Touring Salento by scooter: 12 hours of breathtaking views, delights of Puglia and so much history.
From Gallipoli to Otranto, passing through Santa Maria di Leuca and Castro Marina.
Departuring from Gallipoli, the first stop for a coffee and the inevitable “Pasticciotto Salentino” (cream filled pastry) in Ugente, specifically in Torre San Giovanni.
A visit to the particular lighthouse, a quick dip in one of the many beaches with fine white sand and off to the second step!
The first 30 km are done, now there is another 35 km to get right to the tip of the heel of Italy’s boot.
Here is where the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea meet.
I suggest you eat a stuffed Puccia Salento on the terrace bar that you will encounter, right before you get to the center.
Make yourself comfortable while I tell you the legend of the mermaid Leucasia:
It is said that a beautiful white mermaid, had fallen madly in love with a shepherd named Melisso.
She tried in vain to lure him with her singing but he was too much in love with the beautiful Arìstula.
Seeing that the young man resisted, one day she unleashed a violent storm that threw them both on the rocks where they were sitting and hugging each other, resulting in their death.
Therefore, separating the two lovers forever, leaving them on opposite points of the gulf.
The Goddess Minerva, having pity for what had happened, turned the bodies of Melissus and Arìstula, into stone giving them eternity and turning them into what we now all know as the Meliso Punta and Punta Ristola.
Leucasia in turn was petrified by remorse and transformed herself into the white city that is known today as the city of Leuca.
Ok it’s now time to leave, from Castro Marina, which is 30 km away from the caves of Zinzulusa.
Have a Salentino hazelnut skullcap drink to cool off and then off to visit the cave. If you really can not wait, you can take a dip in the community swimming pool.
I advise you to wait for the swim, you can do later, it is not for the entry of 3 euro but rather for the fact that the sea is the sea and the swimming pool is a swimming pool, even if it is filled with sea water, it is always a man made pool.
However, less than 30 km and we are already at Otranto, the city at the farthest east of Italy.
As mentioned, here you can take a swim in the clean and crystal clear Adriatic sea. You can choose between the beach of the Cave Bear or Alimini Beach, both are sandy and very large.
Well, after this refreshing swim (under the helmet you sweat!) It’s time to go get a nice aperitif in Maglie, 20 km from Otranto.
After reaching the main square (Piazza Aldo Moro), you can sit back and relax while sipping a Salento rosé. Often in the summer they organize small concerts and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a folklore group that will keep you entertained!
Ready for the last step? There are only 30 km to return to Gallipoli and (finally) have dinner with a wonderful spaghetti with sea urchins or fresh shrimps, all washed down with a nice bottle of chilled white wine (of course Salentino!).
For those who do not like fish, I recommend horse meat in tomato sauce, commonly called “pezzetti al sugo“.
Have a good trip and enjoy your meal!Categories: Curiosities
Localities: Europe, Italy, Puglia, Salento
Travel Themes: Fun, Nature