You can't miss these marvellous beaches if you are touring around Puglia!
- San Pietro in Bevagna (Ionic sea, west)
- Porto Selvaggio (Ionic sea, west)
- Porto Cesario (Ionic sea, west)
- Roca Vecchia (Adriatic sea, east)
- San Foca (Adriatic sea, east)
They are all fantastic places and the best beaches in the region so bear them in mind!
- San Pietro in Bevagna (Taranto)
- Porto Selvaggio (Lecce)
- Porto Cesario (Lecce)
- Roca Vecchia (Lecce)
- San Foca (Lecce)
The jewel in the crown of Puglia is Salento and there are plenty of free things to do. Try the local festivals – my favourites include the snail festival in Cannole, where you can try a plateful of snails as the locals like them – roasted then eaten with salt and cucumber; 'La Notte della Taranta' is a huge free mid-summer traditional musical festival in Melpignano; and if you're around at Easter, try to see Taranto’s Lenten procession, in which penitents wearing very creepy pointed hoods walk barefoot and painfully slowly through the town. The landscape is beautiful – for some of the best, visit ‘the Maldives of Salento’, aka Torre San Giovanni, with perfect white sandy beaches; go to see the ‘caretta-caretta’ (sea turtles) at the Le Cesine nature reserve; and try dolphin spotting in the gulf of Taranto. Finally – some of the most amazing churches: the Cathedral of Otranto has the exquisite ‘Tree of Life’ floor mosaic, said to have inspired Dante’s Divina Commedia, and an alter piece made of the skulls and bones of 800 martyrs slaughtered by Ottoman invaders. In Galatina, you’ll find the beautiful frescoed church of Santa Caterina, which I have a particular affection for, because I got married there …
The best way to reach each of these sites is by car, although Taranto, Otranto and Galatina are also accessible by rail.
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