The seaside town of Marina di Pescoluse is on the Ionian coast of Italy’s Puglia region. This particular area is known as Salento (almost a region within a region) and the stretch of beaches here are so spectacular that they have been nicknamed the “Maldives of Salento”. Just a few steps away from these white sand beaches is the lovely Lu Cantoru Bed & Breakfast.
The Lu Cantoru B&B
Lu Cantoru’s location is truly what makes it so special. Its elevated position allows for a spectacular view of the crystal clear turquoise water of the Ionian Sea and the white sand beaches. Some of the rooms enjoy a sea view and there is a lovely panoramic terrace where all guests can take in the sea air and the Salento sun rays. In just a few minutes on foot, you’ll reach one of the most gorgeous beaches, not just in Italy, but in the world.
Lu Cantoru’s rooms are furnished with flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, a mini-bar, and have a panoramic balcony overlooking the sea or the countryside. There is also a studio apartment which includes a kitchenette. Breakfast is served in a dining area and includes homemade crostata and other local specialties.
Marina di Pescoluse
The entire Salento region is world-famous for its beach destinations which encompass parts of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. There is a saying in the local dialect that they use to define Salento: “lu sule, lu mare, lu ientu” which translates to “the sun, the sea, and the wind”.
Marina di Pescoluse beaches are compared to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean because of the fine, white sand and the completely transparent turquoise sea. When you see the 7 km stretch of paradise between Torre Pali and Torre Vado*, you’ll wonder why anyone would ever go anywhere else.
Santa Maria di Leuca
As you move further south (to the extreme tip of Italy’s heel for a visual) the coastline gets rockier. Santa Maria di Leuca is known for its sanctuary which dates to pre-Christian times and its lighthouse which is positioned 120 m above sea level. Grottos dot the white, limestone cliff coastline and can be explored by boat. This is a snorkeling paradise!
On the Adriatic side, you’ll find mostly rocky coastlines with more stunning grottos and the major city of Otranto. The historic center is fabulous and filled with shops and restaurants. Otranto is also known for its over 800 martyrs who were killed in the 15th century when they refused to convert to Islam.
As you move inland, there are many characteristic villages to see that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and some of Italy’s “Most Beautiful Villages”. Two of these are Presicce which is just a few minutes away from the hotel and Specchia.
More to See and Do
Lu Cantoru also recommends visiting the towns of Galatina with its famous cathedral and Nardò*. Salento is known all over Italy for its amazing summertime festivals. The Notte della Taranta* in Melpignano celebrates Apulian folk dancing and the Luminaria* in Scorrano is a fabulous light display festival. Food and wine events are becoming increasingly more popular as Puglia’s wine culture grows and events such as Calice di Stelle* in Lecce, the Castro Wine Festival* in Castro as well as the Mercatino del Gusto* in Maglie celebrate these culinary traditions.
Rest assured that everything you taste in Salento will be delicious. Of course, seafood and fresh fish are staple ingredients but they also have a rich agricultural history which shows in various dishes. Greens like wild chickory and broccoli rabe are deliciously paired with homemade orecchiette pasta or pureed fava beans. Instead of bread (which often has black olives in it), try one of the most traditional dishes of the region- a frise (sometimes called frisella). One of the most famous pastries in all of Italy is the pasticciotto Leccese which you should enjoy for your breakfast every day that you are here! Cookies and other pastries are often made of almond flour (marzipan).
*article coming soon!