Each year, Red Bull sponsors a cliff diving event here where athletes dive off the towering cliff 27 meters into the Adriatic. Polignano is a typical Italian coastal town located in the region of Apulia about 20 miles south of Bari. The town stands out for its unique beaches, ritzy sea cave restaurant and its picturesque ancient village. At the top of this staircase is a statue of the Italian singer Domenico Modugno who was born here in 1928. Domenico starred in several films and recorded over 200 songs but his song Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu, better known as Volare, became an international hit in 1958. His album has sold over 800,000 copies in Italy and over 22 million worldwide. He also won three Grammy Awards in 1958. Over 70,000 people attended his last major concert here in Polignano in 1993. He died from a heart attack in 1994. Domenico, also known as the Great Mimmo, now stands with open arms embracing the town he was born in. Polignano a Mare was known simply as Polignano up until 1862 when the word “a mare” to its name which means “to the sea.” With its 12km of coastline, the town of Polignano a Mare truly lives up to its name. This small town of 17,000 has ancient Neolithic origins according to artifacts found by archaeologists. This narrow path leads down to the famous Spiaggia Lama Monachile, also known as Cala Porto beach. The name Lama Monachile takes it name from the ancient Roman bridge which must be crossed to reach the beach. This Roman bridge was once part of the ancient Via Traiana which was an extension of the Appian Way leading from Benevento to Brindisi. There used to be a monastery nearby from which the Lama Monachile took its name meaning “monastic monk.” The Spiaggia Lama Monachile is a ‘spiaggia libera’ or public beach with small rocks called “ciottoli.” Flip flops, known in Italia as “infraditi,” are not the best choice for water shoes. The Grotta Piana is a cave tunnel that leads out to the base of the cliff. Ciao Ciao! The origins of Polignano date back to the 4th century BC when it was a Greek settlement known as Neopolis. The bridge was built by Emperor Trajan between 108 and 110 AD. Over the centuries, Polignano has been ruled by the Lombards, Arabs, Byzantines, Normans, Angevin and Aragonese. In 1494 the city fell under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Naples. The Old Town of Polignano was once completely walled off and the Arco Marchesale, also known as Porta Grande, was the only entrance into the city. This ancient network of alleys and narrow streets has changed very little through the centuries. The Piazza V. Emanuele II, also known as Piazza dell’Orologio, was once the center of the religious and political powers of Polignano. At the far end of the piazza is the Palazzo dell’Orologio (clock house), once the seat of the University.