Are you wondering what to wear in Puglia (sometimes called Apulia in Italian)? Puglia is the region in Italy in the heel of Italy and is famous for its beautiful beaches and white cities such as Ostuni and Bari. In this guide will tell you exactly what to wear on the beach in Puglia, in the towns and out for dinner to help you not look like a tourist!
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But before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in Puglia along with some outfit inspiration we thought it would be worthwhile to talk about exactly what and where Puglia is, and how the seasons will affect your Puglia Packing List
Where is Puglia?
Puglia is one of the most southern regions of Italy located in the heel. It is famous as a foodie destination, being the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement as well as for beautiful beaches and amazing towns and cities such as Bari, Ostuni, Brindisi and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberebello famed for its beautiful Truli Houses.
So what should you wear in Puglia for this amazing array of places?
Puglia Dress Code
As with many places in Italy, Puglia doesn’t really have a dress code per se.
The only real place in Puglia that has a strict code is of course in the churches of Puglia, one of the most famous of which is the beautiful Bari Cathedral which is a must if you are on a Mediterranean cruise.
All Italian churches have strict dress codes so be sure to read up on what to wear here if you plan to visit a church while in Puglia.
Also you will notice that when out for dinner in Italy generally but specifically in Puglia people will stick to smart casual dress codes. I would therefore have nice blouses and maxi dresses at the ready for going out to dinner in Puglia in summer.
It is also worth noting that Puglia is a big tourist destination. As such peak season will run from April to October and if you visit Puglia in Winter you will find there to be far fewer tourists. But this comes with the downside of the weather not being beach friendly.
However we will cover all the seasons in this guide to help you know what to wear no matter what time of year you visit.
What to Wear on the Puglia in Summer (June, July and August)
Chances are if you are looking to visit Puglia wondering what to wear is that you will be visiting during the Summer Months. This is characterised as June, July and August, although peak tourist season runs longer than this.
During the Summer in Puglia you can expect lots of sunny days and very little rain as summers in Puglia are long hot and dry. In terms of temperatures, in the summer you can expect to see highs of 85F/29C and lows of 64F/18C and the hottest month to travel to Puglia is July.
As such we would recommend putting the below on your summer Puglia packing list:
MAxi Dresses and Maxi Skirts.
Due to the hot weather you will see a lot of Maxi Dresses and Maxi Skirts in Puglia in Summer especially at tourist attractions and on the beach.
Loose and flowing clothes are better for the Puglia in Summer as they will keep you cooler. They are also great for wearing down on the beach and out for dinner.
Tank Tops and T Shirts
These are perfect for out exploring Puglia and can be paired with skirts or shorts.
This are particularly great for archaeological sites and other places where you will be doing lots of walking.
If you are visiting Puglia in Summer chances are you will be spending time on the beach. Therefore you will want to have some stylish swimwear with you.
Some of the most famous beaches in Puglia are Polignano a Mare and Gallipoli. If you are visiting these places you will want either a one piece or bikini, whatever you feel most comfortable in.
Depending on how long you plan to spend on the beach in Puglia depends on how many pieces of swimwear you will need.
I would recommend packing at least two swimwear pieces so one can be drying while you are wearing the other.
Most people in Puglia when not swimming or sunbathing will put on a beach cover to head to bars or local amenities so we recommend adding one or two beach covers to your packing list.
Sun hats are a staple on any Puglia packing list for summer. Be sure to pick a wide brimmed straw hat instead of a baseball cap to fit in more with locals and to add more shade into your outfit.
Trousers and Blouse
Trousers and blouses are a great alternative to maxi dresses for exploring towns and having dinner as they are a great day to night transition outfit.
Linen trousers are popular with the locals and are good in the hot weather.
I never travel anywhere in Italy without a pashmina. It is great in the evenings in case you get chilly dining al fresco and can also be used to make an outfit more modest for visiting churches in Italy.
Although churches won’t be the primary activity you do in Puglia there are some great churches to visit such as the Bari Cathedral dating from the Crusader period. Therefore you will need at least one outfit that meets Italian church dress codes.
Goes without saying
We recommend packing lightweight PJs as not everywhere in Puglia will have Air conditioning. You may want to check out whether or not your accommodation has air conditioning before booking.
Note: If you want to know what to wear in Puglia for men I recommend packing a mixture of chinos and linen trousers and some smarter shorts alongside plain t shirts and polos and short sleeve shirts for summer.
And if you are visiting other areas of Italy in Summer be sure to check out our other Italian Summer packing Lists:
- what to wear to Venice in Summer
- What to wear to Cinque Terre in Summer
- What to wear to Rome in August
- What to wear to Rome in July
- What to wear to Italy in August
- What to wear to Italy in July
- What to wear on the Amalfi Coast
What to Wear to the Puglia in Spring (March, April, May)
Depending on what time you are visiting Puglia in Spring will depend on how hot the temperatures are.
April really kicks off peak season in Puglia and you may find March too cold to be spending too much time on the beaches.
May is obviously the warmest month in Spring with high temperatures around 79F/26C.
For this reason we recommend packing the same as the summer, though you may need less in terms of swimwear as the weather may be too cold.
And we also recommend adding the following additions to your packing list
Spring evenings in Puglia can be cold so be sure to add a cardigan or two to pair to your dress and trousers outfits.
This is great for exploring in March and Early April in Puglia.
This may be needed if you are visiting the Puglia in March.
What to Wear to the Puglia in Fall (September, October and November)
What to wear to the Puglia in Fall is very similar to what to wear in Puglia in Summer.
In particular, if you are visiting Puglia in September you can pretty much select the same outfits as you would in August.
However the later in Fall you visit the cooler it becomes and peak season tends to end in mid–October which is certainly when the last cruise will dock in Puglia.
If you are visiting in late October and November you probably wont be needing lots of swimwear as it will be too cold to get in the water everyday.
Also you will want cardigans and sweaters on your packing list, and in November you may even need a jacket.
What to Wear to Puglia in Winter (December, January and February)
Puglia can be cold in Winter. So cold in fact that it is unlikely you will be able to swim and use the beach in Winter.
And as Puglia gets all the season you can expect to experience some rain if you are traveling to Puglia in Winter.
Therefore we recommend abandoning the summer packing list and wearing the below to Puglia in Winter instead.
You will definitely want a warm jacket for the Puglia in Winter. If possible we recommend a waterproof one as you can get rainy.
Cardigans, Sweaters and Top Layers
We recommend packing a few different types of top layers with you for instance a combination of cardigans, sweaters and hoodies of different weights so you have enough variety in case of a very cold snap.
Long Sleeve Tops
It is unlikely you will be wearing short sleeve t shirts in Puglia in Winter so we recommend packing a variety of long sleeve tops and blouses with you including some smarter ones for dinners.
Although linen trousers are perfect for Puglia in Summer and the shoulder seasons, they are simply too lightweight in Winter. We recommend going with heavier weight trousers in Winter. We tend to recommend packing jeans for Puglia in Winter
I never go to Italy without one.
Goes without saying
A slightly heavier weight pair are better in Winter.
Best Shoes for the Puglia Coast
Sneakers are perfect for Puglia no matter the season you visit.
Perfect for the beach and dinner in summer and shoulder seasons. However if you are there in Winter boots are more appropriate.
If you decide against water shoes and are planning on spending time on the beach in Puglia I recommend taking a pair or flip flops however I would not wear these around town as they aren’t very supportive and the towns in Puglia are old and therefore cobbled and uneven streets are common place.
What Else to add to your Puglia Packing List
- Aftersun cream
- Phone / Camera
- Reusable Water bottle
- Beach bag
FAQs About what to Wear in Apulia
What to wear to dinner in Puglia?
Dinner in Puglia doesn’t have a special dress code unless you go to a restaurant that stipulates one.
One restaurant in Puglia that does have a dress code and is at the top of a lot of people’s Puglia bucket lists is Grotta Palazzese in Polignano a Mare. This is one of Italy’s most exclusive restaurant which is set in a cave on the seafront in Polignano.
The dress code at this restaurant stipulates that shorts and sandals may not be worn by men for the dinner seating. For this restaurant we would suggest boat shoes, chinos or linen trousers and shirts for men and maxi dresses or linen trousers and a blouse for ladies coupled with a pashmina or a cardigan as it can get chilly in the grotto.
For all other restaurants in Puglia that don’t have a stated dress code we recommend Maxi Dresses and pashminas and blouses and linen trousers for summer and in winter a pair of smart trousers, blouse and a blazer.
We found there to be lots of opportunities for Al Fresco dining in Italy but especially in Puglia so you will want to carry a light ayer for you such as a Pashmina or cardigan for when you are dining outside.
Have you been to the Puglia? What did you wear? We would love to hear in the comments below!