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Places of Interest

The following locations may be of interest. They are places that we have discovered since visiting the area, but everytime we go, we find more beauty spots and more fantastic areas to visit. There are undoubtedly many beautiful areas that we have yet to stumble across. If you have any recommendations, then please email us at info@escapetoitaly.co.uk.

Lecce (The Region's Capital City)

As the capital of the province with the same name, Lecce is the jewel of the Salentine peninsular. The old town has some of the finest examples of baroque churches, and even a couple of 2nd century Roman amphitheatres which have been excavated and are used today for outdoor concerts and plays.

The town really comes alive in the evening, when hundreds of shops open their doors, buskers entertain the crowds, all the bars and restaurants set out their outdoor seating, and the floodlit streets fill with people and a real party atmosphere!

Lecce Centre at Night

The Ionian Coastline


Gallipoli: Once you pass through the rather un-inspiring new town of Gallipoli and over the bridge, you come across the beautiful old town, located on a small island surrounded by the crystal clear Ionian Sea.

This old Greek city is a maze of meandering and twisting whitewashed streets, with beautiful churches, fantastic restaurants, and a real sense of community amongst the fishermen, as they sit together mending their fishing nets. Only the Aragonese castle, which sits in one corner of the island, serves as a reminder that this is still Italy.

Porto Cesareo: A town with a beautiful marina, incredible sunsets, a vast array of fish markets (I didn't know there were so many types of squid) and a wonderful atmosphere. As well as the great shops and restaurants, there is a range of water sports such as snorkeling, wind surfing and canoeing.

Porto Cesareo
Sta. Caterina

Sta. Caterina: One of the most popular seaside towns in the area (and the location of the first house shown to us on A Place in the Sun) due to its rugged coastlines, clean beach, attractive marina and many restaurants overlooking the sea. This town comes alive in the summer when Italian tourists flock to the area to dive off the rocks and soak up the sun.

Sta. Maria di Leuca: The Lands End of the Salentine peninsular, this town sits at the very southern tip of Puglia. After a scenic drive along the coastal roads, you can climb to the top of the headland to see the lighthouse which made Leuca famous, and the Basilica De Finibus Terrae (End of the Land). Perhaps the best reason to climb to the top of the promontory however, is the incredible view over the meeting of the Adriatic and Ionian seas.

Sta. Maria di Leuca

Sant'Isidoro: A beautiful white sandy beach and crystal clear, turquoise waters ... what more can you say!

The Adriatic Coastline

Otranto: Otranto is another example of beautiful bell towers, ornate churches, winding cobbled streets and fantastic views over the sea.

It is one of the most easterly points of Italy and, because of its position, has been the target for many conquerors. As a result, the town is steeped in history, having been occupied (in one form or another) by the Greeks, the Romans, the Turkish, and was even home to the French for a time.

The Adriatic Coastline

Adriatic Coastline: The coastline up from Otranto is rugged, wild and absolutely beautiful. There are incredible rock formations, fields of wild flowers, secluded beaches and fabulous coastal walks. In amongst this fabulous coastline is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Salentine Peninsular (in my opinion at least), Torre dell'Orso.

Torre dell'Orso: Powder white sand, clean beaches, sun loungers for those that want them (though there's plenty of beach without them), and views of the Two Sisters rock formation (shown in the distance here).

The beach is very popular in the peak season, but has good facilities, is spotlessly clean, and has safe, shallow, crystal clear waters to swim in (some people even liken it to the Maldives).

Torre dell'Orso
Castro Caves

Castro: The famous Castro grottos are located just to the north of the medieval town and castle of Castro. These are one of the most important prehistoric sites in Italy, and are open to the public for a small fee (approx. 4 euros per person). The caves feature huge caverns, and narrow walkways through the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.


Ostuni: One of the most stunning cities in Puglia, made famous by the dazzling whitewashed houses and winding, steep alleyways. The city of Ostuni is made up of a series of levels, staircases and small roads, and the views from the top show miles upon miles of olive groves and an amazing view of the Adriatic Coastline in the distance.

Ostuni Cathedral

Alberobello: Commonly known as The Capital of the Trulli, the town is perhaps one of the most well known tourist spots within Puglia, made famous by the unusual 14th century Trulli buildings. The trullo is a fascinating architectural feature of this area of Puglia, a building with conical roof made without mortar.

Many of the giftshops and cafes are located inside the unusual conical buildings, and although the main highstreet is slightly more conventional, it also boasts fantastic architecture and a lovely atmosphere. The town is bustling during the summer months, but remains open out of season too.

Alberobello also been designated a UNESCO world heritage site because of its quite unique architecture. Not only this, but the surrounding countryside is beautiful, with rolling green fields, vineyards and olive groves.

info@escapetoitaly.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)7870 947697