Santa Maria al Bagno
|Santa Maria al Bagno|
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Dialing code||(+39) 0833|
Santa Maria is a small fishing village, located on the shores of the Gulf of Taranto, on the west coast of the Ionian Sea between Gallipoli and Porto Cesareo. It has unspoilt rocky and sandy beaches all along the coast. Particularly important is the next door regional wildlife reserve of "Portoselvaggio", a famous natural park with 400 hectares of pinewood forest and seven kilometres of high quality, unpolluted coast. Portoselvaggio is one of the main green lungs of the region of Apulia.
Santa Maria Al Bagno is approximately 45 minutes travelling time by car from Brindisi, 20 minutes from Lecce and approximately one hour 30 minutes from Bari. There are several food shops in the village, restaurants, pubs, bars open in summer 24 hours a day, a chemist, a post office, real estate agents, tourist agents, barber shops, petrol station, newsagent shops and a weekly market every Sunday. Lots of large supermarkets, shopping centres and fashion boutiques are in the town nearby such as Nardò, Galatone, Gallipoli and Lecce.
A new museum opened in the village dedicated to thousands of concentration camp survivors who travelled through Italy on their way to Israel after World War II. The Museum of Memory and Welcome has been created in Santa Maria through which some 150,000 Jews passed between 1943 and 1947. The museum houses all the material relating to the time from the town council archives, including witness reports, photographs and videos, as well as a multimedia room and a library.
Santa Maria al Bagno is site of a medieval coastal tower, named Tower of the Galatena River, colloquially known as "The Four Columns" due to its structure of four repeating pillars.
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