Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 5-7
Next stop: Naples Previous stop: The Trulli District, Puglia Return to full itinerary »

The eastern reaches of Puglia, known as Salento, make up the heel of Italy's boot. It's an area of fine coastline and small, charming fishing villages (as well as two larger port cities, Brindisi and Taranto). In the middle of it all is the surprisingly sophisticated, multicultural town of Lecce. From there, hit the road for an off-the-beaten-path tour of coastal villages and beaches.
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  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty
  • History


  • Lecce, nicknamed the Florence of the South, is known for its abundant baroque architecture, fine restaurants, and lively street life. Don't miss the Duomo or the church of Santa Croce.
  • Otranto, the easternmost point in Italy, has a long, battle-scarred history and a famous castle. Its narrow alleys could just as easily lead to an abandoned villa or a high-fashion boutique.
  • The fishing village of Gallipoli is divided between newer sections on the mainland and a beautiful fortified old town on a small island.


  • Lecce's churches host a baroque music festival in September.

Side Trips

  • The drive farther down the coast ends at Capo Santa Maria di Leuca, where a lighthouse marks the southernmost point in Italy.

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