Santa Maria di Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca (Sicilian: Lèviche) is a village of the Apulia region in Italy. It belongs to the municipality of Castrignano del Capo and represents the southernmost inhabited centre of the region.
phone: +39 0833 758161address: Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 53Information about the locality, nearby tourist destinations and various events.
Brindisi AirportIt is the closest one (120 km) and you can reach Leuca by renting a car or through the efficient bus services available.
- From the airport of Brindisi: take the to bypass the city, merge ontotowards Lecce, here take Tangenziale Ovest andto Gallipoli and finallythat ends just 2 km north of the sanctuary. All of these roads are state highways with dual carrageways for most of the length.
- From Otranto: drive along freeway until Maglie, here take thethat crosses the inner villages. Another option is driving southward along the Adriatic coast through the beautiful marinas and with a truly magnificent view.
By footThe locality is quite small and can be visited by foot quickly, walking along the beautiful promenade of Via Cristoforo Colombo. You can reach the Sanctuary of Finibus Terrae from the harbor by walking up a 284-step monumental staircase. Don't forget a pair of comfortable shoes and a bottle of water!
By carMany streets are one-way and road signs can be difficult to understand (a trick of the municipality to earn money thanks to the fines), so if you choose to drive in the central area of the village watch out for eventual driving bans and road marking. The boardwalk is extremely busy at every hour of every day during summer and parking there is virtually impossible. Be prepared to park your car some blocks north and don't forget the parking meter!
Despite this a car can be useful to explore the coast in both directions or to reach the magnificent grottoes on the Ionian Sea, driving towards west.
phone: +39 0833 758636address: Piazza Giovanni XXIIIBuilt on the site of an ancient pagan temple dedicated to Minerva, on the promontory where Saint Peter landed on his way to Rome. The first christian church dates back to 59 AD. and it was repeatedly destroyed by Saracens and Turks, to be rebuilt in the actual form in 1755. The Basilica was visited by pope John Paul II in 1990 and by Benedict XVI in 2008.
Lighthousephone: +39 0833 758299, +39 349 806 2395address: Piazza Giovanni XXIIIIt is tall 48,6 meters (159 ft) and reach a total height of 102 meters (335 ft) above the sea level. It is the southernmost lighthouse of Apulia an one of the most important of Italy, due to its position between the Ionian and the Adriatic Sea. The structure has 254 steps and it is open to the public by appointment, only on certain days.
phone: +39 0833 758035address: Piazza Redentore, 8The construction started in 1896 but it wasn't open to worshipers until 1935. The church features a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with notable mosaic floor and rose window.
phone: +39 0833 202536address: Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 61Beautiful 19th century palace with elements of Classical and Moorish architecture, now seat of a 4-star hotel.
- (cave of the Devil) is located at the tip of Punta Ristola and is accessible by descending a short dirt path. Here you will arrive in a suggestive space, with an exit to the sea and another one to the surface.
Grotta del FiumeA crystal-clear water acts as an entry to a system of communicating grottoes that you can explore by foot. It takes this name from an above small ravine that pours rainwater during the autumn.
Grotta delle Tre porteMaybe the most famous one in the area; takes its name from the fact that it has three arches as doorways.
Grotta degli InnamoratiSwim in the 6 meters (19 ft) deep waters of the Ionian sea and pass under a doorway, reaching an enchanting grotto full of sand, where you can easily walk on. Inside of that you will find a sort of "playground" with different minor caves and two points to climb on the ceiling and diving into the water without any risk. The name if due to the same ceiling, that resembles the shape of a heart.
- Have a walk along the in the tourist port, between the white Mediterranean houses and the sea, overlooking the lighthouse and Punta Meliso.
- Don't miss the opening of the monumental waterfall between the two flights of the staircase below the Sanctuary, when the water of the Apulian Aqueduct are left pouring out in a show of colorful lights. It is usually open by night, but there are no established dates for this event so it is better to ask the tourist office or shopkeepers.
- Admire the fireworks on Ferragosto night (15th August), a show of about 20 minutes visible from kilometers that attracts a lot of people from the nearby municipalities. It usually takes place at about 23:00.
phone: +39 0833 758238address: Via Bolzano, 7Excellent restaurant specialized in seafood, as well as a cafe facing the promenade.
phone: +39 0833 767802address: Litoranea Leuca-GallipoliSeafood restaurant with set menu and a good price performance, famous in the area for the quality and the abundance of the dishes served.
phone: +39 0833 758048address: Via Cavaliere Tommaso Fuortes, 8Excellent ice cream and pastries in one of the various Martinucci shops in the province.
phone: +39 0833 548979address: Litoranea Santa Maria di Leuca-Otranto km 5, Gagliano del CapoLuxury club well known also outside the regional borders, especially for its unique location overlooking the Adriatic Sea. It also hosts a restaurant, parties, events and weddings.
phone: +39 388 653 4361address: Via Cristoforo ColomboLounge bar on the beautiful promenade, with restaurant and bathhouse.
Moirè Cafè & Bistrotphone: +39 349 197 8633address: Via Virgilio, 57/DGreat aperitifs in one of the most appreciated cafes in Leuca. It is located in the centre of the village but quite far from the most busy streets.
phone: +39 0833 758548address: Via Panoramica, 14-star sea-view hotel with 52 rooms+1 suite and pool
Hotel Terminalphone: +39 351 071 5256address: Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 594-star hotel in an elegant and modern building on the seafront, with 60 rooms and pool
phone: +39 393 664 9987, +39 389 031 1032address: Litoranea Leuca-Gallipoli30 parking spaces for campers and caravans in an area equipped with bathrooms, showers, bus shuttle service, WiFi. It is located few steps from the rocky coast to the west of Leuca, in an excellent location to explore the numerous sea caves. The structure is open from Easter to mid-October, with fares from €15 to €50, depending on the period and the chosen services.
phone: +39 0833 758738address: Contrada Montirò4-star hotel with 38 rooms in six structures covered with local stone, located in the middle of the quiet countryside and with a large open air pool surrounded by olive trees.
phone: +39 329 6168439address: Str. Vicinale - Trav. SP 274Villa with swimming pool, panoramic sea view and private garden. 6 sleeps, 3 bedrooms, about 1 km from the sea.
If you want to rent a boat to explore the sea caves don't forget to take the phone number of the attendant and be careful when you steer the boat behind the promontory of Punta Meliso (the one with the lighthouse), since the waters become deep and the sea is usually a bit rough.
phone: +39 0833 758278address: Via Doppia Croce, 8
phone: +39 0833 758687address: Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 26
phone: +39 0833 758019address: Via Dante Alighieri, 49