Whether you prefer to gather with other families on the busiest beaches around, or find a secluded stretch of shoreline to call your own, Marina di Ugento has lots to offer. The busiest beaches tend to be around Torre San Giovanni, where several kilometres of golden sand sprawl beside beautiful blue sea. Skies are hot here, and you can expect the best of the Mediterranean climate to be yours all year round.
On the quieter side of things, the more rocky, rugged and natural Posto Rosso provides a way to soak up the heat while sidestepping the crowds. This beach is popular with divers thanks to its naturally gorgeous seabed scenery, although the whole area is protected to keep its nature and appeal intact.
Seeing the sights
Marina di Ugento Italy comprises of three small marinas. The busiest is the community surrounding Torre San Giovanni, named for its tower. The history of this town extends back to the Roman era, and the tower itself has been turned into an eye-catching lighthouse that's been repainted with a striking black and white chequered pattern. The promenade by the beach here is a real treat, decked out with gelato parlours, souvenir ships and a few fashion boutiques to explore.
A more relaxed version of this seaside town can be seen in Torre Mozza to the south though. The tower here has crumbled, but remains preserved as a landmark for the town. Bars and restaurants cluster around quaint little avenues, and the beach extends for some distance with noticeably less bustle than its northern neighbour. Days here are long and lazy, best spent with wine and conversation.
Further south still is Lido Marini, a small community of sleepy ice cream shops and coffee houses with a few grocery shops dotted around by the sea.
The marina after dark
The sunsets to be had by the coast throughout Marina di Ugento are as photogenic as they come, and whether you're strolling a promenade or watching the amber sky with sand between your toes, you'll find some fine entertainment beyond nightfall.
The liveliest venues tend to be towards the Torre San Giovanni side of Marina di Ugento. There's some effortless style behind the bars you'll find here, from classy wines at Kalidria Lounge to the vintage theme of Bar Jonio, where you can pair your cocktails with gelato.
Live music is often lilting into the night from the doorway of Manonegra, while Yo Island mixes cool beers with frozen yoghurt treats sure to cater to your sweet tooth.
As you'd expect of any Italian town, food and drink plays a massive part in the lifestyle of Marina di Ugento. You're definitely encouraged to get involved, thanks to some superb restaurants dotted around the area.
Traditional flavours are easily enjoyed here, particularly if you dine somewhere like Trattoria da Otello. The rustic interior here perfectly complements the rich risottos and creamy pasta dishes on offer. However, fans of fast food might prefer Bojo Burger, where handmade patties are piled high with bacon, cheeses and even eggs.
One of the newer kids on the block on the local restaurant scene is the Asian fusion restaurant, Baxter. Here they serve sushi and noodles, but also a few Mediterranean treats like tapas and cheese platters.
Of course, by the beaches you'll find plenty of snack shacks, and gelato shops are a delicious way to cool down too. Plus many of the Marina Di Ugento hotels have their own excellent restaurants, from homely to modern styles.