If you are dreaming of going to the Maldives but you don't have the budget, you should probably visit Salento instead.
I've been invited to a friend’s house that lives in the south of Italy, the good thing about having friends that come from different places is that you can actually have cheap holidays by simply going to visit them. This short holiday was paradise but I need to warn you, the food in this region of Italy is too good and so cheap, AND IS EVERYWHERE! So, just in case, bring a size plus shorts because you will definitely gain weight.
Salento is a subregion of Puglia, in the south of Italy, and this place has a lot of beautiful beaches, warm people and delicious food. If you decide to go visit this place, bear in mind you will come back home with a few kilos more.
Visiting a friend in his own town has a lot of advantages because you can visit places that as a regular tourist you will never discover. Here for example are my favourite five beaches in Salento.
Punta Prosciutto Beach
On my first day of this new experience I went to Punta Prosciutto beach, a very long beach with white sand, crystal clear water, wild plants growing on the dunes and a groove on the back.
The water of the sea in this territory is not very deep so you can walk for 50 meters and always have the water up to your hip, for this reason is quite warm and you can see a lot of small fishes swimming around you.
A good thing about Punta Prosciutto beach is that if you forget your umbrella at home, and the sun is too strong, you can go to have a refreshing nap under the pines on the back of the beach and still hear the relaxing sound of the gentle waves.
This was probably my favourite beach, it is far away from everything and to reach this beach you need to leave the car quite far and than walk all the way to the beach but all the effort is absolutely worth it.
When I went to this beach was 9 o'clock in the morning and was basically empty, around 12 o'clock we were 15 people on the beach.
The seabed is is full of rocks and the sand is a bit thicker but also the water is deeper and the colour of the water is profoundly blue and clear.
Grotta della poesia
Grotta della poesia means "cave of poetry", it is called like that because in the Iron Age it was used for cult practices involving the writing of thousands of dedications to a local divinity.
This is a cave inside a high rock and the water of the sea goes inside by a submarine passage.
To reach this place you need to do a very nice walk on top of the cliffs with all little houses and stairs dogged in the rock.
Grotta delle Poesia is a very attractive place for tourists, you might find lots of people even when it’s low season but if you are planning a trip to Salento you might miss this little piece of paradise, literally a natural swimming pool with loads of colourful fishes swimming into it.
Torre dell'Orso and Due Sorelle Beach
In this place there is one of the highest cliffs of the region where you can see the 800 meters of coast.
Le due Sorelle (the two sisters) are two rocks in the middle of the water. The legend says that two sisters, on a summer day, were escaping from working in a field and they went to Torre dell'Orso to take some refreshing air and enjoy the sea, when one of them, walked too close to the edge of the cliff, while admiring the beautiful landscapes, and fell down from it. The other sister heard the scream and jumped down trying to save her, but it was impossible for them to reach the coast. Helpless, they asked the Gods to save them but they turn them to rocks.
It is definitely worth it to go to the top of the cliffs to look at the view, but it’s too windy and the legend is very clear: mind your step!
Gallipoli is the most famous place in Salento, all of Italian youth know Gallipoli, obviously because of the beach but mostly because it’s a perfect place to have fun. To be honest, this is the beach that I liked the least, maybe because I wanted to relax, or maybe because after I saw all the other places this for me was simply a normal beach. There is one thing that amazed me though, I found out that from here you are able to see both the sunset and the sunrise from on the horizon of the sea and this, for me, is just breathtaking.