We decided to begin Day Three of our stay in Otranto with a drive, exploring the environs to the south of the city. The coastline in this part of Italia is literally lined with remains of towers built as protection against invaders coming from the sea. The Torre del Serpe was the first one that we found on our drive. As we drove past this sign, we decided that we simply had to stop to see what Paradise looked like. The next stop on our list of places that we wanted to see was the Laghetto di Bauxite. This is a former bauxite quarry that has been abandoned for some time — since 1976. A natural lake has formed there, a water table being discovered during excavations, and it is now a popular attraction.
The signage on the main road is very easy to miss, so one must keep an eye out for it.
There are certain places that we end up in our lives which almost seem too beautiful to be real. These are the places that give one goosebumps simply by looking at them, or that can move one to tears. They seem as if they are out of some story book, and that they cannot be real. But, they are real. For me, the Laghetto di Bauxite is one of those places. I knew right away that we were in the right place by looking at the color of the earth under my feet. From the parking area, you follow a dark-red-dirt path to the Laghetto.There is a path which is easy to navigate that leads down to the water. I recommend walking it! Once back in the car, we continued our drive south. Along the road, and at rest stops, there are signs indicating the types of wildlife that can be found in the area. Our next stop was the Faro di Punta Palascia, a lighthouse on the south-easternmost point of Italia. There is a parking area, and it is possible to see the lighthouse below you from the observation point pictured above, but take the time to make the walk down to the structure. It is a lovely experience!Torre Sant’Emiliano still stands guard over this section of coastline.It seemed as if, every ten minutes, we were stopping the car, so that we could get out and take a photo of the beauty that was surrounding us. We made a brief stop for some lunch in Santa Cesarea Terme. I was charmed by this small city, and it is a place that I want to go back to, and stay in for a while. The next tower that we found was Torre Minervino.Back in Otranto, I headed out to explore a bit more of the town. An antique market was taking place along the Lungomare degli Eroi.We dined at a place called L’Altro Baffo. I loved this restaurant! This is fine dining with a casual attitude. The food was delicious, and the service was great! I would go back there in a heartbeat!
Next up: Another road trip, a trek through the Valle dell’Idro, and more from Otranto!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from bella Puglia, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!