Salento, the heel of Italy, is nestled in the clear waters of the Adriatic and Ionian coasts, where tall cliffs sculpted by the sea alternate with sandy beaches, green stretches of maquis and a small “eden” reachable only by boat.
A journey through the Province of Lecce will take visitors from prehistoric civilizations, through Medieval architecture and to the masterpieces of the Baroque architecture of the city of Lecce, via ancient traditions and the skills of master craftsmen.
All this then, is seasoned with the intense and genuine flavors bestowed by the generous terrain.
Two different seas make this part of Apulia a true paradise for those seeking a vacation filled with sun, relaxation and fun. The Adriatic Coast, with its imposing cliffs and lovely bays nestled between the blue sea and green pine forests, offers an unspoiled landscape with a few untamed areas and above all, zones of great natural interest, such as the Natural Reserve of San Cataldo and the Alimini Lakes.
Beyond the city of Otranto, bays, inlets, cliffs, and natural caves draw the coastline, making it a true delight for scuba divers. In Santa Maria di Leuca, the Adriatic gives way to the Ionian Sea that laps the western coast of Salento, with beaches and seabeds of fine sand, where the clarity of water evokes images of the Caribbean.
A harmonious landscape of plains and gentle hills occupies the heart of the province, covered in villages that testify to the presence of man since prehistoric times. Ancient civilizations from across the Mediterranean have strongly influenced the culture here, so much that in the Grecia Salentina (Salentinian Greece) the ancient Griko language is still spoken by the local community.
Plantations of vineyards and olive groves are geometrically-shaped and outlined by low, dry-stone walls built with the characteristic local stone that is also found in the local farmhouses, dolmens and menhirs (the remains of the ancient Messapian civilization).
The province is a living history book, where the chapter devoted to the Middle Ages is recounted by the ancient villages and imposing castles; and that to the Renaissance, by the manor houses that, although to a lesser extent, recall the splendor and elegance of the capital.
The gastronomy is as varied as the landscape: oils, wines, cheeses, vegetables and fresh pasta are reminders of the delicious flavors of the past, achieved thanks to the handcrafted processing of raw materials.