Gallipoli holiday, enjoy the beautiful city of Salento
It is located by the Ionian Sea, on the west coast of the Salentina Peninsula. The town of Gallipoli is divided in two parts, the modern and the old city. The new town includes all the newest buildings including a skyscraper. The old town, instead, is located on a limestone island, linked to the mainland by a bridge built in the 16th century.
According to a legend, the city was founded in ancient times by Idomeneus of Crete. Pliny the Elder attributes the foundation to the Senones Gauls, while more likely is that it was a Messapic settlement. Historically, what is known is that Gallipoli was a city of the Greater Greece, ruling over a large territory including today’s Porto Cesarea. In 265 it sided with Pyrrhus and Taranto against ancient Rome, suffering a defeat which relegated it as a Roman colony (later a municipium).
Places to visit
Angevine-Aragonese Castle, built in the 13th century by the Byzantines. It was largely remade under the Angevines and the Aragonese, who added a polygonal wall fortified with round towers. The main additions were carried on by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, who worked for King Alfonso II of Naples. In 1522 it was added the eastern wall, known as Rivellino, defended by waters on three sides.
14th century walls (renewed by the Spaniards in the 16th century). Originally it had 12 towers or bastions.
Baroque cathedral of Sant’Agata (17th century). It has a richly decorated façade in carparo, a local limestone rock, with niches featuring statues of saints. The interior is on the Latin cross plan, with Baroque altars, including a polychrome one by Cosimo Fanzago (high altar).
Church of St. Francis of Paola (1621)
Church of St. Francis of Assisi, built in the 13th century but renovated several times later. It is home to a stone nativity scene by Stefano da Putignano (late 16th century)
Church of San Domenico al Rosario (late 17th century), annexed to a Dominican convent.
Church of the Holy Crucifix (1750)
Church of Santa Maria della Purità (1661). The richly stucco decorated interior houses, at the marble high altar, a canvas by Luca Giordano depicting the Madonna della Purità between st. Joseph and St. Francis of Assisi
Greek Fountain (16th century), once believed to date to the 3rd century BC. It has bas-reliefs with mythological figures and, on the other façade, the insigna of Charles III of Spain.
Palazzo Pirelli (16th century), with mythological-theme decorations in the interior.
Church of San Pietro dei Samari, outside the city. It was built in late Byzantine times.
Spiaggia la Puritate beach.
Nearest airports are Brindisi (88 km) and Bari (200 km). Gallipoli can be reached from both of them via a modern freeway, the state road 101.
By train, it is connected to Lecce by the Ferrovie Sud-Est.
In past times the economy of Gallipoli was based on the international wine and oil commerce. Nowadays its most important activities are based on fishing and tourism.
Tourism is enjoyable throughout the year, due to the mild climate. Numerous are also the celebrations (civil and religious). These include the Carnival, Easter and all the parades, Sant’Agata, and the Santa Cristina celebrations in July.
Gallipoli also boasts a very recently built harbour for private boats, located just steps from the bottom of the main Corso Roma.
The summer season starts in May and ends in October, when the weather is almost invariably hot and clear.