This post covers another day of my walking/hiking tour in Puglia, Italy, this time through Porto Selvaggio Natural Reserve. In April, 2022, I had joined with a group from the states to walk through the Puglia area of Italy. This was day 7 of the tour and this day turned out to be a beautiful day of easy hiking near Santa Maria al Bagno.
About Porto Selvaggio
Porto Selvaggio is a Natural Reserve Park along the Ionian Sea along the west coast in the Lecce Province. The park is set along a rocky coast line between two ancient towers. We were able to see one of the towers.
Our hike started from our hotel in Santa Maria al Bagno. We walked along the coast and past Santa Caterina. We could see Torre dell’Alto in the distance getting closer. There were many stairs to climb and then the watchtower stood majestically in front of us.
Torre dell’Alto was built in 1569 as a defensive structure. It is one of three structures along this part of the Ionian Sea Coast. In the early part of the 18th century the tower was used as a hospital, mostly for prisoners and slaves who came off of ships with illnesses that were contagious such as cholera or plague. Therefore, by hospitalizing or quarantining the patients here, there was less chance of spreading whatever maladies they may have had.
After hanging out at the tower for a bit we continued on in the park. The Park is very beautiful and also peaceful. It is a wonderful place to enjoy an afternoon.
Coffee and Gelato
After our peaceful afternoon we walked back past the tower and down the steps to Santa Caterina. Here we stopped at Gelo Sia for coffee and also ice cream. It was delicious!
After that we went back to the hotel and had time to wander a bit and get ready for dinner. I, along with another traveler decided to walk around Santa Maria al Bagno to see a bit more of the town.
We again walked to dinner and had another wonderful meal. Once again, I did not jot down the name of the restaurant but it was very good.
All in all, Porto Selvaggio Natural Reserve Park in the Puglia area of Italy is definitely a place I would return to. Even though I was getting tired after several days of hiking/walking, this park kind of rejuvenated me and was a very nice day.
Data per my Fitbit
Total Steps: 28,519
Total Miles: 11.36
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