The Cave of Poetry, Puglia Italy. All about the most beautiful natural pool in the world26.03.2021
Once you travel to Puglia Italy, you will discover immersed in the magical Salento among Caribbean-like beaches, small villages, farms and Salento culture, a small corner of paradise, even mentioned by National Geographic as a dream place. An absolute must-see on your Puglia vacation.
Included in the list of the 10 most beautiful natural pools in the world, the cave of poetry was discovered in 1983 by the archaeologist Cosimo Pagliara. There are two caves, the Cave of Grande Poesia and the Cave of Small poesia. They both communicate with each other via a karstic underground complex once covered by rocks.
With time, multiple factors such as the sea, atmospheric agents and karst caused the collapse of the rock cover. However, this natural phenomenon gave life to these natural pools with extraordinary colors. It definitely is the perfect set for stunning photos! Don’t miss this marvel while on your next Puglia trip.
Cave of poetry, Apulia in Italy : Origin of the name between history and legend
You may be wondering about the origin of its beautiful name?
The name comes from the Greek "posìa" and in fact “poetry” translates into a spring of fresh water that used to run here. There’s another explanation, a more popular version told by the locals... A legend says that a beautiful princess used to swim and immerse herself in the crystal clear waters of the Salento sea, giving it its marvelous quality.
Thus, inspired by the gracious beauty and eeriness of the cave many poets and writers composed verses and poems about it.
It may be a folk tale but on the walls of the cave there are engravings and signs dating back to the second millennium B.C. dedicated to Thaotor Audirahas, a deity linked to the healing of diseases.
Want to learn more about legends of the Apulia Italian region?
Our English-speaking Puglia guides will tell you all about pugliese myths and folklore. Visit Puglia Italy along one of our expert Puglia travel guides.
The archaeological area of the Cave of poetry : where it is and how to get there
The Grotta della Poesia is located in Roca Vecchia, a seaside resort in Salento in the municipality of Melendugno. It is part of the archaeological area of Roca, a destination loved by diving enthusiasts and amateurs of wonders of the world.
It is 20 km (12,7 mi) from Otranto and 25 km (15,5 mi) from Lecce. You can get there along the provincial roads n°136 and n°145. You can also take the bus from Lecce 101 (at the chamber of commerce station), there are nine stops before reaching Rocca Li Posti, near the Malama Village : from there the Cave is just over 1 km (1,6 mi) walk.
The exact location of the Cave of Poetry on Google maps is as follow:
Cave of poetry: weather and ideal time to visit it
Once planning your Puglia trip, the best time to visit the Grotta della Poesia is in June and September, with cooler and mild temperatures. In the summer months, it is preferable to plan a visit to the cave at strategic times, i.e. early in the morning or at sunset, thus avoiding chaotic peak hours.
Previously, you could dive from a height of 5 meters. Even if the depth of the seabed was reduced, you could still dive in it. However, the area has been recently subjected to a series of restrictions (such as the ban of bathing) in order to protect this authentic jewel of nature. In short, you can look but you can’t touch it.
Cave of poetry and surroundings, in Puglia Italy:
The Salento Adriatic coast offers many seaside shores such as Torre dell'Orso, Porto Badisco, the Bay of the Turks in Otranto, Santa Cesarea Terme, Castro Marina and further south Santa Maria di Leuca where you can embark on a boat trip. Otherwise, in the hinterland do not miss a tour of Lecce, with its elegant baroque churches and the village of Otranto to admire its wonderful mosaics of the twelfth century located inside the Cathedral of Otranto. If you are looking for a personalized itinerary we will help you.
Cave of poetry archaeological site: how to visit?
Here are a few suggestions of your expert Puglia travel guide:
You can access the Cave of Poetry by sea and by land. By sea, accompanied by expert Puglia guides you can walk in an underground underwater tunnel with a mask and torch. You can also reach the cave by kayak.
By land instead, you can get there from the road and walk along a dirt track - don’t forget comfortable hiking shoes. Given the need to preserve the beauty of this natural paradise, the municipality of Melendugno has recently decided to limit the entrance with tickets to avoid overcrowding. A series of restrictions have been implemented in the exclusive interest of the protection of the cliff and the archaeological area.
For the upcoming summer months, updated dispositions and new booking methods will be made. In the meantime, take a look at our Puglia package holidays which include a visit to the cave of Poetry and dreams. We always make sure that our Puglia package tour encompasses the best of Puglia Italy!
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