Salento is a magical and fascinating land, located at the extreme tip of the Puglia, kissed by two seas: the Adriatic and the Ionian. This land offers breathtaking landscapes, dream beaches, history and culture in abundance. Let's discover together some of the most suggestive places to visit in Salento.
Six places to visit in Salento
Lecce, the main city of Salento
The heart of Lecce is found in its fascinating historic center, one of the most beautiful in all of Italy, which has made this city famous as "The Florence of the South".
The narrow streets wind through a maze of houses built with Lecce stone, honey-coloured, typical of the area. The Baroque architecture and the history of the city are present everywhere, offering suggestive corners to discover. In the evening, the historic center comes alive thanks to the cafes, bars and restaurants where it is not uncommon to see music and wine. Do not miss a visit to the Roman Amphitheater in Piazza Sant'Oronzo, the Basilica of Santa Croce and Piazza del Duomo.
Gallipoli, sea and nightlife
Gallipoli is a town overlooking the Ionian Sea, famous for its historic center and its enchanting beaches. Among the main attractions we find the Angioino Castle, the Cathedral of Sant'Agata and the Spiaggia della Purità. Reference point for young and very young, as well as being known for its nightlife and nightlife, Gallipoli is also an excellent starting point for exploring other wonderful beaches nearby, such as Punta della Suina Beach and Pescoluse Beach (Maldives of the Salento).
Otranto, history, sea and nature
Otranto is known for its strategic position on the Adriatic coast and for its historic centre. Of ancient history, the city offers numerous shops, bars and restaurants, as well as an ancient port and suggestive coves along the coast. Do not miss a visit to the Castle of Otranto, to the small lake with the Bauxite quarry and an excursion to Torre dell'Orso, a few kilometers to the north, famous for the rocks of the "Due Sorelle" and the nearby stacks of Sant'Andrea, among the symbols of Salento.
Santa Maria di Leuca, the tip of Salento
Located at the southern end of Salento, Santa Maria di Leuca is known for its imposing lighthouse and the artificial waterfall that marks the end of the Apulian aqueduct. Sandy beaches and rocky cliffs characterize the landscape of this location, ideal for spending days with the family or exploring the fascinating karst caves by boat. The stretch of sea that goes from Punta Mèliso to Punta Ristola is considered the border between the 2 seas that bathe the Salento, the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea.
Porto Cesareo, the marine reserve
Porto Cesareo is a seaside resort overlooking the Ionian Sea, famous for the beauty of its beaches. The protected marine area of Porto Cesareo, one of the 3 marine reserves of Puglia, offers an unforgettable experience for snorkelers and divers. The town centre, with its shops, restaurants and bars, is the ideal place for an evening stroll or to enjoy an aperitif at sunset. In the surrounding area, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Palude del Conte and Duna Costiera Regional Nature Reserve, a protected area that is home to numerous species of flora and fauna typical of Salento.
Pescoluse, the Maldives of Salento
Pescoluse, also known as the "Maldives of Salento", is one of the most famous beaches of Salento, located in the municipality of Salve.
Its very fine silver-colored sand and crystalline sea have meant that, since 2009, Pescoluse has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag by the Foundation for Environmental Education. The beach is ideal for families with children, thanks to the shallow waters near the shore, the services offered and the presence of lifeguards for safety. Furthermore, in the surroundings there are ice cream parlors, pizzerias and places for aperitifs, as well as spaces dedicated to water sports and relaxation. Pescoluse is a relaxing and safe holiday destination, where you can spend unforgettable days by the sea in the heart of Salento.
The Salento hinterland, between history and traditions
Salento is not just sea and beaches: the hinterland is full of hidden treasures, historic villages and unique traditions.
During a holiday in Salento you can visit the characteristic villages of Specchia, Presicce and Tricase, lodge in the old farmhouses, discover the ancient olive groves and underground oil mills, evidence of agricultural history and the importance of olive oil in the Salento tradition. L'Apulian oil it is in fact the basis of Salento gastronomy, which ranges from fish-based dishes to typical products such as orecchiette, taralli and pasticciotti. A large number of wines also come from the Salento vineyards Apulian wines, such as Negramaro and Salice Salentino.
The main event of the Salento summers is certainly "La Notte della Taranta", an unmissable event that takes place every year in August: it is the largest popular music festival in Italy, dedicated to the "Taranta", a dance traditional linked to the ancient popular beliefs of Salento. During the festival, in Melpignano, concerts and shows with local and international artists follow one another, paying homage to local culture and traditions.