Roca, the “poetic” side of Salento

17 Feb

Roca is located between San Foca and Torre dell’Orso. It is one of the most beautiful place of Salento and it is definitely worth visiting it when you come here on vacation. The small town is different from the nearby seaside town thanks to its rocky coast, suitable for those who love the cliff, but it is equally lovely for those who prefer the sandy beach.


 When we talk about the origin of Roca we have to go back to the Bronze Age (XV-XI centuries BC) and to the Iron Age. However, we still don’t know who were the founders of the town. Roca was probably a place of worship.

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The town was inhabited by Messapi (IV-III century BC), who gave it the name of Thuria Sallentina. Part of the walls, a funerary monument, several tombs and furnaces are the rests of Messapi’s domination. Roca was completely rebuilt in the early fourteenth century by the Count of Lecce, Gualtiero di Brenne. In 1480 the city was abandoned after the Turkish invasion.

Today Roca is a very small town, but in the summertime it turns into a very popular location for tourists and locals.


The “Grotta della Poesia“, in addition to being the site of important archaeological excavations, it is a major tourist center. Its name comes from the greek “posia“, which means “source of fresh water”. Two caves, with the roofs that are collapsed, are at about 60 meters away from each other. The largest one has an elliptical plan. In ancient times, the cave was the site of the Taotor god worship.

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The sixteenth-century tower was built in 1568 when the medieval city was already in ruins. It has a square base, typical of the Spanish period. Roca became a fortress in the fourteenth century when Gualtiero di Brienne appreciated its geographical location and called it Roche, and then now Roca.

Il santuario Madonna di Roca was built in the XVII century on the site of an ancient underground cave or an old Byzantine cave. The structure has three naves, each with three columns, whose capitals are composite-Corinthian order.


Roca has nothing to envy to the beautiful beaches of Salento.

Roca's crystal clear water

Roca’s crystal clear water

The ideal way to enjoy one of the most magical places of the “Heel of the Boot” is to rent a holiday house in Roca (

If you choose a villa with pool in Torre dell’Orso (, for example, you can reach Roca in less than ten minutes by car. San Foca, however, is at only 2 km away from the small town. Choose here a holiday house ( so you can move fast from the sandy beach to the cliffs of Roca.

For info and booking:


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