Locorotondo is a whitewashed beautiful village in Puglia, Italy. In this travel guide, we show how to visit and why you should add Locorotondo to your Italian adventures.
Delightful. This is the word for Locorotondo, a town in Italy so pretty it is hard to believe the tourist machine hasn’t yet elected it as the next place to be.
We came across this small town as we traveled the South of Italy, on a day when we wanted to stray off the most beaten track. And what a surprise we got!
Perched on a hilltop, Locorotondo is a delight of whitewashed alleys, colorful flowerpots and beautiful architecture, peppered with delicious food and a distinct slow pace that soothes the most restless of traveling souls.
This is our travel guide to Locorotondo. Safe travels!
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Where is Locorotondo?
Locorotondo is in the South East of Italy and more precisely in Valle d’Itria (the Itria Valley), in Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot.
The nearest big cities are Bari, about 1h by car from Locorotondo and the closest international airport, the port of Brindisi and Taranto, all in the same region.
Famous Alberobello is less than 15 minutes away by car.
How long to visit Locorotondo?
Locorotondo is a village and you can visit in less than one hour.
My advice is to plan a lunch stop here while on your way from Alberobello to Martina Franca.
Locorotondo is a very short drive from both and can be easily added to a trip to the province of Bari.
If you are short on time, you can easily visit Alberobello in the morning, have lunch in Locorotondo and coffee in Martina Franca before heading to your destination (in our case, it was Matera).
How to get to Locorotondo?
The best way to reach Locorotondo is by car. The roads in this area are well signposted and well kept and parking is abundant (on-street, pay and display).
Car rental options in the area are available in all major towns and several providers serve the area including international names such as Avis and Hertz.
When we visited, we found Avis car rental to be good but you can find several options on Auto Europe Car Rental, which allows you to compare offers by different companies.
If you prefer not to drive, buses also serve this area: depending on the time and day of the week, they go directly for Bari to Locorotondo or require a change mid-journey.
What is special about Locorotondo?
Locorotondo is a medieval village whose foundation dates back to 1000 AD.
The name Locorotondo means ’round place’ (Loco= place; Rotondo=round or circular) and this is descriptive of the topography of this town.
Its historical center has a circular structure that crowns the top of a hill.
Below, lovely views of sleepy countryside open up in front of you, with olive groves and trulli dotting the horizon.
This position, as well as the lovely architecture of the town, earned Locorotondo the coveted title of being one of the ‘ borghi più belli d’Italia‘, an honorary recognition given to the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Many things make Locorotondo special.
The first is how pretty the pace is: if you are looking for picture-perfect southern Mediterranean charm, Locorotondo delivers!
The second is a peculiar architectural characteristic that makes Locorotondo unique: the ‘cummerse’.
The ‘cummerse’ are houses with peculiar pointy roofs that are unique to Locorotondo.
They are unseen in other parts of Italy and while maybe less evocative than the trulli of nearby Alberobello, they give the town its distinctive skyline.
What there is to see in Locorotondo?
If I was to make a list of the things to see in Locorotondo, I would probably produce an article with just a couple of items: a pretty town center and beautiful churches.
However, such a list would make you feel that there is nothing worth seeing in Locorotondo and this could not be farther from the truth.
Locorotondo may not have ‘attractions’ as such but it has a gorgeous historical center that invites you to take a slow stroll and soak up the atmosphere.
It is the type of place likely to give you what most visitors seek in an Italian vacation: a pretty village that seems out of a fairytale, amazing food and the occasional stunning church.
These are the most beautiful things we came across as we went exploring.
Locorotondo whitewashed alleys
As you enter the historical center of Locorotondo, you find yourself in a maze of gorgeous whitewashed alley gleaming in the sun.
The ground is paved with slabs of local cream-colored stone, the walls of the buildings are a bright white and the whole pace is brought to life by dashed of color from the many blooming flowerpots decorating windowsill and doors.
You do not need a map or an itinerary for Locorotondo.
Follow the signs for the town center (centro strorico) and let the maze guide you.
You won’t get lost for long but your aimless walk is guaranteed to show you some of the prettiest corners of Italy!
Locorotondo has several churches worth seeing.
The most beautiful are the Chiesa Madre di San Giorgio (baroque), Chiesa di San Nicola (with beautiful frescoes), the church of the patron Saint San Rocco and the Romanesque Santa Maria della Greca church.
This last one is worth noticing as it has a typical pointy roof ‘a cummersa’ and a facade covered with slabs of local stone (‘chiancarelle’ in local language)
The churches are beautiful inside and outside but to me, the most impressive thing of all is that they tend to surprise the visitors.
As you walk in a beauty-induced stupor, you stumble onto what looks like a small nondescript square and they open up in front of you in all their glory.
While you should try to see them before you leave, I highly recommend you put the map down and trust that your wandering will lead you to them.
The visual impact of the unexpected church as you turn one more corner is a delight!
Locorotondo balconies and doorways
As you stroll around the historical center of Locorotondo you will encounter many stunning balconies and entryways, decorated with beautiful flowers and colorful vases.
These are a distinctive feature of the town and the locals are so proud of them they even have competitions to nominate the most beautiful each year!
I am glad I am not a judge in this competition as they are all so pretty I would never be able to pick just one winner!
What and where to eat in Locorotondo
Locorotondo has several restaurants serving delicious Apulian food which, if you ask me, is one of the most delicious in Italy – have a look at this Puglia Food Guide to see what I mean! .
We had lunch in one called La Braceria, which has lovely outdoor and indoor tables and loved every morsel.
Dishes to try here (and in the area in general) are orecchiette con cime di rapa (vegetarian orecchiette pasta), cured meats, meatballs and broad bean puree.
Make sure you also taste some of the local white wine, the ‘Locorotondo’.
Less known than other Italian wines, it is made with local varieties of grapes and is commonly offered as ‘house wine’.
Despite this popular origin, it is delicious: a great place to taste it the ‘cantina sociale di Locorotondo (shop and winery) on Via Madonna della catena 99.
Where to stay in Locorotondo
You can see Locorotondo in an hour or so but you can also make it your base for exploring the area.
Despite being so pretty, it is less visited than nearby Alberobello and you are likely to find good accommodation options at a fraction of the price.
Travel resources for Locorotondo Italy
- Best luggage for Italy – all our tried and tested recommendations
- Omio – Handy website for Train and Bus connections across Europe
- Booking.com – My go-to resource for accommodation (hotels, apartments and specialty lodging) with good deals and excellent cancellation policies
- LuggageHero – Large selection of luggage storage options for bags-free day trips
- GetYourGuide: booking platform for attraction tickets and day tours
- Lonely Planet: my one and only go-to travel guide provider
- AutoEurope: handy comparison website for the best car rental deals
I hope you enjoyed this guide to Locorotondo and it inspired you to explore this lovely part of Southern Italy.