A comparatively tranquil spot in contrast to the busier Italian resorts, Salento holidays will introduce you to an authentic, unspoilt way of life. The region is located in the southernmost part of Italy’s ‘heel’ and is increasingly visited by locals and holidaymakers alike thanks to its beautiful beaches, superb cuisine and historic town centres.
All of Salento’s principal cities have much to offer. Swing by the historic ports of Brindisi and Gallipoli, discover castles, lakes and sweeping sea views at Otranto, or take in the Baroque extravagances of the buildings in Lecce Beyond the winding streets carved from local tufa stone, you’ll find gloriously clear seas and wild beaches with extraordinary rock formations. You also won’t fail to notice the superb olive groves and vineyards across the region. You’ll soon see why the cosmopolitan crowds have fallen in love with holidays to Salento, turning many dilapidated villas and farm buildings into luxury escapes.
Get back to nature
Le Cesine Nature Reserve, a 25-minute drive east of Lecce, features low-lying pools and fabulous flora and fauna. You’ll also find winding footpaths leading to the beaches.
Visit an amphitheatre
Dating back to the 2nd century AD, Lecce’s amazing Roman amphitheatre was unearthed in the early 1900s. It’s in fantastic condition and is still used to host plays and concerts today.
Watch out for towers
Historically under attack by just about every army going, the coastline is dotted with imposing – now often crumbling – watchtowers dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.