Torre Vado represents a seaside frazione of the municipality of Morciano di Leuca grew around the namesake watchtower, built in the 16th century as a protection against the Barbary corsairs.
The locality was nothing more than a small hamlet inhabited by fishermen until the mid-20th century, when the very first private houses were built. Since the 1990s the tourism started to grew up and this small Ionian village started to expand, becoming a quite famous place rich of resorts and bed and breakfasts.
Nowadays Torre Vado has less than 90 permanent inhabitants, although it can reach a summer attendance rate of more than 10,000 (Neapolitans and Swiss in particular).
- 1 [formerly dead link] Tourist Information Office (I.A.T. Torre Vado), Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 1 (inside Sala Polivalente), ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00-12:00/18:00-00:00. Information about the locality, nearby tourist destinations and summer events.
- From the airport of Brindisi: take the to bypass the city, merge onto towards Lecce, here take Tangenziale Ovest and to Gallipoli and finally until the exit of Morciano di Leuca/Torre Vado. Here drive along the provincial road 190 for 5 minutes. The whole route will require about 1 ½ hr.
- From Santa Maria di Leuca: take the freeway and then the provincial road 190 to arrive in Torre Vado in less than 15 min. As an alternative you can drive along the coastal road enjoying the beautiful view.
The main road of this village is Corso Venezia, a busy street that crosses Torre Vado eastward from the beaches of Pescoluse to Santa Maria di Leuca. Via Napoli, instead, runs northward to the freeway entry and towards the inner town of Morciano di Leuca. If you choose to find an accommodation in Torre Vado you will find out that a car is quite useless, apart to discover the nearby localities.
Torre Vado doesn't have real attractions or sights, just as no monuments or palaces to visit. The feature of the village is the wide choice of things you can do, that will be described in the following section.
- 1 Torre Vado (Vado tower). Coastal watchtower built in the 16th century, during the Spanish rule over the Kingdom of Naples, to protect the inner towns against the raids of the Barbary pirates. In 1846 it became a simple custom control point by the order of king Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and in 1930 it was sold to privates, that restored the tower five years later. The structure is now characterized by a cylindrical shape that resembles a sandcastle and it's decorated with battlements and lancet arch windows. The tower is not open to the public.
- 1 [formerly dead link] Escursioni La Torre, Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 6 (Tourist port), ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. 07:00-22:30. Short mini-cruises to the Ionian sea caves of Leuca with aperitif on board: 18:00-20:00 every day (€ 18). Long mini-cruise to Ionian and Adriatic sea caves of Leuca: 9:00-13:00/14:00-18:00/16:00-20:00 (€ 30). As alternatives you can have fun with parasailing (€ 50), a ride on the "bananone" (€ 10 for 15 min), jet-ski (€ 40 for 15 min), pedalo (€ 10 for 1 hr), discoboat, acqua rocket or flyfish.
- 2 Escursioni Maretta, Tourist port, ☏ . 2 hours mini-cruise to the Ionian sea caves of Leuca, with aperitif and one stop to bathe, or a 4 hours trip to the Ionian and Adriatic sea caves with two stops to bathe. You can also rent a boat or have lunch, dinner or hold private parties on board of the larger vessel.
- 3 Escursioni Nemo, Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo (Tourist port), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 08:00-00:00. Short excursion to six Ionian sea caves, or a long one with other three sea caves on the Adriatic to explore. In addiction you can enjoy: barbecue on the fishing vessel, parties on board with dj, snorkeling or "fishing tourism".
- 4 [dead link] Escursioni Nettuno, Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 24, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 2 hour excursion: visit to five sea caves towards Leuca, aperitif and one stop to bathe, 09:00-11:00 or 15:00-17:00 (€ 15). 4 hour excursion: visit to ten Ionian and Adriatic sea caves, aperitif and two stops to bathe, 08:30-12:30 or 13:30-17:30 (€ 25). 2 hour sunset excursion: visit to five sea caves, aperitif and one stop, 17:30-19:30 (€ 18).
Kids and also adults can have fun at the 5 rides along the promenade, where you will find a Ferris wheel and a swing ride in addiction to various minor attractions.
- 6 Diving Service, Via Trieste, 5, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 08:00-20:00. Explore eighteen dive sites from Torre Vado to the Adriatic seabed off Leuca including three shipwrecks of different periods. You will be accompanied by expert divers in diving of various levels of difficulty, experience scuba diving courses or just renting equipment if you prefer to discover the underwater landscape by yourself.
- 7 Centro sportivo Nuova Igea, Litoranea Leuca-Gallipoli (coast road towards Leuca), ☏ , . Between a bathe and the other enjoy a game of tennis, soccer, bowls or play in the skating rink in front of the sea.
The weekly market is held every Friday night during the summer season and it covers the whole length of the promenade. Here it's possible to buy different kinds of products such as clothes, costume jewelry, toys and, of course, a lot of souvenirs.
A smaller market is held on Tuesday nights always along the boardwalk and it's focused in particular on local handicraft.
- 1 Supermercato Da Vittorio, Corso Venezia, 137. 07:00-23:00. Small but furnished grocery store with fish, cheese and meat counters, postcards and some sea items too. Excellent is the amount of seasonal fruit produced in the area.
- 2 Caseificio del Capo, Via Michelangelo Buonarroti, 2B (facing the main square), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 08:00-21:00. Excellent own production cheese shop where you can choose between many varieties of primosale, ricotta, mozzarella and burrata, all of them eventually filled with nuts, pistachio cream, salmon, ham or many others. In addiction you will find matured cheese, fresh pasta, taralli, preserves and other typical products of local production.
- 1 Antichi Sapori, Via Napoli, 21 (on the hill road to Morciano), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 12:00-14:15/19:00-23:00. Dishes of the local tradition and excellent seafood in a familiar ambience. Take away service is available. Mid range.
- 2 [dead link] Il Maestrale, Corso Venezia, 135, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 12:30-14:30/19:30-23:00. Homey restaurant when almost every dish is based on fish. Mid range.
- 3 La Kambusa, Piazza Torre (in front of the square close to the tower), ☏ . 19:00-00:00. Informal restaurant where you can enjoy the typical dishes of Salento, pizza or seafood. Mid range.
- 4 Martinucci, Corso Venezia (corner of Via Fiorilli), ☏ . 07:00-02:00. Excellent ice cream and pastries, as well as rustici and calzoni in one of the various Martinucci shops in the province.
- 5 Profumo di Mare, Litoranea Leuca-Gallipoli (beside the parking behind the tower), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 12:30-15:00/20:00-00:00. Elegant seafood restaurant overlooking the sea. Mid-high range.
- 1 Bar Caffereccio, Piazza Torre, 23, ☏ . 07:00-00:00. Excellent aperitifs in front of the tourist port.
- 2 Pelagus, Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo (beside the petrol station), ☏ . 08:00-02:30. Open air lounge bar to enjoy drinks, crepes or even pizzas in front of the boardwalk.
- 3 Stork, Corso Venezia, 2 (beside the summer emergency room), ☏ . 24/7. Ice creams and a wide choice of cocktails in an open air bar frequented especially by night.
- 1 Cala Saracena Resort, Corso Venezia, 81 (in front of the rides), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 4-star hotel with free WiFi, external pool, spa and reserved car park. It is located few steps from the sea and a shuttle service is available to reach the nearby sandy shores.
- 2 Hotel La Collinetta, Via Scalelle, 56, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 3-star structure with 22 rooms, free WiFi and restaurant, just 300 metres from the sea
- 3 Hotel Albatros, Corso Venezia, 12 (just before the sandy coastline), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star hotel with 26 rooms few metres from the beach with restaurant and spa. Mid range.
- 4 Residence Le Maldive, Via Archimede, 36, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: Sa 16:00-20:00, check-out: Sa by 10:00. It consists in 15 apartments of different sizes all located in the locality of Torre Vado, few minutes on foot from the sea.
- 5 Residence Miramare, Via Archimede, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: by 20:00, check-out: 10:00. 3-star hotel with free WiFi, external pool, football pitch and shuttle service to/from the airport of Brindisi and other localities on request. The structure is at less than 10 min on foot from the promenade and the rocky low coastline.
A quite large amount of B&B and vacation rentals are avaiable every year, from sea view apartments in the centre of the marina to actual villas located in the quiet surrounding countryside. An exaustive list of both of them can be found here.
Crime is practically non existent so the only risk is represented by the sea. Be careful if you choose to take a bath along the rocky coast or when you move on the rocks in the area of the tourist port. Consider the idea of buying a pair of sea shoes if you are not accustomed.
- 2 Summer emergency room (Pronto soccorso estivo), Corso Venezia (in front of Cala Saracena Resort), ☏ . 15 Jun-15 Sep.
- 3 Pharmacy (Farmacia Schiattino), ☏ . Pharmacy located in front of the emergency room and the tourist information office.
- Post Office (Ufficio postale), Via Giuseppe Verdi, 42, ☏ . M-F 08:20-13:35, Sa 08:20-12:35. The closest post office is located in the inhabited centre of Morciano, reachable in about 5 min by car.
- Salve - Adjoining picturesque town and kilometers of stunning beaches. (5 min by car)
- Santa Maria di Leuca – Popular tourist destination with a relevant sanctuary and several sea caves to explore. (10 min by car)
- Gallipoli – Enchanting old town, miles of beaches and buzzing nightlife. (½ hr)
- Otranto – Colorful historic centre with its majestic castle, many beaches and coves to take a bath. (1 hr)
- Lecce – The famous "capital of the Baroque" with its numerous churches and palaces, all of them richly decorated. (1 hr)