For those who dream of a holiday where there are vast expanses of golden beaches and cliff top views

The Salento, land of sun, sea and wind is the place for them. On the one hand you can see the sun rising on the Adriatic Coast whilst on the other you can see it setting on the Ionian Coast. Casina Montana is located equally between and nearby to both coastlines. You can choose either the deep blue sea of the Adriatic or the golden beaches of the Ionic Coast. From whichever direction the wind blows there will always be a corner of paradise where you are able to enjoy the hot Salento sun.

On the Adriatic coast one can visit the beautiful natural oasis of the Cesine (37km) where thousands of birds find sanctuary; the marina of Roca Vecchia (32km) with some of the best preserved architecture of the Bronze Age; Torre dell'Orso (32km) and its seemingly endless beach and crystal clear waters plus the unique "two sisters" rocks; the marina of Sant'Andrea (28km) also with its beautifulrocky stacks; the beaches of the Alimini Lakes (32km) stretching for over 5 Km with their imposing dunes and woodlands; Otranto, the pearl of the Adriatic, (23Km, taking only15 minutes thanks to State Road 16), a charming old town situated by the crystal clear sea and inside the walls of the old city with a cathedral that is famousfor its twelfth-century floor mosaic; the towns of Santa CesareaTerme (25km) and Castro (27km) with their very high cliffs overlooking the sea; the fabulous coves of Porto Badisco (22km) and Acquaviva (25 km); the colorful port of Tricase (35km); the old salt caves of Corsano (37km); Ciolo(35km) with its ancient caves and the most beautiful fjord of the Salento; Santa Maria di Leuca(47km), with its iconic lighthouse and the Basilica De Finibus Terrae “church at the end of the land’.

On the Ionian coast are the long beaches of Pescoluse (42km), often referred to as the Maldives of Salento; Punta Prosciutto (63km) with its white sands and important dune system; the seashores of Ugento (39km) with its reclaimed canals and basins welcome a rich bird life, an ideal place for birdwatchers; the beauty of the coastal stretch of Porto Selvaggio (38km) with its extensive pine forest; the beach and ancient defensive tower of San Isidoro (46 km) and Torre Castiglione (60km), characterised by the sink ponds of its limestone cliffs; the beautiful and ancient town of Gallipoli (31km) that seems to float on the sea; and finally the magic of the Salina Monaci (67km) where one can see the flight of pink flamingos at sunset.

For those who like to taste the typical dishes of Salentinian Greece, among the passionate sounds of Taranta ...

In the Salento you will find many of the foods that Italy is famous for. Its cuisine is simple and delicious with an emphasis upon local and seasonal produce and fresh seafood.

You will find a range of places to eat. They include: ‘la trattoria’where you will find a find a menu that draws upon the traditions of the region; l’agriturismo that produces and rears all its own ingredients; and ‘il ristorante’that offers an extensive menu of fish, meat and vegetarian dishes. The area is also known for its local festivals where you can sample local dishes and ‘street food’ as well as enjoy the ‘pizzica’ music and dance.

The fare of the typical trattoria may well consist of: ‘incannulate’ – a spiral pasta served with a cheese and tomato sauce; ‘ciceri e tria’ – a pasta with chickpeas; ‘orechiette con le cime di rapa’ this is a combination of a small ear-shaped pasta with the leaves of turnip tops that are similar to broccoli; ‘favenette e cicureddhre’ – puredfave beans and wild herbs.
Typical main courses can include: ‘polpettine al suga’ – meat balls in sauce; ‘pizzetti di cavallo’ – grilled, roast or stewed pieces of horsemeat’ ‘mbruscatizze or mbuiacate’ – roasted lamb entrails; ilpolipofritto – fried octopus; ‘l’agnello al forno’ - roast lamb.
Fast and ‘steet food’ include the popular ‘rusticoleccese’ – a snack made with puff pastry and typically stuffed with tomato and mozzarella. And finally for desert you can try: ‘spumone’ – a flavored ice-cream layered with nuts and candied fruits; locally and hand-made ice cream; ‘la coperta’ – a Puglian nougat; almond pastries and iced-coffee.
If you need any help regarding places to eat or local dishes then please do not hesitate to ask your welcoming hosts, Lina and Leo.

For those who want to engage in sporting activities whilst enjoying the sea and countryside of the Salento there is much on offer.

This includes the nearby Pala Don Bosco skating rink in Coriglianod’Otranto, a 5 minute drive away and the sports centre at Maglie (less than 2km from Casina Montana) with its municipal swimming pool and tennis club where international tournaments are held. Also in Maglie you will find the Muntarrune Equestrian Centre offering horse riding lessons.

Other sporting activities include: scuba diving at the diving school at Orte, Otranto; wind and kite surfing on the beaches of the Alimini and S.Cataldo lakes; Nordic walking in the beautiful pine forests of Porto Sevaggio; mountain biking along a number of dedicated trails through the region’s many olive groves; go-carting at the Boulder Kartodromo, between Maglie and Otranto; walking along the cliff tops and coastal paths; bird watching at the many reserves dotted along the coast including the limestone basins; and finally the ‘Corte de Droso’ Aviosuperfice (3km from Maglie) where you can take flying lessons or book sight seeing excursions.

Not to forget the times of a distant past ...

In the Salento it is difficult not to be aware of the region’s past.It is a region where you can encounter the ancient links between the Orient and the West. The various conquerors, settlers and inhabitants of the region have all helped to create a land rich in history and culture, whilst at the same time welcoming.

Casina Montana B&B is located in Coriglainod’Otranto which is one of the nine communes collectively known as the Greece of Salento. In this Hellenic area you can still hear people speaking ‘griko’, an ancient Greek dialect.

Wandering around the streets of Corigliand’Otranto it would be difficult to miss the Castello de’ Monti, a magnificent example of 16C medieval and military architecture. Not far from the castle you can admire the L’arcoLucchetti with its highly detailed and figuratively carved fables. Inside the town’s mother church you will find a mosaic floor made up of thousands of tiles depicting the Tree of Life.

In the centre of Maglie (2km) you are able to stroll and shop along the elegant and ancient streets. You could also visit the MuseoCivico di Paleontologia and Paletnologia ‘Decio de Lorentiis’ where you will gain an insight into prehistoric Salento.
During the summer months it is possible to take in one of the many concerts organized by La NottedellaTaranta (see including at Melpignano (3km) where, in front of the former ConventodegliAgostiniani, the annual ‘Concertone’ is staged bringing together many famous national and international artists.
In Soleto (6km) the spire of RaimondelloOrsina, the third highest in Europe, is awe inspiring. You will also find, hidden amongst the houses, the Chiesetta di Santo Stefano a fine example of 14C Romanesque architecture. Before leaving the town make sure that you sample the excellent coffee at CaffetteriaOrsini. At Cutrifiano (8km) you can visit the MuseodellaCeramica where you will find examples of locally made traditional terracotta. Or visit one of the local producers of ceramics such as the NuovaColìs.r.l. company whose origins date back to the 17C.
At Galantina (16km) you will find the Basilica di Santa Caterinad’Alessandria containing a stunning series of frescoes dating back to the 15C, making it second only to the Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi.
Further afield you can visit the Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate, one of the finest examples of Romaneque architecture in Puglia. At Gallipoli (23km) you can visit the FrantoioIpogeo di Palazzo Granafei, an extensively restored underground olive oil production site dug out of the limestone beneath the palace. It is also worth visiting the Chiesa di Santa Maria dellaPurita, one of the many sea facing churches, with a surprising beautifully decorated interior.
In Ortranto (23km) do not miss the opportunity to visit the cathedral and its 12C mosaic floor.
Wandering around the streets of Lecce (25km) you cannot help but be impressed by the imposing noble palaces and numerous highly decorated churches in the Baroque style. You will be able to admire the intricate carvings produced by master craftsmen from the locally sourced and highly malleable limestone. Lecce is one of Italy’s most historical and beautiful cities and as such has become known as the ‘Florence of the South’. Lecce also has the remains of a Roman amphitheatre; the Basilica di Santa Croce with its elaborately decorated exterior and large rose window; Lecce Cathedral sited in the corner of an expansive and theatrical square; and the Palazzo dei Celestine, now the seat of the provincial government.

The Salento has so much to offer including the many museums where you are able to explore the region’s Messapian origins, laying the foundations for the region’s productive and social systems. You may also observe the many coastal watch towers built in the 15C and 16C after the capture of Otranto by the Ottaman army in 1480. Finally there are numerous megalithic monuments including Dolmen tombs and Menhir standing stones, many of which can be found in the countryside of Guidignano (21km). At just 1km, a short walk, from Casina Montana B&B, is located the MenhirSpecchia.

Given the Casina’s unique and central location we are ideally situated for visiting all the towns and coastlines of the Salento.