2019-09-04 Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy

A new part for the motor in the Tangaroa has been ordered and will not arrive in Sant Maria di Leuca for a couple of days. As we had hired a car, we decide to do some exploring today in the surrounding districts
With the Tangaroa locked up and safe in the marina, we make our departure
Driving north in the region of Puglia, we follow the main road which is flanked by ancient stonewalls and old olive trees
We intend to visit the town of Lecce
Firstly we pass through the nearby old town of Gagliano del Capo which is a town of low buildings which were built high above the sea. In ancient times it was for protection from invaders
The small town has quite a prominent local church
Ornate framework with lights panning the narrow roads are common in small towns of Italy. During festival times and special occasions these are turned on in the evening
Arriving in the town of Lecce
Time for a coffee break
Forgetting all shops in Italy close at 1.30 pm, we managed to purchase several bottles of Italian wines in one of the local liquor shops
Once we park the car we set off on foot to explore the town
We visit the Castello di Lecce which was first built in the middle ages and strengthened by Charles V in 1539
In front of the castle stands a sensual statue in a fountain called Fontana Dell’ Armonia
We next head through Porta San Biagio
Chiesa di Santa Chiara
Hidden amongst the narrow streets of the baroque city is a 2nd century Roman Theatre
There are many small outdoor restaurants and cafes in the large town square of Lecce
Although not visited during our brief walk around Lecce, I have included a photo of the Lecce Cathedral
As we leave Lecce we pass another interesting tall statue
We decide to continue on to Brindisi as we intend to go there with our boat on our way to Croatia
It is not long before we are driving through the outskirt streets of Brindisi
We park the car and set off to explore the interesting town
With only a small population of around 86,000 Brindisi is a busy town with a substantial port
Since ancient times the port of Brindisi has been a major port for trade with the east
Today it is still a major port for trade, tourism, commercial and industrial shipping
The famous Le Colonne Romane, the Roman Columns are a monument located at the port of Brindisi. They were represented as early as the 14th C as an emblem to the city and the end of the Appian Way, one of the earliest important Roman roads which connects Rome to the Port of Brindisi. In 1528 one of the columns collapsed during an earthquake and over a century later was reused to become the statue of Sant’Oronzo in Lecce
Visiting yachts are tied up along the pier near the Roman columns
The Monument to Italian Sailors stands prominently on the opposite shoreline to the main part of Brindisi
Chiesa di San Paolo dei Francescani
The Cathedral of the Visitation and Saint John Baptist
We depart Brindisi for our 108 km (1.5 hrs) trip back to Santa Maria di Leuca
We return to Santa Maria di Leuca in the early evening to experience the busy peak hour traffic
Enjoying a wonderful day of sightseeing by car to Lecce and then to Brindisi (Puglia in south east Italy) we arrive safely back to the Tangaroa in Porto Turistico Marina di Leuca

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