Acaya is a medieval village of Salento, famous for its castle and the defensive walls, the bell tower, the fifteenth-century church. It is an oasis of tranquility where time seems to stand still.
Fortified village in Salento with a huge castle, golf course and spa

Acaya has an imposing medieval castle and defensive walls around the perimeter (a rare example of a fortified city, visible today). It has as well a middle golf course among the largest in Italy, with several fields, including the last one, just completed, measuring 118 hectares.

The village is located in North-West of San Cataldo and adjacent to the protected natural park Le Cesine. Through a network of narrow streets, lined with ancient buildings, you will arrive to the medieval church with its bell tower and, when tired, you can have some refreshments in a restaurant that prepares delicious dishes and has excellent local cheeses: “Nonno Pici”. A visit to the town allows you to breathe the history of Medieval Salento and to appreciate the charm, with large fully restored castle and an unusual chivalrous atmosphere. The Renaissance fortress is an important trace of the Aragonese period.


Anciently known as Segine, Acaya owes its name probably from an ancient family of Greek origin, who settled there in the wake of Charles I, after the feud award in 1285. In ‘400 and ‘500 the whole southern Italy was the subject of continuous raids by the Ottomans, thus it was born the need to protect the coast and inland. In Acaya Giangiacomo dell’Acaya Segine Baron (Acaya), and Oronzo Reale (1902-1988) were born.

The latter was actively against the monarchy and fascism during the Second World War; in 1943 he was part of the Action Party; after World War II he was Member of Parliament, Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, and Judge of the Constitutional Court. The Aragonese Castle was built in 1506 by Baron Alfonso Acaya on top of traces of pre-existing towers. The latter’s son Gian Iacopo built the walls and equipped the castle with ramparts and moat (1536). The proximity of the family Acaya to Charles V allows the son of Alfonso “Giangiacomo” to introduce himself into cultured and refined circles in Italy and Spain. But it was only in 1528 that Giangiacomo could be appreciated at the Court of Charles V when, with the help of the Marchese Castriota and a modest military contingent, managed to stop the advance of the French in Salento.

It was then that Charles V appreciated the qualities of Giangiacomo as a military strategist and architect and in 1536 commissioned him to build the fortified citadel of Acaya. Following fortification, the story of Acaya sees ups and downs. Currently, the town relives all its glory, from 2 important factors: The recognition of the Castle as a UNESCO permanent center and the construction of one of the largest and best equipped complexes for golf, with adjoining luxury hotel and spa.



By car

Coming from the North, take the Autostrada del Sole (A14) towards Bari. Coming from the Tyrrhenian coast take highway Napoli-Bari. From Bari, take the Brindisi-Lecce. Once in Lecce the ring road and then the exit for Merine. From Merine follow Strudà direction and turn left at Zona Marangi. 

By train 

You can arrive in Salento along the Adriatic railway (Milan -Bologna – Pescara) or through the Rome – Caserta. Once in Lecce it is recommended to hire a car, or visit the website for bus links.

By plane

You can reach Salento with a stopover in Brindisi where you can rent a car.