PMNP 2015 - Local Information

  1. Conference shuttle
  2. Travel
  3. Stay in Lecce
  4. Excursions and Social Events

Conference shuttle

The organizing committe has arranged a conference bus service. On 20 June (arrival day) the bus will leave Brindisi airport to Lecce train station, and then go ahead to Ecoresort Le Sirenè; on 27 June (departure day) it will run in the opposite direction. The service is free of charge for all registered participants and accompanying persons.

NEW: you can find the shuttle timetable here:

  Shuttle Timetable

The participants that have arrival/departure days different from 20/27 June will be transported by taxi. Those who are not supported by the organizing committee will be contacted in private to agree with payment. If you are not satisfied by the conference bus service you might arrange a personal transfer through Ecoresort Le Sirene or in another way.

Note for the stranded: should you get stranded somewhere between Brindisi and Lecce (e.g., due to flight or train delays), please refer to Ecoresort Le Sirene's desk +39 0833 202536. They would be ready to arrange a private transfer for you, or to put you in contact with one of the organizers.


Ecoresort Le Sirenè is located 5km South of Gallipoli along the coast of the Ionian sea, in the peninsula of Salento (the 'heel of the boot' in the traditional picture of the Italian peninsula as a boot). The closest city is Lecce, which is served by a railway station which is connected to all main Italian cities. The closest airport is Brindisi, which is connected with the two Italian hubs of Roma Fiumicino and Milano Malpensa, as well as a number of other national or European airports.

Travel by train to Lecce

From Rome or Milan, take a Eurostar (EC) or Intercity (IC) train; overnight trains are equipped with sleeper cars with couchettes or beds. It takes about 6 hours to reach Lecce from Rome and 10 hours from Milan by train. The Conference bus (information will appear in due time) will provide shuttle service between the train station in Lecce and the conference hotel on the arrival/departure
NOTE: practically all train timetables in Italy (with the exception of some local companies) are available at the website (also in English) with online booking.

There is no public transport from Lecce (or anywhere else) to Ecoresort Le Sirenè. However, you can reach Gallipoli by a local train (there is also a bus connection but traveling by train will be much more practical) whose schedule can be found here (also in English). There is no public transportation from Gallipoli to Ecoresort Le Sirenè, so you will need to arrange a taxi by the help of the Ecoresort Le Sirenè.

Travel by plane to Brindisi

The PLANE TO BRINDISI is to be preferred with respect to the other main Apulian airport of Bari. You may fly to Brindisi from the Italian airports of Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate. The website of the airport is
The Conference bus (information will appear in due time) will leave/arrive from/at the Brindisi airport on the arrival/departure days.

From Brindisi airport to Lecce there is a public bus. The schedule can be found here. However, we stress that such a timetable is going to change. The ticket can be bought directly in the bus and costs 6€. The bus is grey and green, with the `SITA' logo, and usually leaves on the right of the main exit of the airport. The bus stops 100m from the Grand Hotel Tiziano, at the Lecce Airport City Terminal (open 7am - 2.30pm, phone: +39 0832 247882).

Then one can reach Lecce train station by taxi. The average fare for the trip Lecce Airport City Terminal - Lecce Train Station should be about 10EUR. If the office of the Airport City Terminal is open, you may ask the employees to call a taxi for you. Otherwise, you may call it yourself (but you could be answered by people who do not speak English) at one of the following numbers: 0832 332857, EUROMED service (works 24/7); 0832 247978 (Train station taxis). You may also use the public bus leaving in front of the Grand Hotel Tiziano in order to reach Lecce train station; in this case you should look for buses number 26, 30, 31. The tickets can be bought at the bar (Bar Commercio) on the opposite side of the road with respect the Hotel Tiziano, and should cost about 1EUR/run.

The historical center of Lecce is very interesting, and is 10 min. walking from the train station. If you wish to visit it, just go straight ahead from the main entrance of the train station and after 500m you will be there.

For instructions on the trip Lecce train station - Ecoresort Le Sirenè, please refer to the previous section.

Travel by plane to Bari

You might also FLY TO BARI from the most important Italian hubs (Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate) and also from a number of foreign airports. The airport's webaddress is After arriving to Bari you will need to take a public bus to the Bari train station and then travel to Lecce by train. There will be no shuttle service by the conference between the Bari airport and Ecoresort Le Sirenè. However, either the organizers or the staff of the Ecoresort Le Sirenè can help with arranging direct transportation between the Bari airport and the conference hotel using a local shuttle company.

Other means of travel

  • by PLANE AND TRAIN: it is possible to combine plane and train trips which could be a convenient alterative if you plan to visit other parts of Italy. There are day and night trains from Rome and Milan every day, please refer to Moreover, especially from Europe, many low cost companies have scheduled flights to smaller Italian airports such as Forlí and Pescara, from which a train is the most practical mode of transportation to reach Lecce.
  • by CAR from Bari (150Km), via a freeway. Just follow the signs to Brindisi-Lecce. CAR RENTALS are available in the main italian airports, including the airports of Brindisi and Bari. This could be a good idea if you wish to join a visit of the South of Italy to the conference. You should not enter Lecce (unless you wish to visit it) but take the eastern branch of the bypass which circles around Lecce (`tangenziale ovest'). After a few kilometers you will see a detour to Gallipoli. Follow it for 40km and a few kilometers after Gallipoli you should exit the freeway; the Hotel is just 1Km away. Please refer to the website of the hotel for further details.

Stay in Lecce

Besides google maps, a map of Lecce can be found here, as well as maps of all cities in Italy.

Suggested hotels for a stay in Lecce are Grand Hotel TizianoGrand Hotel di Lecce.

NOTE: There are many other hotels in Lecce, but you might find it much more enjoyable to stay in one the numerous Bed & Breakfast hotels in the old center. Here you can find a list. A couple of recommended ones are Centro StoricoB & B Lecce . But be aware that the historical center abounds with restaurants, pubs, and people, so it can get quite noisy there even in the middle of the night.

Excursions and Social Program

We plan to do the following excursions free of charge for participants and accompanying persons: 

  1. Monday 22 June, departure 18.30: a short (1 h 30 min) visit to a traditional oil farm (masseria) and underground olive oil mill (frantoio ipogeo): Azienda Agricola Francesca Stajano. Availability is limited to 40 participants, registration will close on Sunday 21st.
  2. Wednesday 24 June, departure 14.15: boat trip to the caves on the Ionian and Adriatic coast around S. Maria di Leuca (see below for a description)
  3. , registration will close on Sunday 21st.
  4. Wednesday 24 June, departure 14.15: cultural excursion to Lecce, registration will close on Sunday 21st.
  5. Thursday 25 June, departure 9.00: a guided excursion in the pine wood surrounding the Hotel, only for accompanying persons.

The social program consists in


  • the Show of Traditional Music and Dance by the Officina Zoé, on 24 June after dinner. Officina Zoé is an internationally renowned group of traditional and ethnic music and dance, please read here a biography of the group.
  • the Social Dinner, which will be offered on 25 June to all participants and accompanying persons;
  • the Concert of the Percorda Trio just after the social dinner. The “Percorda Trio” was founded in 2009 by Franco Tommasi (associate professor of Computer Networks ad the Università del Salento). He has also been the founder of Canzoniere di Terra d'Otranto, one of the most renowed group in Salento's traditional Music (1991-1996) which produced the first CD ever for that genre, Bassa Musica, whose songs are also in the repertoire of the Percorda Trio. The Percorda Trio specializes in old neapolitan music. Presently it is composed by Franco Tommasi (voice and guitar), Ofelia Elia (mandolin) and Mino Toriano (double bass). A sample of the neapolitan repertoire of the Trio can be listened in the CD Canzoni Napoletane Videos of performances are available in YouTube.

If you wish to preregister to one of the excursions please send us a mail: pmnp2015 at with subject 'Excursion'. Please notice that there is a limited number of places available for the boat trip and priority will be given to early registrations. The deadline for the registration to excursions is 21 June 2015 at the conference registration desk.

Boat trip to the caves on the Ionian and Adriatic coast around S. Maria di Leuca

Leaving from the harbour of Torre Vado, a guide will explain you the history of the tower and the route that you’re going to sail. After 25 minutes, passing in front of Marina di San Gregorio, the boat stops for a couple of minutes to admire the wonderful “house of San Gregorio”, that in ancient times was a coastal tower that rises in the messapic city of Veretum, also mentioned by Strabone.

After other 10 minutes of sailing we finally arrive to the first cave, known as “Grotta del Drago”. Entering by boat the guide will show you two special rocks that gives the name to the cave. The colour of the rocks is amazing because it contains res of iron, copper and zinc. Rounding “Torre Marchieddhu” there is a small gulf which contains countless caves. Here we will visit:

  1. Grotta della Stalla (cave of the stable): an old shelter for fishermen
  2. Grotta dei Giganti (cave of the giants): in which were found bones of a prehistoric elephant
  3. Grotta delle Tre Porte (three doors cave): the most important cave of the ionian sea, where we can find other two small caves inside “grotta Titti” (cave Tweety) and Grotta del bambino (cave of the child), very famous because were discovered bones and teeth of a child of the neolithic age
  4. Grotta del Fiume (cave of the river): was the bed of an ancient karst river.

After visiting the last cave of the ionian coast the trips continues rounding Punta Ristola, the southest rock of Apulia, seeing from the sea the amazing houses of the seafront of Leuca, the harbour and the monumental staircase that connects Leuca to Santa Maria di Leuca, where stands the majestic sanctuary. Every guest is always enchanted to listen to the wonderful legends that are told about these places.

The boat passes the rocks that separates the ionian from the adriatic sea and sail to the other side of Salento Peninsula. Before you get to the first cave, the guide will show you the differences in water depth and in the shapes of the caves (in the ionian sea were rounded and low, now becomes high and narrow). In the Adriatic sea we will visit other caves:

  1. Grotta di Terradico (tent of the indians’ cave): for the characteristic shape of a tent
  2. Grotta della Verdusella (cave of the green rocks): whose walls are rich of copper and sulfur giving a green colour to the rocks
  3. Grotta dell’Ortocupo (the dark cave): inside is very dark so we enter just at the beginning of the cave
  4. Grotta del Soffio (cave of the breath): protrude puffs of water
  5. Grotta della Vora (cave of the hole): with a hole on the cieling. Some studies established that the caves goes on under the water for 15km, arriving to the famous Vora di Barbarano, a village where there’s a hole in the floor.

The first stop for who wants to swim will be near the cave of the breath. Guests are helped by the crew to visit the cave that is semi-submerged. The second stop will be in the water of the ionian sea near the cave of the river. Also in this case the crew will help you tu enter in the cave, swimming in a tunnel inside some rocks and arriving into another cave. Guests who will not swim will quietly wait aboard with a crew member who will remanin at their disposal.

On the way back to Torre Vado will be offered an appetizer that includes some typical products such as: Friselline al pomodoro (a typical kind of bread served with tomatoes, capers and olive oil Simeddhi e Vuliate (another typical kind of bread with vegetables or olives inside) Pizza (two different kind of traditional pizza) Fruits (two variety of seasonal fruits) White or red wine, water, orange juice or coca cola.