Gallipoli, a great place to visit, with fabulous places for lunch.
Not to be confused with Gallipoli in Turkey where the Battle of Gallipoli took place during the first Wold War, Gallipoli used to be an island and retains some of its faded island charm. Located on the Ionian sea, the town is divided into two parts, the modern and the old city which is on a limestone island linked to the mainland by a bridge.
The name of this evocative coastal town comes from the Greek, ‘kalli poli’, meaning beautiful city. The whitewashed town centre and fishermans’ port are indeed reminiscent of a Greek village, and the oldest part of the town has treasures such as a Byzantine castle, a baroque cathedral and an ancient Greek fountain.
Previously Gallipoli’s economy was based on international wine and oil trade. Now it relies heavily on tourism, which due to the mild climate, the excellent food, and the hospitable nature of the local people is busy year long. The main season runs from May to October and the town is very busy with tourists.
There are many, some quite spectacular, festivals both civil and religious. These include the carnival and Easter. Not to be missed in July are the Santa Cristina celebrations; held over three days you will find market stalls, parades in the historic town and of course firework displays.
Tip: Combine a visit to Gallipoli with a boat trip. Take the boat trip in the morning, includes a light lunch, discover Gallipoli in the afternoon and end the day with dinner on the harbour walls.