Anyone who comes to Salento, both for a short period as well as for a long holiday during the hot summer, should absolutely visit Otranto, one of the most beautiful beach town in Italy. To arrive to the white and ancient town of Otranto, exposed on the Adriatic shoreline of the Salento, is very easy: it’s enough to take the 16th state highway which from Lecce arrives to Maglie and goes right towards the Adriatic sea. To drive along the 16th state highway means totally going into the salentine countryside, mainly characterized by the olive trees, a plantation that, in the last part of the way from Palmariggi to Otranto, invades the view by both sides of the roadway, by giving the impression to drive into a real tunnel among the olive trees.
How to get there: Baia dei Turchi
Once arrived in Otranto, our view will be captured by the beautiful old town center, characterized by the white little houses, on which you can notice the bell tower of the Cathedral, which stands out into the blue sea. You will have time to visit Otranto. However, we go right to the north, taking the coastal road that from Otranto goes to the Alimini lakes, then Torre dell’Orso and finally San Cataldo.
Here we can find green lawns, fields where you can cultivate fresh vegetables, dry-stone little walls, built with the chalky stones, found during the cleaning of the ground to use for the cultivation. Moreover, little houses built with the same material, in the past diurnal dwell for the farmers; a sweep of olive trees and flocks of sheep headed with competence by a German farm … This is right the landscape that there will be in front of us, without forget the view of the seaside, far only 200 meters, that will go with us along the entire way.
After that we have driven for three km, we will arrive at a pine forest and before entering, it’s better to leave the car and then we can go into the forest by walking on the unique existing path. Other pines, a thick Mediterranean scrub, a unique smell of the pine forest and an always distinct sea rustle. After a walk of two/three minutes, between a branch and a bush, we begin to glimpse scraps that go from sky-blue to the deep blue and finally into the sea, calm like the oil if blows the sirocco, but stormy with the north wind. We are at Baia dei Turchi, place chosen by the Turkish army during the siege of Otranto (July- August 1480) to bypass the imposing walls of the town exposed to the Adriatic sea.
Enjoy this beautiful bay. If you come here in June or in September, the entire bay will be only for you …
Thank you to Debbie Sabadash for the pictures