It’s the year of the Expo in Milan, and now more than ever all the spotlights are towards Italy: billions of tourists and visitors every year comes to visit the Peninsula, enjoying sun, the beautiful shores, food, hills and the historical and precious cities. This year there is one more reason to #Come2Italy, which is indeed the #Expo2015.
So, since I’m Italian and with Apulia‘s origin, that’s the perfect moment to share with you the Salento, an amazing area of the Apulia Region.
It’s called Salento the very southern part of Apulia or its peninsula: with the Adriatic sea on one side, and the Ionic sea on the other, this become easily one of the most amazing area of Italy, with different landscape and amazing beaches with clear, blue water or stunning views with the ancient villages.
Let’s discover together some of the places I love in Salento, and some suggestion to plan your trip in this side of Italy!
I think anyone of you should have seen at least once an image of the Trulli: these are the typical houses of this small village and became the attraction of thousand of tourists all year round! The Trulli in Alberobello are now enlisted as World Heritage site by UNESCO, and if you reach this village you can totally understand why: an amazing view of this tiny, cozy houses, lying up the hills, they really offer a stunning view and memories to all of those who wonder here. You can find many Trulli all over the countryside in this region, and even of course sleep over one of them, but Alberobello with its high number of Trulli, is for sure a must see in Salento.
It’s called the White Town. Guess why?? Ostuni its a monument by itself: just 8 km far from the Adriatic coast, you can see the outline from the highway, climbing up the hills. It’s the most famous city in Apulia and popular destination not only for Italian tourist: every year, many British citizens and people from northern Europe come in Ostuni to live, due to its mite climate all over the year and, of course, the amazing food!
Walking in the old town it looks like the time has been stopped somewhere in the past: the ancient palaces, people sit outside talking, the breathtaking white of houses facing the blue sky, the smell of homemade bread fluttering along the road, and the nearby Masserias in the countryside.
The olive trees groves
One of the best Olive Oil in the world comes from this part of Italy, and you can drive through the huge olive trees groves in the countryside of Salento. If you are driving or riding a bike, a trip to these fields during end of spring or summer is absolutely an amazing experience, and don’t miss to stop by in a Locanda or Masseria to try the traditional food or simply a slice of bread with just Extra Virgin Olive oil on top. Simply delicious.
The Ionic Coast of Porto Cesareo Marine area
The whole shore in Apulia is beautiful, but this stretch of land is simply amazing: you won’t even think to be in Italy, but instead in some tropical paradise! Blue lagoon, luxuriant nature and national parks, the ultimate getaway to enjoy your holidays with or without family. Porto Cesareo is also a famous nightlife centre and the beach club as well offers a wide range of activities for those who wants to have fun. In this area, you’ll find a lot of resort or apartment which is possible to rent for affordable prices.
Egnazia’s archaeological park
This archaeological site is one of the most famous and best maintained in the region: the earliest human presence in the area is dated around 13th – 12th century B.C: The city went through different inhabitants and populations from then and heading to the site and the museum you’ll find about the history of the place.
My suggestion: San Michele Salentino
I have a special place in Salento, which is my grandpa’s city: it’s called San Michele Salentino. You might think is nothing so special compared to the rest of places in the area, and it might be true, but if you’re looking for an authentic place, just a bit outside from the most common touristic route, and where to experience the real Salento, then you can stop by this tiny village in the middle of olive’s field. With less than 3500 inhabitants, this small town is particularly well-known for the high quality of Olive oil produced.
A rich set of artwork can be found at the gallery “Salvatore Cavallo”: He was my great-uncle, an artist born here in 1913. I’m very proud of him, he was a great artist and he even tried many times to teach me to draw (unfortunately with no result).
Of course, there is a lot more to talk about when we think to Salento. Those were only a few of my favourite places.
The best way to reach Salento is flying to Brindisi airport: many airlines from all over Europe are flying to this airport and finding a cheap ticket is not difficult. I would suggest also to rent a car to move in total freedom, as public transport are not so efficient and you cannot rely on it if your intent is to discover the region. Just be patient and horn randomly.
Here are some useful website to gather information for your next trip to Salento:
- Viaggiare in Puglia: the main resource where to find all kind of information about the whole Apulia’s Region
- Salento.com specialized in Salento, a useful website with lots of resources such as things to do, local produce, accommodations, taxi and curiosity tips.
- Leave your daily hell. An inspiring post from one of my favorite travel blogger. Worth a read.
- Trenitalia If you might decide to move around by train, here is the website you have to look at. Please remember to be patient while waiting your delayed train.. And remember my suggestion about renting a car 😉
If you want to have more information about renting an apartment or book your stay in Salento then just write me an email, I’d be happy to help you!
And now just pack your bag and #Come2Italy!