Torre del Orso, Italy: Facts and attractions

Vista

Thirty kilometers of coastline washed by crystal clear sea water, golden beaches, rocky coves, caves – that’s Vista. A resort located in the eastern part of Gargano, one of the favorite destinations of tourists from all over Europe, it is one of the most visited places in Puglia, an area rich in culture and art traditions and a gateway to the famous Gargano National Park. Vista was probably founded by Greek colonists, because it has always been an important strategic location and has always attracted lovers of the fittest, so the turbulent periods in its history are part and parcel of the past of this beautiful resort town in southern Italy.

From the city center, it takes just a few minutes to reach the famous beaches of Vista, which lie on either side of the promontory. To the south there is the most famous beach: the beach of the castle, it is four kilometers of velvet sand, characterized by an incredible rocky monolith called Pizzomunno, which rises to more than twenty meters from sea level. Among the other beaches, of which there are about twenty in the vicinity of Vista, we can especially mention the New Port beach, ideal for children and Greek Port, small and secluded – for a holiday without civilization. The natural location of the town makes it possible to take advantage of the opportunities for windsurfing, surfing and kitesurfing, because here you can always catch a wave… Vista is an ideal place for lovers of nature and sport, as the town is part of Gargano National Park, it is the most suitable place to contemplate the wild valleys, ravines, caves and high ridges . Landscapes of rare beauty in one of the last remaining magnificent thousand-year-old forests in the world will open the eyes of the traveler who decides to spend a vacation in this unforgettable place, decides – and will not miscalculate!

Location of the station:

Manfredonia (Via Tulliano Emanuele, 3, 71043)

Airport location:

Bari (Viale Ferrari Enzo, 1, 70128)

Manfredonia

Although inbound tourism is concentrated in the seaside villages of Manfredonia, in particular in Siponto, this commune has a large number of tourist attractions and is ideal for lovers of cultural tourism, historical, culinary, architectural and natural. Manfredonia has a bustling fishing port with a wonderful fish market, from here you can reach the nearby coastal towns: Mont St. Angelo, San Giovanni Rotondo, Vista. Also, the resort offers very good opportunities for tourists. The magnificent beaches, stretching along the coast, have extremely clean water, around which there are wonderful seascapes, surrounded by beautiful thickets of southern vegetation, which are very popular with visitors to Puglia.

The excellent service and the well-developed infrastructure attract many people who want not only to enjoy the gentle sun of Southern Italy, but also to immerse themselves in the culture of ancient times, and there is a lot to see here: the Basilica of St. Leonard, the Church of San Domenico, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the National Museum. Walking lovers should by no means miss the opportunity to visit the lighthouse, because this is where you can enjoy the magnificent view of the bay indefinitely.

Location of the station:

Manfredonia (Via Tulliano Emanuele, 3, 71043)

Airport location:

Bari (Viale Ferrari Enzo, 1, 70128)

Port location:

Manfredonia (Lungomare del Sole, 75, 71043)

Torre del Orso

The cozy resort town of Puglia, set on a rocky plateau, has become, since the second half of the twentieth century, a much loved and revered holiday destination on the Adriatic coast. There are three features that act as an attraction for holidaymakers: the first is the two cliffs protruding from the water, similar to each other, called “Two Sisters”, the second is the old “Bear Tower”, built in the sixteenth century and towering to this day over the stone platform that protrudes over the sea. This tower was once used as an outpost to watch the sea to detect pirates and invaders. The third “lure” is a wonderful sandy beach with impeccably clear water, nestled in a cozy bay and repeatedly awarded the iconic Blue Flag award for meeting environmental standards. This wide and long stretch of beach with fine silver sand is highly respected by lovers of quiet sea relaxation, and the clear water and beautiful landscape of the seabed are particularly loved by people who are fond of diving and snorkeling.

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Behind the beach there are low dunes with pine trees and not far to the south there is the cave of St. Christopher, where ancient writings in Greek and Latin have been found. For an additional experience in Torre del Orso all kinds of services typical of the tourist business are offered to the guests, especially the boat trips to the nearby coastal towns are particularly vivid.

Location of the station:

Otranto (Via Mediterraneo, 5, 73028)

Airport location:

Brindisi (Contrada Baroncino, 1, 72100)

Otranto

Otranto is a town on the Adriatic Sea in Puglia, a resort and seaport at the same time. It is a small town with a constant and festive atmosphere, perfect for a seaside vacation. Otranto is located in the province of Lecce, in an area called Salento, near the eastern “geographical frontier” of Italy, undoubtedly and obviously the place which is the heel of the so-called “boot” of Italy. The excellent location and established infrastructure, the proximity of all modes of transport and quality service give this resort significant advantages. Otranto has a rich and interesting history, it was ruled by Greece and Byzantium, the Romans and Normans, and in 1480 the city was captured by the Turks and 800 locals were executed for refusing to convert to Islam. The remains of the martyrs are now housed in the local Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata. Every era has left its mark on the city’s history, and there is much to see here. One of the main attractions is the twelfth-century mosaic in the city’s Romanesque cathedral, built in 1088, and next to the cathedral there is the Diocesan Museum, which is where fragments of early mosaics from the fourth century are found. In the ancient part of the city there is a small Byzantine church, the Church of San Pietro, and the Aragonese Castle (built in the fifteenth century, although it was built on one of the earlier fortresses of Friedrich II) is also pleasing to the eye. In addition to these tourist attractions, inquisitive travelers can enjoy wandering through the streets and alleys of the old town, which is still located within its defensive walls.

The beaches within the city limits are relatively small, but the coastline outside of Otranto is renowned for its beauty, with both north and south stretches of gorgeous beaches, picturesque coves, grottos and cliffs. In short, a trip to Otranto is more than a vacation, a journey that enriches the heart, eyes and soul.

Location of the station:

Otranto (Via Mediterraneo, 5, 73028)

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Airport location:

Brindisi (Contrada Baroncino, 1, 72100)

Port location:

Otranto (Via del Porto, 1, 73028)

Marina di Pescoluse

The town is one of the most famous Italian seaside resorts of Salento, nicknamed the Maldives of Salento, because here, stretches of fine white sand meet the turquoise, and sometimes many shades of blue, sea. The beach of Marina di Pescoluse stretches for four kilometers and there are even karst caves and islets in its vicinity. The cleanliness and beauty of this coastline contributed to the region receiving the Blue Flag. A small town was able to withstand the competition from other prestigious resorts in southern Italy, causing a lot of interest among tourists because of the incredible beauty of the sea and beaches. In addition, the town and coast are geographically located in the southern part of Italy, so there is almost always a very calm sea without storms and winds, but during the peak period, from the second half of July to the end of August, it can be difficult to find a place on the beaches.

After sunset, as a rule, Pescoluse remains a relatively quiet resort, as the nightlife moves to other areas of Salento – Torre San Giovanni and Gallipoli. Nevertheless, local restaurants, cafes and stores stay open until quite late, creating a comfortable environment for vacationers. For evening strolls there is a wonderful large pedestrian zone that runs close to the sea. On the private beaches of Pescoluz√© there are always noisy outdoor discos right next to the sea, where you can dance, relax and make new friends, especially if the past day was spent in complete relaxation under an umbrella on the sun lounger. Mediterranean plants, ancient olive trees and inherent scents of nature, flavored with the smell of the sea and the sunlight of the south will provide vacationers with great emotions and pleasant memories, so … give in to Pescoluza!

Location of the station:

Prezicce Acuarica (Viale Stazione, 56, 73054)

Airport location:

Brindisi (Contrada Baroncino, 1, 72100)

Torre San Giovanni

The name of this town comes from the tower built in 1563 which originally served to watch over this stretch of coast from attacks by conquerors and pirates. Over time, from a small fishing village, Torre San Giovanni became a lively seaside tourist resort that hosts visitors every year from June to September. Today, Torre San Giovanni is the ideal place to spend a pleasant summer vacation in nature, where flora and fauna mingle in the crystal clear sea water. This resort is a succession of white sandy beaches easily accessible on foot and small islands. These beautiful locations, as well as the high quality services offered by bars, restaurants, pizzerias, the availability of hotels and villas for every taste and purse, make this town an ideal summer vacation destination.

The scenery, which can be seen in Torre San Giovanni is really impressive: a thick band of pine forests extends along a beautiful and white beach, along with low dunes of lush Mediterranean vegetation, enveloping the seashore. The sea along the coast is low, like a big natural pool, and for those who see it for the first time, it is a real surprise in its beauty. If desired, vacationers can stay in the shade of the pine trees on the beach to have shade over their heads during the hottest hours of the summer heat. Being surrounded by a pine forest, having equipped beaches of magnificent beauty and no less impeccable beach service, the city attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. Here reigns peace and tranquility, guests of the city prefer to rest in this place for the quiet life, the presence of excellent nature, excellent local food and decent wine.

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Location of the station:

Prezicce Acuarica (Viale Stazione, 56, 73054)

Airport location:

Brindisi (Contrada Baroncino, 1, 72100)

Gallipoli

Those who want to discover the magical beauty of an ancient Italian city, welcome to one of the most beautiful places of Salento – Gallipoli! The city is romantically called the pearl of the Ionian Sea and it’s not hard to guess why… Once you are in the streets of the old town, among the churches and ancient monuments, the winding streets, the ancient bridge, everything immediately falls into place, you are in medieval Italy! Gallipoli is a city that can enchant every traveler, both connoisseurs of ancient architecture and art, and admirers of the picturesque southern nature. A trip to Gallipoli will provide a rich holiday in all directions: entertainment and encounters with local tradition, beach holidays and seaside walks, trips to the surrounding area and the magnificent creations of local culinary experts. On the waterfront there are a large number of rental shops, where you can use everything that moves on two wheels: scooters, bicycles, motorcycles to easily and freely move around the city itself and the magnificent surroundings.

The coastline that Gallipoli boasts is one of the most picturesque places on the coast of southern Italy, it consists of low cliffs alternating with wide beaches fringed with lush green vegetation that dilute the smell of the sea with a bouquet of scents of oleanders and pines. Among the monumental and artistic beauties of the city, the cathedrals of Sant’Agata, the Sacred Heart of the Church, the Church of Carmine, the Church of San Domenico, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of Santa Cristina, the Church of St. Teresa of Altavilla and the Greek Fountain can especially be recommended for a visit. In the last twenty years the city has developed radically in terms of tourist infrastructure and now has all the services to create comfort and coziness for holidaymakers. Today the city has about 25 thousand inhabitants, most of whom are engaged in areas related to tourism, so there is a huge choice of hotels, villas, campsites, stores, restaurants, sports facilities and travel agencies, so care about guests and a decent level of facilities provided entirely!

Location of the station:

Gallipoli (Piazza Matteotti, 12, 73014)

Airport location:

Brindisi (Contrada Baroncino, 1, 72100)

Porto Cesario

Porto Cesario is a city with very ancient origins and was already known in pre-Roman times as Portus Sasinae and was once founded by enterprising fishermen and traders. The present day charm of Porto Cesareo is enhanced by the crystal clear waters and the beaches with natural sand dunes covered with lush Mediterranean vegetation spreading scents of fragrance. In summer, Porto Cesareo is crowded with tourists from all over Europe and the world, attracted by the excellent beach service and the wide choice of accommodations. A beautiful local beach with crystal clear water, which stretches uninterrupted for seventeen kilometers, is a special pride of the inhabitants of the city. In the midst of all this beauty, not far from the shore, there are two small islands with lush, almost tropical greenery, the bigger one is called Rabbit Island and the smaller one is called Malwa Island, these islands are perfect for a sunny summer day crossing by boat. The marine life near these islands consists of crustaceans, mollusks, fish and turtles of rare species.

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Porto Cesareo is also famous for its famous and delicious red mullet, which is caught only in this maritime area, because it has a special kind of algae that feeds on this kind of mullet, which in turn gives incomparable taste to its dishes. Another “thing” about the area is the distribution of a particular species of Mediterranean juniper, which has been defined by experts as one of the most beautiful in Italy. Analyzing all the advantages of this wonderful resort, it is a true paradise for lovers of beach holidays, beautiful nature and water sports, especially for those who practice diving and scuba diving, given the richness and beauty of marine life.

Adriatic Coast Salento

Welcome to the breathtaking beaches of Salento, a sun-drenched region bathed by the purest of seas (as evidenced by the many Blue Flags awarded by the Italian Association of Environmentalists and the “5 Sails” of the Environmental League)

We start our journey with the coastal towns of Melendugno: San Foca, Roca Vecchia, Torre del Orso and Sant’Andrea, each interesting in its own way.

San Foca

San Foca has the famous “Cave of Lovers”, legend has it that it was named after a couple who took shelter in it from the cold wind of the Tramontana.

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The shores here are rocky and rugged, but there are two sandy coves. The one to the north has some interestingly shaped sea cliffs, such as the “figure eight,” which looks like this figure lying horizontally. San Foca, named, apparently, after the tower of the same name, which now houses the port administration, is a typical fishing town. The panorama of its port from above is excellent, even more picturesque when the weather is good and the silhouettes of the Albanian mountains, 72 nautical miles in a straight line, are visible on the horizon.

Torre del Orso

Clean beaches are washed by a clear sea, the climate is mild, the breeze is light. The city is surrounded by pine groves.

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Torre del Orso was once the port of the ancient sanctuary city of Roca. It was visited by the ships of seafarers coming from the other side of the Adriatic Sea: this route is mentioned by Virgil in the Aeneid. To the south of the strip of reef is the cave of St. Christopher, where graffiti in Greek and Latin have been discovered. These are mostly prayers and requests for the happy outcome of the sea voyage. Further south, near the beach, there are two cliffs in the sea called the “Two Sisters”. According to legend, once the two sisters dived into the sea from a cliff during a storm and could not get back to shore. The gods then turned them into two sea rocks so they could enjoy the beauty of the sea forever.

Torre Sant’Andrea

Here the waves gave the coastal rocks a very bizarre shape

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In Torre Sant’Andrea, the rocky shores are rugged and secluded coves and grottoes are often found. The town is named after the tower, which now houses the lighthouse – it’s impossible not to notice this structure, towering over the small port. The town is loved by tourists because of the clean sea and gorgeous nature. During the summer months, local bars and clubs become the center of social life of this part of the Adriatic coast.

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Torre del Serpe

A few kilometers south of Otranto stands a lonely, dilapidated watchtower, the Torre del Serpe, one of the many on the Salento coast. It was once used to watch the sea so as not to miss a Saracen raid.

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Its name is associated with an ancient legend that gives this place a mystery and a peculiar charm. It is believed that the tower originally appeared in the era of ancient Rome and served then as a lighthouse. If the keeper fell asleep at night, a snake would come out of the sea, crawl on top of it and drink the valuable oil that powered the lamp wick. The lamp would go out and the satisfied and well-fed snake would return to the depths of the sea. It is also said that one night the Saracens, who had come from Turkey, sailed along the Salento shore in search of life. Fortunately, it was that night that the serpent drank all the oil again, the lighthouse went out, and the Turks passed Otranto without noticing it, finding themselves directly in Brindisi. In honor of the miraculous rescue, the snake was transferred to the city’s coat of arms, where it is depicted entwining a tower. However, later on, in 1480 the Turks sacked Otranto killing 800 inhabitants.

Porto Badisco

Continuing southwards the Porto Badisco is worth a visit for a swim in its cozy cove.

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In summer it is especially beautiful: the flowering broom bushes seem to cover the shores of the bay with a yellow cloak, reflecting in the clear water of the blue-green sea. Try the local delicacy – sea urchins for sale in the street or in one of the trattorias of this pretty town. According to Virgil, Aeneas first touched the shores of Italy here after fleeing from Troy with his father and brother. Between the mythological caves and the wild rocky shore lies Grotta dei Wormi (“Deer’s Grotto”), one of the largest primitive sites in Europe. Its stalactites and stalagmites were observed by our ancestors some four thousand years ago. The walls of the cave, now closed to the public, are covered with drawings of archers, women, children, deer, dogs, utensils (vessels, wineskins).

Grotta della Zinzulusa

Just seven kilometers from Porto Badisco is Castro Marina, the last of the Blue Flag resorts on the Adriatic coast. Here, too, the coast is covered with rocks in which there are picturesque sea caves. The most famous of them is called “Grotta della Zinzulusa”.

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One of the most beautiful legends of the Salento coast is connected to this cave. Castro and the surrounding lands were once ruled by an evil baron whose wife died of hardship and whose daughter lived in great need and dressed in rags. One day a good fairy decided to restore justice and threw the baron into a deep cave in the rocks near the sea. Where the baron fell beneath the earth, water erupted from the underworld to form a lake. His daughter threw away her rags, which turned into stones on the walls of the cave, and happily married the prince. The shrimp, who lived in the cave and witnessed these dramatic events, went blind forever from horror.

So why is the cave called “Zinzuluza”? In the local dialect, “dzinzuli” means rags, which resemble lime deposits on the walls and ceiling. The lake is called “Cochito,” and it is actually inhabited by shrimp, blind colorless creatures about 7 cm long.

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