Salento & The Ionian Coast

The Salentine peninsula is located at the extreme south of the Puglia region. Starting from Brindisi, head south to Lecce to discover the extraordinary examples of baroque art with the church of the Rosario, the 17th century Cathedral, Palazzo Vescovile and the church of Santa Croce. Don’t forget to visit the 16th century Palazzo del Saggio, the renaissance church of San Marco and the 2nd century Roman amphitheatre.

On your way down stop in Maglie to see the 18th century parish church and reach Otranto. The coast opens in several bays with a succession of caves, among them the Grotta Zinzulusa and the Grotta Romanelli with graffiti drawings and traces of prehistoric settlements.

In one hour you can drive through picturesque coastal villages such as Ciolo where there are amazing views of the Adriatic sea. From the iconic suspended bridge, you can easily reach the port village of Santa Maria di Leuca and taste unforgettable seafood dishes.

Then head to Gallipoli and get lost in the picturesque city centre barricaded on the islet called “la cittá”, the castle built at the beginning of the 16th century, and the Cathedral of Sant’Agata. Taste the traditional puccia Gallipolina. Before driving back to Brindisi, stop in Galatina to see an example of Franciscan architecture or simply enjoy the white sand beaches of the Ionian Coast.

Gastronomy note: Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the ragu salentino (meat sauce), Taralli, ciceri e tria (tagliatelle in chick pea broth) and the orecchiette pasta with broccoli.

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