The drive along the coastal route from Santa Cesarea Terme to Santa Maria di Leuca is one of our favorite #WeAreInPuglia journeys. The route is one of the most dramatic in Puglia, sandwiched between prickly pear lined cliffs and shimmering sea.
There are many highlights to take in along the way.
Before we reach Ponte Ciolo, the bridge spanning Baia del Ciolo, we stop off at Marina Serra. A wonderful place to watch the sunrise over the Adriatic while taking an early morning swim in the piscina naturale and observe the natural pulse of life in Italy’s sud.
From 6am we are in the realm of early morning bathers. Women and men who have come here to bathe for years and years. They prefer the quiet solitude and early morning light.
Some stay, joined by their grandchildren when the rest of the world wakes up. Then come families and tourists.
This is a place for baking on the rocks, and frequent dipping. Sharp rocks extend beyond the natural swimming basin – be sure to bring ciabatte shoes to protect from the sharp rocks that extend beyond the swimming basin, as also the ricci di mare – the sea urchins that lie below.
From sunrise to sunset
Sunrise over the Albanian Mountains can be viewed from Marina Serra on the other side of the Adriatic.. As the sun rises, the light changes.
A bar serves coffee and drinks at the side of the natural swimming basin. A little further along, by the small harbour, another bar serves pizza and drinks all day during summer.
How to get there
Follow the SP358 coastal road all the way down from Santa Cesarea Terme. Turn off just after the Tricase junction. Don’t blink, or you will miss it!
Marina Serra is one of our top Puglia destinations.
Located in Salento, the southern part of Italy’s Puglia region, here you will find a natural swimming basin. A family and visitor favorite.