SALENTO

...how to discover it...

...A bit of history...

The term Salento has uncertain origins. Some would derive it from "salt", understood as "land surrounded by salt-sea": the Romans, in fact, indicated with Sallentini the inhabitants of the marshy marshes that gathered around the Gulf of Taranto, others argue instead that it would derive from the name of Cretan settlers who settled here, called Salenti as originating from the city of Salenzia. The Salento peninsula, formerly called Messapia ("Land between two seas"), was inhabited by the Messapi. Under the benevolent protection of the Eastern Roman Empire, the upper Salento was involved in the Greek-Gothic war, later becoming a borderland between the Lombards and the Byzantines, generating the legend of the Byzantine limes, a wall that went from Taranto to Fasano of which today many Specchie remain mainly in the territory of Ceglie Messapica and Villa Castelli. Between the 9th and 10th centuries the Salento was often attacked by the Saracens, who settled in the area for more or less long periods. In 1480, under the Aragonese, Otranto was invaded by the Turks. Subsequent Spanish and Bourbon dominations reduced the Land of Otranto to a region that was also politically peripheral. However, a thriving artistic activity between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries should be noted, which has made Lecce one of the most conspicuous centers of the Baroque. The province of Lecce draws its origins from the ancient province of Terra d’Otranto. The Terra d’Otranto has included the territories of the current provinces of Lecce, Taranto and Brindisi (with the exception of Fasano and Cisternino) since the 11th century. After the Unification of Italy, the Land of Otranto was renamed the province of Lecce and, with the advent of fascism, the new provinces were established: Taranto, established on 2 September 1923, and Brindisi established on 22 December 1927.

WHAT TO SEE

Salento, a land rich in ancient traditions, extends for about 150 kilometers between the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea. Its coasts alternate natural rocky inlets with stretches of fine white sand, characterized above all by large green areas with plants and shrubs typical of the Mediterranean maquis.The town of Santa Maria di Leuca represents the suggestive meeting point between the two seas, from where it is possible to explore along the coast, the numerous beaches and the numerous Lidi. Enter the Canale del Bosco, through holm oaks and Mediterranean scrub and reach the rocks and crystal clear water that characterize this coast; an area where springs of spring water flow into the sea and offer cool and pleasant currents.Continuing towards the Ionian side, you immediately notice that the coast is mainly low and sandy. Here, in fact, we find the most beautiful beaches, bathed by a wonderful blue and crystal clear sea.Punta della Suina, Lido pizzo and the large beach leaning against Gallipoli, Baia Verde, can be reached by bicycle from the apartment.To the north, Porto Cesareo, Porto Selvaggio and Punta Prosciutto dominate.Going further South along the Ionian coast we find:Pescoluse, a paradise called "the Maldives of Salento" where the feeling is that of being on a far exotic beach. The Pescoluse beach is the longest of the Salento coast, and is characterized by iridescent sand that seems to change color based on the position of the sun. Perfect starting point to combine a relaxing bath with a visit to the ancient cities of Salve, Morciano di Leuca and Ugento where an ancient population of Greeks and Romans lived.The Adriatic coast is reachable in a few kilometers and even here you can visit wonderful places:Bear Tower with "The Faraglioni of the two Sisters", so called because according to legend once two sisters wanted to see the beautiful sea and, fascinated by its beauty, they threw themselves into the sea, from the rocks.The Cave of Poetry, in the town of Melendugno is a spectacle that will leave you breathless: the intense blue of the sea that breaks into the karst rocks of the quarry. It tells of a princess with a disarming beauty who went to bath in the blue waters of the cave. Its beauty led many poets from all over the world into the cave to be inspired by their verses. Today the cave is one of the ten most beautiful natural pools in the world and one of the most reached destinations in Salento.Otranto with its Baia dei Turchi, a true paradise of white sand, ocher rocks and crystal clear waters perfect for those who want to practice surfing.Santa Cesarea Terme with its sulphurous waters.Porto Badisco, a small fishing village where you will find an enchanting indented coastline formed by coves and ravines hidden among the white rock, all surrounded by the sweet fragrances of myrtle, thyme and wild fennel.Castro with the Zinzulusa cave, reachable by swimming or by boat and that will fascinate you with its stalagmites and stalactites that will lead you to a crypt so called because of the crystallized columns, a spectacle of lights and reflections not to be missed!But Salento is not only beaches but also art, traditions, culture, gastronomy.Not to be missed, a visit to Lecce, the most important city of Salento. An open-air museum among the most fascinating in Italy and the pearl of Puglia, which will make you feel the first actors of a real baroque theater.Gallipoli is famous not only for its beaches and the sea: the alleys of the village are a real building masterpiece. The way in which the sun's rays penetrate the narrow alleys and illuminate the facades of the historic courtyards of the village bring out all the details and details, making the small town of Gallipoli a work of Salento art. Lose yourself in its narrow streets full of small shops, visit the apogee oil mills, its museum and castle.The fish auction in the Gallipoli market is a strong attraction for restaurateurs and local retailers due to the excellent quality of the fish. Among the screams of the fishermen, the market is a small path not to be missed. The same fishermen armed with small knives open the various molluscs, such as fasolari, cannolicchi, oysters and offer them as an aperitif to the visitors of the market.Explore the agro Salento, almost everywhere cultivated. You will be fascinated by the expanses of centuries-old olive trees, some of them huge, with twisted trunks, you will notice the characteristic dry stone walls, the trulli, the many trees full of figs and the countless prickly pear plants.The local folklore, very active in the height of summer, will color your evenings with music (la pizzica) and aromas of local dishes (orecchiette, pittule, frise ....). Immerse yourself in the cheerful and festive atmosphere of Salento and enjoy the joy and kindness of the Salento people that will make you feel at home.Salento ...... you will love it!