This small island off the Salento peninsula’s mainland lies at Italy’s heel and has seen centuries of amazing history. Today, Gallipoli is one of Southern Italy’s most frequently visited cities. While it was once a fortified and walled settlement that could only be accessed via drawbridge, today it’s a thriving tourist hub with bridges to connect the suburbs to its old town.
Gallipoli is best-known for its island status, with its old town sitting on an isle of its own, joined up to the modern day settlement by a bridge dating back to the 1600s. Its historic centre and ancient walls date from the 1300s, and here, you can still hear the Griko dialect being spoken.
Attractions in Gallipoli
Spiaggia della Purita
The south of Italy is best known for its gorgeous beaches, and this part of Puglia is no exception. The most charming and famous beach in Gallipoli is Spiaggia della Purita. Located right at the historic heart of the city, at the bottom of its protective walls, this arching sandy beach is fringed by clear, shallow water that gradually deepens making it an ideal place to visit with children.
The Aragonese Castle
One of Gallipoli’s best tourist attractions is the Aragonese castle, constructed during the Byzantine era. Over the years, it has gone through many modifications and today it features a square base and a tower at every corner together with a fifth tower in a circular shape called the “Torre del Rivellino”. Its rooms and prisons are well worth a visit, and allow tourists to discover the uses and transformations the fortress has undergone over the centuries.
The Museo Civico Emanuele Barba
For anyone who wants to learn more about Gallipoli’s fascinating history, the Museo Civico Emanuele Barba is the perfect place to visit. The town’s local museum features numerous exhibitions that showcase the town’s history and the story of its surrounding area. It contains archeological artefacts, skeletons of dolphins and whales, and artwork by local artists.