We head out of Lecce to go even further to the south of the heel of Italy. We missed seeing the sea when in Lecce so we decide to go along the sea road instead of the inland route which might be slightly faster. The distance isn’t too big so it doesn’t really matter if we lose a few minutes taking the scenic route.
It is a nice drive along the coast in our small rental Fiat 500cc which has the fold back roof – it might be a bit cold down here in the south this time of the year but come on you need at least to try and drive with the roof down to enjoy the sunrays which is so rare during the winter in Denmark.
The coast is pretty and we go along it looking at the blue water out from the coast until we reach the small town of Otranto. Very conveniently they have a big parking lot a short walk from the city walls where you can park the car for free. So we just drop the car and walk for five minutes till we reach the beach and right there is the a small park behind which we see the walls of the old town.
We go through the gate to the old town and start walking around the small streets of the old town. We walk to the cathedral which is apparently the main attraction of the town – unfortunately it is closed between 12 and 3 and we arrive at the gate of the cathedral just a few minutes after 12. So we don’t get to go inside and see what is inside. Apparently there is the bones of some of the people who got killed by the Turks during one of the many attacks this city suffered during its history. Being at the very southern tip of Italy I guess the city was exposed to enemies arriving by sea with no notice.
The big walls of the city reflects this violent past – but today there is an advantage with the big walls – you can walk up to the top of the wall of the city and have a great view of the harbor below and the beautiful blue waters of the ocean.
The city is fairly small so it doesn’t take long to walk through most of the small streets and we get out of the city finding a little place to have lunch next to the harbor. They don’t have any seats inside the restaurant available so we have to sit outside. We think it is fine since we can enjoy the sunshine – but the wind is fairly strong so we have to hold on to the napkins and anything which is light enough to fly away. We eat quickly to avoid the food getting cold in the strong wind and then we can go back searching for the car which is fortunately is still parked at the parking lot where we left it.