emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
Take the C train to Clinton Washington | Map

IMG_3893The typical coast line of South of Puglia. Here we are at Santa Maria di Leuca, the lowest point of the geographical “Heel” of Italian Peninsula.

About 3 hours of car ride down south from Beppe’s home, Bitonto, We are here at Santa Maria di Leuca, the very final point of Italy, the very tip of the heel of Italy and also the meeting point of the waters from Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea. Is that why the reason the water looks particularly gorgeous here? Or is that just Italy is the land that much blessed with rich soil and sun, and enviously beautiful ocean and the ocean life… Anyway you will see this most gorgeous view of Ionic ocean from literally any point of the town of Santa Maria di Leuca  and along the coast of the Southern Puglia.

Here I like to show you the map of Puglia so you have a good idea where we are traveling through this time!

sc000a1d89The green dots show where we are starting and where we will end at through this trip.  Bari is the main airport we had landed also because of our friend Beppe’s Home, Bitonto is literally 10 minutes away from there and Beppe and Dani are on this trip with us for the first 3 days. 2 years ago we had already traveled through “Brindisi” area such as Alberobello, Ostuni and all as you can see in this map. So if you go on a main highway from Bari, it would take about 3 hour car ride to get to the very final tip of Italy, Santa Maria de Leuca!  We are now based here for 5 nights and 6 days to travel through by running, swimming, boating and dinning at near areas and planning to drive through and do town hopping and snapping pics of the most gorgeous coast line of Puglia.

IMG_3838Let’s start with the town of Leuca!  No this is not where we stayed at but this was one our favorite typical Italian home in the town. The warm yellow wash and perfectly placed 2 palms and the most beautiful garden just melted our hearts.  Apart from Olives, Cypress and Pines are maybe the 2 best known trees when it gets to Tuscan area but down here in south, you will see more of Palms and all different kinds of palms. And exotic Fig trees and tons of Oleanders, ” The” flower tree you may call Italy’s National flower trees through out the country. That’s Gael on the front!


IMG_3845Rundown but gorgeous. As Leuca actually means ” White” in old Greek language, you can see white washed homes dominate the town.


IMG_3847I realize any hot weathered places share one thing in common. Simple lines in Architecture. Despite of strong presence of Baroque style down in many parts of south of Italy such as Lecce and Sicily, you can see majority of homes of public are built in simple lines as in Yucatan Mexico or Greek.


IMG_3854A small beach front right in the heart of the town of Leuca. Whenever passing by the beach in the morning, I felt like I was in one scene of old Italian Movie.  Sofia Lauren running into Marcello Mastroianni! Also Bit San Tropez..? Did we swim here? Naaa, wait for something better. Much much better!


IMG_3860More palms in town.

IMG_3940Now we are in the car hunting the perfect spot to swim and spend all day in the ocean. 5 minute ride from our base in Leuca, we find a nice big parking lot in front of this cute Trattoria.  Also great for after swim Apperitivo!

IMG_3936Approaching the tip of coast line. Dying to know what’s ahead of us!

IMG_3890What else do you really need?!!!!

IMG_3883Need a throw down with Caribbean ocean!

IMG_3887With our Casarosa’s adventurous spirit, No rocky cliff is hardly any obstacle for us! Gael well trained by Emi in Livorno, we are just 2 seconds away from climbing down and jumping into to this sweet gorgeous ocean!


IMG_3901Yeap! That’s my 8 year old son Gael from NYC! I mean who would think he’s from the middle of the crazy city? Gael fits right in with tough locals!

IMG_3904In the water with Dad. Gael earned a nick name during this summer: Il Lupo di Mare. The Wolf of Ocean!

IMG_3914From left, Beppe, Gael, Emi and the far right, Dani. Did I swim too? Of course!!




IMG_3929Now the 4 boys from Rome.

IMG_3927They are showing us off Sea urchins they collected. They said they would it raw with a piece of bread.


IMG_4026We loved it all. We loved it so much, the next day, we had rented out a small boat for 7! Now Gigi, Beppe’s brother and Vivianan, Gigi’s girl friend had joined us for today’s adventure! Captain Emi launching the boat!


IMG_4044Gigi and happy Gael!

IMG_4040Approaching one of million caves along the coast!


IMG_4051It reminds me of Cenotes in Tulum!

IMG_4058Viviana and me.





IMG_4063Sail, stop, swim, lunch, prosecco and sail, stop, swim , snack, prosecco. Now repeat !



IMG_4033Beppe and Dani. What a hard life we live..!

IMG_4085The Light House of Santa Maria di Leuca. The second most important light house of the entire Italy after the one in Genova.


IMG_4127Going home…





Special thanks to Captain Emi, the man capable of so many things in every way. I love you so much Emi! And Gael, my brave proud son who keeps up with anything and everything that is ahead of us.  And dear friends carrying on amazing friendship that is becoming family-ship now…  I love you all and thanks for the one of the most beautiful day of life…!

LOvE Puglia!!!


Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

7 Comments so far

  1. 엄마 on July 9, 2012 4:40 pm


  2. steve snow on April 26, 2013 4:22 pm

    Just a couple of senior citizens from Atlanta, georgia have traveled to Italy on three different occasions, seen all of the beauty that Italy has to offer but have saved this trip, to the most intriquing and beautiful part for last. Fly to Rome, treno to Bari and auto to the entirety of Puglia, with a one night stay in Leuca. A friend I met in Florida, who grew up in Milan, said that no trip to Apulia is complete without a stop in the wonderful commune of Leuca. So where do we find a nice place to mangia?

  3. jaehee on April 27, 2013 6:00 am

    HI steve, You must go eat at Osteria Terra Masci: http://www.lacasapark.com/la/2011/09/where-do-you-eat-in-marina-di-leuca-at-osteria-terra-masci/
    Ultimate food experience in puglia!

  4. Vanessa Ciardo Phillips on May 28, 2013 3:23 pm

    Thank you for your beautiful “blog” about Leuca! :-) My dad is originary from there and I have spent all my holiday as a child there. Now I am bringing my “british” husband and my 2 children to the sea & to visit my family, of course.
    This part of Italy that we call: Salento, is really beautiful and effectively, I do not need to go to the carabean to swim in a clear water. ;-) You find here, rocks, sand beaches at Torre Vado (15 minutes by car from Leuca) or black send beach near Otranto. People are friendly & we eat very well too! By the way, my favourite city is NYC I have visited a couple of times!!! So it is funny, that you are coming from New York to visit “my” region and that I am crazy about your place! :-)
    All the best! Vanessa

  5. gigi on June 5, 2013 3:32 am

    Such a wonderful experience! I wiss we could repeat it…again with you guys!

  6. jaehee on June 7, 2013 2:19 pm

    si gigi!! a presto in puglia ancora !! xoxoxo

  7. jaehee on June 15, 2013 8:14 pm

    hi vanessa So great to hear! I absolutely love Puglia and Leuca was very special. I have visited about 3 times now and I will soon again to in other parts of Puglia. Thank you so much sharing your lovely memories and little stories. xoxo