The gorgeous town of Gallipoli has beauty in its name, as it means ‘Beautiful City’ in Greek. It is situated in the province of Lecce, in Apulia (Puglia in Italian) in southern Italy, at the tip of the Salentina peninsula by the Ionian Sea. Entering this village is like taking a step back into Italy’s past. It is a fishing town on the coast in Puglia region and its harbors are used by fishing boats.
Due to its strategic position, the town grew from a small village to a port of commercial activity. Today, it is the most sought after international vacation destination of the Salento.
The small lanes, charming restaurants and the genuine pride of the locals for their history make this town a welcome respite.
The town is divided into two parts – the new town with new buildings, homes, offices and shops, and the old town located on a limestone island that is linked to the mainland by a 16th century arched stone bridge.
Turquoise Med golden beach and charming houses in Gallipoli
A Little Bit Of History
The jury is still out on the foundation of this town; some believe that it was founded by Idomeneus of Crete, while a few attribute it to the Senones Gauls, but it is more likely to have been a Messapic settlement.
According to history it was a city of the Greater Greece and became a Roman colony in 265. During the Middle Ages it was conquered by the Vandals, Goths and Byzantines, and later it was taken by the Roman Popes.
The Normans captured Gallipoli in the 11th century, and in 1268 Charles I of Anjou invaded it in a flash.
The Greek Fountain, Gallipoli
The port was constructed by the King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and it became the largest olive oil market in the Mediterranean. It was united with Italy in 1861 and made the capital of Circondario.
Easter Week, Carnival, and Feast Days of Sant’Agata and Sant Cristina are some of the famous festivals and celebrations here.
Where is Gallipoli?
- 25.4 miles/ 41 km from Lecce, Italy
- 49 miles/ 79 km from Brindisi, Italy
- 30.4 miles/ 49 km from Otranto, Italy
- 119.9 miles/ 193 km from Bari, Italy
- 54 miles/ 87 km from Brindisi-Salento Airport, Italy
- 126.7 miles/ 204 km from Bari Palese Airport, Italy
Things to See
- Old Town
- Castello Angiono
- Cattedrale di Sant’ Agata
- Greek Fountain
- Corte Gallo
- Chiesa di San Francesco
- Chiesa della Purita
- The Hypogeum Oil Press
- Museo Civico
- The Port
- Lido Conchiglie
- Spiaggia della Purita
- Lido Anne
- Old Town
This port town offers stunning sea views, and many interesting alleys and churches to explore. It is great fun to walk around this very real town and you sense that here is a place where people really live and work in traditional ways.
A venture to Gallipoli means real time to connect with what makes Italy so wonderful – the people, the architecture and the food.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!