The name Leuca derives from the greek “leukos“, as it is said that the Greek sailors, arriving from East and seeing the beautiful town lit by the sun, used to call it “leukos”, white city kissed by the shining sun. There has to be pointed out that this place, enchanting by day and amazing by night, presents itself under two different names: Santa Maria di Leuca and Marina di Leuca.
The first is the area located on the headland where there we find the Sanctuary of Santa Maria, the “Finibus Terrae”(so named because it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and for its geographical position as the most southern point) and one of the tallest lighthouses of Italy. It is believed that, at that point, there is the crossing of the Ionian and Adriatic sea, in fact, the official boundary, as well as natural and historical, between the two seas is given by the strait of sea between the most eastern point of Italy. Santa Maria di Leuca, in all its glory, lies in a stretch of coastline, alternating cliffs with small sandy coves. Of great interest are the caves (reached by a simple swim or boat trips on site) and the pristine sea floor, an underwater paradise for divers.
A staircase of 184 steps connects the Basilica of the underlying port often used for fashion shows. United by a road surrounded by greenery and easily passable by foot, we find Marina di Leuca, between the east Meliso tip and the west Ristola tip, the extreme southern tip of Salento. The distinctive panorama, the busy harbour and the magnificent and colourful nineteenth century villas sloping toward the waterfront, offer to visitors a spectacle of rare beauty. It has an equipped center, where there are all services and sports facilities.