Palazzo Tour

  • There’s something lovely about breakfast on a terrace with a beautiful view. Do you agree?

Today we sat on the terrace and had coffee and planned our day.

We planned a trip to the beach but before we left we spoke to Sonia our host at the Palazzo. I asked could we have a tour of the house as our Swiss friends had yesterday and told us the owners were happy to show guests their house.

She was lovely and organised her father to take us.

We had to walk out our door No 27 and along to No 39 -they own it all. We re entered and Luigi Senape was there to greet us. He guided us through their private Palazzo. Too many rooms to count. All very luxurious. He explained the family history – all in Italian and we understood almost all.

Luigi Senape in one of the tooms of the Palazzo

The Palazzo has been in the family for 300 years. Luigi grew up in this place and like his father was an advocat – a lawyer.

There are many old valuable items in the house including 3 pianos,  one a grand which Luigi plays.

He was so charming and at the end told us he was 88.

In the library Steve saw a Dan Brown book he had just finished. He pointed it out and said (in his best Italian) that he had just read it.

Later in the afternoon, after our trip down the coast I saw his daughter and she asked if my husband was Dan Brown!

Lost in translation!

So after the Grand Tour we left for the rest of our day…….

A drive down the coast road to the tip of Italy. A little seaside place called Santa Maria da Leuca.

To get there we drove past : hundreds if not thousands of Italian beach lovers with their umbrellas, plastic deck chairs, buckets, spades, blow up play things. And all the women wear bikinis. Young, old, thin and not so thin. I’m definitely overdressed.

It’s a colourful scene and proves its not just Australians who love the beach!

We stopped for coffee at a little beach side cafe. All blue and white tables and a smiley, friendly nonna served us – but it was very windy so we didn’t swim.


We passed trattorias, osterias, cafes, apertivi bars, camping grounds, holiday homes with shutters down against the heat or …..perhaps they were empty?

We arrived at SS d Leuca in time for a lovely swim and picked a place for lunch right on the beach. The place in the photo above the blue umbrellas.

Once again simple delicious food

We watched the swimmers and soaked up the atmosphere.

Naturally we finished with a gelato – just a small one! As we walked also the promenade.

We arrived back at Gallipoli and our Palazzo Senape and decided to take another swim. This time at the beach at the end of our street.

I love the blue mats running down the sand so when you get out you don’t have to get sandy! This beach unlike many of the rocky beaches has coarse sand.


We’re back at the Palazzo writing and preparing for dinner at Bastion a lovely looking restaurant recommended by our hosts.

More later!


Yesterday we drove across the tip of Italy. The heel.

I had agonised on which seaside town to stay in and opted for Gallipoli over Otranto.

Gallipoli sits on a little island so is surrounded by water. Little bays for swimming, small boat harbours. It sounded more laid back than Otranto. So I found our Palazzo and sealed the deal.

Then Simona, our guide in Lecce said although they were both lovely she likes Otranto ‘A little more sophisticated ‘she said knowingly. Oh dear I thought had I made the wrong decision.

So yesterday we spent in Otranto. It’s different. It had a wide blue bay for swimming and a little boat harbour on the side. It’s old town is charming. But it’s very touristy. Very crowded.

We did enjoy the beautiful mosaics in the Cathedral. Magnificent.

The castle perched squarely on the edge of the harbour has been restored and is used for exhibitions. We saw a wonderful photographic exhibition by Steve McCurry. He takes great photos of people in remote areas. So beautiful photos of people living in India, Cambodia, Pakistan , Africa. Such faces.
We had lunch and a small opera and continued walking along the sea front. It has more clothes shops and restaurants than Gallipoli but not the secret charm.

So as we drove back to Gallipoli I was happy with our decision.

Sunsets over the water are always breathtaking and we loved the one on show tonight. Almost the same colour as my Aperol Spritz!

Another lovely dinner at Tre Sorelle and a limoncello on the terrace of our Palazzo chatting and sharing stories with some Swizz travellers.

Oh I forgot to mention I still love vespers!

And so to bed. The room has a wonderful  ceiling!