A mustsee on any tour in Salento are some of the castles that characterize the landscape, imposing themselves like sentinels along the coast or like elegant dwellings often reduced in size woven into the urban fabric in almost every city centre in the provinces of Taranto, Brindisi and Lecce.
The coastal castles (those of Taranto, Gallipoli, Otranto and Brindisi) have preserved their own characteristics of the military architecture of the XV XVI centuries, for obvious defensive reasons. On the other hand the inland castles especially those from the XVI XVIII centuries have given up their military appearance and have been transformed into elegant aristocratic manors, following the model of the Neopolitan and Roman palaces of the epoch. Thus it is possible to chance upon a fortified structure with special defensive inner walls that slant, on to which open elegant portals, windows, and quarters, and onto which have been grafted huge monumental staircases, noble chapels, shrines, galleries, citrus gardens.
Unfortunately, many are on private property, but these gardens and chapels decorated with frescos are often sacrosanct treasures, their outer facades well worth the time to admire.
Not to miss: the Aragonese castle in Taranto, the castlepalace of Francavilla Fontana the castles of Oria, Lecce, Cavallino, Copertino and Gallipoli, and the palace of San Cesario.
Suggested Itinerary (4 days):
|1° Day||2° Day||3° Day||4° Day|
|Lunch Break||Restaurant near the sea in Taranto||Packed Lunch||Happy hour in Lecce||Restaurant near the sea in Gallipoli|
|Afternoon||Visit to Martina Franca||Oria - Castle||San Cesario and Cavallino||Copertino|
|Overnight Stay||Martina Franca||Lecce||Lecce||Lecce|
Please note - The itinerary includes one night in Martina Franca and three nights in Lecce, two towns that also offer the most choices for after dinner leisure.
We suggest: in Taranto seafood restaurants; in Martina Franca bracerie (grillhouses for meat and sausage)/trattorie (home cooking restaurants).