Saturday, November 22nd, 2014


Why did I even know or think of Galipoli? I don’t really recall who it was, but someone Italian that I talked with in Bologna waxed ecstatic about the red shrimp in Galipoli. She said that they were particularly delicious and found nowhere else. So that fixed Galipoli in my mind, food references have a tendency to do that. So while we were at Lecce it seemed a good thing to do something else for a day. In some idle time I considered some alternates, for example Grottaglie known for it’s regional ceramics. Galipoli won out, perhaps because of the food and perhaps because of the Ionian sea.

So we set out one morning from the apartment in Cavallino (Lecce). It was an easy drive through very nondescript scenery for less than an hour to reach Galipoli. I have no idea what the major part of the city is like since we were interested in the old part – an island complete with fort.  It came with the typical twisty-turny streets only large enough for a cart and, of course, lots of history. Our first glimpse on the island was walking from the parking lot through a seafood market. I always love seeing all of this extremely fresh seafood.

Random shells - what beauties.

Random shells – what beauties.

Part of the seafood selection in Galipoli

Part of the seafood selection in Galipoli

And more seafood

And more seafood

Street scenes follow.

Street scenes in Galipoli

Street scenes in Galipoli

I guess they weren't thinking ahead when they planted that tree

I guess they weren’t thinking ahead when they planted that tree

Galipoli was incredibly windy. Apparently this is one of those named winds that blows at this time of year. You can see from one of the pictures that the flags are sticking straight out from the flagpoles.

Was it windy? - check the flags.

Was it windy? – check the flags.


After having a successful shopping encounter, a nice coffee and sweet tidbit at a bar we walked around the windswept island. It’s surprisingly unfazed by tourism – perhaps there is not much (not a bad thing). We found a very nice restaurant for lunch. It was very pretty, somewhat sophisticated and a bit formal. Fortunately the food compensated for some of those flaws but were accompanied by formal prices. I think that I remember the formality, so different from most of my dining experiences which I have found in Italy, more than the food.

Lovely restaurant

Lovely restaurant

I especially liked this painting on the wall.

Ride the wild shrimp.

One thing historic was the olive press (frantoio). There are actually several on the island and I suppose more on the mainland. In any case this one was entirely underground and  was typical of many of those in the area. There were the millstones that used burro power, some other presses used large wooden screw devices to apply the pressure, and there were excavations in the rock which temporarily stored the olive oil. Apparently at one time they (the good citizens of Galipoli) launched 30 boats a day of olive oil destined for the lamps of Europe. I guess if you don’t have good options for light that certainly makes sense but I can only think of olive oil in a culinary sense.

On of the presses

One of the presses

Frantoia millstones

Frantoia millstones that used burro power.

Our hosts in Lecce said that there were some fantastic beaches south of Galipoli. There’s still a world of Puglia to explore.


2 Responses to “Galipoli”

  1. Abby Says:

    WOW — what fabulous photos, Joe! You keep finding new Italian worlds for us to explore, and this is definitely a keeper. Thanks so much for the great post. Abby & Helen

  2. Joe Says:

    I’m glad that you liked it. Puglia is really a great region of Italy and I highly recommend it.


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