exploring a new area!
If you want to elope in Italy, there’s no place more relaxed or beautiful than the Puglia region! The turquoise waters, the tiny cove beaches, the orecchiette…what’s not to love! If you’re feeling inspired by this post and may want to consider an Italian elopement, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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