Things to do at Christmas in Salento, let’s start with Lecce


The warmth of the welcome, the sweetness of the Christmas dishes, the beauty of the lights: at Christmas Salento dresses up showing its most authentic and surprising face!


For those who know the most south-eastern land of Italy only for the crystalline sea, the golden beaches and the summer nightlife, the Christmas holidays are an opportunity to discover an unprecedented, but no less fascinating side of Salento, of which Lecce is the most sparkling showcase.

Traditional cuisine, markets and events fill the Christmas calendar. The lights, in the typical Salento style, frame a magical period.


Lecce boasts an old town entirely decorated with the imposing luminous tree in the central Piazza Sant’Oronzo which is paired with the traditional life-size nativity scene in the square in front of the Cathedral. From the 7th December, the city is preparing to welcome Christmas events: Piazza Mazzini, the commercial heart of the city, hosts the toy market and the romantic carousel, while the former convent of the Teatini hosts “Fiera di Santa Lucia” with the exhibition of handmade nativity scenes and statuettes.

Otranto, a jewel set on the Adriatic side, hosts food and wine festivals, exhibitions, small concerts spread throughout the city to celebrate the New Year.

 “Castello Volante” in Corigliano d’Otranto is preparing for a Christmas program full of events between the concerts of the independent music Festival “Sei” and the markets. To visit the charming village of Grecìa Salentina, you can stay in this splendid villa:


Living nativity scenes are a suggestive tradition throughout Salento. There are several municipalities that give life, during the holidays, to the reproduction of the typical scenes of the Nativity.

Tricase makes a small hill strewn with olive trees and oaks in Monte Orco the perfect setting for the rich living nativity scene with hundreds of extras who animate it. Castro, on the other hand, a fishing village further south of Otranto, stages the Middle Ages with knights and flag-wavers. Between history and legend, one of the most exciting moments is the Mass at the stake of a witch and the beautiful procession in costume. In some staging it is also possible for the occasion to buy some typical gastronomic products of the area and sold by tradesmen.

Other representations can be visited in Specchia, Strudà and Nardò. In particular, Nardò will be embellished by the carousel and the former Carmelite Convent will host the concert series “Classical Neretum – Christmas 2021”.

Below you can find one of our beautiful villas very close to Nardò:


Purceddhruzzi, mustazzoli and almond paste fish will immerse you in the sweetness of the holiday period.

The purceddhruzzi are tiny and sweet little pieces of fried dough, covered with honey and colored sprinkles. Here you will also find the recipe!

Mustazzoli resemble large pastries with a heart made of sugar, flour, almonds and honey with a chocolate glaze coating. Of Arab origin, these sweets do not rise.

Almond paste is a tradition of Salento pastry at Christmas. With the shape of the fish, derived from an ancient Christian symbolism (for which the fish is a representation of the Child Jesus), this dessert is made of almond paste, obtained by grinding almonds and sugar, and has a filling with jam with flakes of chocolate.

Pittule, small morsels of leavened and fried dough, are an excellent finger food as an aperitif to open dinners and lunches. They can also be filled in various ways with the most genuine products of this land and beyond (tomatoes, capers, cauliflower, cod).

Pasticciotti are the most famous sweets of Salento and, therefore, inevitable at Christmas. Here, you will find our recipe but if you want to taste the historical ones you have to go to Galatina and visit the famous pastry “Ascalone“. Take the opportunity to take a tour of the well-kept old town of the city of St. Peter and Paul, with its characteristic rooms and the enchanting Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, entirely frescoed.

In the following images an idea on where to stay in Galatina


Greetings and happy holidays from the staff of Ville Salento!

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

email -> info@villesalento.it

Mobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

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