Many people thought I was in Turkey when I posted photos of my stay in Gallipoli (map). I wasn’t. In fact, I was in Puglia, in southern Italy! Gallipoli in Turkey is especially famous as the site of the ‘Gallipoli Campaign’, a battle during World War I, not to be confused with Gallipoli (which translates as ‘Beautiful City’ in Greek) in Puglia, which is an ancient port on the Ionian Sea. The town is believed to have been founded by the Greeks and through the centuries, Gallipoli was conquered by a succession of powers including the Byzantines and the Normans. In the 18th century, Gallipoli was home to the largest olive oil market in the Mediterranean. From its ports, ships laden with olive oil sailed to major European cities where the oil was used for lighting. It is said that olive oil from Gallipoli lit the streets of London before the advent of the electric bulb.
A photo tour of Gallipoli Puglia
These days, Gallipoli is a quiet town that derives most of its livelihood from tourism and fishing. The old town is situated on a little island and is connected to the mainland by a 16th century bridge. This part of town features an impressive castle (built by the Byzantines in the 13th century) and equally impressive fortification walls and towers. Behind the castle lies a maze of picturesque streets filled with quaint shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as historic churches, convents and palaces. As I soon discovered, despite its small size, Gallipoli is packed with historic and cultural treasures, and it has a dazzling sandy beach right at its doorstep! Come take a photo tour with me and discover the treasures of Gallipoli:
See my photo essay on reasons I love Italy
Like many of my followers, I was aware of Gallipoli in Turkey but until my visit to Puglia, I had no idea of the existence of this lovely town of the same name. I’m very glad to have made its acquaintance! I sadly only spent a night but I could easily have spent a week there. If you’re visiting Puglia, make sure to include a stay in Gallipoli. You’ll love it!
The region of Puglia is connected to major European cities via frequent flights from Bari and Brindisi. Gallipoli is located about 200km from Bari (read about things to see in Bari), 38km from Lecce (read about things to see in Lecce) and 90km from Brindisi and can easily be reached via the state road 101.
Check out my ultimate guide to Puglia.
Note: my visit to Puglia was part of the #WeAreinPuglia campaign, a partnership between iambassador and the Puglia Tourism Board. As always, all views expressed above are mine, and mine only.
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Gallipoli seems so friendly and like all Italian beaches, this one is great as well. What I love most about this country is its passion for outside dining, their cafés are so chic and the food is always delicious, but so fattening…
[…] The treasures of Gallipoli by Velvet Escape: Gallipoli conjures up images of white sand beaches and crystal clear water but this town is also “packed with historic and cultural treasures”. […]
Yes, the beaches are indeed beautiful and I loved the cafés along the promenade with fab views of the beaches and the sea. I didn’t spend enough time in the town to get to know the townsfolk well but the fishermen selling their catch of the day at the fish market were very chatty – wish I knew what they were saying (definitely have to brush up on my Italian! Haha!)!
It was a pleasant surprise for sure. For such a small place, it sure has a lot to offer!
Thanks for your comment Maria!
Wow is this place gorgeous! The town appears so prosperous but it’s the beautiful beaches and seaside cafes that caught my eye. Did you learn of any fascinating stories involving the townsfolk?
Treasures is right Keith – looks like they’re down every street and around every corner there. Wow!