the "beautiful city
Candidate as Unesco Human Heritage site, Gallipoli, the “beautiful city” (kalé polis), is divided into two parts: the modern and the old one, full of culture. The historic center of Gallipoli, following the greek pattern, is cut into two sections by the main street named "Antonietta De Pace".
But what attracts the most is the fact that the old part of Gallipoli was born on a small island, all surrounded by the sea and linked to the modern part thanks to a bridge.
The best things to visit in the hisotirc center are: the walls, the promenade (Riviera), the Rivellino, The Angevin Castle, the many churches (Sant’Agata, San Francesco d’Assisi, San Francesco di Paola and Santa Maria della Purità, Palazzo Pirelli, Palazzo Tafuri e Palazzo Specolizzi). Very nice to be seen it is also the greek fountain near the harbour.
the capital of Baroque
The Catholic Reformation, the spanish dominion and its peculiar stone, were the ingredients which created the best historic cocktail ever. The Baroque style, in Lecce, was born in the end of the XVI century. Thanks to the Leccese stone and local architects like Giuseppe Zimbalo, Giuseppe Cino, Gabriele Riccardi, Francesco Antonio Zimbalo, Gustavo Zimbalo, Cesare Penna, Mauro Manieri and Emanuele Manieri, international jewels like Sant’Oronzo square, Duomo square, the cathedral of Santa Croce, the Palace of the Government and many others were created.
The city is full of little treasues to be found in every corner.
Santa Maria di Leuca
and the "finibus terrae"
Santa Maria di Leuca is full of history and knowledge. There, you could still find the old "bagnarole” (structures aimed to hide the ladies while swimming in the sea), together with towers, villas, lighthouses and waterfalls.
But Leuca offers also a natural phenomenon: the union of the two seas. Marina di Leuca is situated between Punta Ristola (west) and Punta Mèliso (east) and in Punta Mèliso, indeed, the naval agreement put the split between Adriatic (east) and Ionic (west) coasts. That is why, altough the boundary line between the two seas has been fixed ont the Canal of Otranto, from Santa Maria di Leuca visitors can admire the union between the flows of the Golfo of Taranto and of the Canal which create an evocative scenery.
a mystery beyond history
Otranto, nominated Unesco Cultural Heritage site, it is a little jewel set on the Adriatic coast. It offers the visitors the monumental mosaic of the Cathedral of Santa Annunziata, which represents the Tree of Life (the theological itinerary of salvation, from original sin to redemption) and the majestic Castle, which was built between 1484 and 1489 by the will of the King of Naples, Ferdinand of Aragon,in the attempt of recovering the ancient defensive city constructions. There, every summer, a very interesting exhibition takes place.
Inside Otranto, then, near the lighthouse of Punta Palascia and Monte Sant’Angelo, visitors could admire the most suggestive place of Salento: a lake inside a Bauxite quarry. An emerald green lake surrounded by red earth: it is a deposit of bauxite, a sedimentary rock mainly made of oxides and hydroxides of iron and aluminum, usually employed to produce aluminum.
Alliste and Felline
veneration and tradition
Alliste – its name derives from the Greek "Calliste" (very beautiful) – it is a little town between Racale and Ugento. It is holy center is the church dedicated to San Quintino (the town protector), built in 1455.
Beside Alliste, we found Felline, where two menhirs stand: menhir "Ninfeo" (ninfea: water lily), 5 km far from the town and menhir "Terenzano", surrounded by the typical dry stone walls.
In Felline, then, far visitors could also admire the Church of San Leucio, built in the XVI century, and its altar made with Carrara marble; Palazzo Trianni and the ruins of Santa Sofia (its frescos belong to the XVI century).
Another very interesting thing to see in Felline is the hypo-geo olive oil mill which can be visited and admired in all its beauty.
Racale and Torre Suda
a thousand-year old history
Racale, nice town of the province, was inhabited since long time. From Messapi, Greek and Roman people, it has been an important cultural and civic center. The most important places of the town are: the Mother Church of Santa Maria de’ Paradiso (known as Parrocchia San Giorgio Martire); a defensive tower built in the XII century and then transformed into a belfry in 1535. Another very important place of worship is the Church of Madonna dei Fiumi which hosts the fresco of Madonna di Costantinopoli (byzantine style), venerated as “Madonna dei Fiumi”.
In the historic centre, the Baronial Castle it also worth to be seen, together with Palazzo Ippolito, headquarters of IAT, of a nice reading room and of a museum lab dealing with Serre Salentine emigration.
Such an old town has also two Menhirs and one Dolmen.
Torre Suda is the seashore of Racale and its name derives from the coastal tower built in the XVI century as bastion against invasions.
the city of art
Ugento has been elected city of art and the best economic-touristic area of the region in 2008 due to its architectural, archaeological and environmental beauties. It has been an important historic center (Uxentum) and it has many attractives: among them we find the Cathedral belonging to the 1855 and named after Madonna Maria SS Assunta in Cielo, Palazzo Gigli and Palazzo Colosso (where visotors could admire a selection of antiques.
Ugento is also an interesting archaelogical area, thanks to its Roman inscriptions, graves and ancient walls together with a bronze statue of Zeus belonging to the VI century B.C. Its Archaeological Museum Salvatore Zecca,then, will help visitors to better understand and discover the city roots.
"jewel of Italy"
This small (very small) town of the province of Lecce, it is one of the best suburbs of Italy (elected in 2013). It has been named "the jewel of Italy" and thanks to its numerous monuments, as well as its tiny pedestrian side streets that intermingle with ramps and staircases, it also received the prestigious recognition from I Borghi più Belli d'Italia (“The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”) since 2004, and it was also honored with the Eden Award as European Destination of Excellence in 2007 for being the best rural, emerging destination. A part from its many churches, it derives its beauty from the four hypo-geo olive oil mills (Scupola, Cicca, Perrone and Francescani neri) which reflect the huge production of olive oil in the past.