Gallipoli, the Pearl of the Ionian Sea

June 9, 2014 / Places
Gallipoli, Puglia

Gallipoli, which means “beautiful city” in Greek, lies on Ionian Sea on the western coast of Puglia’s Salentine peninsula. Historically, Gallipoli was often under siege so it is almost completely surrounded by defensive walls. Over the centuries it was ruled by the Romans, Turks, Aragonese and Bourbons until 1860 when it was liberated by a group of Garibaldini.

Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio

The city is divided into two zones: the “Old Town” and the “New Town”. The “New Town” is divided by Corso Roma into two sections and this is where we will find more modern buildings and tourist services.

The “Old Town” is on a tiny island which is connected by a 17th century bridge to the mainland. With its labyrinth of narrow streets and churches, palazzi and structures, Gallipoli’s history and mix of different influences and cultures is apparent. Strolling through the old town, it’s impossible not to be distracted by charming alleys and courtyards that greet you at every turn.

Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio

Extending out into the sea, the impressive and majestic Castle remains a focal point of Gallipoli as does the Cathedral in the town center. Started in the 12th century and not completed until the 16th, the Cathedral, with its lovely facade and beautiful Baroque interior, was built in honor of Saint Agata.

Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio

Once a wealthy port town, Gallipoli has two ports with the fishing port being the oldest.  Renowned for its fresh seafood and fish, if you get there in the morning you can visit the seafood market, a highlight. Chat with local fishermen, taste raw shrimps, sea urchins, shellfish and local oysters, and then head to to the sea-front promenade where you will find many cafes offering their fresh and delicious local specialties (not to mention breathtaking views!).

Take time to enjoy and savor this precious pearl!

IMG_1258
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio
Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio

Gallipoli - Victoria De Maio

Victoria De Maio

by Victoria De Maio

Victoria is a lover of all things Italian! A travel advisor, blogger, writer, tour leader, and published author, she is passionate about traveling to and writing about Italy.

Her book, Victoria’s Travel Tipz Italian Style, is available on Amazon.

Join Victoria for her fabulous unique, boutique tours of Puglia,, and the Italian Riviera.

Visit PostcardZ from Victoria where she shares expert travel tips, insights and more about Bella Italia.

9 Responses to “Gallipoli, the Pearl of the Ionian Sea”

  1. Thanks Victoria, for reminding us what a great spot Gallipoli (old town) is to spend a few days in. We stayed at a grreat B&B, La Riviera. As I recall it’s the builiding on right in your 1st pic in your note.

    Reply
  2. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    Grazie Vittoria , I too love all things Italian,yet I am fond of things Pugliese. There is so much said of the Nord and little said of bella Puglia. Thank you for the beautiful note showcasing one of our many special places for the world to enjoy.
    le vostre giornate si riempiranno di gioia come una benedizione

    Reply
  3. Grazie Giuseppe and Roy & Evanne for commenting! It’s true that the south of Italy is still somewhat “undiscovered” – but I have to admit I enjoy that about it, too! Returning in fall…can’t wait!

    Reply
  4. CeciliaBelenardo

    I would like to stay there for a week or two, thanks.

    Reply
  5. Jan Johnson

    Thank you Victoria. I have been volunteering and teaching English in Puglia for the last two years but have yet to visit Gallipoli. In September I will visit for 4 months and will not miss this beautiful city.

    Reply
  6. Sandi spector

    Just returned from Puglia 2 weeks ago & Gallipoli was Truly a jewel. thx

    Reply

Leave a Reply