Tag Archives: salento holidays

“Routes of taste” in Salento: Zollino, Spongano, Seclì e Ortelle

18 Lug

In local inns or in the most elegant restaurants, the typical cuisine of Salento is a real art that is celebrated on every self-respecting table. From fish dishes, in coastal resorts, to grilled meat typical of the hinterland, you will only have to choose and you will discover, through the flavors, a fundamental part of this land. In this “road map of taste” we advise you where to go and what to eat.

ZOLLINO – In the countryside of Zollino, the selection of the seeds by local farmers has made it possible to preserve some particular types of legumes that enjoy the De.Co. “Pisello nano” and broad bean (with a more flattened appearance and a pod with no more than 5 seeds) are included in the traditional agri-food productions of the Apulia Region. Also famous are chickpea, black chickpea, lentils and white beans.

But Zollino is not just a land of legumes. The symbol of this village is the “scéblasti”, a dough of bread seasoned with courgettes, olives, onions, capers and chilli which in griko means “without shape”.

SPONGANO – It is the homeland of “cunserva mara“, a tasty homemade preserve obtained from the sun drying of sweet peppers, hot peppers and tomatoes, which are then mixed in a perfect sauce to be spread on wheat bread or bruschetta.

SECLI’– It is the village famous for the “bits” of horse meat, to which a festival is dedicated every year after August 15th. The main course is accompanied by other recipes, always based on horse meat, prepared by the butchers of the town.

ORTELLE – In October Ortelle, on the occasion of the feast of San Vito, celebrates the pig Or.Vi., raised according to ancient methods following a specific protocol. The result is a delicate and tasty meat, with which sausage, ribs, skewers and capocollo are packaged for grilling or boiled or with sauce. Typical of Ortelle is also the “pirilla”, a homemade bread flavored with pieces of tomato, pumpkin, onion, black olives and, sometimes, raisins.

To find out where to stay to visit these and other villages in Salento, take a look here:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/    

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

“Routes of taste” in Salento: Maglie, Lecce, Cannole e Uggiano La Chiesa

11 Lug

From “Pasticiotto” to “caffè in ghiaccio”, from “Rustico” to “Tajeddhra”: there are many typical dishes of Salento that tell a part of the history and traditions of this land. From recipes to local products, we trace a “road map of taste” through the villages of gastronomic excellence.

MAGLIE – The village hosts every year, in early August, “Mercatino del gusto“, a festival in which the flavors of the traditional cuisine of Salento are celebrated, but not only. In those days you can smell the scents and aromas of local products.

PRODUCTS – Maglie produces its renowned pecorino cheese. Whether fresh or aged, sheep’s cheese is obtained from a production process that has been handed down over the centuries. If aged for a few days, it has a soft, light yellow paste. After a long maturation, however, it has a wrinkled, leathery crust and a hard straw yellow interior: highly recommended on pasta with sauce!

LECCE – It is the main seat of the most precious architectural jewels of this land. But Lecce not only offers an artistic heritage, it is also the place where you can taste some typical dishes, which have now become famous beyond the borders of the Salento peninsula.

THE PRODUCTS – Pasticciotto is a sweet of shortcrust pastry that opens up all the sweetness of the custard inside; Cotognata is a kind of solid jam cut into blocks that comes from quince apples; Rustico is a rotisserie product made of puff pastry and stuffed with bechamel, mozzarella, tomato and a pinch of pepper that all the local people from Lecce prefer for a snack.

With the pasta di mandorla (almond pastry), at Christmas and at Easter, locals make the traditional sweets of fish shape (at Christmas) and lamb shape (at Easter). Sanguinaccio is a product of Salento gastronomic tradition based on seasoned, flavored pork blood, stuffed into the intestines of the same animal and cooked.

CANNOLE – Small town a few kilometers from the much more famous Otranto, Cànnole owes its fame mainly to the “municeddha” festival which takes place every year in August.

THE PRODUCTS – The tradition of eating snails has been celebrated since 1985 when the idea of ​​a party dedicated to it was born. The idea is inspired by the “cuzzari“, the name by which the inhabitants of Cannole were called snail-gatherers. During the festival, the snail is prepared according to various recipes: fried, roasted and with sauce.

UGGIANO LA CHIESA – Framed by olive groves and countryside, Uggiano la Chiesa is the “Village of Bread and Oil”.

THE PRODUCTS – Every September, on the occasion of the Fair of the Village of Bread and Oil, it is possible to taste the fragrant loaves, accompanied by other typical culinary specialties.

To find out where to stay to visit these and other villages in Salento, take a look here:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home  

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Wine and olive oil routes in Salento: Morciano di Leuca, Specchia and Alezio

4 Lug
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From the northernmost municipality to the southest part of Salento, wine and olive oil are the traditional products of this land. Production is not only a link with the past, but also a synonym of quality. A brief overview of the centers of Salento excellence will guide you in choosing the DOC products to enjoy the true flavor of this land. Let’s discover the wine and olive oil routes in Morciano di Leuca, Specchia and Alezio.

MORCIANO DI LEUCA –Located in the extreme edge of the Salento peninsula, Morciano di Leuca is 64 km from Lecce. The historic center is dominated by the imposing castle, with high crenellated walls and a circular tower. Worth a visit the facade of the Church of the Madonna del Carmine, also known as “de lu cumentu”. From the glass panes of the square you can see the underground oil mill and the grain pits.

OLIVE OIL –There are 18 underground oil mills that testify to the ancient link between Morciano and oil. Some of them date back to the ninth century and many were obtained from the granaries of the Messapian era. Near the parish church you can admire an ancient stone mill for olives. Today there are many small and large farms as well as individuals who produce and sell quality olive oil.

ALEZIO – Cradle of the ancient Messapian civilization, Alezio rises a few kilometers from Gallipoli and houses one of the most important archaeological collections on the Messapi, in the rooms of the eighteenth-century Palazzo Tafuri, once a stately home owned by a noble Gallipoli family. Its rooms contain funerary objects and ancient finds, including balsam pieces, trozzelle and terracotta deities. In front of the museum, there is also the Archaeological Park.

THE WINE – Alezio gives its name to a doc wine to be tasted in two variations, both from the Negroamaro grape: the Alezio Rosso, with its warm and bitter taste, and the Rosato, drier and more velvety.

SPECCHIA – A timeless municipality, Specchia, 54 km from Lecce, is among the most beautiful villages in Italy, deserving to have been able to recover and enhance its architectural jewels. Today the ancient village is a characteristic widespread hotel, the heart of which is represented by the Risolo Castle, together with the Mother Church and the former Convent of the Black Franciscans.

OLIVE OIL – The underground oil mills of Specchia, ancient evidence of the town’s olive production, are still perfectly preserved today. The municipality is also part of the “Jonica – Antica Terra d’Otranto” Oil Road and its extra virgin olive oil is among the best in the region. Recently, the producers came together under a single label identified with the “De.C.O. Specchia ”(Municipal Designation of Origin), affixed to each bottle of oil produced in the country.

If you want to visit Salento and spend your holiday in wonderful houses or villas, click below:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Wine and olive oil routes in Salento: Galatina, Martano, Melendugno, Vernole

13 Giu
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Wine and olive oil are the hallmark of Salento. Expanses of olive trees and vineyards as far as the eye can see characterize the landscapes of the countryside of the Heel of the Boot. A brief overview of the centres of Salento excellence will guide you in choosing the DOC products to enjoy the flavor of this land. Let’s discover the wine and oil routes in Galatina, Martano, Melendugno and Vernole.

GALATINA –The land of Taranta, where art and faith merge, but also a village with irrefutable architectural beauties. 20 km south of Lecce, Galatina boasts a very elegant historic centre where arcades and eighteenth-century palaces, embellished with imposing portals and balconies, alternate until you reach the majestic Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, a true treasure trove of faiths.

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THE WINE – Since 1997 the wines of the city have been awarded the Galatina Doc denomination. Among the most renowned productions there are the Galatina Chardonnay, straw yellow, with a delicate aroma, dry taste and good structure, and the Galatina Negroamaro, ruby ​​red, with intense aroma and dry, full and harmonious flavor.

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MELENDUGNO – Stretching towards the Adriatic coast with its marinas (Torre Dell’Orso, Roca Vecchia, San Foca, Sant’Andrea) awarded several times by the Blue Flag for the quality of the water, Melendugno is a small town 19 km south of Lecce. In the village, we recommend to visit the numerous underground oil mills, the Baronial Palace of Amely, the Clock Tower and the Church of the Assumption, dating back to the sixteenth century.

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OLIVE OIL – A thousand hectares of olive groves, almost all centuries old, make Melendugno an important center for the production of extra virgin olive oil. The cooperative oil mill in the town is a point of reference for over 1,500 producers from Terra d’Otranto who bring their olives here, transforming them into a delicate oil with a slightly fruity flavor.

MARTANO – One of the largest centers of Salento Greece, Martano retains a strong tradition linked to the ancient language of griko, contamination between Greek and local dialect. The historic center is a set of alleys dotted with historic buildings, churches and a castle, later transformed into a baronial palace. We recommend a visit to the Monastery of Santa Maria della Consolazione, surrounded by centuries-old olive groves. Here the Cistercian friars open the doors of the delightful baroque church and the museum-art gallery dedicated to the Gallipoli painter Giulio Pagliano.

OLIVE OIL – With its centuries-old olive groves, Martano is part of the National Association “Città dell’Olio” which brings together the municipalities with an olive vocation by promoting the culture of quality extra virgin olive oil. Furthermore, in October every year, the village holds the festival of the “volìa cazzata”, the crushed olive, a local specialty, according to which the olives are crushed and then left to “ripen” in the water.

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VERNOLE – 13 km from Lecce and only 3 from Melendugno and its marinas, Vernole is part of the Valle della Cupa territory, characterized by a deep karst depression. All the sacred buildings of the village are affected by the Baroque influence, such as the church of the Assumption, of Sant’Anna and of the Incoronata. Acaya, a small hamlet, is a tiny sixteenth-century fortified village that preserves intact the castle with towers and bastions.

OLIVE OIL – Surrounded by the millenary olive trees of the surrounding countryside, Vernole still preserves in the subsoil the traces of the ancient methods of milling and oil production, with numerous underground oil mills. The oldest is the Trappeto Caffa, dating back to the sixteenth century.

If you want to visit Salento and spend your holiday in wonderful houses or villas, click below:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home  

Holiday villas –> www.villesalento.it           

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Salento, the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic coast

6 Giu

Torre Dell’Orso

Rocks and sandy white beaches: the Adriatic coast of Salento offers a variety of unique landscapes, which are worth discovering if you are on vacation here. In this short guide we point out the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic coast.

Our journey starts from the northern part of the coast, from the seaside resorts of Melendugno, 25 km from Lecce. Continua a leggere

Salento, the most beautiful beaches on the Ionian coast

30 Mag

With a coast of about 70 km, mainly sandy, the part of Salento overlooking the Ionian sea offers landscapes of amazing beauty. The beaches, from Porto Cesareo to Leuca, are like postcards with crystal clear sea that are worth seeing if you are on holiday in Salento. In this short guide, we point out the most beautiful beaches of the Ionian. Continua a leggere

Salento by bike, the cycling routes to discover new places

16 Mag

Faster to feel the breeze on your skin or slower to observe every detail: the bike is undoubtedly the best way to discover Salento. Here they are two different routes, in length and in stages, but easy to follow even for less experienced cycle enthusiasts and which will give you the unmissable opportunity to get to know Salento from an unusual perspective.

LECCE – ACAYA – OTRANTO

Length 78 km; difference in altitude up to 405 meters

We start from Lecce and cycle for 12 km southwards, until we reach the ancient fortified village of Acaya, with the 16th century castle still intact. Passing through the “Le Cesine” nature reserve, you have the privilege to go through a path made up by trees, before arriving close to the beaches of San Foca and Torre dell’Orso.

We surely reccomend a stop in Roca Vecchia and a dip in the Grotta della Poesia. Along the Adriatic coast and after passing the splendid Sant’Andrea with its stacks, you arrive in the small town of Borgagne. The Alimini lakes are the last stop on the itinerary before reaching Otranto, the “Gateway to the East”.

MAGLIE – PUNTA PALASCIA – LEUCA – GALATINA

Length 186 km; difference in altitude up to 1500 meters

The second itinerary starts from Maglie, crossing the towns of Muro Leccese, Giurdignano and Otranto, from here you are very close to Punta Palascìa, the easternmost point of Italy. Along the Adriatic coast, you reach the small bay of Porto Badisco, where Aeneas landed from Troy and Santa Maria di Leuca, where the two seas, the Ionian and the Adriatic, meet.

The famous lighthouse of Punta Palascìa

From here, we are ready to go up the Ionian side through the medieval town Castrignano, Patù up to Gallipoli. The last stop is Galatina with its treasures, including the cathedral of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, one of the most distinguished expressions of Gothic and Romanesque art in Puglia.

Here, some tips for your stay in Salento:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home   

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

“Via Francigena” route, the path from Brindisi to Leuca

9 Mag

Watching from the window the landscapes that slowly change from town to town is a romantic aspect of the trip. But what if we slowed down further? What would we observe and what experience would we have if we crossed lands and places with the pace of the traveler? If you love to discover unknown landscapes with the pilgrim’s eye, the itinerary of “Via Francigena” route is perfect for you.

The route, in its last southern offshoot, starts from Rome and reaches Santa Maria di Leuca, the ancient Finibus Terrae. Recognized by the Council of Europe, the cultural itinerary will allow you to “savor” the colors of our land, a crossroads between East and West.

HISTORY – A stretch of more than 900 km through 4 different regions (Lazio, Molise, Basilicata and Puglia) was the path traveled by pilgrims from all over Europe during the Middle Ages to reach the ports of embarkation for the Holy Land. In Salento, the stretch of the Via Traiana Calabra, which connects Brindisi to Otranto, passing through Lecce, leads to Leuca, the last stop, before landing in Jerusalem.

The route began to take on greater importance starting from the late ancient age, when, following the political upheavals following the end of the Roman Empire and the subsequent Byzantine control of the territory, the town of Otranto assumed greater importance.

THE ITINERARY – The path follows in the footsteps of the pilgrim from Bordeaux who walked it in reverse in 333 AD, passes by the remains of the ancient Valesium, reaches Torchiarolo (one of the first municipalities to have given hospitality to contemporary pilgrims) and, finally, ends in Lupiae, now Lecce, symbol of the Baroque, whose artistic expression finds prominence in the numerous monuments and churches that, like embroidery, enrich the old town.

The path continues through Carpignano Salentino, and then Otranto, ancient Hydruntum, with its unparalleled architectural beauties: the cathedral, with its the medieval mosaic, and the Aragonese castle.

The route ends in Leuca, passing through Marittima, Tricase and Castro. Once at their destination, the traveler will complete his itinerary with a visit to the Basilica of Santa Maria, where a column indicates that the journey to Jerusalem will continue across the sea.

THE FOOD – Frise”, rings of toasted bread baked and cut across the wire and then baked again and dried in their two parts, are one of the culinary symbols of Salento. Thought to be a long-lasting food, easy to store and to transport, frise have been the food for pilgrims and sailors.

Even today it is the main dish of Salento summers, whether you are on the beach or you want to enjoy a quick lunch or dinner, but no less tasty.

The only difficulty, so to speak, in the preparation process is the “sponzatura“, that is the time of immersion in water to soften the frisa: in a basin for a few seconds for those who taste it softer, only one quick moment under the water for those who love it more crunchy. The seasoning is according to taste. Do not miss the excellent local olive oil and fresh tomatoes. All the variants are welcomed: oregano, capers, olives or grilled vegetables, etc.

Here, some tips for your stay in Salento:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

“Via Francigena” route in Salento, the paths you can walk

2 Mag

Backpack on the shoulder and comfortable shoes, the hiker is the pilgrim of the 21st century! It is not uncommon for many tourists to choose to discover an area through the slow pace of walking outdoors, in contact with nature.

For this reason we point out to the modern traveler the ancient routes, already trodden by real pilgrims, centuries ago. This is the last segment of the Via Francigena, the path that led from Rome to the Holy Land. We have divided it into itineraries with stops and complete it with km and duration, in order to discover Salento from an unusual perspective.

Itinerary 1: Route: 22km Duration: 6h

Starting from the provincial Squinzano-Casalabate (about 15 km north of Lecce) you arrive at Masseria Patricelli and Masseria Alcaini. From here, after crossing an olive grove, you can admire the Abbey of Santa Maria in Cerrate, famous for its extraordinary medieval frescoes and recently recovered thanks to the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano).

This leads to a wind farm and then to Surbo. From here, you walk till Lecce, in the Monastero degli Olivetani area, inside which there is the church of Saints Niccolò and Cataldo from the 11th century. We also recommend a visit to Piazza Sant’Oronzo, characterized by the column on which there is the statue of the Saint and the Roman amphitheater.

Itinerary 2: Route: 30 km -Duration: 8h30

From Piazza Sant’Oronzo, in the heart of Lecce, move towards via Merine and, after passing the Gardens of Athena, head towards Acaya, a splendid medieval fortified village, which preserves its castle intact. The exit from the center, through the church of San Paolo, is marked by paths characterized by the presence of stone walls and dry buildings that lead to Acquarica di Lecce. Through a cycle path you reach Vernole.

The itinerary ends at the gates of Martano, a characteristic center of the Grecìa Salentina, with a visit to the Monastery of the Cistercian Fathers where you can admire the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione and where the monks produce local products such as liquor, oil and jams.

Itinerary 3: Route: 29.7 km – Duration: 8h30

From Martano, to reach the center of Carpignano Salentino it is necessary to reach the Church of the Madonnella and from here cross a path made up of ancient carriageways. Taking advantage of the cycling route, you arrive at Serràno and then in Cànnole. Taking the Scoppelle local road, you arrive at Masseria Torcito, immersed in a pine forest.

Always crossing the carriageways, you leave the wooded stretch to continue to the Sanctuary of Montevergine, an important place connected to pilgrimages, from which, through a descent, you reach the center of Palmariggi. Continue on the old road to Giurdignano, arriving near the Masseria Quattro Macine, an old abandoned medieval farmhouse, from which you reach an area where you can appreciate dolmens and menhirs. After Giurdignano, the Via Francigena crosses splendid olive groves and an holm oak forest, and then reaches the center of Otranto with the splendid Cathedral and the Byzantine church dedicated to St. Peter.

Itinerary 4: Route: 21.9 km – Duration: 6h

It starts from the port of Otranto, where, just outside the town, you can reach the suggestive former quarry of Bauxite, with its lunar-colored landscape. Through a dirt road you reach Uggiano la Chiesa and then Cocumola. After admiring the menhir of the Cross, you go along a straight line surrounded by olive and pine trees and you reach Vitigliano, where we can visit the church of San Michele Arcangelo. Continue until Vignacastrisi.

Itinerary 5: Route: 14.3 km – Duration: 4h

Leaving the town of Vignacastrisi and passing the Chapel of the Madonna di Costantinopoli, proceed to Marittima. Crossing the provincial road and after taking a dirt road, you arrive near the ruins of the Torre del Sasso. Going further, you will come across a wood of eucalyptus, pine and oak trees, typical of this area. Finally, you reach an intersection that indicates the port of Tricase, the last stop on this itinerary.

Itinerary 6 – Route: 17.5 km, Terrain: dirt, asphalted, Duration: 5h

After Tricase, continue to Tiggiano with its splendid Baronial Palace and Corsano. Continuing along a path in the open countryside dotted with dry stone walls, you arrive to Gagliano del Capo, with the church of San Rocco and the Convent of San Francesco di Paola. Through a municipal road, crossing the countryside, you reach the Sanctuary of Leuca, the last offshoot of the Italian peninsula in the Adriatic. The two angels who welcome the traveler are the symbol of a journey that ends and still the symbol of the beginning of a journey that leads to Jerusalem

Here some useful tips where you can stay during your trip in Salento:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home  

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Natural oasis of Salento: the park of “Costa Otranto-Santa Maria di Leuca e bosco di Tricase”

21 Mar

The zinzuli (the stalactites) that give the name to the Grotta della Zinzulusa and the prehistoric pictograms of the Grotta dei Cervi are just some of the most famous destinations that the park contains, an expanse of over 3000 hectares that rises in one of the most spectacular stretches of the Salento coast, along the eastern side.

Established in 2006, the park falls within the territory of 12 coastal municipalities of Salento, from Otranto to Tricase, passing through Castro. This offers a variety of panoramas ranging from the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, with stretches of high and rocky coast, to fields dotted with country walls.

On the road that leads from Tricase to the sea stands the “Vallonea of ​​the Hundred Knights”, an example of centuries-old oak unique in Western Europe.

The park’s flora is very rich and varied and includes numerous rarities, from the Leuca cornflower to the Alisso and from Giacomini’s Veccia to orchids. Without forgetting the expanses of sea fennel and salicornia fruticosa that cover the cliffs overlooking the sea. The monk seal made its last appearance in the region right here, while nourished colonies of bats inhabit the humid caverns of various caves. To find out other natural parks in Salento, read here.

For your vacation, you can stay in one of these holiday houses:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/affitti_vacanze/Santa%20Cesarea%20Terme

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

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