Roca Vecchia

Location along Salentos’ Adriatic coast, between San Foca and Torre Dell’Orso, with an inlet defended by rocky ridges, ‘la Poesia’ and its natural springboards for diving, the beach relaxing and clean.
Old Fortress, ‘Li Posti’ and ‘La Poesia’ on the Adriatic Coast

On a beautiful stretch on the Adriatic coast, stands in all its splendour, Roca. An ancient town also known under the name of “Roca Vecchia”. A marine of Melendugno located between two other beautiful places in Salento: Torre dell’Orso and San Foca. The coastal scenery on which the beautiful and evocative Roca emerges, is mostly rocky and the rocks reach the most characteristic point on the natural inlet defended by the winds, which has a beautiful backdrop and cohorts since ancient times a natural harbour for Salentine and Greek ships.

It is therefore, a particular charming spot, whose real pearl is represented by the “Grotta della Poesia”, home to important archaeological sites and tourist center of relief. In this part the coast we can find natural springboards at different heights, further peculiarity is the presence of a natural pool of about 150 square meters, with a sandy bottom and shallow water.

We recommend the equipped lido ‘Kum’, where you will spend quiet moments of pleasure, sipping a cocktail, prepared by skilled bartenders, or tasting shellfish, sea urchins or other delicacies. Recent archaeological discovery is the underground city form the second century BC, a large archaeological heritage, mainly manufactured goods were fund here (pots and amphorae painted in greek style), some even in good condition.

The rocky coast however is low, so also suitable for inexperienced swimmers. The sea that is always clean and quiet, factors that make Roca Vecchia one of the most beautiful and poetic spots of Salento. Numerous caves. Roca is waiting for you.


The importance of Roca Vecchia in archeology is linked to the discovery made in 1983 of inscriptions mostly in Messapian (but also in Greek and Latin) on the rocky walls, from which is confirmed that the cave was once a place of worship of the god Taotor (or even Tator, Teotor or Tootor). The small town was built around 1480.

In 44 BC Octavian Augustus, who was at Apollonia to study Greek letters, learned of the killing of Caesar and fearing unrest in the port of Brindisi, probably passed by Roca, to reach the safer city of Lupiae and then go to Rome. At Roca also Alfonso of Aragon with Giulio Antonio Acquaviva and the Duke of Melfi laid the basis for their camp, before launching an offensive to regain Otranto. The castle, initially reinforced, later abandoned, became prey and nest of fearsome pirates, so in 1544, Charles V ordered its demolition.

Must be visited: the ruins of the castle overlooking the sea, the sixteenth-century tower, the sanctuary of the Madonna di Roca of the seventeenth century and the two caves “Posia” (greek word that means spring) often called Poesia. The latter, in particular, about 60 m apart from each other, are karst caves whose roofs have collapsed and the water reaches the sea in each of them through a channel practicable by swimming or small boat.



by car

From Bari take the highway Brindisi-Lecce. Once in Lecce, take the ring road and then exit Merine. Continue to Strudà, Vernole Melendugno, Roca Vecchia (Roca).

by train

Rocca Vecchia is reached along the Adriatic (Milan – Bologna – Pescara) or through the Rome – Caserta. Once in Lecce FSE bus can be used that take you up to Melendugno, then to Roca Vecchia.

by plane

You can reach Rocca Vecchia (Roca), with a stopover in Brindisi where you can choose to wait for the terminal that connects the airport to the center of Lecce or rent a car, if you choose the first option you can continue to Melendugno then Roca Vecchia by FSE buses. Alternatively you can use local FSE trains.