Salento Vacanze useful advice on places to visit

Who I am
Pau Monfort
@paumonfort
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

What to visit in Salento?

Il Salento is a place rich in history and traditions, of natural beauty, of magical atmospheres that in every corner of this fabulous strip of Italic land recall the scents and flavors of a past that has known different cultures, from the Greek to the Byzantine one, cultures that are expressed in the architecture of every suggestive Salento town.

As you walk through the territory, you notice the influence of the Greeks due to the absolute predominance of the white "lime" houses, without roofs, especially in the countryside and on the coast, while the historic centers are characterized by a Spanish legacy of the Baroque that is stripped here of the pictorial superabundance of the interiors and transforms the external facades of churches and palaces into real sculpted tapestries.



In short, Salento is a territory with a natural tourist vocation like few able to transmit the most diverse stimuli and messages, to fascinate with the myths and signs of ancient peoples, to interest with the testimonies and intersections of Mediterranean cultures.

The 8 most beautiful and famous tourist resorts of Salento where to go on vacation

But also to intrigue with the grandiose works of master stonemasons, to attract with the colors and landscapes of the sun, to make people smile with the flavors of the table.

Those who discover Salento appreciate it for its magical atmosphere, the many wonders to discover, the warm sun, the blue sky, the crystalline sea, the dream coast with a thousand designs, the Baroque art.

A mix of art, culture, tourism and traditions, which make this land unique for those lucky enough to visit it at least once in their life.


COASTAL TOWERS:


The coastal towers of the province of Lecce are mostly concentrated on the Adriatic side; the tourist who intends to travel along the beautiful coast road, from S. Cataldo to Capo di Leuca and from here to go up the Ionian shore to Porto Cesareo, would find himself faced with proud and powerful structures that today recall that climate of fear and violence, but also of indomitable resistance, in which these people lived.

Let's start with S. Cataldo, the ancient port of Adriano and we go down to Roca Vecchia, an ancient town that still retains part of its defensive structures hidden in the greenery of one of the most important archaeological parks in the Mediterranean.

Proceeding south we find Torre dell'Orso, in the seaside resort of the same name, Torre del Serpe, symbol of Otranto e Sant'Emiliano Tower lonely reaching out to the sea.

Up to Santa Maria di Leuca, the coastal road appears almost "guarded" by these stone guardians.

To be seen Torre Palane e Tower of the Dead Men.

On the Ionian side, Sabèa Tower a Gallipoli, Santa Caterina Tower, Tower of the Four Columns on the coast of Nereto, la Tower of Uluzzo in the natural park of Portoselvaggio and finally Sant'Isidoro Tower, Squillace Tower e Torre Chianca at Porto Cesareo. The austerity of these military structures has been combined, over the centuries, with the spectacular nature of the coast and landscapes.


The 10 most beautiful beaches of Salento that have nothing to envy to the Caribbean

COASTAL CAVES LOCATED NEAR S. MARIA DI LEUCA:


BOCCA DEL POZZO CAVE: to reach it you need to land at some rocks and walk a short path. This will lead to a fairytale-like mirror of crystalline and freezing water that the sea has carved out of the living rock.

MANNUTE CAVE: an intricate complex of cavities, all intercommunicating and particularly suggestive, characterized by large circular openings that open at half height.

CAVE VORA: the huge cavern resembles the inside of a grandiose cathedral. A large circular hole, located 60 meters above the vault, allows the sun to color the walls with wonderful plays of light.

ORTOCUPO CAVE: here is a truly ideal place to spend a day at sea, resting on the silent shore or diving to discover the wonderful seabed of the Grotta del Soffio.

What are the most beautiful places in Salento?

GALLIPOLI

Beautiful city, pearl of the Ionian.

A unique place capable of blending the flavor of tradition with the taste of hospitality.

The white color of the houses, the red of the sunset that tinges crystal clear waters, the golden colors of the long sandy coasts.

It is easy to immerse yourself in this atmosphere heralds many moments of relaxation: a walk, through the narrow and winding streets, in the old town with its almost oriental-style, whitewashed houses; a trip to the market to choose the tastiest freshly caught fish; a visit to the monuments and churches.


Don't miss a visit to the Hellenistic fountain.

Rebuilt in 1560, on the rear facade, between caryatids and telamons supporting a Baroque pediment, visitors will be able to admire three ancient reliefs depicting the "Dirce's metamorphosis","Salmace"and "Bibles“, Turned all three into sources of water.


Also, do not miss a visit to the Castle: this stupendous XNUMXth century construction incorporates the previous fortifications of the Angevin age and consists of a ravelin concluded by a circular keep and a quadrangular keep with corner towers.

And finally, take a stroll around the Cathedral, for all lovers of the Salento Baroque it is an almost obligatory appointment together with the wonderful structure dedicated to Sant'Agata, built in 1630 and completed with the splendid facade in 1696.

The interior is a real art gallery that contains large paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

CASTRO

An extraordinary natural setting.

I rocky peaks, in some almost inaccessible points, which stand out against an always intensely blue and crystalline sea; the rich Mediterranean vegetation that softly embraces a hill carved by winding streets; the kaleidoscope of depths rich in fauna and flora that offer diving enthusiasts an exhilarating experience.

But the charm of Castro certainly does not end here: the natural beauties are flanked by the attractions, certainly more mysterious and evocative, of its history that live through the Castle of the '500, the Cathedral of the XII century, the Byzantine crypt and all the other monuments, proud witnesses of the past.

Under the rays of the sun or in the light of the lamps, tourists can listen to the eternal song of the sea, which smells of departures, sirens and monsters, but above all of encounters.

LECCE (THE CD "FIRENZE DEL BAROCCO")

Here the luminous spectacle of the Baroque reigns: a flowering of fantastic inventiveness, of monumental sumptuousness, tempered, in large part, by grace, freshness, pure creative joy. In the labyrinth of the historical centers, narrow alleys suddenly open wide on jewels of incomparable beauty.

On the finely decorated facades of churches and buildings, Lecce stone gives life to countless creatures and infinite suggestions: bas-reliefs, balustrades, arches, naves, small loggias, niches, rose windows, alternate in a movement of spaces and lights, radiating a singular harmony, catching the eye.

In addition to the decorative splendor of the facades of the Duomo and Santa Croce, the entranced eyes of tourists can admire the sumptuousness of the flowering tufts of the Church of the Rosary, the beautiful Corinthian columns of the facade of the Church of Santa Teresa, the statues and niches of the Church of Carmine; and again, the particular curves of the Church of St. Matthew, the rich portal and the loggia window of the Church of Santa Chiara, the cheering angels of the Church of Sant'Angelo.

Do not miss a visit to the Castle, also known by the name of Charles V, which was built between 1539 and 1549, to defend the city from Turkish raids.

It stands on the north-east corner of the trapezoid that defines the city walls and contains some medieval buildings including the mighty quadrangular keep from the Angevin period.

And finally, go and see the Provincial Museum, which takes the name of its founder, the duke Sigismondo Castromediano, who wanted it in the early years of the Unification of Spain.

The curious and interested tourist will surely find here a rich material coming from the excavations in the province of Lecce and from testimonies of a more recent past.

I hope I have helped to learn more about this corner of land with a thousand facets and many colors and scents.

A tip from the staff: Holidays and Maldives of Salento

Salento photo gallery

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