Art|Archaeology|Sea|Nature|Cuisine|Crafts
   
 

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 beds.
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.