A Day in Santa Maria di Leuca - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

April 10, 2022

A Day in Santa Maria di Leuca

The winds came as predicted, up to 25 mph from the north accompanied by a crisp spring chill. Happy that I’d decided against cycling to Otranto today, I lazed around most of the morning catching up on news, puzzles and the journal. By noon I was ready to explore Santa Maria di Leuca. 

 The first stop was a rocky bit of shore along the Adriatic Sea, accessed through archways supporting the road above.

The sea beckons
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Scott AndersonI remember this spot. We should have stayed over a second night in this town.
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3 months ago
Along the Adriatic, with Punta Ristola in the distance
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I wanted to dip my toes, but Sensible Susan said no
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My next destination the to the top of Punta Meliso, which together with Punta Ristola are the two promontories that flank and enclose the bay of Santa Maria di Leuce. The  Faro di Santa Maria di Leuca, the second highest lighthouse in Europe, sits atop Punta Meliso. On the way, I was detoured by discovering a recommended restaurant was open for lunch. I’d wanted to eat there last night but couldn’t wait until it opened at 8 pm. I opted instead for pizza next door – it was good, but left me longing for the pie I savored in Napoli a few days back.

Lunch was terrific - fish ravioli with prawns and cherry tomatoes. I took a picture, but I'm not so good at that so you'll just have to imagine how good it looked and tasted. Once fed, I made my way along the promenade to a wooden walkway that circled the marina. Then it was up 250 steps to top of Punta Meliso and the Faro di Santa Maria di Leuca. 

The promenade is nearly empty during lunchtime in the off-season
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Watch your step, you might trip and sprain your ankle
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Rachael AndersonI’m glad you’re being careful! What a beautiful place to walk.
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3 months ago
The marina in Santa Maria di Leuca
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The breakwater wall that protects the bay of Santa Maria di Leuca
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Rich FrasierThose things always look like giant concrete jacks (from the kid's game) to me.
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3 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Rich FrasierTo me too. I used to know what they are called from a project I worked on which was built on Montserrat in the Caribbean. No, I didn’t get to visit the site. We don’t use them in BC because appropriate large rock is available.
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3 months ago
Roman column donated by Mussolini on the completion of Apulian aqueduct in 1939. The column sits above a "monumental waterfall" which was not in operation today
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Stairway to the top of Punta Meliso
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On Punta Meliso
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View from Punta Meliso
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Built in 1864, the Faro di Santa Maria di Leuca rises 47m above the ground and 102m from sea level. You can take a 254 step spiral staircase to the top, but not today
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The Sanctuary, also known as the Basilica De Finibus Terrae
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My third destination was a walk to the end of the breakwater. Despite the fact that my town map clearly showed a dotted line up and down the breakwater, there was no access point I could find. A bit disappointed, I headed back to the B&B along the row of fancy sea-facing villas and consoled myself with gelato.

Not sure if this is the best advert for bicycle rentals. Nice color though.
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Rich FrasierLooks like Bianchi celeste to me. My favorite color on a bike.
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3 months ago
My goal of walking to the end of the long breakwater was foiled when I couldn't find the access point
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The Colonia Scarciglia in Leuca, a former tuberculosis hospital, sits above the Grotte Cazzafri, at the base of Punta Meliso
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Scott AndersonA remarkable structure and location. If I had TB it’s where I’d want to be locked up. It makes me think of Vittorio de Sica’s film, A Brief Vacation.
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3 months ago
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A stroll among fancy villas
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Another fancy villa
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Any guesses?
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Gelato party hats are definitely a Puglia thing
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Rich FrasierI vote for more gelato pictures!
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3 months ago

Weather predictions for tomorrow call for continued strong winds from the north. I prefer a more relaxing ride up the coast to Otranto so have booked another night here in Santa Maria di Leuca. My plan is a shorter loop into the interior of the southern Salento, a bit of a struggle to start but hopefully a nice tailwind to lift me home.

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Rachael AndersonSorry your getting such windy weather but it looks like you had a great walk around town. I hope the winds improve soon for you!
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3 months ago
Laura ChiharaGlad to see that you are able to cycle and move about freely now!
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3 months ago