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Travel:Puglia,Gallipoli Oct. 14- 17/2023

Updated: Mar 6

A continuation of a trip that started on Oct 3rd/2023

Napoli - Oct 3rd (part 1)   Trulli Land Oct. 8th (part 6)

Capri - Oct 4th (part 2). Ostuni - Oct. 9th. ( part 7)

Sorrento- oct 5th (part 3). Polignanao-Mare- (part 8)

Positano Oct 6th (part 4)

Matera. - Oct 7th (part 5)

Once our daughter and the grands (more here) departed by train from Bari, traveling North, to catch a flight from Rome to Mexico, David, who was very determined to visit Gallipoli , sprinted out, instantly direct toward the "Heel of the Italian Boot”

The 2 hours drive from Polignano-Mare, down South toward the west side of the heel, took us passed Brindisii - a natural port on the Adriatic Sea and once an historic important trade post,

As well by quint Lecce known as "The Florence of the South" for its limestone baroque buildings. and the sunken Roman amphitheater.

We visited those places, and even stayed an over-night in Lecce, about 10 years ago, so skipped a stop in those places this time.

However a visit to Lecce, at least once is highly recommended

We left behind the Adiacritic coast of the east and continued driving via Salento region.toward the Ionian sea of the west.

Salento, which is also known as Terra d'Otranto, is a cultural, historical and geographic region at the southern end of the administrative region of Puglia.

a sub-peninsula of the Italian Peninsula,

the "heel" of the Italian "boot".

 4 km from Gallipoli, we incidentally passed by the highly rated historical 4 star Grand Hotel Costa Brada - a classic Mediterranean style Spa hotel, situated at the heart of a large pine grove, and overlooking the Salento coast, its crystal blue Ionian sea, and with its own private fantastic white sand beach

Though being tempted to stay at this beautiful location, the charming small Historic Center of Gallipoli, situated on an island off the mainland, attracted us much more, so we ended up sampling some lodgings there.


This charming coastal port town, situated at a strategic point of the Ionian sea, is one of the towns (of about 35,000) where the Greek dialect Griko is still spoke spoken.

The Greek name Kallípolis  means “beautiful city.”

Indeed, the city's beauty, authenticity and atmosphere, are amazing, and are less familiar to world's wide tourists.

The town of Gallipoli is divided into 2 parts, the modern and the old city and consists of

two “hearts”, both surrounded by crystal clear waters, most gorgeous sandy beaches and colorful beautiful architecture.

The new town includes all the newest buildings as out of sink ugly skyscraper.

The Connecting Bridge between the New and old Town

Also located on the mainland, just as coming off the connecting bridge to the old town is the:

Greek Fountain  from the 16th c, once believed to date to the 3rd c BC.

It has three slabs of equal height and the base of the fountain consists of the mythological figures of Byblis, Dirce and Salmacis while the mid consists of four sculptures of females.

The top facade of this fountain is believed to be added in 1700s and is the emblem of Charles III of Spain.

In the modern section of town the 5 * luxary Palzzo Corso Hotel

situated on the main Corso Roma, 145, St. is a known landmark., on the pricey side

Next to it, the more modest accommodation also situated in a historic building is

Palazzo Vergine on Corso Roma, 169, St.

Palazzo Vergine Palazzo Corso

Centro Storico (the old town)

The old town enclosed within a city wall, is located off the mainland, on a limestone island, linked to the mainland by a bridge, built in the 16th c

The bridge consisted of twelve arches and a wooden drawbridge which is now gone.

The old town, consists of great history, medieval monuments, countless churches, a Castle, a maze of alleys, sandy beaches with clear waters, and delicious seafood

 Gallipoli's past economy which was once based on the international wine and oil commerce. is now based on fishing and tourism.

A sophisticated gay scene has developed around Gallipoli, often referred to as


Historically, Gallipoli was a city of the Greater Greece, and later became Roman colony,

In the early Middle Ages, it was most likely sacked by the Vandals and the Goths then rebuilt by the Byzantines, the Normans then the Venetians 

The old city became an island in 1484 when Gallipoli passed into the hands of the Venetians, who decided to cut the strip of land that linked the Gallipoli peninsula to the mainland. This was strategic and meant to increase the chances of defending the island.

It was fun to cross the bridge on the many walk we took between the modern and old towns when exploring this delightful town.

King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies started a construction of the port, which in the 18th c became the largest olive oil market in the Mediterranean.

The quality of the Gallipoli oil was required particularly by markets of European kingdoms, and was sold at a higher price than all others.

There are many underground Oil Mills and underground museum of a 16-c olive oil press. Il Frantoio del Vicerè , with the old wooden structures for the production of olive oil, which are worth visiting when in the old town

The olive oil industry that thrived between the 16th and 19th centuries did not produce olive oil for human consumption. This olive oil was for burning in lamps. Puglian olive oil was fantastic in lamps because it didn’t turn the lamp glass black.

Frantolo Ipdgeo - underground oil pressing

One is offered by Association Gallipoli Nostra . Reservation is needed

Palazo Granafi - Via A.De Pace 87

+39 833264242. +39 3488956109

The small mill under the street level, was restored in 1980 and it has an old bathtub with 3 grinding stones and a press of the 19th c


Castello di Gallipoli - the Fort is most visible landmark of the town

Angevine-Aragonese Castle

Built in medieval times, in 13th c by the Byzantines. it underwent consistent changes during the 16th under the Angevins and the Aragonese, who enlarged the original structure by adding towers and bastions, as well as polygonal wall

The main additions were carried on by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, who worked for King Alfonso II of Naples.

Map of the Castle

The fortress is surrounded by the sea, and it still houses the cannons and catapults of the past. The Aragonese Castle is open to visitors offering internal rooms, the prisons, tunnels, and secret passages, which we all explored.

Special events and temporary exhibitions hosted inside the castle as well.

Accommodation Choices

The first night in the old town of Gallipoli was spent at the

Palazzo Presta - a small quint Boutique hotel, but with no views to the sea.

Via Garibaldi 29, + 39 0833 261 775

The hotel is only a minute walk away from favored old-town beach Spiaggia della Purità. but the rooms were small and service was not great

As the additional, near by buildings, are owned, by the same hotel's operator, access to the roof top pool is free. at this nicer facility named:

Palazzo Flora - Via D'Ospina 19

The third hotel facility is named Palazzzo colombo - Riviera C. Colombo 11

All three are recommended by the UK Telegraph, but access to the internal alleys where the hotels are located, is complicated by car, and parking is a challenge...

After checking out from the Palzzo Presta and searching few other hotels near by,

our hearts were set on I-Bastoni located on the outer parameter route of the old town..

I Bastioni San Domenico-Boutique Hotel

Riviera Nazario Sauro, 133, +390833263407

The hotel's location is great, rooms are very spacious , service was excellent so were the views of the sea, the passing boats and the light house.

Walking the narrow streets of the old town

One other charming affordable hotel & Restaurant, situated in an old 16 C covenant is

Al Pescatore on Riviera Cristoforo Colombo, 39,


The restaurants we sampled and liked the best were

Il Bastione on the sea side (across from the I Bastioni hotel)

Riviera N. Sauro 28 +39 2 4280793 +39833263836

La Vinaigrette. (close by to the hotel)

Riviera N. Sauro. 75. +39 833264501 +39 347 1833829. info@lavinaigrette

To be Continued..


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