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.

Sant’Isidoro ©boerescul via Canva

The beaches

Sant’Isidoro beaches are characterized by clear waters, small islands that overlook the coast, and many coastal towers that overlook the cliffs (like the one that gives it its name).

The beaches that extend for about a kilometer in length are chosen above all by families with children or elderly people. “Fiascone” and “Lido dell’Ancora” are the most important ones. The stretches of free beach are limited but there are also various private structures or accommodation facilities such as tourist villages and campsites, as well as the most common commercial activities.

Just 2 km away, there is an underground cavity called “Palude del Capitano” (Captain’s Swamp) created by erosion. It is therefore a protected natural area of particular naturalistic and landscape interest, both for the coastal stretch, rich in vegetation, and for the seabed. These, thanks to the favorable climate and higher temperatures, in some places host various marine species unusual in the Mediterranean, such as some corals.

There is also no shortage of activities to do to spend your days such as trekking routes to discover the coastal towers of Torre Squillace which overlooks the beach, or Torre Sant’Isidoro which gives its name to the whole town.

A very fascinating nature walk is towards the south, from Torre Inserraglio, where the Porto Selvaggio Nature Reserve begins, a large pine forest overlooking a pristine stretch of sea, and the Palude del Capitano, of notable naturalistic interest for the avian fauna of migratory birds and the typical marsh vegetation.

The Sant’Isidoro Tower

The Sant’Isidoro Tower is one of the numerous coastal watchtowers in Salento built by Charles V in the 16th century to defend the territory from Saracen attacks. It is built with regular carparo blocks and is spread over three levels:

  • the ground floor, without external access, which has a truncated pyramid structure with a square base
  • the last two floors, which develop vertically, with a parallelepiped structure, and a stringcourse in the upper part. The string course has a series of corbels and a trapdoor on each side. The largest room is the one located on the first floor and from here you can reach both the ground floor, through a trap door, and the second floor, via a staircase built into a side wall.

To access it there is a single access or a staircase that leads to the first floor. The tower is state property and is used as a summer residence.

How to reach Sant’Isidoro

By car
Coming from the North, take the A14 motorway, exit Bari. Exit at Bari Nord, continue on the Bari – Brindisi – Lecce highway. From Lecce, take the ring road, then the exit for Gallipoli. From here continue on the coastal road S. Caterina – Porto Cesareo, until you reach Sant’Isidoro.

By train
With Trenitalia you can reach Salento along the Adriatic route (Milan – Bologna – Pescara – Foggia – Lecce) or via the Rome – Caserta – Foggia – Bari – Brindisi – Lecce route. Once you arrive in Lecce, you can rent a car, or use the FSE buses which will take you directly to Sant’Isidoro.

By plane
By plane you can reach Salento by stopping in Brindisi; here you can choose to wait for the bus that connects the airport to the center of Lecce or rent a car. If you choose the first option, you can continue to Sant’Isidoro using the FSE buses.

By shuttle or transfer
Another solution is the shuttle to Sant’Isidoro: economical and practical, it is an immediate and “worry-free” way to reach the town without having to worry about parking your car in a place that is taken over in the summer assaulted by many tourists. There are many nearby locations from which it is also possible to take a transfer to Sant’Isidoro.

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