Gallipoli (Sicilian: Caḍḍìpuli) is a town of 20,600 inhabitants in the Apulia region of Italy, on the west coast of Salento Peninsula, facing the Ionian Sea. Gallipoli has become one of the main Italian tourist destinations for summer holidays, because of its beach resorts, enchanting historic center and vibrant nightlife.
Gallipoli is divided into two different parts: the modern city is on a peninsula; the fascinating old town, on a calcareous rock island connected to the mainland by a 17th-century stone bridge.
Practically everyone knows Salentino dialect (Salentìnu) and usually speaks it with family and friends. It is a variant of Sicilian language, spoken in almost all Salento peninsula, and can be heard in particular in the historic centre, especially by fishermen.
1 Tourist Information Office (Pro Loco Gallipoli), Via Kennedy, 20, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 08:30-13:30/15:00-20:00. Information about the locality, nearby tourist destinations and various events.
- 1 Brindisi Airport (BDS IATA known as Aeroporto del Salento), Contrada Baroncino, ☏ . The airport is 65 km (40 miles) north of Gallipoli, that can be reached from here through the efficient bus services or renting a car.
The companies that provide a car-rental service from the airport of Brindisi are:
- Autoeuropa, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 08:00-23:00.
- Autovia, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com.
- Avis, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 08:00-23:30.
- Budget, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 08:00-23:30.
- Europcar, ☏ , fax: . 08:00-23:00.
- Hertz, ☏ . 08:00-23:00.
- [dead link] Locauto, ☏ . 08:00-23:00.
- Winrent, ☏ . 08:00-21:00.
- 2 Gallipoli railway station, Via XX Settembre. It is the main station of the town and is served by the trains of Ferrovie del Sud Est (FSE), a local railway company that provides a link to Lecce in about 90 minutes. The station was open in 1885 and is located in the modern centre close to Corso Roma, few minutes by foot from the bridge that leads to the old town.
Various private bus companies provides links from cities of Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland to Gallipoli:
- Flixbus from 32 destinations in Italy and Europe, like Hannover, Munich, Nuremberg, Pescara, Pompeii, Rimini, Rome, Siena.
- Marino Bus from Florence, Frankfurt, Lyon, Milan, Naples, Pisa, Stuttgart, Zurich and many other localities.
- Marozzi from Avellino, Bari, Benevento, Rome.
- Miccolis from Caserta, Matera, Metaponto, Naples, Pompeii, Potenza, Salerno.
- Ouibus from Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Milan, Nice.
Fares can drastically change according to the period and even the day chosen. Info are available on their websites.
All coaches stop at the bus station of 3 Piazzale Cimitero, in front of the municipal cemetery.
- From Brindisi: take to bypass the city, merge onto towards Lecce, here take Tangenziale Ovest and to Gallipoli. (1 hr)
- From Bari: Bari Nord motorway exit, then take until Fasano and to reach Brindisi, then follow the route above. (2 hr)
- From Taranto: the easiest way is reaching Brindisi heading down and following the route above (1½ hr). Another possibility is driving along the Ionian coast crossing some towns, but it usually requires more time.
- From Santa Maria di Leuca: drive along for 30 minutes.
The town has two more minor train stops
- 4 Gallipoli Baia Verde, Strada vicinale Madonna del Carmine. A small train stop near the beach resort of Baia Verde ("green bay"), in the southern area of the municipality. The ride from the main city station requires 7 minutes and it costs €1,10.
- 5 Gallipoli Via Salento (Corner of Via Salento and Via Madonna del Carmine). Train stop useful to reach the southern suburb, an area rich of B&B and holiday homes near Galileo Galilei waterfront. 3 minutes away from the main station at a cost of €1.10.
The local train service has a reputation for being not very reliable, and people may discourage you to choose it, although it has improved. Check the FSE site for information about routes and fares.
During summer streets can be extremely busy especially at night and find a parking can literally become an adventure! Reaching the old town or the modern center from the suburbs will require parking the car quite far away and walking along the lively Corso Roma.
The only option to explore the historic centre after you have crossed the bridge. Walk along the boardwalk of the island to admire the magnificent view then lose yourself in the narrow alleys.
The island of the historic centre is characterized by the present of various churches, all of them built in Baroque style. The narrow alleys are surrounded by enchanting white and cream-colored houses, that make this zone similar to a Greek or Arab old city.
- 1 Cathedral (Basilica di Sant'Agata), Via Duomo, 1, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Imposing Baroque church completed in 1696, with the facade in Lecce stone and the Latin cross plan interior rich of statues and paintings. It has been declared Italian national monument in 1940. Free entry.
- 2 Santa Maria della Purità, Riviera Nazario Sauro, ☏ . Baroque church built in 1665 overlooking the Seno della Purità (Cove of the Purity). The sober facade hides a single nave interior rich of paintings, one by Luca Giordano. Free entry.
- 3 [dead link] San Francesco d'Assisi, Riviera Nazario Sauro, ☏ . Ancient medieval church of the 13th century, completely renovated in the 18th century in baroque architectural style. The two aisles contains ten richly decorated altars. Free entry.
- 4 Angevin-Aragonese Castle (Castello angioino-aragonese), Riviera Armando Diaz, ☏ . 10:00-00:00. A wooden drawbridge permits the entry to this imposing defensive structure of the 11th century, rebuilt and restored several times. It is border by the sea on three sides, while the semi-circular bastion, overlooking the modern centre, is completely surrounded by the waters of the Seno del Canneto (Cove of the Cane field).
- 5 Santissimo Crocifisso, Riviera Nazario Sauro, 133 (corner of Vicolo Croce). Sanctuary erected in 1750 along the promenade. The exterior is quite simple and sober, while the single nave interior is almost totally white and is a true triumph of baroque decorations and stuccoes. Free entry.
- 6 Santa Maria degli Angeli, Riviera Nazario Sauro (corner of Via Angeli), ☏ . A dazzling white facade enriched by a pediment in limestone. Inside it is possible to admire a majestic harmonium of the 18th century. Free entry.
- 7 San Francesco di Paola, Riviera Cristoforo Colombo (corner of Via Roncella), ☏ . Sober white exterior and a decorated interior rich of floral designs. Free entry.
- 8 Diocesan Museum (Museo Diocesano), Via Antonietta De Pace, 51, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Th 09:30-13:30, F-Su 16:00-20:00. €3 full; €1.5 EU citizens between 14 and 25 years; free for students, under 14, disabled.
- 9 Museo civico Emanuele Barba, Via Antonietta de Pace, 108, ☏ , fax: . Tu Th Sa Su 10:00-13:00, 15:30-18:00; W F 10:00-13:00. €1.
- 10 Marea (Centro di cultura del mare), Riviera Nazario Sauro, 131/A, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:30-13:30, 19:00-23:00. Multimedia museum about the sea and its flora. €7.5 full; €6 over 65, 7-13 years, disabled; free under 6 years.
- 11 Greek Fountain (Fontana Greca), Piazza Aldo Moro. The name derives from the presence of caryatids and bas-reliefs depicting the mythological metamorphosis of Dirce, Salmacis, and Byblis.. It had been considered the most ancient fountain of Italy, also if many consider it dating to the Renaissance. The exact dating remains a mystery.
- 12 [dead link] Santa Maria del Canneto, Piazza Aldo Moro, ☏ . Baroque sanctuary facing the characteristic fishing port of Seno del Canneto. It was built in the late 17th century on the site of a church owned by the Teutonic Order. The interior is preceded by a portico with three round-arches and is decorated various paintings and a XVIII century harmonium. Free entry.
- Festa di Santa Cristina (Festival of Saint Christina): the most important religious festival in the town, in honor of the town's patron saint. The event takes place on 23, 24 and 25 July, when the statue of Saint Christina is procession over the sea and Corso Roma is decorated with spectacular and colored illuminations, in addiction to many stalls. This is a really can't-miss events if you choose to visit Gallipoli during this period.
- 1 Acquapark Splash!, Litoranea Santa Maria al Bagno (Rivabella locality), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 10:00-18:30. A large water park with giant slides and many other attractions, 2 km north of the city centre. €12.
- 2 Teatro Garibaldi (Teatro comunale "Giuseppe Garibaldi"), Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 8 (the alley in front of the Cathedral's bell tower), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The most ancient theatre of Apulia, built in 1825 as Teatro del Giglio, in honour to the House of Bourbon. It is the most elegant one of the city and it's focused on theatrical exhibitions, conferences with actors and musicians and cinema projections of cultural interest.
- 3 Cinema Teatro Italia, Corso Roma, 207 (at the foot of the "skyscraper"), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Built in 1976 with a capacity of 1550 viewers. It is mainly used as a cinema, but sometimes it hosts theatrical performances.
- 4 Cinema Teatro Schipa, Corso Roma, 170, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 500-seat hall built in 1900 and dedicated to Tito Schipa, one of the greatest leggero tenors of all times. It is mainly focused on cinema projections.
The main street for shopping is 1 Corso Roma, that runs for 1 km (0.6 miles) from the modern centre to the bridge leading to the old town. Along this avenue you will find many shops of various categories, clothing stores above all.
If you are a souvenir lover you cannot miss a walk along a narrow street that runs parallel to the 2 stone bridge, facing the commercial port. Here it is possible to buy not only postcards and fridge magnets, but a lot of decorations like lamps in pietra leccese (Lecce stone), shells, fish and sponges. Another option is the 3 Mercato coperto (covered market) that shares its entry with the castle and sells various souvenirs, local handicraft and costume jewelry. It is open daily from 09:30 to midnight.
- 1 Don Vincenzo, Via Kennedy, 13 (or Piazza Giovanni XXIII), ☏ . 20:00-23:30 closed on Monday. True neapolitan pizza few steps from Corso Roma.
- 2 Ristorante Marechiaro, Lungomare Marconi (beside the port authority), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 12:00-16:00, 19:00-01:00. Romantic seafood restaurant on a rock at sea facing the bridge.
- 3 Il Bastione, Riviera Nazario Sauro, 28, ☏ . 11:00-14:30/19:00-24:00. Suggestive restaurant on the ancient walls overlooking the sea, specialized in seafood.
- 4 [dead link] Martinucci, Corso Roma, 95, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 07:00-02:00. Appetizers and excellent ice cream, cakes and a wide choice of pastries.
- 1 Blanc, Via XXIV Maggio,19, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 09:30-14:00, 18:00-03:00. Elegant lounge and living store in the heart of the old town's island, where you can choose between a wide selection of wines and cocktails. Mid-high range.
Most of the famous nightclubs of Gallipoli are in the locality of Baia Verde, a few km south of the centre. Prices can change depending on various factors, such as the services required, but they are usually considered quite expensive by Italian standards.
- 2 Cave (Le Cave), Contrada Li Monaci, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 21:00-05:00. Entry €15, cocktail €10, parking €5.
- 3 [dead link] Praja, Lungomare Lido San Giovanni (in front of the beaches of Baia Verde), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 22:00-04:30. Well-known open air club with the presence of many world-famous deejays. Entry €25, cocktail €10.
- 4 Riobo, Strada Prov.le Lido Conchiglie-Sannicola, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu W F Sa 23:00-04:00. Large open air disco in the northern suburb of the town, with excellent cocktails and commercial music, a bit expensive compared to nearby clubs. Entry €15, cocktail €10, parking €5.
- 1 B&B Ghalà, Via di Sansebastiano, 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star few minutes by foot from the old city, with an enchanting view of the sea.
- 2 Hotel a Due Passi dal Pizzo, Strada Provinciale 215 Leuca-Gallipoli (locality Pizzo), ☏ . Check-in: 14:00-19:00, check-out: 10:00. 3-star hotel close to the Natural Park of Punta Pizzo. Open air pool, restaurant, free WiFi, at only 300 m from the sea. Mid-price.
- 3 Hotel Rivabella, Viale Orsa Maggiore, 11, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Excellent 3-star hotel in the seaside locality of Rivabella, with free WiFi, restaurant, open air pool, shuttle service to/from Brindisi airport. from €60 to €190.
- 4 Joli Park Hotel, Via Lecce, 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star hotel with pool, free parking, free Wi-Fi and shuttle bus service, located in the modern town. Mid-price, from €60.
- 2 Pharmacy (Antica Farmacia), Via Antonietta de Pace, 9, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 08:30-13:00, 17:00-00:00; Sa,Su 18:00-00:00. Handy pharmacy in the old town, few steps from the castle.
- 3 Post Office (Poste Italiane), Via Quartini, 5, ☏ . M-F 08:30-19:00, Sa 08:30-12:30.
- Nardò – Museums, Baroque architectures, enchanting seaside villages and nature reserves. (15 min by car)
- Lecce – The famous "capital of the Baroque" with its numerous churches and palaces, all of them richly decorated. (30 min)
- Salve – Small pictoresque town surrounded by a pleasant countryside, with miles of sea resorts including the "Maldives of Salento". (30 min)
- Santa Maria di Leuca – Popular tourist destination with a relevant sanctuary and several sea caves to explore. (35 min)
- Otranto – Colorful historic centre with its majestic castle, many beaches and coves to take a bath. (50 min)
- Brindisi – relevant Romanesque churches and port with ferries to Albania and Greece. (1 hr)
|Routes through Gallipoli|
|Lecce ← Nardò ←||N S||→ END|
|END ←||N S||→ Salve → Torre Vado → Santa Maria di Leuca|