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A Guide to Gallipoli

A Guide to Gallipoli


Gallipoli is a coastal town in the south – west of Puglia. It’s name means ‘beautiful city’ in Greek. It is also known as ‘the Pearl of the Ionian Coast‘. It is surrounded by the sea and has centuries of maritime history. Fishing is still very important and you will often see fishermen mending their nets.

It also has a lovely seaside feel with beautiful beaches and fantastic seafood. It is in 2 parts with a modern section with a fantastic shopping street, Corsa Roma and a historic old town.

In this guide to Gallipoli, I explain what to see, what to do and where to stay in this beautiful city.

view from old town gallipili

street gallopoli

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Things to See and Do in Gallipoli

The Centre Storica

The old town sits on an island, protected by city walls and a majestic castle and is connected to the mainland by a 17th century bridge.

fortress gallipoli

It is possible to walk around the old city walls and through the ancient streets that cross cross the old town. Purity beach also sits below the castle walls.

gallipoli old town

shop gallipoli old town

street gallipoli old town

purity beach gallipoli

Sunsets in Gallipoli

The city walls are also a fabulous place to watch one the wonderful sunsets. A couple of bars allow you to enjoy an aperol spritz whilst looking out to sea and the beautiful turquoise waters.

gallipoli beach at sunset

sunset gallipoli

sunset hover

gallipoli sunset

sunset gull

sunset clouds gallipoli

beautiful skies gallipoli

sunset onsea gallipoli

sunset aperol spritz

seagulls at sunset

Castello di Gallipoli

Guarding the entrance to the old town sits the imposing fortress Castello di Gallipoli. It dates back to the 14th century to protect Gallipoli from the numerous invaders. You can walk the ramparts and look out over the ancient rooftops and the brightly painted boats of Gallipoli port.

gallipoli host read

gallipoli hear hour

view to gallipoli fortress

fortress walls gallipoli

sunset gallipoli fortress

view from fortress ramparts

It is also possible to visit the salt warehouse and some of the old rooms and halls which now house changing exhibitions.

inside gallipoli host read

photo - gallipoli fortress

photo - exhibition at fortress

underground gallipoli fortress

photo old gallipoli

photo exhibition gallipoli

wine amphoras at fortress

gallipoli fortress photo

exhibition gallipoli fortress

underground at fortress

fortress gallipoli gate

The Old Port

A working little port nestled underneath the castle ramparts, full of colourful fishing boats and fishermen working on their boats and nets.

colourful fishing boats gallipoli

gallipoli harbour

fishing boats gallipoli harbour

fishing boat gallipoli

view from gallipoli harbour

The Italy fish market

One of the first things you notice when crossing the bridge is the fish market. Fresh fish is brought here daily and small restaurants and stalls serve up fresh seafood feasts.

Cattedrale di Sant’Agata

The beautiful baroque cathedral sits right in the centre of the old town. A beautiful facade made from Salento stone with an equally impressive interior with a plethora of paintings.

gallipoli cathedral

adornments gallipoli cathedral

cathedral gallipoli

beautiful cathedral gallipoli

facade gallipoli cathedral

cathedral clock tower

interior gallipoli cathedral

inside gallipoli cathedral

ceiling gallipoli cathedral

The Greek Fountain

At the start of the old bridge leading to the old town sits the Greek fountain. For a long time this was believed to be the oldest fountain in Italy dating to the 3rd century. Some scientists are now disputing this, believing that the fountain was built during the Renaissance.

No matter, it is still very beautiful, one side displaying figures from mythology, the other with the coat of arms of the city carved into the stone.

the greek fountain gallipoli

Santuario della Madonna del Canneto

At the start of the bridge, behind the Greek fountain this pretty little church sits by the water. It also looks lovely illuminated at night.

waterfront church

santuario della madonna del canneto

harbour reflections

church of madonna del canneto

Chiesa di San Domenica all Rosario

Following the promenade along the city walls will bring you to this church overlooking the sea. It was built in 1696 by Domenican monks using carparo stone.

chieso di san domenica al rosario

waterfront churches gallipoli

Next to this is:

Church of the Holy Crucifix

church of the holy crucifix


Purity beach sits below the city walls in the old town.

old brown sea

Gallipoli has so many more beautiful beaches accessed by a lovely promenade walk with beautiful views back to old town Gallipoli or a short car or bus journey.

view from spaggia baia verde

baia verde beach

I took the 40 minute walk to Spaggia Baia Verde.

paninoteca gallipoli

There are also paninotecas for a seaside snack.

beach gallipoli

On my walk I passed many other beaches. Some small and secluded, others with beach bars, sunbeds and parasols.

small beach gallopoli

beach bar gallipoli

secluded beach gallipoli

empty beach gallipoli

collecting seafood gallipoli

Spaggia Baia Verde is a long, beautiful beach with lovely views.

beautiful beach gallipoli

beach training gallipoli

view to gallipoli old town

me at baia verde beach
A Lynn Grin in Gallipoli

The Christmas Shop

Just up from the cathedral in the old town is the colourful Christmas shop.

christmas shop gallipoli

Where to stay inĀ Gallipoli

I stayed in the new town just off Corso Roma at b & b Palazzo Grassi. It was in a wonderful old house, like a living museum with so much history. My carved wooden bed was incredible.

The host was so hospitable and helpful and always contactable. There is a lovely outdoor area too.

my balcony gallipoli

Food and drink inĀ Gallipoli

Seafood is a must in Gallipoli. On Sundays generations of families gather at restaurants for huge seafood feasts with many courses. I joined them at Grotta Marinara.

fresh seaood gallipoli

seafood platter gallipoli

grotta marinara gallipoli

sea anenome pasta

There are many other marvelous restaurants in the centre of the old town and lining the old walls to try the many local specialities, washed down with a couple of glasses of local wine.

cheers from gallipoli

local red wine

cafe gallipoli

restaurant gallipoli

Gallipoli is a picturesque place with a lovely feel. It is less than a hour by train from Lecce so makes for a lovely day trip. I would recommend that like me, you spend a few days there. There is a lot to keep you occupied.

fisherman mending net

view of gallipoli

ice cream gallipoli

harbour gallipoli

sunset over harbour

view of old town gallipoli

old town gallipoli

cloudscape gallipoli

shimmering sea gallipoli

seagull on city wall - gallipoli

gallipoli at night

skies over gallipoli old town

seascape gallipoli

cove - gallipoli

shrine gallipoli

lovely church - gallipoli

statue gallipoli promenade

fisherman in gallipoli

mosaic gallipoli church

nun in gallipoli

sun shimmering on sea

small secluded beach

local shop gallipoli


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