Salento 770x162

Salento, Mediterranean spell

Salento. One word, two seas, more than eighty watching towers and endless points of view. A separate world where the sea, the land and the stones shape amazing landscapes, the sea’s waves are as clear as the crystal and the biodiversity is the queen. The Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea are the protagonists of this Italian spell: the first one is mainly featured by the cliffs along the coastline while the second one by the sand and the rocks and the hinterland is spread with hundreds of small villages where time stopped.

 The white houses stand out on the red fertile, generous and tasteful soil while the green of the Mediterranean scrub is the dominant colour together with the different shades of blue. Salento has become very trendy and cool among the “connoisseurs” of the sea and it is called the “Italian Maldives” thanks to its hidden and almost desert beaches, the nature that surrounds them and their history. Which are the most important corners in Salento? On the Adriatic coastline there is San Cataldo - “the shore of the people from Lecce” -, San Foca, Torre dell’Orso – featured by its watching tower dating back to the XVIth century -, Roca Vecchia with its Poetry cave, Porto Badisco, Santa Cesarea Terme – with its Moorish architecture -, Castro with its caves, Tricase and its shores – Marina Marittima, Marina d’Andrano, Marina Serra, Marina di Novaglie – and Santa Maria di Leuca, rich in sea caves. They all deserve to be discovered since they all have different colours, scents, charming attractions that are deeply Mediterranean, Castro for instance with its rocky cliff where the Indian Figs and the myrtle trees climb up, where the Argentiera stands out with its sandy depth and the colour of the sea is silver. The cave of Zinzalusa deserves to be explored and the cave of Romanelli too and also the lighthouse of Punta Palascia, the white lighthouse that marks the farthest Eastern edge of Italy since according to the nautical agreements the Adriatic sea and the Ionian sea don’t meet at Leuca’s edge as everybody thinks. Then we reach the Salento on the Ionic side that “besides” the sea is featured by the regional park of Portoselvaggio and the protected area of Porto Cesareo, an amazing natural paradise that deserves the entire journey. White sand, dunes that are eight meters high and a Caribbean sea: it is the Eastern reserve called Palude del Conte and Dune Costiere Porto Cesareo. At Punta Prosciutto there is the area of Mandria that has been called the “Caribbean of Manduria”. It’s not difficult to believe it if you see the beach of San Pietro in Bevagna and Marina di Pescoluse towards the South is not less beautiful, it is near the “edge of the Italian heel” and it has become one of the most famous beaches of Salento.


 Along the Ionic coastline there are other amazing corners to be visited starting with Parco Litorale di Ugento – an important “stop” fort he migration of rare birds -, Marina di Felloniche, Torre San Giovanni, Marina di Campilungo, Torre Pizzo – in front of which Punta Pizzo stretches out, the farthest edge of the Green Bay -, Torre Suda and Marina di Mancaversa. This is just a taste of Salento where a number of important and famous towns stand out too such as Lecce, Gallipoli, Otranto, Galatina. Salento is an Italian treasure to feel with all your senses in the name of traditions, of important wine such as the Negroamaro and the Primitivo – and the sound of pizzica (the typical regional dance).

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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