Brindisi and Itria Valley
Brindisi, known as the "Gateway to the East" because formerly strategic port of way for the Roman troops and its proximity to Greece and links with Turkey and Albania, is also the starting point for discovering the beauty of the countryside and small villages of his province, that spread along the coast and inland, in the valley of Itria, a journey that reveals the traces of its past with places full of art and history.
Itria Valley spread the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto and is known as the land of the Trulli (Valle dei Trulli). It is an ancient circular building with a conical shape and stone deck very characteristics of the area, you'll find scattered throughout the valley, but especially well preserved in places like Alberobello or Locorotondo.
There is an extensive network of green routes perfectly entitled to travel by bicycle and discover the beauty of its vast territory, winding through towns like Ceglie Messapica, Mesagne, Ostuni, San Vito dei Normans or Francavilla Fontana.
Brindisi has a great promenade but if you get into its narrow streets, you will discover its beautiful historical center that keeps many surprises, like many churches, Roman monuments and palaces. In Brindisi ends Via Appia, which was the most important road of ancient Rome. The 'Regina Viarum "connected Rome with Capua with its 530 km long, extending from the Porta Sebastiano of Rome to Brindisi, where two columns indicated its end point (nowadays only one of them is preserved). It was ordered to built in 312 BC by the censor Appius Claudius Caecus.
The white city of Ostuni
Called the White City for its picturesque whitewashed houses, Ostuni stands with all its beauty on three hills, giving it the appearance of an ancient Greek city. The city center is enclosed among Aragonese walls that remain from the original fifteen and the defenses surrounding the medieval city. Inside the fortress, there is a fascinating maze of narrow streets that lead to small squares and tangled alleys and stairs leading to the top, where we find the majestic Cathedral, and from where we can admire amazing views of olive trees plains.
On one of the terraces Mugia there is one of the jewels of Italy; Cisternino is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. Cisternino, the capital of the Itria Valley, has received one orange flag thanks for the preservation of its historical city center. It is delicious to walk among the palaces of Amatialacio and Capece, the tower Normanda or severals ancient churches. Porches, white houses with flowered balconies, narrow alleyways, patios and stairs make the stroll through this delightful old village.
Natural Reserve of Torre Guaceto
The marine protected area and nature reserve of Torre Guaceto is just under 30 miles from Brindisi. Fortunately, this area has remained virtually untouched, apart from the wild constructions that have flooded other parts of the coast. This small oasis of tranquility allows cycling on the roads of scrub and olive trees, diving to admire the beauty of its coral reefs and seabed vegetation or simply enjoy its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.
Grottoes of Castellana
A walk of about two hours into the depths of this underground world, which runs between stalactites and stalagmites, and that takes you to the White Grotto, a beautiful cave with limestone formations reflected in the underground lake creating a visual spectacle indescribable.
Cisternino by Kiuz | Grottoes of Castellana by tango7174 | Ostuni by Dronkitmaster | Torre Guaceto by Yoruno | Trulli by yellow.cat
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Six Activities with Children in Brindisi
Brindisi, with a population of nearly 90,000 inhabitants, is a surprisingly calm and highly relaxing destination. The city has a glorious past, as evinced in the large number of vestiges still to be seen. Indeed, since ancient times Brindisi was known as the “Gateway to the East”, on account of its geographical location. This led it to become the perfect harbour for Roman vessels to dock at before sailing for the Near East. It was subsequently pilgrims, crusaders and merchants that set out from these shores, and the city also marked the end of the Roman road known as the Via Appia or Appian Way. Here at Vueling City we have prepared six family activities for your stay in this resort, which is also ideal for indulging in “slow tourism”.
Strolling Through the City
The city of Brindisi, on the Adriatic Sea, is situated between two deep bays and connected to the open sea via a deep, narrow channel overlooked by the Castello Rosso (Red Castle), so called for the colour of the stone used in its construction. This provides an exceptional starting point for a tour of the city. Another ideal start is the Castello Svevo or Swabian Castle, which overlooks the harbour’s western channel. The fortress is trapezoidal in shape, although it was remodelled many times over after the arrival of the Aragonese. Your itinerary might then take you to San Giovanni al Sepolcro (the Church of Saint John Sepulchre), which features a splendid, finely decorated marble portal. From there you can head for the Piazza del Duomo and visit the Cathedral. Next, go down the Via Colonne and stop at the foot of the Colonna Romana (Roman Column), originally flanked by another, identical column which is currently located in Lecce. The best way to round off the tour is to approach the Corso Garibaldi, a palm-tree-lined avenue which connects the harbour to the esplanade and train station.
Italy’s Largest Safari Park with Wild Animals
An outing likely to be hugely popular with the kids is a visit to the safari park with the largest number of wild animals in Italy, situated a few kilometres from Fasano. At Fasanolandia, lions, tigers, bears, elephants, antelope, giraffe, bison, deer, zebras and camels roam free among the park’s lush Mediterranean vegetation. The circuit is negotiated by car and there are several routes to choose from. The park also boasts an ornithological exhibit, a tropical room, a zoo and an oceanarium, each with its own variety of wild species – macaws, zebra finches, alligators, snakes, bears, hippos, dolphins and penguins, among others. There is also a Zoo Safari and a large Theme Park.
Another great place to chill out, as well as to enjoy healing therapies and personal care treatment are the Torre Canne Thermal Baths, set amid a lovely fir-tree park which includes a small lake fed by underground streams renowned for their therapeutic properties. This is a spot for the whole family to enjoy water in a different way.
The Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve, a veritable oasis run by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature), is undoubtedly the most spectacular nature park in the area. If offers a wealth of possibilities, criss-crossed by footpaths and trails that are ideal for long, relaxed hikes or bicycle outings with the children. If you haven’t brought the children along, you could do some yoga, a popular activity here in the heart of this splendid nature reserve.
A Tranquil Sea
If there is a place all children root for, it has to be the seaside. The Brindisi coastline is flat and sandy throughout. It is blessed with a longer-than-usual holiday season thanks to its mild climate, which spills over into the autumn. The crystal-clear emerald-green and deep, sea-blue sea is ideal for diving, revealing stunningly rich Mediterranean flora and a seabed where the plant-carpeted depths are interspersed with rocky and sandy sea floors. This is the perfect habitat for the common snipe, ducks, nightingales and various kinds of amphibians. It is also the domain of a wealth of marine plant species, including undersea meadows of seagrass (Posidonia oceanica), sea fans or gorgonians and coral.
Back to the Past
In mid-August,Ostuni,a half-hour’s drive north of Brindisi, hosts the traditional Sagra Vecchi Tempi festivity, packed with musical and folk events, a cult festival that pays homage to the past. Take a stroll through the town’s alleyways and steep yourself in quaint scenes of country life set in accurately reconstructed craft workshops, where you can also taste delicious snacks of traditional local cuisine. At the forefront are the cheeses, both fresh and cured, made on local livestock farms and featuring ricotta, cacioricotta and pecorino, a sheep’s-milk cheese. And, true to local tradition, you can also find a variety of breads – focacce, frise and taralli. A special treat is to be had in the form of typical confectionery, notably the mandorla riccia or “curled almond” and cegliese,a biscuit containing roast almonds, cherry preserve and lemon.
Don’t think twice – if you’re seeking a calm yet entertaining holiday with the children, check out our flights here!
Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicaciónmore info