Things that you could do in Salento when it’s raining

You are in the middle of your holiday in Salento and suddenly it starts raining (yes, sometimes it happens that it rains even in the sunny south Italy!) For a few hours you’ll be able to do something different than taking sunbath or having a swim.

If you don’t believe, just read this little guide. Forget for a while bikini and sunscreen and wear comfortable shoes… you will discover such amazing things 😉


There are museums for all tastes: for those who want to discover the history of Salento, or for those who love nature. For the most fearless it will be possible to make an “horror tour” by visiting the fantasy museum.


Via Cavour, 10, 74123 Taranto

The museum is one of the most important of Puglia, thanks to its collection of archaeological finds, among the most important in Italy.

MarTa in Taranto

Located in the former Convent of San Pasquale of Babylon, the museum boasts a collection of over two hundred thousand objects from Prehistory to the Middle Ages, from the V millennium BC, until the arrival of the Romans.

In the collection you can admire objects of daily life, related to the cult and funeral rituals of the Greek city.

Do not miss the collection of Ori di Taranto, a true anthology of the goldsmith’s art of the Hellenistic age with numerous artifacts belonging to funerary objects.

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S.P. Calimera-Borgagne, km 1 – 73021 Calimera (Lecce) – Italy

Butterfly house in Calimera

It is the largest museum in southern Italy thanks to over 2,000 square meters of exhibition area, which includes Vivarium and Wildlife Park. Depending on the interests, you can visit various exhibition sections such as Astronomy, Mineralogy, Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. You can see wonderful shells in the section of Malacology or take a trip to see Embryology and Botany (the latter still under construction).

Not to be missed is the Mesocosmo, one of the largest Butterfly Houses in Italy, with its 630 square meters and 6 meters of height. You will be enchanted by the many species of butterflies and tropical insects.

You will be completely immersed in the rainforest, whose setting has been faithfully rebuilt thanks to the arrangement of plants, in order to recreate conditions as close to the wild ones. The result is a scenographic effect of great impact. Highly recommended for adults and children!

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Viale Gallipoli, 28 – Lecce

Museum “Sigismondo Castromediano” in Lecce

Attic vases with red figures, messapian ceramics and statues of the imperial age: there is much to discover of the history of Salento from prehistory to the twentieth century. You can learn part of this history by visiting the Museum “Sigismondo Castromediano”. Founded in 1868 by the archaeologist Sigismondo Castromediano, the museum is the oldest one in Puglia.

There are also a library, an auditorium, and a picture gallery with medieval works and sacred furnishings from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century.

Every historical epoch is marked by a series of icons that allow the visitor to choose between different paths.


Via Vittorio Emanuele, 33 – Lecce

For those who love horror it is recommended to visit the “Fantasy Museum – Art and Special Effects” of the Magrì twins.

The two brothers have been exhibiting their works since few years, after a long career spent working in the cinematographic industy, with Dario Argento, Roberto Benigni, Sergio Rubini and Morgan Freeman, to name a few.

The museum is open to an audience of all ages and includes two thematic areas: Fantasy Art, consisting of hyperrealistic fantasy characters in life size (in silicon, latex, fiberglass), and Special Cinematic Effects, with special effects that Gabriele and Vittorio Magri made for cinema, tv and theater.

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If you are keen on history and art you must visit these monuments.


Castello Square – Otranto

The Castle of Otranto

The castle, which gave its name to the first gothic novel in history, almost merges with the walls of Otranto to form a single defensive apparatus.

Surrounded by a moat, the entrance to the castle was probably possible through a drawbridge, in whose place today we find a stone arch and wooden trampling.

All rooms on the floor are rectangular or square and overlook the inner courtyard.

Already built around the year one thousand, the castle we see today is the result of constant transformations and changes suffered over time: renovated in 1228 by Frederick II of Swabia, the manor was rebuilt after the Sacco di Otranto of 1480. The current structure it is due to the contribution of the Viceroy of Spain, who made it a true masterpiece of military architecture.

Today it is one of the most important cultural showcases of Salento, where, every year, national art exhibitions take place.

For a holidays villa nearby >> take a look HERE

Castle of Copertino


Castello Square – Copertino

Located in the heart Copertino, about 18 km far from Lecce, the castle was declared a national monument in 1886 and subjected to the protection regulations in 1955. The structure is built around a square courtyard with spear ramparts in the four corners.

Built probably in the Norman period, the castle has the classic star shape of the 16th century fortifications. Even today, the building is surrounded by a moat along its entire perimeter, while access is allowed through a stone bridge.

On the left stands the Pinelli-Pignatelli portico, while on the right is the chapel of San Marco, entirely frescoed by the mannerist painter Gianserio Strafella on behalf of the Genoese family of Squarciafico, who had bought the castle in 1557.

Inside, in the sixteenth-century residential areas, there is the noble chapel dedicated to Santa Maria Maddalena, with frescoes of the fifteenth century, found during the restoration works.

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Castello Square, 1 – Corigliano D’Otranto

Castle of Corigliano

The characteristic elements that make the Castle in Corigliano d’Otranto unique are a quadrangular plant, circular towers and a baroque façade.

The castle, described as the most beautiful monument of military and feudal architecture of the early 16th century, is a medieval construction and was radically renovated and enlarged between 1514 and 1519 by Giovan Battista de’ Monti. Surrounded by a moat, the manor is spread over a square plant, at the corners of which there are four circular towers.

The castle has been destined to the most varied uses over the years: from oil mill to the headquarters of the Guardia di Finanza, from a private house to a mill. Today it is still open to visitors and is home to numerous cultural events and exhibitions.

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Via Castello – 72024 Oria

The Castle of Oria

Located on a hill between Brindisi and Taranto, the Castle of Oria, was built between 1225 and 1233 under the kingdom of Frederick II of Swabia. Over the centuries, the manor house has been the residence of princes, knights and nobles.

Of triangular planimetry, the castle is characterized by the three towers respectively called Quadrata, Del Cavaliere and Del Salto: the first has Federician origin, the other two were built under the Angevin domination.

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Strada Statale 170, 76123 – Castel Del Monte, Andria BT

It is the most famous castle in Puglia, with a mysterious and fascinating history behind it. Built in the thirteenth century by Frederick II of Swabia, known as Stupor Mundi, for its immense culture, Castel Del Monte is located 18 km from the city of Andria, on the hill of Santa Maria del Monte, at 540 meters above sea level.

Castel Del Monte

The Castle is linked to the number eight, which represents the union between man and God and that recurs in the proportions of the whole building. With an octagonal plan, like the eight towers that stand at each vertex of the polygon, the castle respects the shape also in the inner courtyard.

UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, the fortress has in the past been used as an astronomical observatory or a hunting manor. Its walls hosted the wedding of Violante, daughter of Federico II and Bianca Lancia. After centuries of abandonment, the castle was restored in 1879.


SP100 km 5.900, 100

Santa Maria a Cerrate

On the road from Squinzano to Casalabate, about 15 km north from Lecce, there is the Abbey of Santa Maria a Cerrate, one of the most significant examples of Romanesque otrantino.

The site was founded, according to legend, at the end of the twelfth century by Tancredi d’Altavilla, count of Lecce, after the apparition of the Holy Virgin, between the horns of a deer, from which the name of the site (Cerrate or Cervate).

The village was an important religious and cultural center until the sixteenth century.

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Via Raimondello Orsini – Galatina

Santa Caterina D’Alessandria in Galatina

It is one of the most famous monuments of the Apulian and Gothic Romanesque art in Puglia and is located in the old town of Galatina (about 24 km south from Lecce).

The Basilica, built by the Orsini Del Balzo family, is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles and is one of the most characteristic examples of southern Italy, for its architecture and its frescoes.

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Via Umberto I, 3 – Lecce

Santa Croce in Lecce

It is the most expressive example of Baroque in Lecce, thanks above all to the decorative richness of its façade. Santa Croce was erected from 1549, but it took a century to be finished, in 1646, by the three architects Riccardi, Penna and Zimbalo.

The church has three naves of equal width.

The roof of the side aisles is sometimes cross-vaulted, while that of the central nave has a rich chest of drawers. A high and bright dome is located at the intersection of the arms.


Who embodies the spirit of flâneur will certainly be enchanted by the architectural beauty of Lecce and the other small villages of Salento. Here we mention only some, among the most beautiful, where you can get lost in long walks. Enjoy the tour!


Known as the “Florence of the South” for the many churches, the capital of the Baroque is undoubtedly the most important center from which to start the tour in Salento. With its 95,000 inhabitants, Lecce is the capital of Salento.

The historic center is characterized by elegant churches in Baroque style and buildings built in Lecce stone. Among the monuments to visit, do not miss Piazza Sant’Oronzo with its “Sedile” and the column with the statue of the Patron Saint which gives the name to the square, the Roman amphitheater, the (already mentioned) church of Santa Croce and the Cathedral.



Getting lost in the colorful alleyways decorated by craft shops is among the most enjoyable activities to do in Otranto, a small jewel that rises at the easternmost tip of the Adriatic shore.

In addition to numerous bars, restaurants and shops including shopping, you should not miss: the Aragonese Castle, home to important art exhibitions (described above); the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata, with its floor mosaic dating back to the mid-twelfth century; the chapel dedicated to the martyrs of Otranto, in which are preserved the bones of those who died in the massacre by the Turks in 1480.


Small village located between sea and hill, the village of Specchia rises 130 meters above sea level, about 50 km South from Lecce. The old town, full of narrow streets and dry stone walls, has a clear medieval imprint.


In the highest part, in Piazza del Popolo, overlook the most elegant buildings of the town: Palazzo Risolo, the mother church and the Baronial Palace Ripa. In 2013 Specchia received the recognition as “Jewel of Italy“.

For a holidays villa nearby >> take a look HERE

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