In the Salento peninsula, fascinating art, excellent Mediterranean cuisine and genuine hospitality welcome you to an amazing landscape. Here, the Middle Ages are tinged with an Oriental hue and in Grecìa Salentina you can still hear ancient nursery rhymes in the Griko dialect. In towns like Melpignano ancient rhythms are turned into contemporary music at the Notte della Taranta festival.
You are in a green peninsula between two seas; a magical land where ancient farmhouses stand now transformed into charming hospitality facilities. On a hike, you can discover Early Christian churches and hypogeum olive-presses. Make sure you don’t miss the natural wonders of the sea caves of Castro and Santa Maria di Leuca.
A stroll around Lecce takes you back to the Baroque period, with churches and palaces embellished with stone, courtyards, secret gardens and an amazing Roman amphitheatre in the heart of the city. In Brindisi, you can visit two castles and enjoy views from the Regina Margherita promenade. In local villages you can discover the workshops of artisans, who make objects in papier-mâché and local Lecce stone, or find all the flavours of the Salento peninsula in its restaurants.
There are countless towns, places and monuments to see in the Salento peninsula, so do plan to visit at least the following:
- The Belvedere of Santa Cesarea Terme: taking the charming road surrounded by woods of Aleppo pine trees you climb up to the village, from where, with a single glance, you can admire the entire southern coast of the Salento peninsula as far as Santa Maria di Leuca.
- The centre of Lecce, with its Baroque buildings that are candidates for UNESCO World Heritage status.
- The Castello Aragonese of Otranto and the entire historic centre of the easternmost town in Italy.
- The old town of Gallipoli with a visit to the local district shops. (recommended in the evening)
The views and the spot where the Adriatic Sea meets the Ionian Sea at Santa Maria di Leuca.
20 July – Notte Blu (Santa Cesarea Terme)
21 July – Festa della Cucuzzata (Foccacia Festival) in Vitigliano with food stands and the music of the Salento
27 July – Notte Saracena (Saracen Night) in Santa Cesarea Terme, with fried fish and music
2 August – Concert by Maestro Pizzoleo (Santa Cesarea Terme)
4-5 August – Sagra della Bruschetta (Bruschetta Festival) in Vitigliano
10 August – White Party Augustus (Santa Cesarea Terme)
17-18-19 August – Festa Santo Patrono (Patron Saint Festival) in Cerfignano
20-21 August – Festa Santo Patrono (Patron Saint Festival) in Vitigliano
11-12 September – Festa Patronale (Patron Saint Festival) in Santa Cesarea Terme