This is the story of a special place, where art does not have the appearance of paintings or sculptures, but can be seen in the landscape, when the sea, boundless and unpredictable, meets the man and his reasoning which, in vain, tries to tame him.
Thus was born the lighthouse, the sentinel of the sea, the guardian of the night, the stronghold among the waves.
Always a symbol of stability, safety and light, it has often witnessed raids and shipwrecks or enchanting legends of mermaids and mythological characters.
We are in Punta Palascia, or Capo d'Otranto, the easternmost point of Italy, in the heart of the Salento coast. Here, where the Adriatic meets the Ionian and merges, a white lighthouse stands on the coast overlooking the sea, surrounded, on one side, by the scents of the Mediterranean scrub, and, on the other, by the silvery shimmer of the moving waves. .
Sometimes, when the north-east wind blows, you can admire the mountains of Albania which, like a curtain, close the horizon from view, otherwise lost in the immensity of the spaces.
The original watchtower, which later became a lighthouse, remained in operation as a weather station until the 1970s. Today, it is part of a protection project monitored by the European Union, together with 5 other Mediterranean lighthouses, and is home to the Ecology Museum of Mediterranean Ecosystems.
But the real charm of this place derives from its particular position, in the easternmost point of the peninsula. At the foot of the white tower, in fact, looking towards the horizon, you can enjoy the sun that rises earlier than anywhere else, in Italy.
Tradition has it that we meet under the lighthouse to wait for the first dawn of the new year.