Not the Gallipoli in Turkey, this one’s in southern Italy, right about here.
It’s a picturesque fishing town, famous for gamberini rossi (red prawns). There’s no real attractions as such, but the prawns were enough reason for us to visit!
We were staying in Lecce and it’s an easy 40 minute drive from there.
Over the years Mr Travelling Pantaloni and I have developed this system of parking just outside the centre of the towns we’re visiting. It’s a good system as it avoids getting tangled in those tiny streets in the historic centre where there’s no parking anyway (well there probably are spaces if you’re Italian and want to park sideways), and more importantly it avoids marital arguments.
I always consult my Pocket Earth app before we leave, marking the nearest parking areas and the places we want to see. This makes days out in unfamiliar places a breeze as I always know where I am (without using mobile data) and I can mark where we parked so I can always find our car. Bonus!
And so it was with our trip to Gallipoli. We parked really close to the edge of the historic centre and walked over a bridge (the old part of Gallipoli is essentially an island) passing a rather cool sea urchin sculpture along the way.
It seems like there’s a castle in every town in this part of Italy. We were a bit sick of them by this stage, so we didn’t go into the one here, although it does look good from the outside. If you want to visit, it’s €6 pp.
Gallipoli is tiny, so we weren’t too worried about making our way directly to the things we wanted to see, as we knew we’d bump into them eventually. We decided to wander around the lungomare (a road/walkway that follows the sea) and look at the town from the outside first off.
It’s a really pretty town, and I was constantly stopping to take photos.
Gallipoli has one ‘main’ street where you can find the Duomo (cathedral), souvenir shops, bars and restaurants.
There’s also an historic pharmacy, Farmacia Provenzana, that still looks the same as it did 100 years ago. It’s tiny, and I’m sure they get annoyed at tourists walking in and taking up valuable space just to have a gawk. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos as I thought that would just be too rude. But go in if you’re there, it’s really worth a look.
One of the things I really love to do while in Italy is poke my nose into churches. You can never tell from the outside how good it’s going to be on the inside, so each one is worth a look in my opinion. Mr Travelling Pantaloni doesn’t share my enthusiasm for church interiors, so I was surprised when he suggested we pop into this one. And Lordy was it a good one! Check this out! (It’s called Chiesa e confraternita S.Maria della Purita, Gallipoli in case you want to visit)
Lucky we went in when we did as it closed shortly after for the rest of the day. In southern Italy almost everything shuts at around midday and doesn’t re-open until around 5pm, so you really have to plan your visits accordingly.
Today was the 12th anniversary of when Mr Travelling Pantaloni and I met each other, so we decided to have a long lunch to celebrate. We were keen to try the famous gamberini rossi cooked in sea salt, so we headed to La Puritate . It’s a slightly formal but gorgeous little restaurant with a sea view, but no outdoor space.
We had mixed antipasti of raw and cooked seafood, the famous gamberini rossi al sale and fried baby calamari. All delicious, and only €62.
It was a blisteringly hot 37° the day we were there and so an after lunch swim and general laze around was definitely called for. Luckily Gallipoli has beautiful sandy beach.
We had a lovely day out, and if you’re ever in the area I highly recommend you drop in, or even stay for the night (I wished we had!)
Until next time, safe travels,
The Travelling Pantaloni