About The Salento
The Salento is the extreme eastern tip of Italy, the heel, swept by the Ionian Sea to the West and the Adriatic to the East, a region rich in culture and tradition. The Salento stretches from the provinces of Taranto to Brindisi to Lecce to the southern point of SANTA MARIA DI LEUCA, known as finibus terrae.
The sun perpetually bathes this fascinating territory influenced by numerous peoples (Messapi, Norman, Greek and Byzantine). The dominant architecture is the barocco salentino, which can be admired in all the town centres of the area and of which LECCE is the most striking example. Other towns of great interest are LEUCA, OTRANTO, GALLIPOLI, MELPIGNANO…
These preserved historical centres with fabulous and reasonably-priced restaurants, lively squares, courtyards and shops with local produce nestle in remarkable countryside: olive groves with plurisecular olive trees, pine woods, fig trees and prickly pears. There are several nature reserves (Alimini and Cesine) of great importance for the ecosystem.
The Salento has a varied coastline. Long, sandy beaches and rocky cliffs, crystalline bays and grottoes adorn the long coastlines of the Ionian and Adriatic Seas where one can swim in the purest seas in Italy.
Whether one is on the coast or inland, the local GASTRONOMY is exceptional.
The countryside is criss-crossed by dry stone walls, which outline and deliniate the olive groves and vineyards that produce some of the best OLIVE OIL and WINES in Italy. Typical dry, stone constructions (pajare or trulli) are striking to behold. Majestic farmhouses and manor houses (masserie and case a corte) dominate their environs.
The people of Salento are children of this land, this environment. They are welcoming and generous, friendly and proud. The pace of life is the slow, civilised southern way. Tradition is still very strong and can be observed in every walk of life − music and dance of the now famous PIZZICA, the various festivals and religious holidays. There are also numerous cultural events, concerts and street parties.
The climate in Salento is similar to other parts of the South of Italy, hot and dry in the Summer where rain can become a rarity. Mild Winters where the temperature rarely drops below ten degrees centigrade. The weather is dominated by two principal winds, the tramontana, a northerly wind which is cool and dry, and the scirocco, a southerly wind from Africa, hot and humid.
Come and discover the mysteries of the Salento and its magical atmospheres. You will find it hard to resist the charms of this fascinating country!