MUST SEE...Salento

Among the places you must see there is the white Santa Maria di Leuca, the old “Finibus Terrae”, one of the extremities of Italy, the exact merging point of the Adriatic and Ionian seas, where the borderline between East and West, past and present, history and legend becomes imperceptible. It will seem to you to be at the ends of the earth, at the extreme border of the known world. A sightseeing tour in the town involves a visit to the sanctuary, which truly deserves the attention of the travellers.

 

A trip to Salento implies a stop in Castro, a fascinating city that is also an important archaeological site. Visiting the uniquely beautiful stalactite cave, the intrepid explorer will be amazed at admiring the radiant beauty of the marvellously preserved prehistoric paintings while enjoying the miraculous green-blue hues of the sea.

 

To experience the captivating wonders of Salento it would be ideal to go to Santa Cesarea Terme by motorboat and enjoy a typical dinner at Palazzo Sticchi, one of the most splendid and imposing villas in the region. Its strategic location in front of the sea creates a truly magic atmosphere in summer nights. The sky and the sea seem to become one and the calm water reflects the bright moon.

 

A special mention goes to the idyllic Otranto, the ideal setting to seal friendships and love stories. It is located in an impressive bay of the peninsula. It is the Eastern end of Italy and therefore a bridge towards the East. In the wonderful cathedral the visitor will admire the great mosaic that covers the floor and was conceived as an immense prayer carpet. It depicts two elephants supporting the tree of life and it was a source of inspiration for Dante himself. Otranto is also the perfect place for hiking, for an excursion by bicycle or for a ride on horseback. The area offers exceptional variegated flora and stunning views in practically intact natural areas which fill the heart with strong emotions. It is a paradise for the lovers of bird watching. Birds, indeed, would let you get close enough to be framed by your cameras. You will be struck by the fascinating beauty of this silent environment. Otranto’s important landmarks include the majestic legendary castle whose fantastic atmosphere inspired the world famous writer Walpole, who set his novel “The Castle of Otranto” here.

 

On the Ionian coast it is worth stopping off in Gallipoli, the “beautiful town” as its name derived from the Greek indicates. It is located on an island surrounded by the Ionian sea and linked to the mainland by a bridge. In the historic centre lovely narrow streets lead to fine piazzas and to the harbour. The link between land and sea is evident. Gallipoli, kissed by the sun, presents itself as a town that never tiers of being alive and offers endless possibilities for travellers to enjoy their stay. It is the perfect place for a pleasant holiday. Travellers are accommodated in delightful hotels that are equipped with all modern comforts and facilities. The town is the ideal place also for those who want to enjoy the night life due to the presence of exclusive restaurants, night clubs and discos.

 

The feather in the cap of the region of Salento is Lecce, the main city of the province. Here, what strikes most the traveller is the aristocratic withdrawal from the rushing tide of modern life that can still be perceived while passing through the historic centre. Lecce is renowned all over the world for its enchanting and unique baroque but there are also other historical monuments in the heart of the city that enrich its cultural heritage: the Roman amphitheatre, the Greek theatre and the imposing castle of Charles V, proving that the history of Lecce, the capital of art and culture in the region of Salento, stretches back over two thousand years.

 

For all it can offer, Salento is a friendly land which enchants and pampers its visitors persuading them to stay on.

 

Going to Salento you will enjoy a truly amazing holiday. It will be love at first sight. You will experience a sense of nostalgia and miss this enchanted land even before leaving.

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