Santa Maria Di Leuca

Info Santa Maria Leuca

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  • Apulia


    Castrignano Del Capo



    20,77 Kmq


    Via Municipio 1

Santa Maria di Leuca is the farthest end of Salento

Romans called it “De Finibus Terrae”. Santa Maria di Leuca is the farthest end of Salento, the “heel” of Italy, point of contact between the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea. On the top of the promontory, dominating the coast, stands the Basilica-Sanctuary of Santa Maria de Finibus Terrae, ancient place of pilgrimage: according to the tradition, the Marian devotion was inspired by St. Peter the Apostle, who visited this place travelling to Rome and changed the Pagan temple of Minerva into a Christian church.

It seems that the devotion to the Madonna already existed in 325, when the Virgin Mary saved a group of fishermen during a storm. The present fortified church was built between 1720 and 1755 to protect the Sanctuary from Saracen attacks. Next to the Sanctuary stands one the most important lighthouse of Italy: it is 48 metres high and stands at 102 metres above sea level; it has been put in action in 1866 by the civil genius. From the square you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the coast, the sea and the marine, which is connected with the Sanctuary by a monumental double flight of 300 steps. The work has been realized in 1939 during the Fascist twenty years, at the end of the works for the Apulian aqueduct; it is possible to admire an artificial waterfall between the two flights, which is opened only in particular occasions.

The charm of Leuca is also represented by its elegant villas, built between the 19th and the 20th centuries as holiday resorts for the Middle Class of Salento: it is worth mentioning Villa Meridiana, which was built in 1874 as first, and Villa Episcopo, which is similar to a Chinese pagoda. Every villa is characterized by a little church, a large garden and a “bagnarola” that is to say a ladies’ changing room: it gave them the possibility of having a bath without being seen.

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Useful information for tourists

Useful information for tourists in Apulia

  • Language:




    International code:


    Travel document:

    Identity card for community citizens; passport for extra-community tourists

  • Useful numbers:

    • Carabinieri 112
    • State Police 113
    • Firemen 115
    • Finance Police 117
    • First Aid 118
  • How to reach Apulia:

    By plane

    Bari Airport: Karol Wojtyla. Brindisi Airport: Papola Casale. Foggia Airport: Gino Lisa

    By train

    Trenitalia links the main Italian cities of Apulia

    On highway

    A14 from Bologna through Foggia and Bari to Taranto

    A16 from Napoli; in Canosa it converges with A14.

Secular olive-groves with crooked trunks appearing as real natural sculptures.

Secular olive-groves

Symbol of the flora of the whole region is the olive tree, which characterizes the territory from the Tavoliere to the end of the Salento with immense fields.

Secular olive-groves

The olive trees with their beauty and charm, given by their secular crooked trunks, embody the history of Apulia thanks to their millenarian presence on the territory. They are the oldest and largest group of millenarian vegetal specimens in the world.

Self- vegetation and animal species in Apulia.

Horse of the Murgia

A huge number of biotopes of vegetable and animal species characterizes the region, even if only the 7% of the territory has been declared protected area. The Apulian self-vegetation is marked by woods, the Mediterranean maquis and the so-called ganga (rocky pasture).

Pink flamingos in the salt marshes of Margherita di Savoia

The region shows two national parks: the Gargano National Park with many areas and reserves and the lakes of Lesina and Varano, and the Alta Murgia National Park.