This itinerary takes in Otranto, S. Cesarea Terme, Castro, Tricase and S. Maria di Leuca. Otranto is one of the many fortified cities of Salento, a region for centuries known as 'Terra d'Otranto'. The name derives from the River Idro (water) which in Latin becomes 'Hidrun-tum' as it meets the port.
Adriatic Coast of Salento
The 'Terra d'Otranto' can still be considered an island of Greek culture and many monuments and popular traditions from Hellenistic civilisation are still with us, but today the city of Otranto is predominantly medieval in aspect.
Following the coast, the next stop is S.Cesarea Terme famed for its important curative mineral waters, but also the architectural beauty of its eclectic (arabeggiante) buildings or Palazzi.
A little further on is the grotto of “Zinzulusa”. It was so called after the similarity of the stalactites and stalagmites to wripped cloth, called locally 'zinzuli'.
The town of Castro is divided in two. “Castro superiore” is what remains of its ancient splendour, such as the Byzantine cathedral and the four towers of the walls which once protected the interior, while “Castro marina” is notable for its houses collected together in the smallest of areas.
Tricase has a splendid historical center but is also home to the "quercia vallonea", a tree typical of the flora of Salento and which once formed huge forests. Take a close look at one 600 year old specimen known as "la quercia dei 100 cavalieri" or 'oak of the 100 knights'.
Carrying on south you will reach Marina di Novaglie, a resort sitting at the mouth of what can only be described as a fiord. Many small caverns dot the coast as far as Canale del Ciolo, so called for the presence of crows, known locally as "ciole".
Finally, S. Maria di Leuca, the point which marks the border of the Ionic and Adriatic seas. Do visit the Sanctuary dedicated to S. Maria and known as the "de finibus terree" or 'the end of the world'.
There is an affinity with a similar sanctuary in Normandy in France. Popular belief suggests a pilgrimage to both will facilitate a passage into Paradise.
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Our articles about Puglia below.
• mostaccioli recipe • sea corals in cream sauce • leccese potato pizza • frittelli • carnival biscuits of putignano • baked lamb with peas • oricchiette pasta with cauliflower • mussels with peppers • orecchiette pasta with turnip tops • bruschetta with roasted peppers • onion calzone • stuffed aubergines • octopus pie • bean and chicory salad • cavatelli seafood pasta • pasta and red shrimps • roast pork and asparagus • how to make fresh italian pasta • mussels au gratin • orecchiette alla pugliese • bruschetta with tomato
• traditional dishes of puglia • altamura bread • salento gastronomy • olive oil production in puglia • wines of salento • fasano dishes • cherry festival • flavors of salento • salento cooking lessons • apulian liqueurs • oysters from taranto • a puglian menu • gastronomy of foggia • canestrato pugliese cheese • lampascioni onions • traditional puglia bread • learn the secrets of the italian food and wine
• the heel of italy • summer festivals near bari • province of brindisi • province of taranto • historical salento itinerary • christmas nativity in puglia • greek salento • adriatic coast of salento • faith itinerary in galatina • castles of puglia • vineyards in lecce • appian way wine route • brindisi olive oil route • gargano food tour • puglia coast itinerary • ceglie messapica • history of fasano • fasano • locorotondo • lecce • alberobello and the trulli • polignano a mare • carnival of putignano • masserie of puglia • ancient taranto • first olympic champion • mottola • martina franca • gallipoli • otranto • heel of italy • bari • jewish culture in puglia • lucera • foggia • tremiti islands • roseto valfortore • santa maria di leuca • monti dauni near gargano • visiting the gargano • monopoli
SPECIAL FEATURE: A Journey Coast to Coast in South Italy
A special first hand travel guide from Gargano in Puglia to Reggio Calabria in association with the Chambers of Commerce of Foggia, Matera, Potenza, Crotone, Cosenza and Reggio Calabria.