Knowing the etymology of the name “Santa Maria di Leuca” is sufficient to imagine in a second a white and bright town. The name in fact derives from Leukòs, meaning white in Greek. On its promontory stands the Basilica, fortified in 1700 against the attacks of the Turks and Saracens, also called “Santa Maria De finibus terrae” (of the end of the world), based on an ancient belief that considered it the limit of all lands. On the promontory stands also the famous light house (48 meters tall, at 102 meters above the sea level). Leuca counts a bit more than 1000 souls but it becomes a populous seaside area in summer. It has an ancient port and a beautiful waterfront, packed with oleanders and liberty style villas. The nineteenth century villas are of great attraction for tourists who are they open in May.
During World War II they were adapted to host the evacuees and decorative balustrades and railings were used to produce weapons. Even if you have never had the good fortune to visit one of the most characteristic places of Salento, you can easily imagine how much wealth this small village contains. Here are preserved centuries of history, cultural heritage and fascinating legends, here the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet and blend their waters (between “Punta Meliso” and “Punta Ristola” starts in fact the imaginary line that divides the two sides of the Mediterranean sea).