Tag Archives: gallipoli

Here we come to the end of the weekend in Salento!

Last stop: Maglie and Santa Maria di Leuca.

Maglie is one of the oldest centers in Salento and is located right in the heart of this area.
There are two versions about the birth of this center, according to some historical sources the city rose from the ashes of the centre “Petrore“, a fief of Cutrofiano, while according to others it came around to  the VIII or IX century after the unification of three neighboring areas San Basilio, Sant’Eligio and San Vito. From the union of the three villages a new city was born, called “Magaglia”, then Maglie.

maglie2

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Today, for its handicrafts, for its industry and its commerce, Maglie is one of the most active economic centers of Salento.

maglie cattedrale

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It is nice to spend the morning visiting the historic center, made up of narrow streets and alleyways to visit the eighteenth-century palaces and churches strictly in Baroque style. Even the wonderful Cattedrale, the bell tower and the statue of Baroness.

After a small snack, ready for the direction “de finibus terrae“, to consecrate the end of this excursion across Salento!

santa maria di leuca

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I go and I can not remain enchanted more by the view and now it is as if I listened to the words of Modugno: “ti hanno inventato il mare … meraviglioso!”.

The Sanctuary of the Madonna di Leuca is just opposite the lighthouse, one of the most famous in Italy.

I headed to the port (300 steps… it is also a good exercise!) and I was welcomed by a beautiful and impressive Roman column.

On the left I notice a beautiful cave and I decide to go for a visit!

santa maria di leuca

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There are several Greek and Latin inscriptions and crosses, many of the early Christian period. But the Devil’s cave is completely abandoned …

After this amazing experience in Lecce, Acaya, Otranto then Gallipoli and Punta della Suina now I just have to say arrivederci to Santa Maria di Leuca with a relaxing walk through the elegant houses.

Vacanze finite… back to  the school and my lovely students!

by Maria, Italian host tutor in italiahomestay.com, Puglia 

Read more

Escape to Salento: first day

Escape to Salento: second day

Dreams come true in Lecce

Magical white Puglia

Pettole, a traditional Italian recipe

Study Italian in Puglia: diario di un’insegnante

 

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Ciao, the adventure continues! Destination: sea … Saturday: Gallipoli and the Punta della Suina, mar Ionio!

I enjoy the beauty of the crystal colors and the enchanting sea of Gallipoli with the famous beach Punta della Suina.

Gallipoli, known as the “perla dello ionio” (pearl of the Ionian), was besieged in 900 AD by Saracens, which gives the town plan.

With its port, the typical fish market, the castle and the Old Town, it has been beset from the fifteenth century by the Turks, Venetians and Aragonesi, but it is always more and more fascinating by its natural and monumental beauty.

gallipoli

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I walk and admire the typical environment of a port city: the port, the fish market for fresh fish and I enter in the historic center

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I remain dazzled by the wondrous castle and the many narrow streets with typical restaurants and shops selling local cuisine.

But Gallipoli is not only beautiful for that! Gallipoli is fascinating because it is as if the sound of the sea would evoke you among the many churches and monuments … just like a siren. It is a so nice and relaxing city  you’d never leave.

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italiahomestay.com

Punta della Suina, also on the Ionian sea is one of the most famous areas and the sea is very beautiful. The sand is fine, including a silvery and gold color and the beach is surrounded by rocks eroded over the centuries.

The landscape is very characteristic and just look at the many shades of sea water to run out of words!

And with a few hours in the sun, I enjoy the first taste of summer and…. un gelato!

Arrivederci…by Maria, Italian host tutor in www.italiahomestay.com, Lecce, Puglia 

To be continued…

Italian courses in Italy:live & study in your teacher home- follow Maria 

Read more:

Escape to Salento: first day 

Dreams come true in Lecce

Magical white Puglia

Pettole, a traditional Italian recipe

Diario di un’insegnante

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I just needed a break so I asked myself: “Do I book a trip for the weekend? … maybe a SPA” … but even that did not convince me and then I thought: I am in Lecce, what better way to explore some places in Salento!

 

 

My weekend was scheduled in three days:

On Friday: Acaya and Otranto

 

 

I left for the Adriatic coast to visit the small town of Acaya, a fraction of Vernole counting roughly 500 inhabitants.

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This fortified town from the Middle Ages is enclosed by walls that welcome the Castle and the small but cosy old town with buildings made entirely of local stone.

And needless to say how much I was fascinated not only by the architecture, but also by the beautiful sunlight reflecting in the local stone that gives the gold colour to the buildings!

After a quiet and relaxing walk through the alleys of the old town and, of course, a caffè Leccese  (a single espresso in a glass cup with ice and almond milk), I am ready to leave for the next destination: Otranto.

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The beautiful and romantic city in the East of Italy boasts clear waters and beautiful places to visit, such as the Castello, the Old Town, the Cattedrale with the famous mosaic of the tree of life and the extraordinary Quarry bauxite.

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italiahomestay.com

I could not believe my eyes how much natural beauty I could enjoy on this day. The nature, the sea and unique natural views are in my mind because their rare beauty makes me believe more and more that Lecce and Salento is the best place for a perfect stay!

So … in the meantime that you dream looking at these photos, see you at the next tour!

Arrivederci,  by Maria, Italian host tutor in www.italiahomestay.com, Lecce, Puglia 

To be continued…

Next time I will tell you about my Saturday in Gallipoli and Punta della Suina and Sunday in Maglie and Leuca.

Italian courses in Italy:live & study in your teacher home-follow Maria 

Read more:

Dreams come true in Lecce

Magical white Puglia

Pettole, a traditional Italian recipe

Diario di un’insegnante

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While getting ready to visit Puglia for the first time, try to learn a few Italian words in order to get more familiar with the Apulia’s history and culinary tradition: masseria, mar Ionio, mar Adriatico, Bizantino, Romanico, Barocco, torre costiera, centro storico, piazza, castello, panino imbottito, carciofo, spumone, pasticciotto… ready,steady,go!

Day One: our first stop will be in the same area of Brindisi Airport, where surprisingly you can visit a lovely Church, Santa Maria del Casale, a special portrait of the Romanico art, built around XIV century, get in and admire its amazing “affresco” (fresco).

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Then, ready to get to the centre of the town, and start our walking from the sunny port, where it is possible either to have a delicious gelato, or start going up the fantastic stairs leading to the Roman Columns, symbol of the town. According to their legend, they represent the end of the Appian way, in the past Brindisi was one of the most important port in the Mediterranean sea, connecting the East with the West. From the top you enjoy a great view over the port.

Day Two: we are leaving the Adriatic Coast, driving on the Appian way in order to get to the Ionian Sea. Let’s stop in the first town on the way, Mesagne, about 10 km from Brindisi. It is one of the first towns as example of Barocco. Firstly, let’s visit the master of the town, the Castle Normanno Svevo, located in the heart shaped historic centre. Enjoy a visit inside to see its tower, court yard, museum, the noble first floor.

Later, get to the back of the castle and take a picture of the beautiful piazza Orsini and its gem, la Chiesa di Sant’ Anna. And following the cobbled small streets come into the most important church, Chiesa Madre.lacanto.it (1)

After such a lovely walk, you might like the idea to have a glass of the local red wine and enjoy the locals specialties made up of artichoke (carciofi), a great vegetable from the nearest countryside and the old ice cream, spumone.

It is still possible to see the Roman’s evidence getting to the only archaeological site, in its peculiar position, under the modern Theatre. Try also to find the nearest Palazzo Nervegna, a lovely palace, where there is an amazing display of the original Roman capital.

In the town you can also find evidence of the later historical time, the medieval one, thanks to the picturesque balconies, Fontana Tancredi, Loggia Balsamo, il Portico dei Templari. Even more interesting is the temple San Giovanni al Sepolcro, built in Crusade Times around XI century, as justifying why many crusades came over Brindisi before reaching Jerusalem.

After our delicious meal, we are ready to visit Oria, the unique town posted on the top of the hill, so rare to get so many like that because of one of the flattest area in Puglia. In Oria is still possible to visit an old Jewish ghetto, flourished in VII and X century. You can still visit the Jewish Gate. Then, wondering in the small streets surrounded by beautiful balconies and facades of the centro storico, you climb to the Castello Svevo, such an important monument because the German emperor Frederich got married.

To complete our trip today, we enjoy a lovely panino imbottito, an interesting sandwich with the local fresh bread reminding of a French baguette, stuffed with mortadella, provolone cheese, salami, tuna and pickles. It represents a traditional old snack.

Day Three: let’s leave the town in order to get as soon as possible to the coast and see the mar Ionio. After less than 40 minutes we are already driving along the scenery coastal road, with its massive old towers, fortress dating back the XV century.

Enjoy the sandy beaches and the fantastic panorama, by also taking over the natural lacanto.it (4)reserves of Porto Cesareo and Porto Selvaggio. Next destination Gallipoli, considered the pearl in the Ionian Sea. In the peculiar circular centro storico, guided by the local breeze, we visit the cathedral San’Agata, symbol of the local Barocco, together with the church San Francesco di Paola and San Francesco di Assisi. But even more interesting the fantastic private palaces we can admire from theirs facades as evidence of the large number of noble people living here in the past.

Also in Gallipoli, as in many other Puglian towns, you can find one more castle, recently restored, surrounded by the port and all the fisherman coming back from work. And if we are able to arrive into the town early in the morning, one of the first stop will be in the picturesque fish market, in fact Gallipoli is one of the best place to eat fish.

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Day Four: destination Otranto, on the other side of the coast, facing the Adriatic Sea. Before getting there, we will not miss a stop in one of the most interesting and elegant town, Galatina, and its beautiful church Santa Caterina di Alessandria, Unesco Heritage.

Let’s drive over along the way surrounded by olive trees and Masseria. In this way, we are arriving to the furthest Eastern Italian area, Otranto, one more Unesco Heritage.

As usual we will find an important and beautiful castle, and the first visit will be in the fantastic cathedral, where it is possible to admire one of the best mosaic floored. The special feature is that the cathedral represents a previous important art to Barocco, which is called Romanico Pugliese, around XIII century.

Once we get out of the church, we will wonder around the town, surrounded by walls, a blue sea, a port and along its small streets it is possible to have a feeling of being in Greece or Spain because of its lovely white houses and balconies.

As soon as finished our visits and shopping, a great idea is to enjoy the local beach to swim and sunbathe.

Day 5: waking up in Otranto, on this day the most sensational feeling will be to get the first ray of sun in Italy, and once blessed we will be ready to continue our journey. Destination Lecce, one of the most beautiful art town in Puglia. Before getting there, it’s worth a great driving along the coast, one of the driving road in Italy, because nature is absolutely breathless.

lacanto.it (19)In Lecce we get in the direction of the centro storico, and we go through one of the three main old gates. One of the most beautiful piazza will be in front of the Duomo. Then, in order to have a better feeling and understandable meaning of Barocco, let’s visit the important Basilica di Santa Croce. And from there let’s find more historical notes, and discover a Roman anfitheatre, a strategic historical point from where it is visible the evidence of three different architectures at the same time: Barocco, Roman, Fascist.

Day 6: in the morning there will be a better departure, such as a cup of coffee without any sugar, but together with a sweet pasticciotto, short bread cupcake stuffed with custard.

We need to leave only because we are short of time,and our wish to come back to the heel of Puglia will be filled with a warm sun and a lovely breeze! Arrivederci Puglia!

by Michela, teacher @ L’Acanto.it

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