I realised that I already have a few photos on iPhoto of a previous trip down the coastal road so though camera less through the wonders of old technology I can show you a couple of photos of Santa Cesarea Terme before we head on down the coast a piece.
The moorish house from afar
The Terme ( spa)
and finally ( yawn yawn I know but I did bother taking them readers )
The rather understated, don’t you think, front door.
We drove on to Lueca. the coast is unspoilt until a few clicks before the town Santa Maria di Lueca to give it it’s full title. with just a few small villages clinging to the cliffs with views like this en route
Lueca is probably best avoided in August though the views from the convent of Santa Maria are worth fighting to park to see. Be Italian and have the passengers pile out to take the pictures and then slowly turn the car near the church and hotel causing all kinds of joyous chaos and then drive back and pick them up again causing much beeping and Italian cursing. Tell the passengers not to rush, do remember for one of them to decide they want to sit on the other side of the car and then change their minds and go back to insist on their old spot again, tears and shouting please at this point. Then remember to have another get something from the boot (trunk) but then decide to put it back and get something else out and finally do waive almost apologetically as you drive off back down the hill. It will do you the power of good and make up for all the times so far on this trip you have sat behind an Italian car doing much worse.
Through the merits of my three navigators we, this time, managed to find the coast road up to Gallipoli. The road sign placers are terribly keen for you to sample the undoubted delights of the autostrada that races up the middle of Salento rather than ambling up the sleepy coast road and so set fiendish traps at almost every lido to entice you away from the scenery. You do in fact have to finally get on the autostrada for the last 5 kms as the coastal road south from Gallipoli is one way north to south. We swam there and due to our late arrival ( 2.30 p.m.) it seemed the beach boys were all resting after an arduous morning collecting thousands of Euros for umbrellas and loungers so paid nothing for ours. I was shocked to be fair at €10 for each umbrella and each lounger until our house guests told us that in Sardinia last year the charge was €30 for each item for the day. I had to retreat to the bar on the beach for another draught beer at again the eye watering price of €5 for about half a pint to recover from the shock and mentally strike Sardinia from my shrinking list of must do’s during one of the next summers.
My forward planning had consisted of booking one hotel for the night before and then had decided that this night we could wing it and find some little gem tucked back from the coast eagerly waiting to be discovered by us and then kept secret for years to come while we enjoyed it’s delights with various house guests. One look at the hoards on our small section of beach dispelled that notion and we, without any real discussion, set off and found ourselves heading back towards Martina Franca and a shower and dinner out. The centro storico of Gallipoli will have to wait for another time as will the wine tasting in the Primitivo region.
Still you have seen some pictures.