HomeTravelThe little Italian village with Caribbean-like beaches - and few tourists

The little Italian village with Caribbean-like beaches – and few tourists


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Beauty is everywhere in Salento even on a slight plateau at 50 meters above sea level, not far from Taranto.

Here is the village of Leporano, Apulia, which dominates both the Taranto plain and the Ionian coast.

Together with the historicity of the town centre, the stunning landscapes have allowed this village to be named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy in 2024.

Little is known about the history of Leporano. It is thought that the first urban nucleus arose around 736 AD and its name suggests Roman influences, probably deriving from leprarium, a term which would also explain the inclusion of a hare, lepre in Italian, in the city’s coat of arms.

In recent years the small village has experienced notable demographic growth thanks to the proximity of the city of Taranto and by the tranquil quality of life.

Historical buildings, archaeological remains and beaches are the main attractions of Leporano.

The coastal area of Leporano is known as Leporano Marina, which is where visitors will find enchanting sandy beaches hidden in small coves between the rocks, lapped by crystal clear water.

Marina di Leporano is characterized by a rocky coastline where sandy coves bathed by the Ionian Sea are wedged.

Gandoli Bay, certainly the best-known beach in the area, is a natural inlet that remains partly free and partly equipped and where convenience and comfort blend with the splendid surrounding landscape.

Porto Pirrone, with its two sandy coves interspersed with rocks, boasts Caribbean-like features that make for a wonderful backdrop for pictures and is a top destination for a summer break surrounded by wonderful landscapes and vistas.

The clear, crystalline sea with shallow water with soft, fine sand is very popular with local families, diving enthusiasts or holidaymakers who love going out on pedal boats.

The Bay of Saturo also has its charm, especially due to the presence of the nearby archaeological park. The park boasts an incredible collection of historical evidence of an ancient settlement that once dominated the area.

Muscettola castle is located right in the centre of Leporano – although the original nucleus dates back to the 12th-13th century, the castle has seen additions and modifications over the centuries, including a new master built between the 14th and 15th centuries.

The name, Muscettola, derives from the family of Neapolitan princes who owned it from 1617 until the mid-19th century.

Among the ancient ruins, it is possible to explore the remains of a sumptuous 3rd-century Roman villa, the acropolis, the necropolis, the Sanctuary of the Source, and the imposing 16th-century watchtower.

The easiest way to reach Leporano is travelling to nearby Taranto, which is only 10km northwest of the gorgeous village.

Visitors can rely on the local bus network for the 18-minute ride to Leporano or can either hire a car or hail a cab to the beach. The nearest airport to get to Taranto is Bari Internation Airport – “Karol Wojtyła”, which is about 100 kilometres away.

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