“The winter sea is just a black and white movie on TV…”
This phrase of one of my favorite songs, written by Enrico Ruggeri and played by Loredana Bertè, represented my idea of Puglia out of season. Until on a windy November day we have traveled the coast road from Campomarino di Maruggio we led us up to Taranto.
The winter sea is just a black and white movie on TV
It was that day that I found out how many shades of blue can enrich the sea: each wave caused by the wind claimed libeccio a different and intense shades. And the sky, now dark and crossed by low and threatening clouds, now clear and a brilliant cobalt nuance thanks to the warm sunlight, helped to paint a beautiful picture already.
And when my eyes came off from the sea by venturing to look across the street to the countryside, I made the acquaintance of the other figures, impressive and blonde, of the landscape: the sand dunes here are very high and crowned with clumps of tall, narrow bushes marram they call lu pilìddu. Rise to the majestic ribbon edges asphalt that sometimes disappears submerged by a mantle of grains carried by the wind and storm surges.
Even the spray of waves arrive as soft foam on the road and it is nice to stop every so often to admire the waves chasing each other and the daredevils who challenged the wind and cold to dominate them and engage in acrobatic jumps on kite boards. Sometimes it seems they fly on the water surface and then, steering to take better towards the wind, hovering in the top remaining suspended for a time that seems infinite.
Among crisp colors and clear skies follow one after another, the golden sandy beaches, coves between the rocks, the long stretches of sandy beaches and a sea of dunes. There is no confusion here that summer reigns but not even the “desert” that one might expect, given that the day does not entice some to venture into a promenade. We stopped in Campomarino di Maruggio for breakfast in a large bar frequented despite the wind and found also open a kiosk in the mall on the harbor.
Sure “closed hotels and advertising posters already faded” that surge moved by strong wind remind us that it is winter, but does not change the beauty of this coast. Among the for fascinating elements there are the watch towers, erected in sequence in the middle of ‘500 by the Spaniards to stem the Turkish raids. Now they look to view the coves that unroll on a shimmering and inviting sea, even out of season with temperatures not exactly balmy.
At the center of Campomarino, in piazzale Italia, there is the “Torre de’ li Molini” which looks at the imposing and majestic sea and is distinguished from the others because devoid of trap doors and corbels, since it served to the guardhouse to report any sighting the suspect vessel and immediately notify to the castle of the country. Taking the coastal look it is recaptured from the sea: this stretch retains the majestic dunes with vegetation that reach up to touch the water. And ‘yet the typical vegetation of marine juniper (li liscierni), thyme (lu tumu), rosemary (la rosamarina) and large amount of marram (lu piliddu) and mastic (li fraschi).
Yet spectacular landscapes, sand dunes and pine forests to the sea in marina of Pulsano. Along the coast you can see Torre Castelluccia, an ancient defense construction surrounded by the remains of primitive dwellings: the whole area is fenced and protected because here is a remarkable archaeological site dating between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Proving that since ancient times the coast was a holiday resort and later the Romans with their villas on the coast enjoying the beautiful sea and the excellent wines produced in the area. On rocky shores instead, you can admire small lookout posts in reinforced concrete made during the two world wars. In summer the beaches are becoming territories of peaceful invasions of swimmers who compete for the fine sand composed of a myriad of fragments of shells that give the characteristic yellow gold in Luogovivo, La Fontana, Le Canne, Montedarena and Serrone beaches.
Beyond the coastal only country, there is no trace of settlements as close to the scenic promontory of Torre Ovo, very popular in the summer, but now a haven of tranquility where guests can stop at a little bar that overlooks the beach windy for a coffee mid-morning. Torre Ovo center is dominated by one of the most complex coastal towers of the entire coast of Salento. But the peculiarity of this town, in addition to its beautiful and clear sea, is that in the past has hosted one of the oldest and most famous Mediterranean fishing activities: the trap. Tuna fishing has now been abandoned for about thirty years, but on the seabed there are still large anchors that served as ballast to networks willing to catch.
Then back to the car to get a “different” Taranto, between sprinkled bays spotless fine sand like talcum powder and the sea that shows off all the shades of blue to dark blue water deeper to the horizon.
That of Capo San Vito, including military zone and well maintained beaches, is guarded in top view white lighthouse that almost blinding in the glare of the midday sun. The center is located on the southern arm of the Great Sea Basin, right in front of Cheradi Islands, and is the ideal place for lunch in one of the many restaurants that are found there. We chose the restaurant Al Piccolo Porticciolo (via Latterini 5, San Vito – Taranto – tel. +39 099 7334187 – +39 340 1289861) to enjoy well-prepared seafood specialties and using fresh products.
But we will return to San Vito reaching it at sunset: say that the spectacle of the sun dipping into the sea is really a must, seen from here. And we believe in it.