Salento is a geographic region at the southern end of Puglia, also known as the “heel” of the Italian “boot”. It encompasses the province of Lecce and a large part of the province of Brindisi. This area is one of the most famous tourist attraction in Italy, and in recent years it has become one of the most popular holiday destinations for thousands of Italian and foreign people.
Emma Villas reviews the best attractions in Salento. In this article you’ll find some useful tips if you’re planning to visit Puglia, and in particular Salento.
How to get to Salento
The easiest way to get to Salento is by plane. The closest airport is in Brindisi (40 km from Lecce) where arrive flights from all over Italy. The airport is also well connected to Lecce by shuttle bus which takes about 40 minutes to bring you up to Brindisi.
You can also get to Salento by car. The fastest way is to take the A14 motorway that runs from Bologna to Taranto or the A1 motorway to Caserta and then the A16 Napoli – Canosa – Bari. It is important to plan your journey in order to avoid the rush hour (usually from 12 am to 2 pm).
If you prefer travelling by train, you should know that there are a lot of trains leaving from Milan, Bologna or Rome to Lecce. An useful tip is to book your ticket about 4/5 months before your departure, in order to take advantage of the special offers.
Where to stay
A holiday in Salento is an experience that gratifies all senses. There are several options for your accommodations: from the most typical to the most luxurious ones.
For those who love classic holiday, the most appropriate solution is definitely the hotel. In Salento there are many hotels located near the sea, with high quality standards.
If you travel with family or friends, but you also want to live in comfort, the ideal solution is to rent a villa in Salento. These villas are usually very big, with many bathrooms and beautiful gardens with pools.
If you want to live the authentic Apulian life, you should definitely stay in a trullo. A trullo is a traditional dry stone hut with a conical roof. Trulli were used as permanent dwellings or as temporary field shelters by farmers or property owners. Today trulli are protected under the UNESCO world heritage law, but it is also possible to spend your holidays in one of them.
What to visit is Salento
What to see in Salento? You’ll be definitely spoiled for choice!
First of all make sure to visit Lecce, a beautiful baroque city with a lovely historic centre and charming streets. One of the most important attraction is the Church of the Holy Cross: its façade is decorated with figures, animals and plants, and there is also a magnificent rose window at the top-center.
The civic heart of this city is Piazza Sant’Oronzo that is a big square next to a stunning Roman amphitheatre. A good idea is to take the little tourist train from which you can admire all the city attractions.
Be sure to visit also Otranto and Gallipoli. The former is located on the east coast of the peninsula and its main attractions are the Castello Aragonese and the Cathedral; the latter has a beautiful cathedral and as the sun goes down you can walk through the streets full of little shops and clubs.
The most beautiful beaches
You cannot visit Salento without enjoying the beauty of the sea. Some of the most beautiful beaches, that you should definitely visit are: Porto Cesareo, Santa Maria di Leuca, Marina di Pescoluse, Torre Lapillo, Punta Prosciutto.
Porto Cesareo is characterized by dunes, sandy coves and low cliffs. The coastal area is small and very crowded in August, so it is recommended for those who enjoy energy and vivacity.
Torre Lapillo (6 km from Porto Cesareo) is characterized by low costs and an amazing sea; there are several establishments and free beaches. This beach is loved by tourists and local people, and there are also many waterfront clubs where you can spend your evenings.
Santa Maria di Leuca is located at the far end of the “heel” of Italy, and it attracts both families and young people. The coast, high and rocky, has clear water beaches.
Marina di Pescoluse is also known as Salento Maldives. This long beach is really a dream with white and soft sand that reflects the light; that’s why this place is a little piece of paradise, so loved by tourists from April until September.
Punta Prosciutto is one of the most beautiful beaches of Salento, and it is different from others because it is wild, with Mediterranean scrub and old dunes. It is the ideal destination for families because of the shallow and clear water and the soft white sand.
These are the Emma Villas reviews about Salento.
So, have you packet your suitcase yet?