8Piu Hotel, Viale del Risorgimento, Lecce. Modern 4-star business class hotel with 84 rooms, located outside of Lecce’s old quarter. Rates $80 – $124. www.8piuhotel.com
Al Pescatore Hotel & Restaurant, Via Riviera Cristoforo Colombo 39, Gallipoli. A renovated 17thcentury building with 22 bright and simple rooms, some overlooking the harbour. Rates $50 – $125. www.alpescatoregallipoli.com
I Bastioni San Domenico, Riviera Nazario Sauro 133, Gallipoli. Smart 4-star boutique hotel facing the sea, with 16 rooms and a roof terrace in a converted historical building. Rates $65 – $350. www.ibastionisandomenico.com
L’Hotel in Pietra, Via S. Giovanni Vecchio 22, Matera. Trendy cave hotel with 9 unique and characterful rooms carved into the rock in the historic Sassi quarter of Matera. Rates $89 – $276. www.hotelinpietra.it
La Fiermontina Urban Resort, Piazzetta De Summa Scipione 4, Lecce. A modern take on a traditional masseria, Luxury 5-star private retreat in the old quarter of Lecce, with 16 guestrooms and suites and a swimming pool set amidst olive trees. Rates $265 – $589. www.lafiermontina.com
Lune Saracene, Via Litoranea Salentina, Campomarino. Gay B&B with 3 simple guest rooms, in a remote location close to a popular gay nude beach. Rates $85 – $105. www.lunesaracene.it
Monastero Santa Teresa, Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi 31, Nardò. A combination of 3 historic buildings, with 10 spacious guest rooms. Rates $64 – $110. www.monasterosantateresa.com
Palazzo del Corso, Corso Roma, 145, Gallipoli. Luxurious 5-star hotel in a renovated 19th-century building, with 14 rooms, rooftop swimming pool, fitness room and fine dining restaurant. Rates $174 – $500. www.hotelpalazzodelcorso.it
Palazzo Presta, Via Garibaldi ang Via Presta, Gallipoli. Hip 4-star boutique hotel with eclectic décor and 13 rooms. Rates $114 – $340. www.palazzopresta.it
Relais Corte Palmieri, Corte Palmieri 3, Gallipoli. Elegant 4-star boutique hotel with 22 rooms and a shady central courtyard in a converted 17th-century building. Rates $102 – $288. www.relaiscortepalmieri.it
Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, Via Civita 28, Matera. Luxurious hotel with 18 romantic and atmospheric boutique cave bedrooms. Rates $179 – $810. www.sextantio.it
(rates based on average rates for a standard room via TripAdvisor)
Antica Macelleria Fai, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 14, Nardò. A former butcher’s shop, now a popular steakhouse and grill.
Bros’ by Floriano Pellegrino, Via Acaja 2, Lecce. Hip Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant serving reinvented regional food. www.brosrestaurant.it
Crem Lab, Via G. Marconi 19, Lecce. Hip reinterpretation of a traditional gelateria, including a basement cocktail lounge. www.ilovecrem.com
Dalle Antiquario, Via Ludovico Maremonti 3, Lecce. Restaurant with eclectic junk shop décor, serving classic regional food. www.dallantiquario.it
La Cucina di Mamma Elvira, Via Ludovico Maremonti 33. Lecce. Charming restaurant with outdoor dining, serving typical regional food and wine. www.mammaelvira.com
La Dispensa dei Raccomandati, Via Rosario 14, Nardò. A fine fish restaurant in an old building located moments from Nardò’s picturesque main square.
La Lampara, Via Incrociata 10/12, Gallipoli. Simple and stylish fish restaurant supplied by its own fish stall in the harbor. www.lalamparagallipoli.it
Natale Pasticceria, Via Salvatore Trinchese 7. Lecce. Traditional gelateria serving pastries and gelato. www.natalepasticceria.it
Ristaurante Art Nouveau, Via G. Puccini 4, Nardò. Elegant fish and seafood restaurant overlooking the sea in Nardò’s trendy beach suburb.
Lido Pôr do Sol, Litoranea Per Santa Maria Di Leuca, Baia Verde. Full-service beach lido located to the south of Gallipoli, frequented by the LGBTQ+ community. www.facebook.com/Pordo- Sol-123629321115498
Marilyn Café Lounge Bar, Via Giovanni Presta 23, Lecce. LGBTQ+ friendly lounge bar located just beyond the historic centre of Lecce. www.facebook.com/marilyncafelecce