From the most westerly point of Greece to the most southerly point of Italy! Racing through the MED! Sailing and even more motoring around! 07.00 leaving the anchorage. It’s going to be a long day. At 11.45 we crossed the border of Italy. Change of the flags! After one month back in Italy! At around 15.30 we were at anchor in the bay of Santa Maria di Leuca. Great motoring session again. We were really fed up by with this motoring. We had around 400 hours of motoring in the MED only! Time to move on to the Caribean!
Santa Maria di Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca, often spelled simply Leuca (Greek: Λευκά, from Leukos, “white”), is a part of the comune of Castrignano del Capo, in the province of Lecce (Apulia), southern Italy. Santa Maria di Leuca sits on the southernmost tip of the Salento peninsula where the waters of the Adriatic Sea mingle and merge with those of the Ionian. A popular resort for wealthy Puglians since the early 1900s, as testified to by the eye-catching Art Nouveau villas that line the seafront. The sanctuary, also known as the Basilica De Finibus Terrae (Leuca was where the land ended for the Romans), was consecrated by Pope Julius I on 1st August 343 AD. It has long been a place of pilgrimage and is particularly busy around the middle of August each year. On 14th August the statue of the Virgin is collected from the sanctuary and taken to the Church of Cristo Re, where she remains for the night. On 15th August, the Catholic festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the statue is paraded through the streets and down to the port. Here it is placed on board a specially festooned fishing boat which, accompanied by a flotilla of well-wishers, chugs across the sea to the port of San Gregorio and back. Once the statue is safely back in the sanctuary, it is time for the fireworks and general partying to begin. Thisbtradition can be seen in many Italian cities!
Santa Maria di Leuca is also, and perhaps principally, about the sea. The sandy beaches and the dramatic stretches of coastline. The best way to truly these fascinating geological formations is by boat and there is no shortage of local sailors ready to take you out to sea off the coast where the world ends!
Santa Maria di Leuca is famous for its iconic lighthouse. With its height of 47 metres, and position at 102 metres above sea level, is the second most important lighthouse in Italy, after Genova. Next to the lighthouse is the large Sanctuary, or Basilica, De Finibus Terrae (“End of the Land”, 1720-1755), built to commemorate the passage of St. Peter here during his travel to Italy. It is devoted to Saint Mary (from whom the town gets the name Santa Maria di Leuca). It lies on the former site of a Roman temple dedicated to Minerva. The edifice has a fortified structure, and during its existence it sustained several assault by Algerian pirates. In the same site, a Corinthian column was erected in 1939 to celebrate the construction of the Apulian Aqueduct (Acquedotto Pugliese). The basilica is connected to the port through a 284-step staircase.