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Ready for Salento?

The Salento is sun-kissed year round. Alongside art, excellent Mediterranean cuisine, and genuine hospitality, the area boasts a fabulous landscape, ranging from the Adriatic coast and the marinas of Melendugno, Santa Cesarea Terme and Otranto, to the Ionian Sea and towns like Porto Cesareo, Portoselvaggio and Gallipoli.
Here, the Middle Ages are tinged with an Oriental hue and, in Grecìa Salentina, you can still hear ancient nursery rhymes in the Griko dialect. In towns like Melpignano ancient rhythms are turned into contemporary music at the Notte della Taranta festival.
A green peninsula fringed by two seas, this is a magical land in which mysterious dolmens and menhirs indicate the way, hidden amidst the olive trees and drystone walls of the countryside between Giurdignano and Minervino di Lecce, and where ancient masserie (manor farms) have been transformed into sophisticated hotels. Take a hikeand discover Early Christian churches and hypogeum olive-presses. Be sure not to miss the natural wonders of the sea caves at Castro and Santa Maria di Leuca.
A stroll through Lecce is a journey into the Baroque, with churches and palazzos embroidered in stone, and courtyards, secret gardens and a surprising Roman amphitheater in the heart of the city. In Brindisi, you can visit two castles and enjoy views from the Regina Margherita seafront.
Villages reveal workshops where artisans craft objects out of papier-mâché and local stone. The local cuisine boasts all the flavors of the Salento, which are best accompanied by excellent local wines – try tria (homemade pasta prepared with chickpeas), the flavorful wild vegetables, and delicious sweets such as pasticciotto (which has a crème filling) and spumoni (excellent artisanal ice cream). (www.viaggiareinpuglia.it)

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