Grotta della Poesia, Puglia: where it is and how to get there

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

The world is full of beautiful places that deserve to be seen. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to travel far and wide to discover these natural wonders, but fortunately there are pearls of rare beauty in our country as well. One of these is the mythical Cave of Poetry, One of the most sensational natural pools in the world.
It is a magical place, not only extremely beautiful and relaxing, but also absolutely interesting thanks to its history and the legend that justifies its name ... This place is particularly appreciated by young people as it allows spectacular dives from a height of about 5 meters.


  1. Where is it and how to get there
  2. Practical info and advice
  3. Historical notes and legends
  4. User questions and comments

Where is it and how to get there

The Grotto is located in Roca Vecchia, a seaside village in the Melendugno district in the province of Lecce.
The Apulian town is part of the province of Lecce and is just 20 kilometers from Otranto. Near the cave there are other seaside resorts appreciated by tourists such as San Foca and Torre dell'Orso.

  • How to get there from Lecce: take the Lecce-Vernole SP1 Provincial Road, continue on SP145 towards San Foca and here take the SP366 coast road. (25 km, 30 min). Get Directions
  • How to get there from Otranto: take the SP366 coastal road and continue to Roca (20 km, 25 min). Get Directions
  • Where to park: free parking spaces are few (avoid leaving your car where it happens, fines are frequent). Rather, not far away there is a private car park which costs around € 1,00 / 2,00 per hour (€ 5,00 for the whole day). Get directions

Practical info and advice

  1. Best time: June and September, because July and August are very crowded. Surely in summer you can fully enjoy the climate, swim and dive repeatedly, but even out of season the place retains an extraordinary charm.
  2. Recommended days and times: if possible, on weekdays. Monday and Tuesday are the least crowded days, Saturday and Sunday the busiest. Peak times are from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00. We suggest going late in the day, around 17pm, and enjoying the last sun before sunset.
  3. Access by sea: It is possible to live a unique experience by accessing the cave from the open sea, through a suggestive tunnel. You cross a small dark cave with mask and torch, going deep for two meters and passing under a rock (ask for more info to the VIVARCH Association, below you will find the contacts).
  4. Clothing: of course, for the beach. Rock shoes are absolutely necessary. If you go in the spring months until June, also bring a sweatshirt as it gets a little windy at dusk.
  5. Visit with children: the site is not very suitable for families. To enter the water you have to jump and to get out there are narrow and slippery steps. The cave can be dangerous for the little ones.

Plan your excursion to the Grotta della Poesia: flights, hotels and excursions

  • The nearest airport is Brindisi airport, 70 km from Roca Vecchia.
  • Where to sleep nearby: in Roca Vecchia there are small structures and holiday homes. Not far away, between San Foca and Torre dell'Orso, a few kilometers from the Grotta della Poesia, there are accommodations from € 40,00 per night - see the offers
  • Guided tours and excursions: We recommend the half day tour on the Adriatic coast (Grotta della Poesia, Otranto and Castro Marina) - from € 55,00 bookable online by clicking here.
    - Guided tours for small groups with the VIVARCH Association (telephone: 3392063223 - 3283280483, email:

Historical notes and legends

The name of the cave derives from the word of Greek origin "posià", a term used in antiquity to indicate a cave in which it was possible to drink fresh water, it seems that in the past there was a source of fresh water inside the cavity. The Grotta delle Poesie has one twin sister of smaller size, just 60 meters away from it and connected to the main one through an underground tunnel. Both have become natural pools following the collapse of the ceiling due to the action of karst phenomena.

What makes this place so special, in addition to its extraordinary and unparalleled beauty, is the discovery of important inscriptions of Messapian origin, Greek and Latin on its walls. Thanks to these inscriptions, scholars have discovered theoriginal function of the cave: it was a place of worship of the god Taotor.

One has spread among the locals legend which provides an alternative explanation toorigin of the name. This legend tells of a wonderful princess who loved to immerse herself in the clear waters of the cave. The men of intellect of the county went to the cave to admire the beautiful young woman and to enter into her good graces, dedicating poetic lines to her. Hence the name: Grotta delle Poesie.

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