There are some places, in the profound and genuine part of the region Puglia, where time seems to have stopped, and the inexorable ticking of the clock seems pointless, facing a calmness and carefreeness typical of the site. Salento is renowned also for its characteristic villages, which quilt here and there a unique territorial surface.

The following trip will touch small towns still able to offer visitors a unique experience, discovering incredibly beautiful architectural and natural treasures. They are nice localities, which preserve the authentic atmosphere of a land rich in history and tradition.


The first stop-over, Acaya, is a lovely community with less than 500 inhabitants. It is not by the sea, but nonetheless is a jewel from different perspectives: historical, naturalistic, architectural. Acaya is a rare example of fortified citadel with a medieval structure which allows visitors a real immersion in the past. Among the main attractions, the Renaissance castle and entrance gate. A good number of buildings in the centre had the specific goal to defend citizens at that time from the frightening Saracen raids. Moreover, in the surroundings of Acaya there is the uncontaminated and protected oasis called Le Cesine.


The second stop of this tour must be Galatina, homeland of the typical sweet of Lecce called pasticciotto.

The access to Galatina is possible through 5 gates: three of them are still admirable in their original magnificence, with inscriptions recalling a symbolism lost in the dawn of time. The most famous and appreciated gate is Porta Luce, an authentic symbol of the city of Galatina. Porta Cappuccini was the gate used by the monks hosted in a convent not far from here.

Another symbol you cannot miss is the Palace called Sedile, built in the XV century using the stone of Lecce, with a scroll ornament on the façade with the names of the celebrated persons of the city.



Nardò is, after Lecce, one of the biggest city of the entire Salento area, with many historic and architectural monuments of undisputed beauty.

The Baroque style decorates the square Piazza Salandra, the throbbing heart of the city centre, and in this part of the city, it harmoniously intertwines with the Romanesque-gothic style of the majestic cathedral.

Among the monuments, the public Library, named after Achille Vergari, has more than twenty thousand scientific and theological volumes. The Palace of the Municipality, the Sedile, the Guglia dell’Immacolata are also monuments to be found in Piazza Salandra.

You can leave Nardò only after a stop-over at the beautiful Acquaviva Castle, built between XV and XVI century.



Last but not least, Calimera is the last village to visit. In this city you can track down the epicentre of a Greek-Byzantine culture that has taken roots in this area of Salento, which is precisely called “Grecìa Salentina”.

The Sacra Roccia di San Vito, a megalithic block installed in a Christian temple, is the emblem of this fortunate union between pagan and Christian cultures in Calimera. The worshippers joined this place every year the day after Easter to have good auspices for the future, a pagan propitiatory rite.

Just 3 km far from Calimera, there are two more megalithic structures: Dolmen Placa and Dolmen Gurgulante. Then, it is worth a visit the Civic Museum of Natural History, with its botanical and paleontological collections.