Gallipoli: the great beauty

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Gallipoli

In Gallipoli, the sea with its colors, ranging from gray steel in some days of south-west wind to gold sunsets on the beaches, is a constant presence. There is never escapes his strength and his movement. But even the signs of man here in Gallipoli show with nature a formidable hand-to-hand fighting, like in the Renaissance Greek Fountain or in the castle, with stone walls that sink in the water and adapt them to the rhythms and the sinuosity of the coast.

Built in the thirteenth century, it underwent changes and renovations in the Angevin period. Today, reopened after a long restoration, has become a center of propulsion that hosts exhibitions and cultural events by offering a historical journey dedicated to the city. Do not miss a visit to Circular Halls, the Ennagonale Hall, that is the oldest part was built in the Byzantine age, and the walk on the ramparts that offer beautiful glimpses of the town and the coast (Piazza Imbriani / covered market entrance, tel. +39 0833 262775).

You are nearly invested from all this beauty mainly you walk in the streets of the city, a harmonious and labyrinthine tangle of whitewashed houses. Meanwhile, this pearl of the Ionian coast of Salento, is the only example in Europe of island enclosed by walls on all sides. Bastions of defense against attacks from the sea, but also by the same sea and the wind, which on certain days incessant blows.

And just to slow down the blustering winds, the medieval town of Gallipoli looks like a colorful maze of small courtyards and narrow and twisted small streets that intersecting them. But many other wonders reserve the views of the old town, where reigns the baroque: the wrought iron balconies, the magnificent facades, the majestic portals of noble palaces.
Separate mention for the churches of Gallipoli, beginning with the Church of Purity dating from the seventeenth century, with the white façade animated by panels majolica tiles. This church was built thanks to the generosity of the rich corporation of longshoremen and of this is a clear testimony the interior, richly decorated with festoons and friezes gilded stucco and entirely covered by four large canvases by Liborio Riccio.
To end with the cathedral, dedicated to St. Agatha: finely chiseled into the soft local and blond stone and casket for the precious work of the Baroque painter Giovanni Andrea Coppola of Gallipoli and of all the local painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while the altarpiece is a fine painting by Luca Giordano.
The suggestion is to get in and out from the streets and small streets trusting to chance, rather than a pre-established route, to be enraptured by the magic of the places. Intact is that which you can find in underground mills, a must for those who want to discover the history of the people of Gallipoli. The mills were used for the production of lamp oil from 1600 until the first half of 1800. Today only two between the 35 existing mills can be visited: the Hypogeum Oil Mill of Granafei Palace (Via Antonietta De Pace 87) and that of Palazzo Briganti (Via Angeli 3). For the visit, contact the Association Gallipoli Nostra in Viale Europa 15 (info: tel. +39 0833 264242 – +39 338 1363063 – info@assgallipolinostra.com).
But Gallipoli is also its sea, with the island of St. Andrew, natural park, always striking at any time of day. And its beaches, real sandy crescent moons alternating with smooth rocks that stand them in the blue inviting sea.

Our addresses in Gallipoli? At lunch or dinner at Al Pescatore (Riviera Via Cristoforo Colombo 39 , Tel : +39 0833 263 656) for the sea on your plate and in front over the road, and to sleep the Bellavista Hotel (Area Marina Isola di S.Andrea, Tel. + 39 0833 261831 – bellavistaclub@attiliocaroli.it), halfway between the modern Gallipoli and the island, first nucleus of the city, for a breathtaking view of the two arms of the sea. For any kind of hungry, Il Pasticciottino (Via Buccarella 1/B, Tel . +39 392 407 0786), latest ” creation ” of the master pastry chef Antonio Campeggio, the only one in Salento between fifty carefully selected associated AMPI (Italian Academy of Master Pastry): a new shape, round and not oval, a smaller size and a tasty savory filling with the best products from Puglia, but there is also the “sweet ” version.

For city tours contact Gallipoli360° (tel . +39 349 5743456 – francesca@gallipoli360.it): Francesca Fontò will accompany you with competence and sympathy to the discovery of monuments and churches known and unknown.