Torre dell’Orso

Torre dell’Orso is a seaside resort in the Melendugno marina, in the province of Lecce. Its beaches are sandy and the sea is crystal clear: the right place to spend your summer holidays.

The inlet of about 800 meters is bordered by two cliffs: in the southern area a watercourse called Brunese flows into it and there is the San Cristoforo cave in which ancient graffiti was found.

The two stacks that can be seen to the south of the bay are The Two Sisters, to which a legend is linked from which they take their name. It is said that two sisters stopped to dive from this cliff but were never able to re-emerge from the water. The Gods, moved with compassion, in memory of the sisters, transformed them into the two sea stacks.

The two sisters
The two sisters ©diegofiore via Canva

The historic center

Known in the locality is the Church of SS. Guardian Angels, located in Piazza D’Acquisto, which was inaugurated on 24 July 1960 and 23 January 1990, at the behest of the Metropolitan Bishop of Lecce, Msgr. Cosmo Francesco Ruppi. Inside the Church there is the statue of the Madonna “Stella Maris”, whose feast falls on the first Sunday of August.

Seaside locations near Torre dell’Orso

  • Nearby Torre dell’Orso there are other very famous towns and seaside locations in Salento such as San Foca. Here you can find different beaches that satisfy everyone’s tastes: those who want tranquility and peace can relax on the Torre Specchia Ruggeri beach or on the Orange beach or “Li Marangi“, or on the Brigantini beach, with its isolated sea stacks such as the rock of the eight” (so called because of its shape which resembles an 8 written horizontally). For the more adventurous, the best is the beach of the Asce islands, where you can go snorkelling, kitesurfing, rod fishing and so on.
  • Also worth visiting is San Foca Tower of the same name, built in 1568 by the master Antonio Saponaro of Lecce, which had the function of a lookout against Turkish invasions.
  • Another location close to Torre dell’Orso is Roca Vecchia, known above all for the two Poesia caves, karst caves whose roofs have collapsed, where you can swim or enjoy diving. In Roca Vecchia you can also visit the Sanctuary of Maria Santissima delle Grazie or crypt of Roca Vecchia, which has unknown origins. It was built on the site of an ancient rock hypogeum or an ancient Byzantine cave. The basement structure has 3 naves, each with three columns. Below it there is a cave of karst origin.
  • Again, not very far from Torre dell’Orso there is Torre Sant’Andrea, a small corner of paradise where there are no bathing establishments. The surrounding water is crystal clear and the scenery that extends all around is spectacular: to the right and left of the beach, there are white rocks overlooking the sea which take the name of “Faraglioni di Sant’Andrea”.
Torre dell'Orso
Torre San Giovanni ©diegofiore via Canva

Other nearby locations: Lecce

You cannot miss a visit to Lecce, the baroque city in Southern Italy with many beauties to discover. The beating heart of the city, however, is Piazza Sant’Oronzo, near which stands the Castle commissioned by King Charles V in 1539. Then there is the city’s Cathedral which stands in the square of the same name, and is the fulcrum of the religious life of the city with the Cathedral dedicated to Maria SS. Assunta which was built in 1144 and renovated in 1230. Not to be missed, another symbol of religiosity, is the Basilica of Santa Croce with the adjacent Convent of the Celestines.

Lecce is the city not to be missed during your stay in Salento, with all its history, its art, its religiosity. Also worth visiting to get away from the sea and become “tourists”. And for lunch or dinner, there is nothing better than trying all the delicacies that the city has to offer such as rustico Leccese, pasticciotto or simply drinking a famous coffee with ice.

Historic center of Lecce
Historic center of Lecce ©Planetix via Canva

How to reach Torre dell’Orso

To reach the beautiful location of the Melendugno marina you can consider using your own vehicle (car or motorbike) or public transport.

But certainly the fastest way to reach it is a transfer to Torre dell’Orso, which eliminates the worry of having to find parking or being subject to public transport timetables.

A shuttle to Torre dell’Orso is also the ideal way to return to your accommodation (b&b, hotel, holiday home) after a visit to Lecce or one of the beautiful beaches in the surrounding towns.

Although Torre dell’Orso is not a large town, in summer it becomes a very lively town with a nightlife that also attracts many young people but which also does not displease families or older people. You can therefore stay here without a car, even without having to worry about where to park it.

Baia dei Turchi ©sergio-pazzano via Canva
Baia dei Turchi

The sandy and uncontaminated bay with clear waters and surrounded by a Mediterranean scrub cliff has nothing to envy of international tourist destinations.

Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce ©Planetix via Canva
Lecce: the “Florence of the South”

An irresistible combination of history and magic, palaces and churches, monasteries and convents will welcome you in Lecce also known as "Florence of the South" due to its baroque style.

Cava di Bauxite, Otranto ©staraldo via Canva
Otranto Bauxite Quarry

Another example of industrial archeology in Salento is the Bauxite quarry in Otranto, built in the early 1940s, thanks to the chance discovery of a mineral. Located near the Punta Palascia lighthouse, this deposit, now abandoned in 1976 due to high extraction costs, represents one of the most visited places in Salento.