Salento is the southern part of Puglia spanning both sides of the heel of Italy. The Ionian Sea on the west enjoys very calm crystal clear waters and carribbean like beaches. Along with 500 miles of coastline, paradisiacal beaches and glittering bays, the region is dotted with medieval towns, sun-baked olive groves and vineyards belonging to the Masseria that dot the countryside. The delicious home grown and cooked local food will delight both palettes and wallets especially washed down with the strong and smooth wines of Primitivo and Negroamara.
It is no wonder that this is a favourite holiday spot for Italians yet quite undiscovered by other nationalities as yet.
Marina di Pulsano enjoys one picturesque cove after another all with sparkling clear waters. Pulsano’s old town is also a treasure trove of historical sights.
Better known as the heel of Italy’s boot the Salento Peninsula is famous for it’s dreamy beaches, seriously tempting food and wine at affordable prices, few tourists and ancient Greek history. With it’s rustic charm and sun kissed weather you will fall in love with this up and coming area of Italy.
Be sure to explore the historic centres of whitewashed hilltop towns such as Cisternino, Martina Franca, Ceglie Messapica, Ostuni and Locorotondo. Hiding maze-like streets, Baroque churches, medieval castles and communal gardens, these charming towns are all within easy reach of one another and can be visited as part of a day trip.
History buffs will adore wandering the atmospheric quarters of pretty towns such as Gallipoli, Nardò and Maglie. Sitting on the edge of rugged limestone cliffs, there’s more exploring to be done in the ancient town of Polignano a Mare. Considered one of Puglia’s most significant early settlements, it was previously inhabited by invaders ranging from the Normans to the Huns.
Further afield, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello is worth a special visit. This enchanting town is home to 1500 white-washed conical-roofed houses known as trulli, dating back to around the 14th century. Matera, a fascinating hilltop town of cave dwellings and buildings cut into the rocks. Meanwhile, Lecce “the Florence of the South”, is a walkable city of exuberant Baroque architecture, buzzing pavement cafes, outdoor wine bars, and outstanding cuisine.
We highly recommend the following most popular attractions and numerous activities in Salento.
A beautiful natural swimming pool on the Adriatic Coast. With crystal clear waters the pools make for a refreshing swim.
Calajunco boat tour 1 ½ hour boat tour for 10 euros from Taranto; shows big and small sea and mussel farms. Hire returning at 6pm – 450 euros. Tel:+39 335 644 8888
Scirocco Rubber Dinghy Tours offers beautiful scenery you may even be lucky enough to see dolphins or turtles.
There are two lakes, Alimini Grande and Alimini Piccolo, which are connected by a canal. These are shallow lakes surrounded by Mediterranean scrub and pine forest. A must see when in Salento.
If you’re in Italy it would be rude not to take a wine tour and tasting! Masseria Tentua del Barco is a really interesting tour finished off with some delicious wine and food including Pugliese antipasti.
Tel +39 099 533051
A large winemaking business at San Marzano with 1500 small vineyard owners, often owning only one hectare, have their wine made here. Extremely high quality. Free tour of the factory and wine making process and excellent tasting offered if booked in advance.
Tel +39 099 9574181
If you’re looking for a complete change of scene, drive 1 hour 15 minutes to Fasanoland. A safari zoo theme park loved by adults and kids alike.
Tel +39 080 4414455
A restored ancient 15th Century castle within Pulsano’s old town with a small tourist information adjacent. There is a lovely square by the castle and on Sundays and fiesta time the residents stroll along the streets by the castle.
Pulsano’s old town is also a treasure trove of historical sights. The church of St. Maria La Nova was build mid-800s and home to the grotto of the Madonna of Loudes.
Considered one of Puglia’s most significant early settlements, it was previously inhabited by invaders ranging from the Normans to the Huns.
Matera is a fascinating hilltop town of cave dwellings and buildings cut into the rocks, they pile up to the sky! The sandstone landscape stretches across a hill, one road and narrow alleys, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
“The Florence of the South” known for its baroque buildings. Filled with ancient architecture and traditional pizza shops.
UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to 1500 white-washed conical-roofed houses known as trulli. They date back to around the 14th century., very picturesque.
The Caves of Castellana are a good opportunity to enjoy one of the most amazing natural wonders of Puglia. The tour winds along a distance of 3 km, a unique guided tour of the caves to more than 60 meters deep.
Another UNESCO world heritage site, Castel del Monte translated means ‘Castle of the Mount’. At an altitude of 540m, it was built in an octagonal shape by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century.
This Marine Protected Area, is about 8 km long from the zone of Apani till the littoral of Punta Penna Grossa. As a Marine Protected Area it protects some of the highest species of richness in the Mediterranean.
Puglia’s passion for food is beautiful yet simple. The food of Puglia is a true highlight of any visit to the region. Vine-ripened tomatoes, sweet peppers, homegrown herbs, fresh fish and plenty of olive oil define a rustic cuisine that makes the most of wonderful local ingredients.
Order regional favourites including orecchiette con le cime di rapa – “little ears” pasta with turnip greens, crispy pizzette topped with cherry tomatoes, and the creamy custard-filled pastry, pasticciotto. With its patchwork of vineyards, sampling a glass or two of Puglia’s fabulous local wine is also a must!
Local restaurants are within easy reach of the villa and the following options are all highly recommended.
Bread, croissants, desserts/ice-creams and light lunches/meals.
Choose from an array of meats all ready to be grilled.
Tel: +39 099 533 3668
A great sprawling destination with a fantastic restaurant, a pizzeria & an incredible gelato ice cream parlour, all set in it’s very own private beach.
Tel: +39 099 533 3057
Delicious, award winning Pizzas, set in an lovely stone arch building.
Tel: +39 099 533 8265
Select your meat to grill from the amazing array on display.
Tel: +39 099 533 8983
This Trattoria offers a ten course plate starter for 10 Euros. Amazing value you wont need anything else for the rest of the day!
Tel: +39 099 533 8151
Quality seafood restaurant with excellent appetizers, a great wine list and sea views.
Tel: +39 099 533 3335
Family-run B&B with rooftop terrace serving local & international cuisine. Try their homemade brownies, served warm straight from the kitchen!
Tel: +39 099 533 6177
Only a few steps away, this smart hotel offers outdoor dining surrounded by a lush garden. Serves typical dishes of Taranto and regional flavours with a focus on fresh fish and seafood.
Tel: +39 099 533 3025
Elegant 4-star hotel with an international restaurant and three restaurants serving both international and Salento cuisine.
Tel: +39 099 533 6061
Refined restaurant serving classic local cuisine with beautiful sea views.
Tel: +39 099 476 4201
An 18th-century manor farm featuring a 4-star hotel and restaurant. Serves traditional Apulian seafood dishes with a modern twist.
Tel: +39 099 471 4444
5-star hotel set in a converted stone farmhouse. Their upscale restaurant offers traditional Mediterranean cuisine and Apulian specialties.
Tel: +39 099 472 1188
Lavish restaurant offering a stylish selection of regional dishes, including a variety of fresh fish, seafood, and the finest local meats. Enjoy delicious desserts crafted by award-winning pastry chefs.
Tel: +39 099 676599
A boutique 4-star hotel and refined restaurant boasting elevated local cuisine. An extensive wine cellar features prestigious bottles form the best-known producers.
Tel: +39 099 955 8337