Santa Maria di Leuca

Santa Maria di Leuca

The land where two seas meets

Santa Maria di Leuca is the maritime area of Castrignano (province of Lecce), in the southern point of Salento where the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet.

The name comes from the Latin Leukos (light, bright) and the religious Sanctuary, once the site of a Temple of Minerva.

As reported by a Latin inscription placed on the Sanctuary, Saint Peter arrived on the shores of Salento in 43 after Christ (exactly ten years after the death of Christ) and evangelized the area by renaming it “Santa Maria di Leuca”.

Do you want to know something more? Read the article below!

Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca

Santa Maria di Leuca from the Romans was considered as the place where the land was finished. 

This is why the Sanctuary was called “De Finibus Terrae”.

The sanctuary was consecrated by Pope Julius I on August 1, 343 A.D.: it has long been and still is a place of pilgrimage.

The Sanctuary has been devastated a lot of times, especially by the Turks and Saracens, and has been rebuilt more or less following the same perimeter walls.

The lighthouse of Santa Maria di Leuca

E’ stupendo il faro di Leuca, tra mare e mare, con accanto un santuario, mèta di pellegrinaggi, nel quale, secondo le credenze, occorre essere stati per accedere al paradiso

cit: Guido Piovene

It is wonderful the lighthouse of Leuca, between sea and sea, with a sanctuary next to it, destination of pilgrimages, in which, according to traditions, you must have been to access paradise

cit: Guido Piovene

The lighthouse is 47 m high from soil level and 102 m from sea level and it offers the possibility to reach the circular terrace and see far away places like Corfù.

From the terrace, you can reach a spectacular view, especially during the sunset, while the sky is painted with vivid colors creating an enchanting atmosphere.

Punta Meliso – Leuca’s promontory

Punta Meliso is the promontory where we can find the lighthouse of Santa Maria di Leuca and where, according to traditions, the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet.

This phenomenon is very interesting to see: it seems that currents of the two seas release both a different tonality opposing each other.

Since 2006 the area of Punta Meliso lies in a protected area, called Costa Otranto Park – with Santa Maria di Leuca and Bosco di Tricase, created to preserve the biodiversity and the beauty of this area.

punta meliso santa maria di leuca


To enjoy the culture, the beauty of these places, the famous crystal clear Salento sea and the beautiful Salento beaches, choose May or September: these places are particularly frequented in the summer, especially in the middle of August.

Do you know that, along the seafront, can be found the bagnarole, structures reserved for the women of the aristocracy of Salento, who could thus access the sea away from prying eyes and the sun?

Take a deeper look inside the bagnarole: click here!

See you in Puglia!

Get in touch

Connect directly with the managing authority of this place by the contact form

You find all the conversations you made via ImaginApulia, like comments and massages by contact form, on the Your Connections page.

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Info Points nearby


Info Point Sedile Palace
Sedile Palace | Piazza Sant’Oronzo
Tel. +39 0832 242099

Info Point Castle
Castle Carlo V | Viale XXV Luglio
Tel. +39 0832 246517

Santa Maria di Leuca / Salento / Puglia


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The tale of the Two Sisters

Traveling on the Apulian Adriatic coastline, in a few km from Lecce city, you’ll reach the marine area of Torre dell’Orso and the most famous Two Sisters Beach | ita: Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle.

  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia
  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia
  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia
  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia

Are you curious to know something about that singular name?

Well, there is a nice and a bit sad tale behind the Two Sisters Beach | ita: Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle. This gives the location a huge air of mystery.

This marine area is very fascinating. Reachable walking through a little Mediterranean Maquis forest, under the cliffs there’s a sandy beach 800 meters long.

Slight white sand, clear turquoise seawater, warm enchanting sun, everything in the same stunning place.

But probably you’re still thinking about the tale, so, I’m going to tell the story.

The tale of the Sisters

« The tale says that once upon a time, two young sisters were living in the Salento area. They were very hard workers, and they had never seen the magnificence of the sea.

One day, to counteract the hot summer, they went toward the seaside for the first time. Well, they were so much fascinated by the amazing view they got there that the younger one dived from the cliff into the water. At that point, the eldest sister tried to save her, but it was too late.

They couldn’t get back to the shore. The Gods, looking at them: alone, desperate, and cute, decided to turn them into two beautiful rocky stacks in the middle of the sea.

A fisherman, while walking nearby, just saw two rocks rise from the sea. Since that day, the beach is known as Two Sisters Beach. »

The tale is very magical but a bit sad, and once there, it’s really hard to don’t get emotional.

Then, the clear seawater just completes the landscape.

Two Sisters Beach and Torre Dell’Orso

The Two Sisters Beach| ita: Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | is located in the marine area of MelendugnoTorre dell’Orso. For the sake of completeness, we have to say that also this name has got a charming little story.

In this case, the name Torre dell’Orso, which literally means Bear Tower, derives from the sighting tower by the sea.

Then, on the cliff under the tower, there’s a rock shaped like a bear by the erosion.

  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia
  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia
  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia
  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia
  • Two Sisters Beach - Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | Torre dell'Orso | Lecce | Salento | Puglia

One day trip

If you want to get a fantastic and cool experience traveling on the Adriatic coastline, start your trip having a good breakfast in Lecce.

We advise you to ask for a pasticiotto and a caffè leccese: you’ll love them from here to the moon and back!

Then, drive from Lecce to Roca Vecchia village, where the amazing Poetry Cave | ita: Grotta della Poesia | awaits you for a nice dive.

After that, run towards the Two Sisters Beach | ita: Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle | to get a relaxing swim into one of the most beautiful seas of Puglia.

In the end, reach Torre Sant’Andrea to admire the stunning view of The Sea Stacks of Sant’Andrea | ita: I Faraglioni di Sant’Andrea .

But if you have still time, don’t miss the weird landscape of the Bauxite Cave | ita: Cava di Bauxite | quite close to Otranto.

You can easily do this little itinerary on a one day trip. From the morning to the night on the southern Adriatic coastline of Puglia.

We did it and you find an article about our Road Trip in Salento on the blog!

Would you like to start your trip? Enjoy your One day trip to Salento!

Click on the map below to directly get the direction.

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