Visiting Salento

A sun-kissed territory all year round, Salento is a treasure trove of unique art, exquisite Mediterranean cuisine, and genuine hospitality. The area boasts a fabulous landscape, ranging from the Adriatic coast along Melendugno, Santa Cesarea Terme and Otranto, to the Ionian Sea and the golden beaches of Porto Cesareo, Portoselvaggio and Gallipoli.

Tinged with a Middle Age Oriental hue, the area called Grecìa Salentina is a magical land of ancient nursery rhymes in the Griko dialect, while in towns like Melpignano primeval rhythms are turned into contemporary beats at the Notte della Taranta folk music festival.
In this green peninsula fringed by two seas, mysterious primeval monuments like dolmens and menhirs lead to millenary olive groves, and drystone walls dot the countryside between Giurdignano and Minervino di Lecce. Take a hike across century-old masserie (manor farms), often turned into sophisticated hotels, and discover Early Christian churches and underground olive-mills. While here, do not miss the amazing sea caves in Castro and Santa Maria di Leuca.
A stroll through Lecce is a journey into Baroque architecture, with churches and palaces embroidered in stone, alongside courtyards, secret gardens and a stunning Roman amphitheater in the heart of the city. In Brindisi, discover two castles and the spectacular views from the Regina Margherita seafront.
Secluded villages unveil papier-mâché workshops and stone-carving artisans. The local cuisine boasts the finest Salento flavors, best savored with excellent local wines – try tria (homemade pasta prepared with chickpeas), wild vegetables, and delicious sweets such as pasticciotto (filled with pastry cream) and spumoni (artisanal ice cream).

Cook a complete Salento's menù. Purchase of local seasonal product at the market.

Visit the best wineries such as: 

Villa Vetti in Ugento
Ugento, almost 50 km away from Lecce, is surrounded by olive trees and it is located by the Ionian sea, with about 8 km- long coast. It also keeps an important archaeological heritage. Ugento is the homeland of the Messapians people: an evidence is the precious statue of god Zis (Zeus) dating back to the 6th century BC, called “lu pupu” from the inhabitants of Ugento and kept in the Taranto Museum, but also the almost 800 archaeological finds inside the Museum Adolfo Colosso and inside the New Archaeological Museum. The ancient impressive town walls surrounding Ugento are also another evidence of the Messapic population. The historic centre has a variety of styles: from the castle of the 14th century, to the 17th – century gothic-style Cathedral, as far as the Church of Sant’Antonio and the bishop’s palace. It is a fascinating route the one which takes to discover the rocky churches, such as the Crypt of the Crucifix and the Church of Madonna di Costantinopoli, the Church of Santa Maria del Casale. Amon the coastal towers built to protect the coast from Turkish attacks , Torre San Giovanni is the oldest one. Today, it is used as lighthouse and the wonderful coast stretches under it, with sand beaches and sea beds with crystal-clear water.