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Holiday in Puglia: Santa Maria di Leuca

Posted on Jul 21, 2017 by

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During my holiday in Puglia, I visited Santa Maria di Leuca on a hot afternoon, when there was almost no one to be seen on the streets except for a few daring tourists. The locals knew better than to venture out into the merciless sun, they were all inside, probably enjoying their air-conditioned rooms. I wanted to see this place because it’s the southernmost point of the Salento peninsula and the meeting point of two seas: Adriatic and Ionian. My goal was to reach the lowest point of the Italian boot’s “heel” — and I have to confess I was also secretly hoping for a spectacular show created by the waters combining. As I discovered, there was nothing spectacular to be seen at the meeting point of the two seas — nothing that is, except for the gorgeous dark blue colour of the water fading away into the infinite blue horizon…

I spent only a few hours in Leuca, and I visited a part of it, admiring the villas, the green gardens and the marina, before embarking onto the great adventure of climbing the stairs to the lighthouse. The stairs leading to the lighthouse border the Cascata Monumentale — a man-made waterfall which actually had no water falling at that point, but was still as monumental as the name states. After climbing the stairs and making a lot of pit stops in the shade, drinking all the water I was carrying, I was rewarded with a spectacular view over the city and I could visit the Basilica (or Sanctuary) De Finibus Terrae, situated next to the lighthouse. I rested for a while and admired the view, refilled the water bottle, then went back to town, had an ice-cream (it’s a habit of mine to eat an ice-cream in every place I visit) and took the bus that carried me back to the beach for a sunset swim.

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