Gallipoli - Santa Maria di Leuca - Castle of Otranto - Lecce

Price: 68.00 EUR
Countries: Italy
Route: Bari - Gallipoli - Santa Maria di Leuca - Castle of Otranto - Lecce - Bari
Duration: 12 h
Our first stop we will make at the Gallipoli with its old island town, Greek influence, fascinating cathedral, and medieval castle, it will astound you with its stunning beauty. An enchanting coastal town rich in history, Gallipoli is a wonderful mix of Greek roots and Baroque and Renaissance architecture. You will be astonished by the courtyards and palazzi of what was once, back in the 17th century, one of the richest cities in southern Italy. With over 80 canvases, the magnificent Cathedral of St Agatha is considered one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the whole of the Salento Peninsula. Gallipoli is also known for its traditional underground olive oil mills.  The highlight of a visit is Gallipoli's Old Town, built on an island now connected to the mainland by a bridge. It's very picturesque and a nice place to stroll through its maze of alleys. Several interesting churches are along the perimeter of the old town facing the sea. The walls and bastions surrounding the old town are believed to have been built in the 15th century to fend off attacks, especially from pirates. Castello Angiono stands near the entrance to the old town. The current fortress, built on old Byzantine fortifications, probably originated in the 11th century but was altered quite a bit in the 15th century. The fortress guarded the old port, once part of an important trade route, and was connected to the mainland by a drawbridge. Lined with fishing nets, traps, barrels and old tools, Corte Gallo is a surprising little alleyway that looks like an open-air ethnographic museum. Next we will visit to Santa Maria di Leuca which is the southernmost point in Salento, striking the visitor’s eye for its colors and unreal silence. At the center of it all is the Church, the original Santa Maria: first a sanctuary, today it is the Basilica of Santa Maria De finibus terrae  (at the ends of the earth). Also standing on this promontory with Santa Maria di Leuca is the famous lighthouse (157 ft tall, standing at 335 ft above sea level), while Marina di Leuca is situated further below, made up of Punta Mèliso to the east (at the feet of the promontory) and Punta Ristola in the west. The Basilica was fortified in 1700 to protect against Turkish and Saracen assaults, but visitors today need not worry: they can frequent the buzzing seaside of Leuca in peace, admiring its ancient port and strolling its charming coast, rich as it is in oleanders and Art Nouveau villas (sometimes made eclectic with additional Moorish designs).Next we will visit to Corigliano d'Otranto, known for its imposing castle, the beautiful old town and the presence of good restaurants. Corigliano's origins are uncertain. The town would have be founded by Greeks during the period of Magna Graecia, but his birth could date back to Roman times or even rather to the pre-Roman period, by the Messapi, ancient people of the place. It is established that Corigliano was inhabited by protohistoric civilization, evidenced by the remains of a Specchia in Serra and Murica, and the existence of a temple dedicated to Vesta. Of the Roman period remains the urban fabric of the historic center. The town was equipped with a formidable defensive efficiency of different systems and the deterrent power of the guns been established to cover the town and the castle. Enter Corigliano meant entering a military citadel. Next we will visit to Lecce  also known as the “Rome of the South”, a stunning Baroque city with a long-standing affinity with Greek culture. During our tour, discover the Roman Amphitheater built between the 1st and 2nd-centuries BC, which in the past could hold about 25,000 spectators.  Throughout the course of your tour, will visit many of the city's most culturally and historically significant landmarks and learn about Lecce . The first stop will be at the impressive Baroque cathedral, followed by the former Convent of the Celestines, and then the Holy Cross Church built in 1646. Next, visit the Arch of Triumph, erected in 1548 to pay homage to Charles V. Other highlights include the churches of Saint Matthew, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Mary of the Graces. At the end of your tour, you will stop under the column of the Patron of the city, Sant' Oronzo, who would rid the city of the plague. After free time we return to Bari.
Price: per person
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Countries: Italy

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