Gallipoli, nicknamed the Pearl of the Ionian Sea, is a town in Puglia that overlooks the Ionian Sea in the province of Lecce.
In recent years it has been appreciated for its scenic beauty and for its historical and cultural conformation divided between the historic center lying on what was once a small island and the new town of the village.
Her name indicates the “beautiful city” and for this reason it was a candidate for the recognition of UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Facing directly on the Ionian sea, it is possible to spend part of the day on its beautiful beaches and end the day by visiting the old town, dining in its countless little restaurants. Remember that, in summer, Gallipoli is a destination for many tourists and it can be difficult to park.
The historic center stands on a small island on the sea connected to the mainland, which today hosts the new area of the city, from a stone bridge.
The old city is all to be visited by wandering through its narrow streets, which are almost a labyrinth, which hide many attractions such as ancient palaces and churches in the Baroque style, and countless characteristic little shops and restaurants.
Among the many Churches, the beautiful Cathedral of Sant’Agata, a baroque masterpiece, and the characteristic church dedicated to St. Francesco d’Assisi stand out, containing a wooden statue of one of the thieves crucified next to Jesus.
It is the statue of Malladrone, also known and described by Gabriele D’Annunzio who called it a work of “horrible beauty” for its sneering and disturbing sneer.
Cathedral of Sant’Agata
It is the cathedral of Gallipoli dedicated to Sant ‘Agata, patron of the city, as well as the most representative monument of the baroque Gallipolino.
Erected at the highest point of the island on which it stands, it shows all the beauty of its carparo (a local stone) façade characterized by rich decorations.
Inside it holds several valuable paintings.
It is one of the most famous squares in the historic center, as well as the main entrance to the old town of Gallipoli.
The square is famous for hosting many restaurants where you can enjoy excellent lunches and dinners.
Santa Maria della Purità
Church dating back to 1664, built by the confraternity of port unloaders from the Apulian town.
It immediately attracts attention due to its three majolica panels depicting the Madonna della Purità, San Giuseppe and San Francesco d’Assisi, dating back to the 19th century.
The interior is embellished with paintings and a majolica floor.
Porto e Fontana Greca
At the gates of the old city, the old port stands out today, home to the moored local fishing boats, with the Castle and the Greek Fountain in the background. Dont’t miss it for its historical importance since it dates back to the 3rd century BC.
Another symbolic monument of the Salento city is the Angevin-Aragonese Castle, which unfortunately can only be visited from the outside except for the highest part, the so-called Rivellino.
Even the simple view from the outside allows you to admire the majesty of the structure, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Puglia, which gives a good idea of the particular logistical and strategic importance of Gallipoli since the past centuries.
It is also possible to wander through the galleries and underpasses of the ancient fortress, as well as participate in exhibitions and cultural events.
It is the main street that runs through the village, also called the new and modern part of Gallipoli that leads straight to the historic center.
Here you cannot miss a relaxing walk among the shopping shops and take a tasty break to taste some typical Salento specialties.
It is characterized by beautiful sidewalks decorated with pleasant mosaics although, especially in the summer, it is full of tables and chairs making the passage a bit difficult.
Here you can also find many shops of various kinds, clothing, bags, objects and also Chioschi and Pasticcerie where you can taste local delicacies.