Allow yourself to journey back in time to a perfectly conserved architectural wonder of centuries past. Specchia, although just a smidge of a town set inland off the Cape of Salento, has received quite a bit of attention in recent years. Its charming historic center, known among locals for being one of the most beautiful in all of Salento, was officially recognized as a “Jewel of Italy” in 2013. Its narrow pedestrian streets enclose the town’s main residential area, whose buildings have remained intact for hundreds of years. Outside the historic center, one can enjoy spectacular views of expansive olive and citrus groves, delineated by traditional “dry” stone walls.
Interestingly enough, its name comes from the heaps of stone (which one can still climb, if so inclined) called “specchia” (pronounced “speck-ya”) that surround the village. Built during the Norman conquest, these structures served as lookout towers to prevent enemy attacks.