Located on Italy’s Apulia Coast (on the heel of Italy’s boot), this little town is a dream for beach lovers – especially those with a penchant for quality seafood and a thirst for nightlife. Once a military stronghold, Gallipoli Old Town occupies a tiny headland whose main beach is cocooned by a curved 14th-century defensive wall.
South-Italian sunshine and impossibly clear waters combine to create the perfect destination for sun seekers. And if you’re a sucker for seafood, you’ll really be in your element. The local ‘pescherie’ (seafood restaurants) serve up juicy octopus, succulent sea bass and soft shellfish, all lovingly cooked up with centuries of local know-how. For after-hours antics, there’s a whole range of stylish cocktail bars and pulsating clubs to keep you occupied – Praja and Samsara are among the most popular.
For places to stay, Gallipoli’s full of private apartments where you can unwind in peace and privacy. Or if you prefer to have the breakfast table already laid when you get up, you’ll find a lot of friendly B&Bs with great review scores for their morning spread.
When to go?
Summertime is ideal for enjoying Gallipoli’s sunny climate. Peak party season is July and August, but if you’re after lower prices and quieter beaches, the best time is either side of that. By September, the sea has had the whole summer to warm up to a blissfully balmy temperature – so you’ll get both crowd-free tranquillity and top swimming weather.
Where to stay?
Dimora a Palazzo Pirelli
Dimora a Palazzo Pirelli – Gallipoli, Italy
This little apartment is nestled right in the heart of Gallipoli’s Old Town, with a weathered stone balcony that faces the stunning façade of St Agatha’s Cathedral. Booking.com guests have given it a near-perfect score because of its amazing location and the hospitality of the hosts.
B&B Anxa – Gallipoli, Italy
At B&B Anxa, Antonio and Maria Antonietta are famous for their smiley service – service that has visitors coming back year after year. The breakfast scores impressively with Booking.com guests here, with fresh produce including cured meats, juicy tomatoes and soft pastries.
Tenuta Espada Luxury Apartments]
Tenuta Espada Luxury Apartments – Gallipoli, Italy
If you’re after something a little more luxurious in Gallipoli, look no further than these sleek, modern apartments. Set in the hills just outside town, their white aesthetic and enticing pool create an ambience straight out of Ibiza’s coolest mansions. It’s the perfect place to recharge your batteries before heading into the hustle and bustle of the Old Town.