Santa Maria di Leuca is a tourist resort located further south in Puglia, and is ranked as one of the most beautiful towns in Salento.
What is beautiful about Santa Maria di Leuca?
Here is a comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Santa Maria di Leuca
Relaxation and fun: Boat excursions through the legendary sea caves of the Salento coast;
Taste: Santa Maria di Leuca, like all seaside resorts in Apulia, is distinguished by excellent food and typical local products, to be absolutely tasted all the fish dishes but without neglecting the typical land dishes offered by various trattorias in the area;
Traditions: Festivals are typical festivals in this area where you can taste ancient flavors and dance to the notes of pizzica and taranta;
Sun and sea: a few kilometers from Santa Maria di Leuca, Torre Vado has long stretches of sandy beaches (Torre Vado, Pescoluse, Torre Pali, Lido Marini, Torre Mozza, Torre San Giovanni)
What is the sea like in Santa Maria di Leuca?
The sea in Santa Maria di Leuca is crystal clear. The area is characterized by the high and jagged coastline, with alternating sandy beaches and coves where you can relax in the sun until sunset.The rocky part of the coast is characterized by small coves and caves that can be visited by booking a boat trip.
Santa Maria di Leuca represents the point where the two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian, meet in Puglia.
Being the southernmost point of the heel of Italy, under certain climatic conditions the chromatic demarcation of the meeting of the Adriatic and Ionian seas can be seen, due to the meeting of the two different currents.
What to see in Santa Maria di Leuca in half a day?
Santa Maria di Leuca is famous for its iconic lighthouse. At 47 meters high and 102 meters above sea level, it is the second most important lighthouse in Italy, after the one in Genoa. Next to the lighthouse is the large Sanctuary, or Basilica, De Finibus Terrae erected to commemorate St. Peter’s passage here during his journey to Italy. From the Sanctuary one can admire Leuca in all its grace; in fact, it is possible to see the entire territory.
To walk the streets of Leuca is to inebriate the eyes with hues ranging from red to blue, from yellow to the mixed tones of the marbles that dress its villas. During World War II, some of them suffered extensive damage, which was followed by renovations. Therefore, the current appearance partially deviates from the original one. However, the villas are an explosion of beauty and elegance: built in different styles, mostly oriental. Villa Mellacqua , Villa la Meridiana , Villa Episcopo , Villa Arditi , Villa Daniele , are just some of the villas in the area. An annual event in the summer is “Ville in festa” where access is allowed to admire them.
Along with the villas, Santa Maria di Leuca presents us with unique landscape features through its sea caves. A true treasure chest of beauty . Each of its caves is the bearer of legends. Rich in inscriptions and Neolithic finds , they are all surrounded by emerald waters. It is possible to arrange an excursion to both the east and west caves lasting from one and a half to 3 hours, with a bathroom stop or you can rent a boat with or without a skipper. BOOK YOUR BOAT EXCURSION
CHRIST THE KING CHURCH
Right in the center of Santa Maria di Leuca stands the Christ the King church of Puglia in Gothic style, consisting of 3 naves. There is simple architecture in the church with beautiful polychrome stained glass windows and a mosaic floor, reminiscent of the austerity of Roman churches.
The museum attached to the basilica: Vito Mele Museum
Art lovers will find the beautiful museum with works by national and international artists. It was created through the generosity of Vito Mele, a Salento native born in Presicce in 1942. The museum was inaugurated in July 2004 and set up in the premises adjacent to the Basilica of Leuca.
What to do in the evening in Leuca?
Leuca is a beautiful town and, although small, has a lot to offer tourists; sea, gastronomy, fantastic stories and unique moments.
During the summer period, but especially in July and August there are many evenings organized for young people and families. First of all, every evening, the long promenade of Santa Maria di leuca is populated with stalls with handicrafts and typical local products, also in the middle there is a large events area where almost every night there are entertaining evenings or concerts. For younger people, on the other hand, there are many venues offering live music and DJs , these are open-air bars or bathing establishments, among the most popular being Bar del Porto, Mercato 24 Re, Blanc, Samarinda Beach House, Il Lido.