Fishing villages and pristine beaches
Salento can be marked with three simple words: water, coast and nature. Santa Maria di Leuca, part of the City of Cape Castrignano in the province of Lecce, is a popular tourist destination also known by the nickname “finibus terrae” (the ends of the earth) as from the promontory of the sanctuary you have an idyllic view towards the infinite blue sea. Leuca finds its roots in a long history, where every epoch has left traces of ancient settlements, tombs, caves, crypts, churches, castles, palaces and villas liberty, as well as throughout the pristine olive trees.
The seaside village of Castro with its castle dating from the thirteenth century, built to defend the town from foreign invasions where, even today, you can see the original ancient walls in some places.
Castro Marina is located in the south of the country and is one of the most exclusive resorts of Salento. The discontinuous coastline is dotted with ancient caves, some visited with a simple excursion and other only by boat. One of the most special of Castro, is undoubtedly the Old Port, where today only a few rowboats have remained including the famous “lampare” (now only four existing in Castro); small boats equipped with lights to attract fish which are then captured by the “lampara” mother. In the port, you can still see old ladies who repair the damaged fishing nets by hand.
The whole coast from Castro to Otranto is jagged with many caves, including the famous “Grotta degli Stracci” (Cave of Rags), reachable by land and by sea with entrance fee with an underground passage led to 150 meters. It is accessed through the input “the Vestibule” and you get to the “Conca” where there is a chasm with the color and clarity of a body of water. Continue through the “Corridio delle Meraviglie” (Hall of Wonders), full of stalagmites and stalactites created in the rock over the centuries, to get to the “Duomo” which is a small pit with smooth walls.
Santa Cesarea, is a popular resort town, frequented by tourists even in off-season periods, with a landscape of pristine wilderness, untouched pine forests and magnificent olive trees. The priceless sulphurous waters are used for the care of body and mind, not to mention the delicious typical local cuisine able to delight even the most demanding forks.
Farms of Salento
The Salento is a land of ancient Farms, which is typical rural buildings symbol of the agricultural civilization of the eighteenth century. Most of them have been restored and brought to its former glory and converted into holiday cottages or rent rooms giving maximum comfort and ensuring, at the same time, the peculiarities of the structure.
The borough of Otranto, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic center with its beautiful Cathedral of the Annunciation and the Aragonese Castle in 1513 visited every day and with various exhibitions which take place throughout the year. The village is also characterized by narrow streets that make it even more fascinating and mysterious.