Way down south in the heel of the boot that is Puglia lies the old baroque-inspired seaside village of Gallipoli. Surrounded by the Ionian Sea on the Salentina Peninsula, Gallipoli sits quietly under the warmth of the sun. Tourists are relatively few among the labyrinthine weave of narrow streets that eventually lead to the spacious waterfront promenade. But those who do know Gallipoli understand its enticing attributes that lure them back time and again.
Sunlight dances off the transparent waters that expand outward from long sandy beaches. Waterfront restaurants offer delicious fresh-caught seafood prepared in a way that heightens the natural tender and sensational tastes.
Gallipoli has a large seafood market that offers everything locally caught. Eels, prawns, lobster, swordfish,urchins, mussels and various fish varieties fill the bins. Local chefs are known to visit the market twice a day to purchase the freshest seafood they can find for their restaurants.
Streets and alleys lead inward from the waterfront and wind about in a maze-like formation. While visiting recently with Lecce based YLTours and Victoria Di Maio, we each went our separate ways for a few hours to see what we could find. But just as “all roads lead to Rome,” so it is true that all roads lead to the waterfront (eventually) in Gallipoli.
Throughout Gallipoli, there are accents of baroque architecture, like the white sculpted decor over the doorway below. Laundry is hung out everywhere and doesn’t take long to dry in this warm climate.
More baroque influences are evident in the balcony as well as around the doorway. And of course, Italy wouldn’t be Italy without its parade of parked motorbikes.
Shops sell everything from local shells to handmade goods by local artisans.
This shop has a local artisan sitting at the front who stays busy embroidering towels, aprons, bibs, and pot holders at the customers request.
I could hear lots of loud ‘man talk’ coming out of this barber shop as I passed by.
All of the buildings are white and cream in color which makes bright green palms stand out dramatically. I discovered how easy and fun it is to get caught up in the flow of shoppers.
Gallipoli means “beautiful city.” The long sandy beaches and warm ocean waters are an islander’s paradise. With so much surrounding beauty, Gallipoli offers the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate.