A holiday in Gallipoli, with its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, is a wonderful chance to discover one of the most interesting parts of Salento's natural environment. Viewed from the sea, Gallipoli displays its most exotic feature: the traditional white houses so reminiscent of towns in the Cyclades. Perched on an island, the old town is connected to the mainland by an arched bridge, while the walls, ramparts and towers that used to protect the city from invaders, now protect it against storm surges and give it a unique charm.
Among the attractions not to be missed are the Baroque cathedral dedicated to Saint Agatha and, near the bridge, the Hellenistic fountain decorated in bas-relief inspired by Greek mythology, as well as the shrine of the Madonna del Canneto. The cathedral, a symbol of Baroque Gallipoli, stands in the heart of the old town, between the island's two main roads, Via Antonietta de Pace and Via Duomo. Built using stone from Lecce, the church has a Latin cross floor-plan with three naves divided by broad arches supported by towering columns. Inside is a rich collection of paintings by Salentine artists from the 17th and 18th centuries, including paintings by Nicola and Carlo Malinconico and Andrea Coppola. The presbytery is home to a magnificent carved wood Baroque choir.
The natural beauty of the low-lying coast, with its long beaches of fine white sand, frequented above all by families and water sports enthusiasts, complements the cultural attractions of the town. Lido San Giovanni, heaven on earth for scuba divers and spear fishermen, is among the most popular bathing establishments in the area.
On the northern coast of Gallipoli is Lido Conchiglie, a small town with a partly rocky and partly sandy coastline, well-equipped and with many public beaches. Moving on you'll reach Rivabella, renowned for its beautiful beach alongside a pine forest. The road from Rivabella to Gallipoli runs along 3 kilometres of rocky coastline, with gorges and coves to explore and enjoy the wilder and authentic side of nature. Once in Gallipoli, in the oldest part of town, opposite Sant'Andrea island, there's the small Lido Seno della Purità, a traditional destination for locals.
The unique old town stands at the top of the island. Its labyrinth of alleys and narrow criss-crossing streets is completely surrounded by walls and towers, a perfect testimony to the town's glorious past. Near the bridge you can admire the Hellenistic fountain, once erroneously dated as the oldest fountain in Italy, decorated in bas-relief images inspired by Greek mythology. Opposite the fountain is the shrine of the Madonna del Canneto, with its fascinating ceiling.
A holiday in Gallipoli is also a wonderful opportunity to visit the nearby Pizzo Tower, an ancient coastal tower located at Punta Pizzo. This area, with its lush Mediterranean vegetation, is rich in aromatic plants like rosemary, thyme, broom and mastic. The beaches here retain their undisputed wild and unspoilt charm, ideal if you're looking for a few days of total relaxation. The sea is wonderful, with crystal-clear water, particularly transparent near the rocky shoreline. Gallipoli is the perfect destination to unwind and recharge your batteries far from the daily routine. Take a look at the holiday packages to Gallipoli and get ready for a new unforgettable adventure.