Built in antiquity for defensive purposes, the coastal towers dot the entire Salento coast for an itinerary about 400 km long, which can be traveled on foot, by bicycle and by car. A land that has always been exposed to foreign attacks in the Mediterranean, Salento still preserves these important testimonies of a defensive line that dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
The sighting system constitutes a large part of the seaside resorts today frequented by tourists and locals: some of them have been restored, others have been completely destroyed, others have been incorporated into hamlets or localities that bear their name.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE COASTAL TOWERS – The access, 3 or 5 meters from the ground, was via ladders, which were pulled up and the interior was on two floors: the first provided for a sleeping area and the fireplace, used for smoke signals; the lower one, without windows, rested on a large cistern for collecting water. The larger towers also had a millstone for grain, as well as storing weapons and food.
THE MOST SUGGESTIVE – At halfway between Otranto and Porto Badisco, after a curve, one of the most evocative scenarios of Salento opens up, a plain of great beauty where the mighty remains of Torre S. Emiliano, within walking distance. You will be enchanted to admire the coast and, in the days of the north wind, also the mountains of Albania and the first Greek islands.
ADRIATIC SIDE – Start from Casalabate, the last outpost of the province of Lecce with Torre Specchiolla and travel all the way southwards with Torre Rinalda, Torre Chianca (Marina di Lecce) Torre Specchia Ruggeri, San Foca, Torre dell’Orso and Torre S. Andrea. Until you reach the lookout point to the east of Torre Palascìa and the ruined Torre del Serpe, symbol of Otranto.
IONIC SIDE – From Torre Vado (marina di Morciano) to the suggestive Torre Pali (marina di Salve), completely surrounded by the sea. Going up north, in S. Maria al Bagno you can admire the imposing Torre del Fiume, better known as the “4 columns” due to the 4 corners left standing. And then Torre dell’Alto, in Santa Caterina di Nardò, which is accessed by a large stone staircase. The tower of Torre Lapillo is today seat of a small Museum of the Sea.
If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.
holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com
Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it
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