Gallipoli is a wonderful town in the province of Lecce and is undoubtedly a must-see in the Salento area. Its name derives from the original Greek name ‘Kalé polis’ meaning ‘beautiful city’. Located along the Ionian coast, the town is divided into two parts: the new and also bigger part is of recent construction and is where the main public buildings and businesses are located. The old part of the town is on a small walled island connected to the mainland by a 6th century bridge. Aside of the bridge there is the Aragonese Castle, it was built in the 13th century and is one of the few castles washed by the sea.
Gallipoli is a great town for exploration, lose yourself wandering its winding, picturesque streets. The little old town is surrounded by powerful walls constructed with the aim to defend the city against enemies. Mostly built of white stone, the small historic center is a collection of small streets that blend to form a maze, where you can find beautiful baroque buildings including the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, built in 1629, it is a wonderful example of the Lecce baroque style developed in this region. Of particular historical interest is also the Greek fountain (rebuilt in 1560) being the oldest fountain in Italy. Wandering in the small streets of the old town you will find small shops and businesses where local food and wine can be purchased along with souvenirs. The historic center also houses the fish market, just underneath the bridge, small but very nice and characteristic.
Gallipoli is indeed famous for its fishing port and is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Thanks to its numerous white, sandy beaches and crystal-clear water, Gallipoli is one of the most sought tourist destinations of South Italy. Most of the beautiful beaches are outside the city center, however the “Seno della Purità” meaning the “Breast of Purity”, is within the town walls. It’s a small, pleasant beach where you can take a swim during your visit.
After your swimming, climb up the town walls and sit outdoors to eat a seafood dinner at one of the restaurants overlooking this harbor as night falls, certainly the perfect ending to an enjoyable day in Gallipoli. Fun is always guaranteed in Gallipoli, the day can be enjoyed on the beach, along with activities such as spas, natural reserves and water sports. At night the city offers also an amazing nightlife. Many discos and nightclubs are within the city or just outside. The evening usually starts as early as in the late afternoon on the beach where you can enjoy the aperitivo and drink a cocktail on the beach listening to music.