Located in the heart of Terra d’Arneo, Porto Cesareo is a picturesque seaside town that clusters around a busy fishing port. It’s renowned for its beautiful beaches, historic watchtowers and fascinating museum detailing the local marine life.
Things to do in Porto Cesareo
One of the most prominent landmarks in Porto Cesareo is the Torre Cesarea, a 16th-century tower built to patrol the Salento Peninsula. Witness its strong tufaceous block walls that have stood the test of time, then visit the nearby Torre Sant’Isidoro and Torre Squillace that together defended the territory from assault by the Saracens.
Porto Cesareo lies within the Regional Nature Reserve “Palude del Conte e Duna Costiera”, which offers a landscape of stunning beaches and marine species-filled waters. Explore one of the many coastal trails or spend an afternoon on the golden sands of Bahia del Sol Porto Cesareo while taking in the views of the picturesque Isola della Maloa.
Discover the underwater wonders of the Ionian Sea at the Marine Biology Museum, which boasts preserved sea specimens. Wander through the Hall of Fishing to see life-size models of local species and learn traditional Porto Cesareo seafood recipes, then explore the Hall of the Elephant Shark, which recreates the deep-sea environment.
Nearby stands the Statue of the Fishermen, a bronze monument built to remember those who lost their lives working at sea. It’s a short stroll from numerous seafood restaurants where you can feast on calamari, swordfish and the local specialty of raw sea urchin.
Getting around Porto Cesareo
Porto Cesareo is a one-hour drive from Brindisi and Salento Airport and 40 minutes from the city of Lecce. The town is small enough to explore on foot or by bicycle.