Gallipoli is a famous Apulian tourist resort in the Province of Lecce overlooking the Ionian Sea, popular for its natural beauty, and especially for its waters, but also for its rich culture, and its territory. Here we find the Natural Regional Park of the Island of Sant'Andrea and the Punta Pizzo coast. The old town is situated on a small island of calcareous origin,connected to a new town by a seventeenth-century arched bridge.
The city's origins are unclear. The emblem, in which there is a rooster with a crown and the words fideliter excubat, watches closely,and it is linked to a legend that says that the rooster would have impressed with its image the shield of Idomeneo of Crete, the hero who is believed to be the founder of the city of Lecce and Gallipoli. Instead according to a reading of Pliny the Elder, it is clear that the Gauls were the first to settle in this territory. The most credible theory remains the one that Gallipoli was part of Magna Graecia and controlled a vast territory extending up to the center of Porto Cesareo.
Besides being a famous tourist location, each year, in the summer months tourists from all over the world come here, Gallipoli is especially known for the production of its famous oil that is exported all around the world.
What to see
Gallipoli, beyond its natural beauty, is a town full of art and culture.
Among all, at the highest point of the city, in the historic center of the town, there is the Cathedral of Sant'Agata, rebuilt in the seventeenth century on a previous church dedicated to San Crisostomo and one of the most important examples of Baroque-Leccese in Puglia.
Sober but impressive is the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi, built in the thirteenth century which treasures inside the wooden statues of the two thieves, recalled by Gabriele D'Annunzio for theirhorrible beauty.
Placed just on the edge of the bridge that leads to the Old Town and overlooking the waters of the Seno del Canneto, we find the famous Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Canneto, where inside we can admire the beautiful image of La Madonna del Canneto linked to a legend, cherished by the local fishermen.
Among the military architecture, the Angevin Castle, built in the middle of the Byzantine period and almost completely surrounded by the sea. To defend itself from constant threats of invaders arriving from the sea, the city was endowed with massive walls and 12 towers, including the Tower of San Francesco di Paola, the St. George Fort, the St. Benedict Fort and the St. William Tower.
Very nice is also the Greek Fountain, one of the most ancient existing fountains in Italy, on which are carved scenes of the metamorphosis of Dirce, Salmace and Biblide.To be mentioned, among the civil buildings the baroque style Palazzo Pirelli and Palazzo Vallebona and its beautiful scenary.
Events• 1 / 2 July - Celebrations in honor of the Madonna del Canneto
• July - Celebrations in honor of Santa Cristina with a traditional feast at sea
• January / February - Carnival of Gallipoli
• Easter - Holy Week Rites of Passion