A vacation in Puglia usually consists of visiting multiple towns. Even if you are doing your trip by public transport, getting around Puglia is not that hard. This is why visiting Mesagne, Puglia should be on your mind when you are in Brindisi.
A great way to enhance any vacation is to see as many different towns as possible. If you find yourself with free time in Brindisi, then definitely consider visiting Mesagne. It’s super close and you can easily do a half-day trip to the town.
Photo Credit for our featured image: AlMare, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
What to see in Mesagne, Puglia?
The town of Mesagne has been a historically important city. In ancient times the location served it very well. Being on the Appian Way, Mesagne has served merchants, travelers, and locals. This means that the town had a lively atmosphere even early in history.
Today the small historic center remains and you can visit it to explore how the old city might have looked like. However, the great location meant growth. Around the old town area, it’s a great bustling modern city in Puglia. Although size-wise the town is big, most of the attractions are in the old town which means it’s a very walkable tourist city.
1. Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II
Coming from the train station, the first sense of old Mesagne will be felt at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. This plaza holds part of the old city walls and the old city entrance. When you step through the gates you will be in the historic part of Mesagne, Puglia.
Before you enter the old town we highly recommend that you check out Arciconfraternita dell Immacolata, the church on the other side of the road. It’s a beautiful old church that has been standing in its place throughout history.
2. Castello Normanno Svevo di Mesagne
After you enter the old city through the gate, a right turn will take you to the city’s very own castle. The Castle of Mesagne was built in the 11th century so it’s a truly old relic from the past.
You can walk around the impressive structure. Admire the city castle walls and bastions that were erected to fend off invaders and defend the city.
Today the castle is home to the Archeological Museum. This leads us right to the next attraction in Mesagne.
3. Museo del Territorio Ugo Granafei
The archeological museum. It’s definitely a museum we can recommend if you love to check out archeological finds. There are urns, household objects, and the city remains on display.
It’s also great that the museum is inside the castle. This means you can visit the castle and learn about the local history at the same time. All this for a very affordable price of 2 EUR per ticket.
4. Church of All Saints
Mesagne has many beautiful churches. Out of all of them, the Church of All Saints is probably one of the most impressive. With its highly decorated facade, it’s a wonderful sight in the center of the old city.
If you get the chance and have the time make sure you also head inside. Although it’s hard to match the extravaganza that’s the facade, the interior is very nicely decorated with sacred art.
5. Il Borgo dei presepi
If you visit Mesagne during the afternoon, then you might have a chance to catch the free exhibition of Il Borgo dei presepi. It’s open from 6 PM to 8 PM and it’s a permanent nativity scene exhibit.
Considering it’s free it’s definitely worth a visit if you are around during the evening. The scenes are made by local artists and feature many local places as well.
6. Explore the old town and city gates
The city gate which you used to enter the town is not the only one. We definitely recommend that you also seek out the smaller Porta Nuova, the New Gate of the old town.
Make sure that you also explore the local churches and narrow cobblestone streets. The old town has an inviting atmosphere with many architectural wonders to look at. Your camera should be ready because you will be tempted to take many pictures.
Out of the churches, the Church of Saint Mary is not to be missed. Although it’s smaller in size than the Church of All Saints, the facade is just as beautiful.
Another cute church to visit is the aincent Chiesa dei Santi Cosimo e Damianov. It’s very small and located in a corner. The informational plaques will tell the story of the church.
The streets are also dotted with palaces like Palazzo Cavaliere and Palazzo Taberini. These buildings represent the past and serve as impressive sights to see.
7. Get something to eat at Felicità pizza & more
Felicità pizza & more is a local pizzeria inside the old town. It’s tucked away at the end of the main street and a little far off from the major square. This means the place gets fewer visitors and is less touristy than many of the other restaurants around.
The local owner makes excellent pizza. It’s just the perfect place to get something to eat in Mesagne, Puglia. Whenever you visit this town make sure you don’t miss this place.
How to get to Mesagne, Puglia?
Getting to Mesagne is best done from the city of Brindisi. It’s simply the largest town nearby. Brindisi also has the benefit of being well connected to the road and public transport network.
One of the most cost-effective and easy ways of getting to Mesagne is via train. You can catch a train from Brindisi and be in the center of Mesagne in around 15 minutes. Yep, it’s that close.
Even better, the train tickets cost $2 per person for one way. That means that two people can do this half-day trip for $8 if they choose public transport. Also note, that the train station is very well located in Mesagne, which means you won’t have to walk too much to get to the city center.
We highly recommend that you visit Mesagne via train. You can check the schedule and purchase your tickets on the ItaliaRail website.
If you already rented a car or looking to rent a car anyway, then going to Mesagne via car is also very easy. All you got to do is follow Strada Statale 7 out of Brindisi and the signs will guide you to Mesagne in no time. You can leave the car nearby the city center, but be careful of blue parking spots as they are paying ones.
How long is a visit to Mesagne?
We recommend that you plan a half-day for Mesagne. Main attractions can be checked out in 3 to 4 hours. Add to that a little bit of walking, eating in a restaurant, waiting for the train and you arrive at your half-day trip.