Santa Maria al Bagno: the Four Columns

Santa Maria al Bagno in Salento is a tourist location in the municipality of Nardò.

Its name refers to the Torre del Fiume built in the 16th century by Charles V and of which only the four towers now remain. The purpose of this construction was to protect the population given that the locality was located in a very strategic position for the supply of water and often became prey to pirate raids.

Santa Maria al Bagno is a charming and lively town during the summer season, however pleasant trips can also be made on beautiful spring and autumn days.

Santa Maria al Bagno
Santa Maria al Bagno ©diegofiore via Canva

The beach and the sea of Santa Maria al Bagno

The beach of Santa Maria al Bagno is characterized by sandy stretches, ideal for a holiday with children, and rockier coasts, perfect for those who love wild landscapes. Here you can find everything you need to spend a relaxing holiday: equipped beaches, bars, restaurants, etc. Also unmissable are boat excursions (which can be booked in one of the many agencies) to admire the beauty of the entire coast.

You will certainly notice the Montagna Spaccata, so called because it was split during the excavations carried out in the cliff to create the road connecting Santa Maria al Bagno and Lido Conchiglie. It is right here that all snorkeling lovers will be able to admire many colorful fish.

What to see

  • Anyone who spends their holidays here will naturally be able to notice the remaining Four Columns of the ancient Torre del Fiume. It is a very suggestive place which, after the restoration which took place between the 60s and 70s, has become the main destination for tourists. Over time this has also become the location for important concerts such as those by Domenico Modugno, Adriano Celentano and Ray Charles.
The four columns, Santa Maria al Bagno
The four columns, Santa Maria al Bagno ©boerescul via Canva
  • For all history lovers, a pleasant discovery is knowing that the Museum of Memory and Hospitality was inaugurated in the town in 2009 and houses evidence of World War II and the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis, such as the famous murals of Zivi Miller.
  • Not far from the town, it’s possible to admire the eclectic Villas of the Cenate which are located along the road that leads to Nardò. These are 19th century villas in which it is possible to find architectural and artistic elements of different styles (hence the term Eclecticism).
  • For a different day to spend with your children, the Salento Aquarium is unmissable to discover all the secrets of the underwater world.


The favorable climate of Santa Maria al Bagno makes it a pleasant place to spend your September holidays and, if you happen to find yourself in the small village in this month, it will be very suggestive to take part in the Patronal Festivals in honor of Santa Maria on 12 September. On this occasion, a characteristic procession takes place at sea and festivals are organized to taste the typical dishes.

A few days later, from 16 to 19 September, the festival in honor of San Giuseppe da Copertino is held. During the celebrations the village lights up with splendid lights and fireworks.

How to get to Santa Maria al Bagno

  • By car: take the A14 to Bari, then take the SS16 towards Lecce. Proceed for approximately 25 km along the SS101 until the Galatone exit. Take Santa Maria al Bagno and finally the SP90.
  • By train: from any city in Italy take a train to Lecce. Once you arrive in the capital, simply take a bus to reach Santa Maria al Bagno (alternatively, you can take a train to Nardò).
  • By plane: arrive at Brindisi Airport, then take a train or bus to Lecce and from there move towards Santa Maria al Bagno in one of the two ways seen above.
Porto Selvaggio ©diegofiore via Canva
Porto Selvaggio: useful information

Sea and nature are the two "ingredients" by which you will immediately be surrounded and which blend together, making the scenery that presents itself before your eyes unforgettable.

Sant’Isidoro ©boerescul via Canva

Sant'Isidoro is a town in the municipality of Nardò in the province of Lecce. Especially in summer this village becomes more populated due to its enchanting beaches and the suggestive sixteenth-century tower that overlooks a long sandy expanse.

Santa Caterina ©luigiconte via Canva
Santa Caterina: small tourist center near Porto Selvaggio

On the Ionian coast, this small tourist center has great environmental and naturalistic value with many pine forests, natural caves and a crystal clear sea.