Galatina “The navel of Salento”
The Salento area covers the southernmost tip of the heel of Italy. It occupies a long strip of flat land, lapped by two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian, and comprises sites and towns that are remarkable for their beauty, history, art and culture. These include Gallipoli, dubbed “The pearl of the Ionian”; Otranto, an ancient city drenched in history; Lecce, with its sophisticated Baroque architecture; Torre dell’Orso, known for its sparkling clear water; and Santa Maria di Leuca with its strikingly majestic Art Nouveau mansions. Galatina is situated inland, and is the third-largest town in the province of Lecce.
Galatina’s geographical position has earned it the nickname “The navel of Salento”, since it lies 20 km from Lecce, 17 km from the Ionian coast and 27 km from the Adriatic. It’s also within easy reach of some of Puglia’s best loved beach resorts, at just 20 km from Gallipoli, 27 km from Torre dell’Orso and 30 km from Otranto.
Galatina’s status was elevated when it officially became a City of King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon in 1793. It is renowned for its cultural heritage, and has been called “Beautiful Athens” due to the beauty of its surrounding area. We recommend visiting the following buildings, with magnificent artistic and architectural treasures: 16th c. Palazzo Ducale; Palazzo Orsini from the 14th century; Palazzo del Sedile, which dates from the 16th century; and the Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria, which was declared a National Monument in 1870 due to its impressive frescoes, and because it contains the relics of the 13th century Saint. Moving on, the Chiesa Madre dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul (the town’s patron saints) was built in the mid-14th century, hewn out of local Leccese stone in the late Baroque style. Although this church is thought to have been founded in the 14th century, its current incarnation dates from the late 17th century. Meanwhile, the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria was built in the late 13th century in Gothic-Romanesque style, and has no less than five naves.
Galatina’s old town is one of the most significant in the Salento, rich in artistic heritage; it lies within the ancient city walls, built around the year 1700; with its narrow lanes and well-preserved archways that connect and run between sixteenth-century palazzos, it is a small Baroque gem.
Not to be missed are the celebrations held from 27-29 June each year in honour of the Patron Saints Peter and Paul, when the ancient “tarantata” ritual dances are performed: in the past, men and women would dance to the compelling rhythm of the “pizzica salentina” music, appealing to their patron St. Paul to save them from the devastating effects of the tarantula bite.
B&B La Dimora Delle Rondini
Relais nel Salento
C.so Re D'Italia, 65 - 73013 Galatina (Lecce)
Morning : 09:00 - 12:30
Afternoon : 14:30 - 19:30