Get close to nature
It’s not as if Vernole has nothing to do, as there is a beautiful WWF-managed nature reserve to explore. Comprising of a multitude of different habitats, including sand dunes, wetlands and forests, the reserve plays home to a wonderful array of different animals and plants. It’s so much more than simply picturesque.
Birdwatchers in particular will want to make time to visit the Le Cesine reserve, where there are plenty of feathered friends to admire, and its farmhouse is the ideal base for your adventure, being used as a unique visitor centre.
Laze on unspoilt sands
Next to the nature reserve is a wonderfully unspoilt stretch of sand that offers undisturbed sunbathing. You’ll need to be aware of which areas are actually private beaches, though these are usually open to visitors for a small fee, and offer loungers and umbrellas for hire.
San Cataldo Beach is a favourite with locals, as it is just a 20-minute drive from Vernole and offers public access, calm waters and instant access to some fantastic restaurants stocked with the catches of the day. This is a particularly popular destination for anyone with younger children.
Finding the best food
The food in Vernole is a hearty mix of what you’d expect from Italy – including pasta, pizza and Mediterranean dishes – with a big dose of freshly caught and prepared seafood thrown in for good measure.
While there are a few pretty little places to enjoy a bite, most holidaymakers head to Lecce, just 20-minutes away by car, for a wider selection of restaurants, which are as diverse as they are numerous. Almost every street corner appears to have an inviting specials board to tempt you inside one of the cafés or romantic little restaurants, so you really will struggle to decide between them all.
Live it up in Lecce
Speaking of Lecce, being within such close proximity, it wouldn’t make any sense at all to avoid spending a whole day there during your Vernole holidays. Filled with stunning architecture carved from the local Lecce Stone, every street is full of history and heritage, just waiting to be explored.
The Basilica di Santa Croce is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in the region, drawing large crowds, but the Piazza del Duomo is also charming and acts as a central meeting spot for locals and tourists alike.
History buffs won’t be able to get enough of Lecce, with its collection of churches, an amphitheatre and ancient city walls.
Make time for a castle visit
Just 10 minutes from Vernole is a site of historical significance that is not to be missed. Acaya Castle, thought to be one of the best remaining examples of Renaissance architecture in the region, is an impressive structure that stands proud, guarding the area, and in doing so, keeps the heritage of the locality alive. It’s worth the nominal entrance fee just for the incredible photo opportunities.
Vernole Italy is the perfect combination of everything you could ever want in one holiday destination. Offering genuine peace and tranquility, the chance to get back to nature, easy-to-reach beaches, day trips, and plenty of incredible food, it promises to be as exciting or as hushed as you want it to be. Far from crowds but not too isolated, it’s a wonderful representation of what southern Italy has to offer.