7. From Lecce: Full-Day Salento Tour with Professional Guide
This tour will give you the opportunity to visit the four most significant towns in Salento: Galatina, Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca and Gallipoli.
Galatina, a real gem of art, history and traditions. Of extraordinary beauty is, in particular, the Basilica of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, second only to the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi for the presence of many frescoes inside, which were created by Giotto's disciples.
Other monuments to visit are the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, and the ancient "courtyard houses" and the buildings situated in the historical centre.
Otranto is Italy’s easternmost town and is well-known as “Porta d’Oriente” (literally, “Door to the Orient”) The town of Otranto is full of history, and every corner highlights the passage of different civilizations, including the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans and the Aragoneses. The splendid Cathedral, the Church of Saint Peter in perfect Byzantium style, the Castle, the Towers, the mighty Pelasgi Bastions and the Walls that surrounded the whole of the ancient city make Otranto one of the most interesting cultural destinations in South Italy.
After Otranto you will reach Santa Maria di Leuca, along the wonderful Adriatic coast, characterized by cliffs overlooking the sea, caves and bays with rocky bottom.
Along the way you will admire Santa Cesarea Terme, Castro Marina and the Ciolo Fiord.
Santa Maria di Leuca sits on the southernmost tip of the Salentine peninsula, bathed by two seas, the Ionian Sea to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Santa Maria di Leuca is a tourist center famous for its colourful natural landscape that blends in with its majestic architecture.
Located on the Japigo promontory is the Basilica of Santa Maria De Finibus Terrae (at the ends of the earth). From the Basilica you can reach the old port on foot via two ramps of 300 steps each.
Gallipoli is considered the pearl of Salento. This Greek city can be divided into two areas: the new village, where the tourist facilities and modern buildings arise, and the old city. The old part of the city is located on a limestone island connected to the mainland by a 17th century bridge. The historic centre is characterized by a labyrinthine weave of narrow streets, home to traditional shops of local handicrafts, numerous impressive Baroque churches and aristocratic palazzi. Also worth seeing are the Cathedral dedicated to St. Agatha, one of the best examples of Baroque in Salento, the Angevine Castle built in the 13th century and the Greek Fountain, one of the oldest fountains in Italy.