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The old fort on Gallipoli's waterfront

Unfinished statue, Gallipoli

View from the beach toward Gallipoli

Welcome to Gallipoli
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population:  20,513 (2001)
Official site: n/a
Wikipedia:  Gallipoli
Map: Mapquest

Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek "Kallipolis".  Similarly to the Turkish town of this same name, Gallipoli occupies a strategic location and thus was repeatedly attacked through the centuries by the usual European conquest culprits (Normans (1071), the Venetians (1484), the British in 1809 and of course the Turks and Spaniards).

Geographically speaking, this town is almost an exact replica of Siracusa in Sicily and divided in much the same way, with the new town on the mainland and the beautiful old, fortified town across a 17th-century bridge, crowded onto its own island, in the gulf of Taranto.

Life in Gallipoli revolves around its fishing trade.  Every day fisherman sail out under the harbour bridge returning at every night where they pull their brightly coloured boats up the sandy shore.

The water surrounding the island has a pristine clarity.  To protect the fishing industry, the people take great care of the waters and the surrounding environs.  There are lively fish markets each morning showcasing the latest catch.  Not surprisingly, numerous seafood restaurants can be found throughout the street, and many people, your intrepid editors   included, believe some of the best seafood in all of Italy can be found here. 

One of the best restaurants, built out on to the sea is Marechiaro (literally translated as "Clear Sea") on the north side of the Island.  The restaurant's interior is done in wood, the flower bedecked terraces offer  spectacular coastal views.  Ask any local and they will point you in the right direction. Numerous world-reknowned celebrities have eaten here and the owners "brag" about it by hanging their pictures on the walls.

The city is a lively and bustling place with numbers of shops, restaurants, castles and churches to visit.  In the heart of the town are a number of wonderful jewelry stores where you can negotiate excellent deals.  Local wine shops offer an array of Pugliese vintages.

Gallipoli's historic quarter is a mix of narrow alleys and squares and is guarded by its famous Aragonese Castel (Castello Aragonese), a massive fortification that grew out of an earlier Byzantine fortress you can still see at the southeast corner.  

There is ample swimming, watersports and clean fine sand beaches to be found in and around Gallipoli.  The 5-km littoral of beaches, which sweep south are a great choice for families and offer both private and public beaches.

Posted by Jesse Andrews, August 2nd, 2006

Puglia Region



Lecce - 40 km;
Brindisi - 77 km;  Bari - 191 km;
Taranto - 147 km;  Foggia - 322 km; Pescara - 500 km


Waterside houses, Gallipoli

Pristine waters near Gallipoli