Apulian coasts, stretching over almost
800 km, are the longest in Italy and are marked by an uneven
and varied landscape, ranging from long sandy beaches to the
dizzy heights of rocky cliffs to which sea villages are clung
and from which you may admire crystal-clear waters and sea
It's almost a dreamscape whose irregularities are shaped by
the wind and the sea, a grandiose natural view to the eye
of the beholder. But it is also easy to recognise that people
here have a love-and-hate relationship with the sea, for it
is certainly true that Apulians benefited from thriving trade
exchanges with countries bordering on the other shore of the
Adriatic Sea and lived off the abundance of fish, but it is
also true that the most dangerous threats came right from
there. Over the centuries, in fact, plundering attempts by
the Turks forced the Aragonese to build many watch-towers
along the coast that are still visible today.
From the small coves of Polignano under S. Vito's abbey we
may see the Grotta Palazzese facing the Hermit Rock and the
sea caves nearby; as we go ahead, 1 km away from Monopoli
we find the cove of Torre Incina with a watch-tower and fishing
vessels diving into a crystal-clear sea.
After Monopoli, near Santo Stefano, two small coves surround
an ancient castle on the sea, a few kilometres away there
are long fine sandy beaches in the proximity of Capitolo equipped
with many lidos. Between Savelletri and Torre Canne you may
admire two notable buildings: the Masseria sul Mare in the
proximity of Forcatella where fishermen offer sea urchins
and octopuses in makeshift sheds, and "La Taverna da
Santos" that in addition to beautiful coves with crystal-clear
waters offers also natural thalassotherapeutic baths and a
wonderful restaurant just a few metres from the rocks.
Past Torre Canne long sandy beaches
stretch along the shore with few wild and uncontaminated lidos.
After some 20 km you may admire the Natural Oasis of Torre
Guaceto characterised by countless cane thickets, high dunes
and uncontaminated beaches crowded by migrating waders.
Along the coast of Salento cliffs stand out in this corner
of Apulia, once referred to by the Romans as finibus terrae:
sea caves such as Zinzulusa a Castro and the Cave of Deers
near Porto Badisco, the beautiful coves of Porto Miggiano
and Porto Badisco where fresh sea urchins are served, white
sandy beaches near Otranto and the long shores of Gallipoli.