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San Pietro in Bevagna | Italy


THE DESTINATION SAN PIETRO: the untouched beauty

 

The small town of San Pietro in Bevagna is located between the rivers Chidro and Borraco, in the Salento peninsula. San Pietro was a mandatory stop in the Otranto-Leuca-Taranto sea route, and the archaeological remains well testify the trade activities that took place in this area. At the beginning of XX century, rumors of the existence of some sarcophagi, belonging to a shipwreck found not far from the shoreline of San Pietro, had been reported by local scholars, that called them “Le vasche del re” - “King’s tanks”.

The seaside here is made out of never-ending beaches with golden sand and, the Ionian Sea is well known for its clearness and uncontaminated waters.

Easy reachable by car or by coach, coming from northern Italy, or by train. Nearby, the International Airport of Brindisi- Casale operates scheduled and charter flights from and to many European airports. Not very far, there is also the International Airport of Bari.

 

DISCOVER THE ANCIENT TRAIL OF SAN PIETRO:

 

Following the rumors of the existence of a shipwreck, in 1964 Peter Throckmorton, an American journalist and a pioneer underwater archaeologist, conducted a survey that succeeded in finding the correct location of the sarcophagi and in its mapping.

Although no wooden parts of the planking have so far been found, the cargo ship is generally supposed to have been 20-22 meters long with a beam of 5-6 meters. Probably the sarcophagi were initially addressed to Rome. The artifacts look partially worked from monolithic blocks. As well known, the bathtub type is common in Rome from the mid-2nd century AD, depicting scenes linked to the Dionysian myth or bearing spiral fluting along its sides. The proposed date for the shipwreck is around the first half of the 3rd century AD, according to the type of sarcophagi and the characteristics of the pottery found on the seabed, as well as to the comparison with a contemporary wreck in Methoni (Greece).

 

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION:

 

The site of the sarcophagi from the shipwreck of San Pietro in Bevagna (Taranto), III Century AD, is located approximately 100 m away from the shoreline and ca. 5 m deep, near the Chidro river mouth. It covers an area of ca. 150 square meters and contains twenty - two partially worked white marble sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes, each weighing between 1000 and 6000 kg.

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Dive to the shipwreck of San Pietro in Bevagna and admire the sarcophagi.

Experience snorkeling in the Ionian Sea.

Discover the countless treasures of archaeology.

Enjoy swimming in the crystalline water.

“Salina dei Monaci Beach”, the Salina salt lake attracts flocks of Flamingos.

Visit the Chidro River naturalistic protected area, important for biodiversity, where you can find many species.

Enjoy Borraco Beach,  a  magic  place  where  fresh water coming from the river melts with warm sea water.

Visit the Manduria Archaeological Park and Museum, the best representative of the Messapians of ancient Puglia.

Taste the renowned, excellent Primitivo wine, in the numerous wine bars and taverns where one can taste local delicacies.

 

ACCOMMODATION

 

In San Pietro in Bevagna there is a wide range of accommodations, for all tastes and every kind of holiday: a month, some weeks, a weekend or even just a short visit of the area, for couples, families, groups, young and elderly people, etc.

A large number of Bed & Breakfasts, Typical Farm Houses, Guest houses, Holiday Homes, Hotels, Campings and Resorts provide a complete frame where one can choose between luxury accommodations, nice hotels and apartments, or very accessible facilities.

 

EXPLORE UNTAPPED MEDITERRANEAN FLAVOURS 

 

Along the centuries, the local agricultural tradition in Puglia gave birth to some unique products, universally recognized as organic ‘slow food’ excellences: olive oil, cheese, vegetables and cereals, bread, wine. Each year many people visit the area to discover the fabulous wine and cheese, and to taste the typical “orecchiette” handmade pasta. Puglia’s cuisine is deeply steeped in the region’s agricultural traditions, some representative dishes have their origins in the “cucina povera”, using only products available locally, often very simple but delicious. Freshness of the ingredients is all-important as is their provenance: durum wheat, tomatoes, artichokes, fava beans, courgettes, beans, fennel, peppers, onions, seafood and lambs.

 

NIGHTLIFE

 

The near city of Manduria, Taranto and Gallipoli offer an infinite choice   of restaurants, bars and clubs and the opportunity to spend pleasant evenings along their city center streets, crowded with people and full of lights, open shops and street events. Many traditional folklore events are held in August, September and October.

 

THINGS TO DO

 

  • Scuba diving, exploring the underwater ancient world.
  • Enjoy swimming and water sports in the clear waters.
  • Horse riding.
  • Visit the Zoo Safari in Fasano.
  • Play golf and Go Kart.
  • Walk around the “Trulli of Alberobello”, “Porto Cesareo” and “Oria Castle” places of cultural, historic and natural interest.
  • Taste the renowned, excellent Primitivo wine, in the numerous wine bars and taverns where one can taste local delicacies.

 

EXTEND YOUR TRIP

 

Santa Caterina di Nardò is an ancient defensive outpost against the attacks of Saracens, as testified by the two towers of the sixteenth century.

Porto Cesareo is a renowned centre for fishing activities and for bathing. Very important is the Marine Protected Area of Porto Cesareo.

The Marine Protected area of Torre Guaceto has a very varied coastline; in particular, on the southern side of Torre Guaceto, the coast is linear and mainly consists of a clayey cliff.

Mesagne with its old town and the Castle. This precious noble palace with its façades embellished by the Renaissance loggia has a big corner tower, the walls, the internal courtyard and the square plan as signs of the original military function of the building.

Taranto has one of the greatest museums in Puglia: MARTA (The National Archaeological Museum of Taranto), where there are exceptional finds as the golden objects from the 4th-3rd century necropolis.

Grottaglie, very famous for the pottery arts and crafts. The area is very rich in clay and it is therefore a fertile ground for its flourishing pottery production.

PROGRAMME PROPOSALS ITALY, SAN PIETRO IN BEVAGNA

 

FOR SCUBA DIVING ENTHUSIASTS

 

Highlights: The small town of San Pietro in Bevagna is located between the rivers Chidro and Borraco, very close to the beautiful cities of Manduria, Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli. The underwater archaeological remains found in its seabed well testify the trade activities that took place in this area in ancient times. The extraordinary landscape and natural environment, along with the never-ending beaches with golden sand and the crystalline water of the Ionian Sea, make this destination one of the most alluring. You shouldn’t miss to taste the famous wine and food that makes this area famous all over the world.

 

> DAY 1 Arrival in San Pietro in Bevagna

Briefing with our tour operator partner in the arrival hall of the airport, then transfer to the hotel in a chauffeur-driven car. The rest of the day is free. An optional tour in Manduria, Porto Cesareo or Gallipoli can be offered late in the afternoon. Dinner (optional) and overnight at the hotel.

 

> DAY 2 Scuba Diving in the “Aquarium” and the “Lobster’s escarpment”

After breakfast, an experienced guide will take you to the San Pietro diving area known as the “Aquarium”, a paradise of clear water and sparkling marine life in a naturalistic protected area. Lunch on board or in a traditional village with the local delicacies according to your preferences.

In the afternoon, another scuba dive in a wonderfully colored and iridescent environment is available: the “Lobster’s escarpment”. Transfer to San Pietro in Bevagna. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 3 Diving in the “Santa Caterina” and “Santa Maria al Bagno” caves

Early breakfast and departure from the hotel to the diving area of ‘Santa Caterina Caves’ to explore the wreck of a Junkers Ju 88 fighting aircraft, fallen off the Santa Caterina coastline during World War II, lying  perfectly preserved and straight on the sandy seabed. The aircraft is perfectly visible, due to the clearness of the sea water, and coloured by the marine flora and fauna that colonized its surfaces over the last seventy years.

Lunch onboard or in a traditional village with local delicacies according to your preferences. In the afternoon, the last scuba dive will be in the ‘Santa Maria al Bagno’ diving site, where further caves and untouched naturalistic scenarios just wait to be discovered together with the wreck of a III century AD ship carrying greek-italic amphorae, discovered in 1982. Recommended: night scuba dive in the crystalline water of the San Pietro in Bevagna Sarcophagi site (-6 metres depth). Transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 4 Departure day

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer to the airport for the departure.

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 

FOR DIVERS TO BΕ AND FAMILIES

 

Highlights: The ‘Open Water Diver’ certificate can be achieved by over 13 years-old participants having already attended the eLearning Scuba Experience Course (available for free after the package booking) through the participation to the 4 diving lessons in the sea presented below.

 

> DAY 1 Preparation

Briefing with our tour operator partner in the arrival hall of the airport, then transfer to the hotel in a chauffeur-driven car. The rest of the day is free. An optional tour in Manduria, Porto Cesareo or Gallipoli can be offered late in the afternoon. Dinner (optional) and overnight at the Hotel. In the afternoon, an optional scuba diving lesson in the pool is also available, before starting with the DAY 2 activities.

 

> DAY 2 | Diving lessons at San Pietro bay and at the Sarcophagi wreck

After breakfast, an experienced instructor will provide you with all the necessary equipment and the basic information for a couple of hours, in a pool area. The first open water lesson, in the morning, will take place in the safe and protected bay of San Pietro, whose depth ranges from 0 to -5 meters. Lunch onboard or in a traditional village with local delicacies, according to preferences.

In the afternoon, the second lesson will take place at the San Pietro underwater archaeological site of the sarcophagi, 100 meters off the shoreline, reachable with a small dinghy and only 5 meters deep. Transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 3 | Diving lessons at Torre Ovo and Campomarino

After breakfast, early departure from the hotel to the Torre Ovo diving site known as ‘the Fossilized Forest’, a mystery and fascinating geoformation only 6 meters deep, that can easily be enjoyed by scuba diving beginners.

Lunch onboard or in a traditional village with local delicacies, according to preferences.

In the afternoon, the second diving lesson of the day is available at the archaeological site known as ‘the Underwater Temple’ near Campomarino di Maruggio, a diving site only 6 meters deep. Transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 4 Departure day

 

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer to the airport for the departure.

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 

FOR SNORKELERS AND FREE DIVERS

> DAY 1 Arrival in San Pietro in Bevagna

The first day in San Pietro is the same in all programs.

 

 > DAY 2 First diving lessons – Sarcophagi site

After breakfast an experienced guide will take you for the first diving course, providing you with all the necessary equipment and the basic information.

The first lesson, in the morning will take place in a pool. In the afternoon, the second lesson will take place in a safe and protected bay of San Pietro, with depths ranging from 0 to 5 meters and with the beautiful underwater archaeological site of the sarcophagi.

This experience open also to disable people, who will be accompanied in the exploration of the seabed. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 3 Diving at Torre Ovo, Campomarino and Chidro River

Early breakfast and departure from the hotel to the Torre Ovo diving site “the Fossilized Forest”, a mystery and fascinating geoformation only 6 meters deep, that can easily be enjoyed by scuba dive beginners.

An optional second diving experience is available in the Torre Lapillo diving site known as “le Grotte”, where a medieval ship wrecked and lies on the seabed. Lunch onboard or in a traditional village with local delicacies according to your preferences. In the afternoon, diving experience in the Chidro river, the second most important river of Salento. Legend has it  that led the Apostle Peter in Rome made a stop for water supply and, in this very copious spring, probably Peter performed the first baptisms of Christians in Italy. In fact, the emergence of fresh water is still plentiful and allows spectacular diving due to its water clarity. Tranfer to San Pietro in Bevagna. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 4 Departure day

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer to the airport for the departure.

 

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 

FOR NON-DIVERS

 

> DAY 1 Arrival in San Pietro in Bevagna

Briefing with our tour operator partner in the arrival hall of the port, then transfer to the hotel in a chauffeur-driven car. The rest of the day is free. An optional tour in Manduria, Porto Cesareo or Gallipoli can be offered late in the afternoon. Dinner (optional) and overnight at the Hotel. Dinner (optional) and overnight at the Hotel.

 

 > DAY 2 | Boat cruise in Porto Cesareo and relax at the Salina dei Monaci beach

After breakfast, early departure from the hotel to the Porto Cesareo Harbour, where a modern catamaran will leave towards the near Rabbit Island, a wild natural paradise. Then, the boat will head to Torre Chianca, in whose -6 meters deep seabed lie several amphorae, roman marble columns and the statue of Virgin Mary of The Sailormen; stop for a bath (the crew will provide the snorkeling equipment). Then, the boat route will encounter Mallow Island, an important marine park with rare species of flora and fauna, and Torre Lapillo, with its white sandy beach and the coral reef. During the boat trip, local delicacies, fresh fruits, water and wine will be offered onboard. After 3 hours, way back to Porto Cesareo and transfer to the hotel.

In the afternoon, transfer to the Salina dei Monaci beach, in the natural reserve of Chidro River, an enchanting old salt pan where pink flamingos crowd. Relax until sunset, then transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 3 | Boat cruise in the Gallipoli Bay

Early departure from the hotel to the Gallipoli Harbour, where a modern yacht, equipped with all comforts, will head to Porto Selvaggio bay, Lido Pizzo bay, Punta della Suina (all protected naturalistic areas) and then towards St. Andreas Island, a protected marine park. In all these places, rich in both naturalistic and underwater archaeological heritage, the boat will stop for bathing and snorkeling. During the navigation, a VIP treatment will be reserved to the guests: a gourmet breakfast, a lunch with warm dishes and taste of local delicacies.

In the late afternoon, at the end of the trip, aperitif on a terrace facing the sea, in a magical atmosphere, with local wine, fresh and raw fish. Transfer to the hotel.

 

> DAY 4 Departure day

 

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer to the airport for the departure.

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 

 

FOR KIDS, TEENS & SCHOOLS

 

Highlights: The Sea Baptism is an experience available from 10 to 99 years old participants and no pre-training is required. An experienced instructor, during the sea fare, will brief you about the diving basics, in order to provide your first underwater experience with all the needed comfort, safety and fun, and will accompany you in your first dive. The diving site will be maximum 5 meters deep.

The ‘Bubblemaker’ experience is available for children over 8 years-old, and is carried on in a pool or in a sea water environment maximum 2 meters deep. The experience lasts 1 hour and no pre-training is required.

The ‘Junior Open Water Diver’ certificate can be achieved by over 13 years-old participants having already attended the eLearning Scuba Experience Course (available for free after the package booking) through the participation to the 4 diving lessons in the sea presented below. Special rates are dedicated to school groups of minimum 15 participants.

 

> DAY 1 Preparation

Briefing with our tour operator partner in the arrival hall of the airport, then transfer to the hotel in a chauffeur-driven car. The rest of the day is free. An optional tour in Manduria, Porto Cesareo or Gallipoli can be offered late in the afternoon. Dinner (optional) and overnight at the Hotel. The ‘Sea Baptism’, the ‘Bubblemaker Experience’ and the optional first lesson in the pool of the Junior Open Water Diver Course are also available in the afternoon, before starting with the DAY 2 activities.

 

  > DAY 2 | Diving lessons at San Pietro bay and at the Sarcophagi wreck

After breakfast, an experienced instructor will provide you with all the necessary equipment and the basic information for a couple of hours, in a pool area. The first open water lesson, in the morning, will take place in the safe and protected bay of San Pietro, whose depth ranges from 0 to -5 meters. Lunch at the hotel or in a traditional restaurant with local delicacies, according to preferences.

In the afternoon, the second lesson will take place at the San Pietro underwater archaeological site of the sarcophagi, 100 meters off the shoreline, reachable with a small dinghy and only 5 meters deep. Transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 3 | Diving lessons at Torre Ovo and Campomarino

After breakfast, early departure from the hotel to the Torre Ovo diving site known as ‘the Fossilized Forest’, a mystery and fascinating geoformation only 6 meters deep, that can easily be enjoyed by scuba diving beginners.

Lunch onboard or in a traditional village with local delicacies, according to preferences.

In the afternoon, the second diving lesson of the day is available at the archaeological site known as ‘the Underwater Temple’ near Campomarino di Maruggio, a diving site only 6 meters deep. Transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 4 Departure day

 

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer to the port for the departure.

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 

 

FOR SEA LOVERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

 

Highlights: Easily combined with the ‘SNORKELERS AND FREE DIVERS’ package for the accompanying people.

An experienced instructor will be dedicated for each of our special divers, to ensure their maximum safety, comfort and fun.

 

> DAY 1 Arrival in San Pietro in Bevagna

Briefing with our tour operator partner in the arrival hall of the airport, then transfer to the hotel in a chauffeur-driven car. The rest of the day is free. An optional tour in Manduria, Porto Cesareo or Gallipoli can be offered late in the afternoon. Dinner (optional) and overnight at the Hotel.

 

> DAY 2 | The Fossilized Forest of Torre Ovo and the Underwater Temple near Campomarino

After breakfast, early departure from the hotel to the Torre Ovo diving site known as ‘the Fossilized Forest’, a mystery and fascinating geoformation only 6 meters deep, ideal for low-depth dives

Lunch onboard or in a traditional village with local delicacies, according to preferences.

In the afternoon, optional dive in the archaeological site known as ‘the Underwater Temple’ near Campomarino di Maruggio, an enchanting site only 6 meters deep, or stopover at the Sarcophagi wreck and relaxing beach activities in the San Pietro golden beach and crystalline waters. Transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 3 | The Columns of Torre Chianca and the Medieval Wreck of Torre Lapillo

After breakfast, early departure from the hotel to the underwater archaeological site of ‘Torre Santo Stefano - Torre Chianca’ (maximum depth 6 meters), where five columns from the Greek-Roman age lie on the seabed, only 80 meters away from the shore, in the Marine Protected Area of Porto Cesareo. Lunch onboard or in a traditional village with local delicacies, according to preferences.

In the afternoon, optional dive in the Torre Lapillo diving site known as ‘le Grotte’ (maximum depth 10 meters), where a medieval ship wrecked and lies on the seabed, or relaxing beach activities at the Salina dei Monaci beach, in the natural reserve of Chidro River, an enchanting old salt pan where pink flamingos crowd. Relax until sunset, and then transfer to the hotel. Optional dinner package.

 

> DAY 4 Departure day

 

After breakfast, chauffeur-driven car transfer to the airport for the departure.

 

Your package includes:

 3 nights at a hotel of your choice on bed & breakfast formula

  Transfers upon arrival and departure with assistance   Diving guide or instructor.

 

Your package excludes:

  International flights   Personal expenses     Optional meals    Optional excursions and visits

 



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