Torre Sant'Andrea – Melendugno, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Torre Sant'Andrea

Melendugno, Italy

Dramatic sea stacks adorn the coast of this small village on the Adriatic coast. 


The Adriatic Sea boasts many highly touted beaches featuring clear water, white sand, and gorgeously rugged landscapes. However, the looming rocky towers of Torre Sant’Andrea make the waterfront of this small Italian fishing community stand out even within that generally picturesque context.

The sea stacks that define Torre Sant’Andrea are created by the erosive power of wind and waves beating against malleable coastal cliffs. Fissures are expanded, tunnels are formed, and tenuous natural bridges collapse to leave lonely sentinels rising above the pounding surf below.

Located on the “heel” of Italy’s “boot,” Torre Sant’Andrea takes its name not from these natural towers, but from one constructed by humans in the 16th century as a watch towers, the ruins of which can still be seen. Visitors can lounge on the beach, swim through weathered arches, and even cliff dive (if they know what they’re doing). The local nightlife also apparently features a fairly active reggae scene.

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