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Our most recommended things to do in Salento

Lecce: Sightseeing Tour, the Florence of South Italy

1. Lecce: Sightseeing Tour, the Florence of South Italy

Following a pick-up from Naples Gate, drive to the historic city of Lecce to admire Baroque buildings, whitewashed houses, and more. Your tour of the “Florence of Southern Italy” includes Lecce Cathedral. Originally built in 1144, and completely restored between 1659-70, the addition of a 5-story bell tower and octagonal loggia helped turn it into one of Italy’s most important cathedrals. Continue to the Church of the Theatines, dedicated to St. Irene, and marvel at the expansive façade of different styles. The portal is surmounted by a statue of St. Irene by Mauro Manieri, while the altar of St. Michael the Archangel boasts a copy of an eponymous painting by Guido Reni. Nearby is the Rococo altar of St. Andrew Avellino, and the mid-17th-century altar of St. Orontius by Francesco Antonio Zimbalo. Admire the altar of St. Irene with its canvas by Giuseppe Verrio, and the 9 busts of saints housing historic relics. See the altar of St. Stephen, containing the “Stoning of St. Stephen” by Verrio. Visit the 2nd-century BC Roman Amphitheatre near Piazza Sant'Oronzo. Once able to seat more than 25,000 people, it is now half-buried by monuments built over it throughout the centuries. Go to the column that holds a statue of Lecce’s patron saint, St. Oronzo, given to the city by Brindisi for St. Oronzo’s reputed role in curing Brindisi of the plague. Once one of a pair, it marked the end of the legendary Appian Way, the main road between Rome and southern Italy. Walking through the streets of the old town, visit the Church of Santa Chiara and Roman Theatre.

Apulia: Full-Day Salento Coast Caves Sail Boat Tour

2. Apulia: Full-Day Salento Coast Caves Sail Boat Tour

Spend the day at sea on this sailboat tour around Salento. Explore caves and have the opportunity to swim or snorkel in them. Enjoy lunch with an Apulian appetizer, pasta with fresh fish, and more. Have the chance to learn the basics of sailing and assisting in steering with open sails. Your sailing tour begins at 10:00 AM from the Tourist Port in Santa Maria di Leuca (Apulia). Sail to the point where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet. Then see the natural caves along the Adriatic Coast until Marina di Novaglie. Stop at the Grotta del Lago cave and stop for some swimming and snorkeling inside. Then cruise to the Ionian Sea coast and see the Grotta del Diavolo and Grotta delle Tre Porte caves. Have another stop here to go inside and snorkel. During this stop, lunch will be offered. For lunch enjoy a typical Apulian appetizer, spaghetti with fresh fish, fresh fruit, espresso, coffee, water, and white wine. Your last stop will be in San Gregorio. Enjoy a last swim in crystal clear water here before heading back. Arrive back at port at about 6:00 PM.

Salento: Winery Tour and Tasting

3. Salento: Winery Tour and Tasting

Enjoy a guided tour of one of the oldest wineries in Apulia on this tour in Salento. See the lush rolling vineyards and venture into the cellars. Try a selection of wines paired with a traditional Italian snack.  Meet the winemaker and begin your tour of this winery that was founded in 1885. Learn about the wines that are produced by this winery like Primitivo, Negramaro, and a fruity rose`. Walk through the old cellar and see the oak barrels where the wine is aged. Listen as your guide explains how the wine is produced in detail. Take a stroll in the vineyards and see where the grapes are ripened to perfection in the rich Italian sun. Try 3 different wines in a guided tasting. Appreciate the depth of flavors hidden in each glass which is paired with Taralli (cracker-like bread).

Corigliano d’Otranto: A Corner of Greece in Italy

4. Corigliano d’Otranto: A Corner of Greece in Italy

Explore inside the historic center of Corigliano, a small town of Salento rich in history. You will begin your guided tour by visiting the 16th century Saint Nicholas of Myra church, famous for its relics. Saint Nicholas is also the patron saint of this town. Wander past the exterior of Palazzo Comi in San Nicola Square, which was built in the mid-1700s. Next, you will observe the clock tower and the ancient portal known as Arco Lucchetti. The portal was built in 1497 using three monolithic Lecce stones, that are well-preserved and form the lintel and two pillars in the lower half. The rich decoration of the portal stretches across the front and inside of the arches. Discover the symbol of Corigliano, the De Monti castle, the most beautiful monument of military and feudal architecture, built at beginning of the 16th century. The castle has a medieval origin, yet was radically restructured and enlarged between 1514 and 1519. Entirely surrounded by a moat, the castle boasts four circular towers at each corner, once used to defend against gunboats. Admire the  statues and read the accompanying commemorative inscriptions that were added to the castle by Duke Francesco Trane in 1667.

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What people are saying about Salento

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 29 reviews

We had a very good, very interesting tour. Lecce is a wonderful city. Our guide, Iris, has a great knowledge, made really a good job and we enjoyed it very much. She gave us further recommendations which were also very good (coffee at Alvino, ice-cream at Natale, dinner al "00", the excavations at Museo Faggiano). We can clearly recommend this to other travellers. +++++ Thank you very much.

Detailed tour of Lecce

Walking tour of the city hitting all the main points and highlights. Both Giorgio, the guide,and Francesca,the translator, were very polite and extremely knowledgeable: they patiently answered all of our questions.

We had the pleasure of doing this visit with Gabriella, a considerate and extremely interesting guide in her explanations. We know much more about the history and heritage of Lecce thanks to this tour.

Informative and entertaining sightseeing tour

We (a small group of 8 people) received and enjoyed an informative and entertaining sightseeing tour (probably also depends on the guide) with lots of background information.

Pina pleasantly accompanied us to discover Lecce.

Pina proved to be very prepared and was very engaging. Well done!