THE SALENTO PENINSULA

One of the lesser known Italian tourist destinations, Puglia provides a mix of history, culture, fabulous Mediterranean food and wines, beautiful architecture and a real warmth that will stay with you long after you leave.

A southern Italian paradise, Salento is simple yet sophisticated. White-washed houses, narrow streets, baroque balconies, cascading geraniums and centuries-old olive groves all form part of the fabulous scenery here. Yet beyond that, Salento offers so much more.

History is at the heart of this region. Brimming with small, sleepy towns off the tourist trail, Puglia is begging to be discovered by all who step foot on its shores. Calimera, Carpignano Salentino and Castrignano dei Greci are just a few of the many unspoilt, unassuming towns brimming with history and culture here.

You may also want to visit the hidden seaside town of Castro Marina, just a few minutes drive from the beautifully restored 17th century guest house Palazzo Guglielmo. Considered a key location amongst locals, this romantic retreat offers visitors swimming, sailing, scuba diving or just simply breathtaking views.

And your experience of Salento won’t end there. Sampling the food and wine of the Mediterranean is a must on any visit to the Salento. Only the freshest of ingredients are used in the preparation of food here, the majority of which is grown in the region. Whether it’s the extensive choice of cheeses from ricotta to caciotta and primosale or cured meats, fresh seafood and wood oven baked breads, your taste buds will never be the same again.

And if you want to take a piece of Salento’s fine cuisine home, a visit to the region’s farmers market is a must, where fabulous colours and smells mixed with the hustle and bustle of daily life come together to provide a truly authentic experience.

You may, however, want to take on the task yourself and indulge in a local cookery class where you will experience the art of true Italian cooking. Choosing a suitable wine to accompany your meal may also become part of your experience as you sample the region’s soul and flavours at one of Salento’s many wineries.

Of course, relaxation is key in Puglia and there is no better place to experience this than along the region’s breathtaking coastline. Presenting some of Italy’s most unspoilt beaches, the azure waters of the Adriatic, salt-water lagoons and the dramatic rocky coastline offer a picture-perfect location down to the southernmost tip of Leuca, up to the west coast to Gallipoli.

Untouched by tourism, Salento’s crystalline waters, extensive history, excellent cuisine and extraordinary beauty will capture your imagination and leave you with unforgettable memories of the real Italy.

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