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Old 04-16-2013, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Italy
157 posts, read 160,205 times
Reputation: 97

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The first time I visited Italy was in 2009, and in 2012 I married an Italian and moved to Salento. Never could imagine that I would live near the seaside, but it happened to be so Living in Salento, I got to love its nature, people, traditions and the way of life. But one thing I’ve noticed is that there are very few American and Russian-speaking tourists. But also when I lived in Ukraine, all the people I knew could tell very little about Salento, some of them knew only that it was in the south of Italy, some of them didn’t have a clue about its existence at all… I was surprised, as almost all the Italians from all parts of Italy choose Salento to spend their vacation in, also you can see lots of European tourists here, mostly French, German and few English.
So, in this thread I would like to tell more about Salento and to invite everybody to choose Salento as next holiday destination with its wonderful weather, dreamy beaches, beautiful historic towns, delicious food and wine, and fun for all the family…
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Italy
157 posts, read 160,205 times
Reputation: 97
let's begin from some general info about Salento



Salento peninsula is located in the south-east of Italy and is known as the “heel” of the Italian “boot” that separates the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas, and it is the first place in Italy, where the sunrise appears.



There are plentiful resorts on its territory, especially on the coast, and beautiful landscapes, for example, Alimini lakes on the Adriatic coast and the Porto Selvaggio natural park on the Ionian. There are numerous small urban centers, which are of great educative value and tourist interest, and a variety of churches, cathedrals, villas, palaces and farms, scattered throughout Salento, deserve attention as well.



Salento beaches are incredibly diverse – from sandy to rocky, but all are notable for clean and crystal-clear warm sea water. The most popular resorts are Ostuni, Casalabate, Oria, Ugento, Manduria, Porto Cesareo, Gallipoli, Torre del Orso, Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca, Lizzano, Pulsano, Santa Cesarea Terme, etc. In addition, the coast of Salento has infinite number of watch towers, the first of which were built by the Normans to protect themselves against pirates, sea caves and coves. The coastline of Salento is one of the longest in Italy, which is increasingly popular reason for tourism to the region.



There are almost no industry enterprises on the peninsula, it is an agricultural region, whose inhabitants are proud to grow organic products. Salento produces almost half of the olive oil in Italy, also the products of wine making and cheese production are exported around the world. Local cuisine is known as a top quality food, whether it is pasta or risotto, vegetables or fish, sweets or wine, pizza or seafood… it is always a great taste and high quality with very attractive prices.



Salento’s climate is Mediterranean, characterized by warm/hot summers with low humidity and mild winters. Precipitation on the peninsula is rare in summer, and it occasionally rains in winter.

But Salento is not only a warm sun, crystal sea and divine gastronomy, it is also a treasury of history, culture, natural resources, arts and culinary traditions that has recently attracted the interest and attention also from foreign tourists. Hospitality and cordiality of the local people of the peninsula, the exquisite aroma of Mediterranean cuisine, pristine nature, combined with modern hotel services for every taste make it an ideal place to spend time. Climate, landscapes and art, a strong connection with the traditions make Salento an attractive land that will forever remain in the memory and in the hearts of travelers.

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Old 04-17-2013, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Italy
157 posts, read 160,205 times
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SHOPPING IN SALENTO

Many people associate Italy with shopping, of course Rome and Milan are the paradise for shopping, but also Salento has a lot to offer… as well as in all other parts of Italy, each little town and even village of peninsula has many shops of different brands, not speaking of bigger towns and cities, full of big shopping centers, fashion boutiques, outlets and malls… So you can make your vacation in Salento even more interesting and spectacular, of course if you like shopping.

If you also want to get big discounts, like 50% and sometimes even 70%, you should know that in Italy it is possible twice a year: from first weekend of January till the end of January-beginning of February, and from the first weekend of July till the end of July. Isn’t it great?

Adding the category Shopping in Salento in my blog From Salento With Love, I will further try to name all shopping opportunities and events, and top destinations for shopping in Salento.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Italy
157 posts, read 160,205 times
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ZOO SAFARI FASANO



First of all it is great to see a zoo, where animals are not in the cages. Another thing I liked about Fasano zoo safari, is that it has also amusement park there, which is great if you want to spend the whole day there, especially with children… It is amazing that you can even touch all kind of animals (apart predators of course), as you enter their territory with your car, and they even come to the windows of your vehicle, as most of them are very curious and are not afraid of people, and they also think you are going to feed them (there are even nuts for sale outside the park).



For me it was an unforgettable experience I should also say that the animals seemed all in a good condition. I loved to see lions and tigers (on their territory the windows of the car should be closed), they were so beautiful and big. And train of monkeys is a real fun The amusement park has also several water attraction (but don’t worry you won’t need the swimming costume), some of them even give you a picture after, like ‘African River’ for example.



Zoo Safari works from 23 of March till the end of September every day (from 9:30 to 15:00), and only on weekends in October and first three days of November (from 10:00 to 15:00). The Amusement Park is opened 30 min after Zoo Safari and closed around 60 min after the closure of Zoo Safari. There is also a large guarded parking area, and one or two restaurants on site, but you can also have a picnic there.



The prices are maybe a bit high, but worth the experience: 22 euro for an adult, and 19.5 euro for children from 4 to 10 years not higher than 1.40 m, the entrance for children less than 4 y.o. is free of charge. The ticket to zoo safari includes: safari with your own vehicle (in pursuit of lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, zebras, antelopes and many other animals in absolute freedom), entrance to the pedestrian park Fasanolandia, entrance to the area of primates, small carnivores and birds of the park, Metrozoo (train on rails for observation from the top of leopards, capybaras, storks, etc), Lake of the Big Mammals (polar bears, brown bears, rhinos, hippos and seals), Village of the Apes (observation of more than 300 baboons in the wild from the train), Tropical Hall (aquarium, reptiles, vivarium), Ornithological Exhibition (exotic birds), Puppet Show.

more pics about zoo safari Fasano and more about Salento you can find here Zoo Safari Fasano /
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Texas
843 posts, read 1,532,173 times
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Thank you! It seems to be a very nice place.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Italy
157 posts, read 160,205 times
Reputation: 97
thank you, Ag77845, it is really a lovely place
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Italy
157 posts, read 160,205 times
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BOAT TRIP FROM OTRANTO TO SAN FOCA



One day boat trip along the Adriatic coast, departing from Otranto port to San Foca, is a must if you want to really enjoy the beauty of Salento, especially because there are so many beaches that are accessible only from the sea with boat/yacht, and not from the land…



The words are not enough to describe the grace and magnificence of the nature, the dance of the sun on the crystal and aquamarine water, the pleasure of total peace and bliss felt during the whole day… It is a real joy to have a lunch on a boat, especially eating seafood or even ricci (sea urchins) freshly fished some minutes ago, and then to go to the deck of the boat for sunbathing.



I would recommend to take with you mask with snorkel and fins for snorkeling, as during the trip you will see lots of picturesque sea caves (where you can enter to examine from inside), and rock formations like the famous Le Due Sorelle (two sisters). Also don’t forget about sun protection cream, as the sun is very strong here. A cherry on top for the day of relaxation will be to see the breathtaking sunset… What an amazing experience!!!!!

If you are interested to organize such an excursion , don’t hesitate to contact me for more details and better prices…

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Italy
157 posts, read 160,205 times
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JOHN MALKOVICH IN LECCE



Thursday, 21st of March, John Malkovich arrived to Lecce with his wife, and the day after the couple had a walk along the streets of Lecce, including historic center, taking by surprise everybody they passed by. Expecting inundation of tourists for Easter holidays, Lecce inhabitants and visitors still couldn’t imagine they would see this internationally famous actor and film director… The Malkovich family chose the Patria Palace Hotel to stay in.

John has proved to be polite with those who tried to stop him and ask for an autograph, and when he was asked what he thought of the city, he told that it was very beautiful.

more photos you can see here John Malkovich in Lecce /
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Italy
157 posts, read 160,205 times
Reputation: 97
HOSPITABLE OTRANTO



Otranto is one of my favorite towns of Salento, there is a special atmosphere around it… I love to have a walk in its historic centre (ladies, do not wear high heels for a walk in historic centre, as the roads are made of many stones, and heels may be ok, but not the high ones), along the streets full of souvenir shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, along the embankment always full of people, tourists from the whole world, to go down to the port through Porta a Mare (Gate to the Sea) or go up the ancient walls and to admire lovely a panorama of the sea port (when the visibility is good, it is even possible to see Albania, as it is exactly in front of Otranto)… It is beautiful also in the evening, and it becomes so romantic with lots of street lights.



Otranto is the most eastern town of Italy, in fact, Salento was previously called Terra d’Otranto (Land of Otranto), and it is the first place in Italy, where the sunrise appears. To be exact, The Lighthouse Faro della Palascia (which is 5 km far from Otranto) marks the most easterly point of the Italian mainland. The Old Town of Otranto was declared by UNESCO as ‘Heritage witness to a culture of peace’.



Among the most important sights there are The Aragonese Castle (15th century, it is open to the public and hosts different exhibitions from time to time), The Cathedral (with enormous mosaic pavement of 1166 depicting the Tree of Life, with a crypt supported by 42 marble columns, and downstairs behind the glass there are 800 skulls and bones of martyrs), Basilica of San Pietro (with Byzantine frescoes), Piazza del Popolo, the Clock Tower, Porta a Mare, Porta Terra and Torre Alfonsina.

you can find more info and pics here Hospitable Otranto /
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:15 PM
 
429 posts, read 589,097 times
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it's truly lovely, thank you!
dh and I may spend next winter in Italy, and are specifically looking for affordable, rural and laidback.

what can you tell us about rentals there? what does a cottage cost per month in dec/jan/feb?
we'd especially like to be near the beach if possible of course!
thanks so much.
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