Gallipoli: Ultimate Travel Guide to Puglia’s Most Hidden Gem


The name of Gallipoli comes from the Greek “Καλλίπολις” (Kallípolis), which means “beautiful city.” Indeed, Gallipoli amazed me by its beauty and atmosphere. In the old town, I felt like in a fairytale where all the dreams of a perfect Italian vacation came true. Here you find a great history, medieval monuments, beautiful churches, sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, and delicious seafood in local restaurants.

Like many other old Italian cities, Gallipoli is separated into two parts: an old historic center and a modern city. Here the old town is located on an island, and the new part of the city is on a mainland. I will focus more on the old town in this travel guide, as most of the attractions you will find there.

How to get to Gallipoli

By car

The state highways connect Gallipoli with Lecce and Santa Maria di Leuca. They are not tolled, and the maximum speed limit is 110 km/h (68 mph).

Gallipoli was one of the destinations of my Puglia road trip, and I absolutely loved it! If you travel by car, you should know that the old town is a ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato) – an area where only cars with special permission are allowed. Usually, it’s only for the residents. So you need to find parking in the modern part of the city.

The nearest parking area to the old town is actually on the island, but be careful not to cross the ZTL accidentally. The parking is free off-season, and during the summertime costs 1,5 euro per hour or 10 euro per day.

Gallipoli the old town

Another parking near the old town is Parcheggio Lungomare Marconi. It’s the same official blue line for the same price. Make sure you have enough coins because the usual parking meter doesn’t accept debit or credit cards. I personally left my car just on the first available spot in Corso Roma (the main street that leads to the old city center) with a blue line for parking.

By train

Gallipoli train station is operated by Ferrovie Del Sud Est (part of Trenitalia). There are only slow regional trains, but you can go to Lecce, Brindisi, and Otranto. Check the official website of Ferrovie Del Sud-Est for the schedule and online bookings.

By bus

If you prefer traveling by bus, check to see all the possible connections.

What to do and see

Gallipoli is a perfect destination for an independent traveler looking for both the authenticity of a small Italian town and interesting tourist attractions. Here you can fully live the slow provincial life and at the same time have a lot of fun.

La Fontana Greca

La Fontana Greca or The Greek Fountain is another important attraction that is located on the mainland outside of the historic city center. It’s right near the bridge that you cross to enter the old town of Gallipoli. Some historians believe that this is the oldest fountain in Italy, built in the 3 century BC.

However, other historians say that the fountain belongs to the Renaissance period. Anyway, the facade is beautiful and depicts the Greek myths’ characters: Dirce, Salmacis, and Byblis.

Castello Angioino di Gallipoli

Castello Angioino di Gallipoli (Angevine-Aragonese) is a 13-century Byzantine castle rebuilt many times during its long history. Today, it’s one of the main attractions of Gallipoli, and there is a museum inside. The entry fee is 7 euro. For the opening hours and tickets, visit

Gallipoli Cathedral

Gallipoli Cathedral is a baroque Basilica of Saint Agatha the Virgin. Do not hesitate to come inside (if there is no mass going on) and admire the interior, which is quite unusual. It’s a mix of Renaissance and Byzantine style with frescoes depicting the life of Saint Agatha.

Basilica of Saint Agatha the Virgin

Il Frantoio del Vicerè

Il Frantoio del Vicerè is a small underground museum of a 16-century olive oil press. Today, the process of picking the olives and pressing the oil is almost automated, but how do you think they produced the liquid gold hundreds of years ago? If you’re curious to know, visit the museum. The entry fee is only 1,5 euro.

Take a tour

You can never learn all the secrets of a town without a local guide. If you’d like to know all the history behind the beauty of Gallipoli, I recommend taking a short guided tour.

Santa Maria Della Purità

The church of Santa Maria Della Purità was the last one that I visited in Gallipoli. The facade is simple and inconspicuous, but the church amazed me by the interior decorations’ richness: magnificent frescoes and paintings, ceramic floors, and a heavy chandelier.

Meet the sunset

Gallipoli is a perfect spot for meeting the sunset due to its location on the Italian heel’s Westside. There are many bars on the seafront with fresh seafood and local wine—what a perfect end of a day full of emotions after exploring Gallipoli.

Where to eat

Vecchio Ingrosso is your perfect place for a true Apulian breakfast. The place offers the best pasticciotto in town. It’s a traditional pastry filled with ricotta cheese or custard cream. Here you can also try it filled with pistachio cream or chocolate.

Baguetteria De Pace is a small cozy place for a quick pit-stop while exploring the old city center of Gallipoli. Here you will try the best sandwich in your life.

Scafud-Terra is another great place for a quick lunch. Here you will find delicious sandwiches and plates with prosciutto and cheese that you can enjoy with a glass of wine.

Le Garibaldine is an authentic Italian restaurant with Mediterranean and seafood for a reasonable price. It also offers traditional Apulian dishes like a plate of pasta orecchiette with tomatoes, a great vegetarian option.

AMU Fish Restaurant & Store located on the sea is a perfect place for a romantic dinner. Here you will find the freshest fish and attentive service.

Where to stay


Dimora Storica Briganti offers stylish apartments in the very heart of the historic city center of Brindisi. The main feature of the property is a seasonal rooftop swimming pool.

Casa Nelly is an old-style apartment in the city center. It’s a perfects choice for travelers who want to feel the authentic atmosphere is the city, and it’s only 5 min walk from the beach. It also has a spacious terrace with BBQ facilities, parasols, and sunbeds.

Loft is a small but cozy apartment in the modern part of Gallipoli. Located near the central train station, the property also offers free private parking.

Poetic Salento Style House is a cute ground-floor apartment in the historic city center. It’s well equipped and located right near the beach.


Palazzo del Corso 5* is a luxury boutique hotel in the modern part of Gallipoli. It has a great location in between the train station and the historic city center. There is also a panoramic terrace where you can enjoy your meal or relax in a hot tube.

I Bastioni San Domenico 4* is a stylish hotel in the historic city center. Some of the rooms have a breathtaking sea view.

Xilhotel 4* is a modern hotel located near the train station. You can enjoy the view of the Ionic sea and the marina from a rooftop bar.

Hotel Città Bella 3* offers an affordable stay in the modern part of Gallipoli near the train station. There is also a terrace with a city view.

Masseria near Gallipoli

Tenuta Ferraro is the closest to Gallipoli farm stay that’s only 10 min derive from the city. However, you can fully feel the atmosphere of countryside life here when dogs, horses, and other animals walk around.

Giardini di Marzo is an authentic farm stay located 20 min by car from Gallipoli. There are many beautiful beaches in the area, like Spiaggia di Torre San Giovanni and Baia dei Diavoli.

Tenuta Monticelli is a stylish farm stay near Gallipoli. Located on a hill, it has a nice sea view and green fields around. You can relax by the pool or on your own outdoor hot tub if you book a deluxe room.

Beaches near Gallipoli

Spiaggia Della Purità is a small free beach right in the historic city center. It’s not always cleaned from the seaweed, but the water is crystal clear.

Spiaggia Della Purità in Gallipoli

The most popular beaches near Gallipoli are in the south of the city. You can find miles and kilometers of sandy or rocky beaches along the Lungomare. Starting from Stabilimento Balneare Piccolo Lido all the way down.

One of the most popular of them is Spiaggia di Baia Verde. However, during the high summer season in July and August, it’s very crowded. You can also reach this beach by train. The train station is called Gallipoli Baia Verde.

On the south of Baia Verde, there is a nature park Parco Naturale Regionale Isola di S. Andrea with many beautiful beaches. One of them is Punta Della Suina that is a tiny rocky island with parasols and sunbeds. There is private parking nearby that costs 6 euro no matter how many hours you stay.

On the north of Gallipoli, the first beach is up to 10 min drive from the city center. There is an endless sandy beach with free areas and beach clubs, lots of bars, and restaurants starting from Lido Torre.

Map of Gallipoli

As usual, on the map below, I’ve put all the places mentioned in this article, so it’s easier to orientate in Gallipoli and plan a perfect trip to this wonderful little town.

Jana J.
Italy Travel Expert
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