Torre San Giovanni is a Salento seaside resort located on the Ionian Sea in the province of Lecce. It has only 430 inhabitants throughout the year and over 50,000 residents during the summer. It is a place in constant evolution, since every year it expands more and more – a destination suitable for everyone.
This wonderful tourist resort is home to one of the most beautiful soft white beaches in Puglia. The beaches are sandy and pristine, the colors that stand out are the white and turquoise of the sea.
Explore the history of Salento
The presence of the tower symbolizes the strategic role assumed by this area already in Roman times. The small port of the city assumed the function of a military stopover. It is famous for playing a fundamental role during the military campaigns directed towards the East.
The tower represents the oldest site of the entire village, a land and sea reference point of great utility and importance.
It was commissioned by Charles V in the 16th century as a defense site against the Saracens. To the north, the rocky part extends rather low almost everywhere. To the south the famous sandy, white and fine coasts begin. These attract tourists from all over Italy and from abroad.
Over the centuries, its function has changed. From a lookout tower it has become a lighthouse, for the relief of local sailors.
At its feet every year at Christmas a small outdoor nativity scene is there – an unusual attraction. During the summer in the square below, there are various celebrations that characterize the Ugentine summer. In particular, the Feast of the Emigrant is a sight to see, generally in the first week of August.
Torre San Giovanni is a place rich in charm and mystery. In fact, a legend tells that these landscapes are the travel destinations of the great Aeneas. It is said he landed there and fell in love with them. At the ends of the earth is precisely how this strip of land is characteristic of today.
Natural places to visit in Torre San Giovanni
Torre San Giovanni is part of the Regional Natural Park and the marine reserve of the Ugento coast.
Its lands are national protection habitats. The flora and fauna are also rich in plant and animal species to protect. A holiday here is like a dip in the heart of the Salento culture. Rich traditions, scents, nature and gastronomy all combine together.
The beach of Torre San Giovanni allows those who love diving to have fun. It’s steep cliffs that follow one another up to the Torre del Faro. Passing the Tower and the port, a long stretch of silky sand will delight those looking for the traditional beach. It is even more special thanks to the fragrant pine forests and natural dunes. The beaches also offer many nautical activities that provide hours of fun. You can indulge yourself in wakeboarding, water skiing, kitesurfing, flyboarding and flyfish. All activities highly appreciated by young people.
Enjoy traditional Italian culture in Torre San Giovanni
In summer, Torre San Giovanni lights up with parties. Unforgettable sunny days on the beaches end equally animated nights await you. The streets of the town and the small squares light up with shows, concerts and live music.
All this in addition to the tasty festivals of typical products of Salento. In July, the Sagra della puccia is something you should really see. It’s a bread mixed with black olives typical of the area. Then tuna, cherry tomatoes, and a mixture of local vegetables embellish it.
In August, the tea li ciceri e tria, tagliatelle festival stands out. It’s homemade and topped with chickpeas and strips of fried dough. The local Apulian cuisine offers recipes that celebrate the flavors of Southern Italy, giving an unforgettable experience.
Given the choice, it is advisable to go to Torre San Giovanni on the second Sunday of August. This is when there is the patronal feast to the Madonna dell’Aiuto. Linked to the life and world of fishermen, the festival opens on Saturday afternoon. It boasts barrels of fireworks and the sound of bells that invite to religious services. The streets of the town are brought to life by the bands. The music will lead you to the port where you can indulge yourself in the large Fair Market.
Finally, the passage of the Procession in the center of the town turns on the lights. They really make the village of Torre San Giovanni an even more magical and festive place.
Thanks to its strategic position, Torre San Giovanni represents the ideal starting point for exploring local places of interest. Proceeding south, there are wonderful beaches such as Torre Mozza, Pescoluse, Torre Vado and Santa Maria di Leuca.
North of Torre San Giovanni, on the other hand, there is Gallipoli. This is famous for the many nightclubs that animate the summer evenings and for the naturalistic beauties of its Bay. There’s also the famous Lido di Punta della Suina whose sea is among the most beautiful in all of Italy.
Just 5 km from Ugento, there is Felline. It’s another ancient village that fascinates not only for its history, but also for its culinary art. The name of the hamlet of Alliste has connections to the festivals of typical products.
Among the most famous, the meatball festival, that of the potato and, again, of fresh pasta.
Torre San Giovennis is just one of the many amazing beach locations of Puglia. If you are interested in visiting this and other wonders of Puglia, get in touch with our Puglia travel experts to start planning. Visit our tours page to view our predesigned Puglia itineraries.