'Il Salento' is the peninsular better known as the heel of Italy. It comprises the provinces of Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto and has history by the bucket, as well as 80% of Puglia's 829 kilometers of coastline.
It once extended over a bigger territory, stretching as far as Matera in Basilicata. Called 'Terre d'Otranto' the Greek towns of Otranto, Nardò, Galatina and Gallipoli dominated the thousands of small villages by the sea and those dispersed in the interior.
Interestingly, a grotto was found last century near Porto Badisco. It was here that the prehistoric inhabitants of Salento sought refuge. Their presence can be confirmed by many hand paintings made of bat droppings or 'guano' on the inner walls.
Thankfully, the Cretans arrived from across the Mediterranean and the history of Salento took a culturally upward shift. They founded Lecce and the city remains the cultural soul of Salento.
For Salento, the annual mean temperature is 17°c. With the humid, warm 'scirocco' wind coming from the south the average can rise to 25°c. In other words, it's mild to hot throughout the year.
The coast is a mix of rocky then sandy stretches. For the sandy bits try San Cataldo, San Foca and Torre dell'Orso and Ugento. For the rocky stretches try Santa Cesarea, Santa Maria di Leuca, Castro, Tricase and Gagliano el Capo. Take your choice, but nothing can beat a dive into crystal clear water from a sun bathed (lowish) cliff.
There are seven types of museum in Salento. They are classed as 'Archeologici', 'Artistici', 'Artistico-Archeologici', 'Demo-Etno-Antropologici', 'Naturalistici', 'Tecnico-Scientifici' and 'Specializzati'. The best are the 'Museo Civico' for all things Magna Grecia and the 'Museo Archelogico Provinciale', both at Lecce.
Also of note is the Museum of Pre-Classical Civilization in Puglia at Ostuni. Here the remains of the oldest 'mother' in the world can be found. Over 20,000 years old, the woman was seemingly sacrificed in a cavern in the city along with her unborn baby. Very grim.