what to see and do in salento during
visits of three, five or ten days
With your copy of the book in hand, and this concise list of recommendations from the five authors, you can plan your trip to Salento with confidence. See the map of Salento in the menu above for a general sense of the geography. Keep in mind, Salento is rich with charming villages, rolling hills and olive groves, beaches and coastal towns. Much of what awaits you will be your own discoveries.
If you have already traveled to the area, please offer your own opinions and suggestions by sending us your comments via the form below. We will be happy to include them here.
Also, use the form below to send us specific questions about your upcoming travels or simply to receive notice of our occasional updates. We will be happy to respond to individual inquiries.
Meanwhile, happy travels!
A THREE-DAY TRIP
Lecce, A baroque city and the de facto capital of Salento
*Porto Rudiae - one of the ancient arched gates to the historical center of Lecce with a convenient parking lot just outside. Once inside the gate, follow the main promenade street: Via Giuseppe Libertini
*Visit the many Baroque churches, including the Piazza del Duomo
*Visit the Roman Amphitheatre at the far end of Via Giuseppe Libertini
*Peruse the two bookstores of Bookstore Liberrima
*Make a reservation for lunch at Alle Due Corti or Le Zie, Trattoria Casareccia, both of which specialize in traditional Salentinian food
Otranto, A beautiful, ancient walled port town facing the Adriatic sea.
*The Cathedral with its ancient mosaic floor, marble side chapel columns and the preserved bones of Otrantini martyred by the Turks in the year 1480
*The Norman castle and town wall stroll
*The Roman chapel and frescoes of San Pietro
*Swimming in the bay from May to September
*Restaurant "Il Castello"
*Restaurant "Il Ghiottone"
*L’ora di mezzo restaurant
*Pizzeria La idrusa
Supersano, A small inland town with a unique and charming Masseria
*Le Stanze Masseria (historical farm) where you can enjoy a long, indulgent lunch (reservations) and stroll around the organic gardens. You will see the old farm tools and get a taste of the countryside ambiance along with delicious, healthy foods grown on the premises. Le Stanze is family-owned and run.
Santa Maria di Leuca, A port town located at the very tip of the Salentine Peninsula. To the East is the Adriatic Sea; to the west is the Ionian Sea
*The drive from Otranto down the coast to Santa Maria di Leuca is spectacular
*Swimming and walking the ‘lungomare”
*Rizieri Hotel and Restaurant (old world charm)
A FIVE-DAY TRIP
Lecce (see above)
Otranto (see above)
Tricase, A small town inland from the Adriatic Sea, reached by the coast road.
*Branca Ceramiche one of the best Italian ceramic shops. You can make arrangements for a private pottery lesson
*Actor Helen Mirren has a masseria home nearby
Gallipoli, A city located on the Ionian Sea on opposite side from Lecce and Otranto.
*The historic old town is across a small bridge and on an island. You can drive across the bridge, park your car and walk up the stairs to the road that circles the island
*Wonderful restored castle just after across the bridge to the island
*Trattoria Lo Scoglio delle Sirene is a good lunch place overlooking the sea
Nardó, A town worth walking around in, near Gallipoli in the Western part of Salento
*Lunch Restaurant Modò
*Basilica de Santa Catarina, famous for its church frescoes depicting Bible stories
A TEN-DAY TRIP
*attend cooking school at the Awaiting Table (offers short 1-2 day classes)
*Take Italian lessons at Porta d’oriente Italian School
Corigliano d'Otranto (about 1/2 hour from Otranto)
*Visit the town's magnificent castle
Santa Maria di Leuca
*Consider a 2-3 day stay at the Villa Stasi Bed and Breakfast in a tranquil part of town. It has a delightful terrace overlooking the town and sea
*A visit to Le Serine, a masseria (old farmhouse owned by same family as the Villa Stasi) with its organically farmed fruit trees, vegetable gardens and olive trees. The farm also has rooms to rent and a dining room (reservations)
*Terra Masci Osteria/Restaurant (reservations) located in the hills just outside of town
Corsano. An interior village not far from the coast with a fine bed and breakfast run by Annarita, the sister of our book's author, Lucia Erriquez. See Annarita's B&B website here. Corsano is a typical traditional Salento town, uncrowded and within an easy drive to most of southern Salento, including beach towns and olive groves.
Taviano and Marina di Mancaversa. Taviano is the town where three of our book's authors live. Marina di Mancaversa is the near-by coastal town with a sand beach known as the Spiaggia dei Cavalli. The beach is perfect for families and is popular with both locals and international travelers. Two of our books authors, Carlo and Lucia, run two delightful bed and breakfasts. One is in the beach town of Mancaversa; see it here. And, the other is 15 minutes away, in the charming interior town of Taviano; see it here.
Alberobello. A picturesque village with famous cone-shaped stone houses known as Trulli. The town is in the province of Puglia, but north of Salento, about half-day drive from the Otranto-Lecce area
Ostuni. A popular picturesque hill town. Beautiful walks along the cliffs with vistas of the Adriatic Sea to the west. Ostuni is also in Puglia, but north of Salento, about a half-day drive from Otranto. Both Ostuni and Alberobello can be visited on a one-day excursion from the Otranto-Lecce area.
Locorotondo. Another beautiful village, also with trulli stone houses. It's known for its charm and verdeca based wines.
Santa Maria al Bagno/Santa Caterina. Two small port towns on the Ionian Sea, great for walking between the towns and swimming in their coves. Santa Maria al Bagno has a good Greek restaurant called La Pergola.
Matera. A town famous for its ancient cliffside cave dwellings. It has both charm and, at least when we have visited, a colorful and event-filled piazza.