Now Reading
A great legacy, Salento with love

A great legacy, Salento with love

Salento In The Sand

Puglia is a large and varied region that has been a crossroads for several civilizations and cultures over the centuries. Salento, which is the best-known area of Puglia, covers the bottom part of the heel: the peninsula dividing the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Salento has been the land for so many cultures, as you can see while you walk through cities and towns. Salento offers culture, archaeological heritage, art and craftsmanship, ancient traditions, amazing landscapes, great food and wine, gobsmacked beaches.

A 20-minute train journey from Brindisi takes you to Lecce, the largest city in Salento, the Florence of the South. Seeing Lecce’s wonderful sandstone palazzi and structures throw off the most warming glow as the sun sets in the evening. With its monumental entrances, the historic center, Piazza Sant’Oronzo, impressive Roman amphitheater, and majestic Baroque churches on every corner, you realize how different Lecce is from the other towns in its province.

The Baroque churches, palazzi, and balconies are adorned with decoration, so make sure you look up!

Even if Lecce is the must-see during your stay in Salento, it is also the perfect starting point to reach many of the beaches that are scattered along the coastline. Although there is a well-established bus service that interlinks many of the beach and coastal destinations, we would recommend hiring a car as the journeys by coach can become crowded.

The beaches and translucent sea that are a short distance from Lecce really are special. An example of that is the fabulous beach of Torre dell’Orso, this lovely bay is known for being home to the famous twin rock stacks called Le Due Sorelle, the Two Sisters. Also, nearby in Roca Vecchia, you will find the picturesque Grotta Della Poesia (the Cave of Poetry) – one of the most beautiful natural pools in the world and very popular for diving.

Around 30 miles southeast of Lecce is Otranto, a very ancient town of Greek origin. In Roman times it was important for being the nearest port to the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea. This old town is small but beautiful, boasting a labyrinth of narrow streets, a dazzling 11th-century cathedral with magnificent mosaic floors, and the tiny frescoed church of San Pietro, which is one of the best examples of Byzantine buildings in Puglia. Beyond the old town, there are bars and restaurants overlooking the curved bay, providing some lovely alfresco dining options.

Just over an hour’s drive from Lecce, towards the southern end of the region, you will find the Marina di Pescoluse, the famous Maldives of Salento. The coastline is low and sandy and the sea appears to increase in vibrancy the closer you get to Pescoluse.

Just over half an hour’s drive southwest from Lecce you will reach Gallipoli, which is a city of two parts. After passing through the modern part of the city, crossing the ancient bridge connecting new to old, the feel of the place completely changes. The nightlife is lively with numerous bars and restaurants, and street stalls selling natural sponges are open late into the night. The next stop is nearby Porto Cesareo, still on the Ionian coast, slightly to the north. Porto Cesareo belongs to the Protected Ma-rine Area and to the Regional Nature Reserve Palude del Conte e Duna Costiera, one of the largest in Italy.

So, if you’re looking for a special destination with a great climate, dreamy beaches, beautiful historic towns, delicious food and wine, and fun for all the family… come to the Salento!

Article By: Anna Maria Mengoli and Davide Mengoli

Photo Copyright: Anna Maria Mengoli & Davide Mengoli

© 2021 Beyond Taste Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top