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WorldMediterraneanIonian SeaItalyIonian Coast of ItalyGallipoli
40°03.54′N, 17°58.96′E Chart icon.png
Gallipoli from W

The ancient town of Gallipoli lies on the E side of the Golfo di Taranto, 55 miles SE of Taranto and 16 miles NW of Santa Maria de Leuca, the ‘gateway to the Adriatic’, at the extreme tip of the ‘heel’ of the Italian peninsula. The town was one of the original settlements of Magna Graecia and controlled a considerable area of southern Italy until unfortunately siding with Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, in his campaign against Rome in 280 - 279 BC. Rome’s eventual victory over Pyrrhus (him of the notorious ‘Pyrrhic victory’) relegated Gallipoli to the status of a Roman colony. The basic structure of today’s old town, constructed on an island at the end of a long promontory, was defined by the Byzantines in the 13th century and later reinforced under Angevin and Aragonese rule. The island was only linked to the mainland by a bridge during the 16th century. Formerly an important port for the shipment of wine and olive oil, Gallipoli is now largely dependent on tourism and fishing for its prosperity. Visiting yachts have several options for mooring in the town, the Porto Mercantile, Darsena Fontanelle and Porto Gaio on the N side of the peninsula and the Seno del Canneto on the S side.


British Admiralty
187 Punta Stilo to Brindisi
188 Entrance to the Adriatic Sea including Nísos Kérkira
140 Crotone- Gallipoli and Bari with Approaches
Italian charts
28 From Point Alice to Point Coscio Cariati


During the summer the prevailing winds in the Ionian are light to moderate SW or SE seabreezes. In spring and autumn northerly winds are more frequent and can quickly rise to near gale force, especially in the lee of high mountain ranges. Winds in summer are generally light from the Straits of Messina until reaching the Golfo di Squillace between Rocella Ionica and Le Castella. With anything W in the wind, it tends to funnel down here over the mountains of southern Calabria, bringing strong gusts and raising an uncomfortable sea. The conditions to avoid, however, when cruising this part of the Ionian coast are strong southerlies. The harbours here are few and far between and none of them are really safe to enter in such conditions. Further east in the Gulf of Taranto local seabreezes predominate during the summer, although a light to moderate northerly is not uncommon. With strong southerlies, a heavy and uncomfortable swell develops across the whole gulf.

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts are broadcast from stations at Roma, Cagliari (Sardinia) and Augusta (Sicily)


Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


  • Isola Sant Andrea
  • Isola del Campo


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


There no particular hazards in the approach to Gallipoli. The buildings of the old town and a tall skyscraper in the new town are conspicuous from some distance off. Closer in, the low-lying island of Isola Sant’Andrea and its white tower lighthouse will be seen a mile to the W of the town. There are several small rocky islets and reefs extending for 250 metres off the western end of the peninsula which should be given a generous clearance. To the N of the town an isolated reef, the Secca del Rafo, is marked with a N cardinal marker. For approaches to the various berthing locations, see individual entries.


Porto Mercantile

Porto Mercantile
40°03.54′N, 17°58.96′E Chart icon.png
Porto Mercantile, Gallipoli from N

Porto Mercantile is situated on the NE side of the old town, protected by a long breakwater oriented SE/NW. Entry is from ENE, staying well clear of the shoal of Secca del Rafo. The W end of the harbour is mostly occupied by fishing and commercial boats. In the SE corner is a series of pontoons run by the Marina Bleu Salento concession, which provide berths for up to 160 yachts. Maximum length 30 metres. Depths at the pontoons range from 5.0 metres at the root to 8.0 metres at the end. Shelter is good here except in strong NE winds, which send in a considerable surge. Facilities include: fuel station on the W quay; water and electricity on the pontoons; clubhouse; restaurant/bar; wifi; laundry. Typical daily tariff for 13 metre yacht (December 2010): Euros 88 in high season; Euros 38 in low season.

Call Marina Bleu Salento on VHF channel 09 or telephone: +39 0833 263072 or Email. Website.

Darsena Fontanelle

Darsena Fontanelle
40°03.58′N, 17°59.46′E Chart icon.png
Darsena Fontenelle, Gallipoli from SE

Darsena Fontanelle is a small basin lying 400 metres due E of the outer breakwater of the Porto Mercantile, protected by an L-shaped breakwater extending parallel to the shore. Entry is from NE, taking care to stay to the centre of the channel. Access here would be difficult and possibly dangerous with strong northerlies. Along the breakwater and quays are berths for up to 120 yachts of up to 18 metres. Depths in the basin are 3 - 5 metres and along the quays range from 1 to 3 metres. Facilities include: fuel station; water and electricity; toilets and showers.

Contact Darsena Fontenelle on telephone: +39 0833 263535 or e-mail: Email. Website.

Porto Gaio

Porto Gaio
40°04.02′N, 17°59.98′E Chart icon.png
Porto Gaio, Gallipoli from NW

Porto Gaio is situated 800 metres NE of the Porto Mercantile and consists of an outer basin protected by a rough (and partially demolished) outer breakwater and a smaller inner basin with an associated boatyard. Entry is from NNE between the rough breakwater and the slipway of the boatyard. Two orange buoys mark the channel. Acess here would be difficult and shelter probably poor in strong northerlies. The outer and inner basin provide a total of 110 berths for yachts up to 40 metres on a pontoon in the outer basin (depths 5 metres - 60 berths) and around the quays in the inner basin (depths 1.8 metres - 50 berths). There are eight berths reserved for yachts in transit. Facilities include: water and electricity; toilets and showers; shuttle bus to city centre; cashpoint (ATM).

Call Porto Gaio on VHF channel 08 or telephone: +39 0833 202204 or Email. Website.

Seno del Canneto

Seno del Canneto
40°03.15′N, 17°58.81′E Chart icon.png
Lega Navale pontoons, Seno del Canneto

Seno del Canneto lies on the southern side of the old town, S of the bridge connecting it to the new town. The basin is entered from SE between two breakwaters and is overlooked by the Byzantine/16th century castle. Under the castle are two pontoons operated by the Italian Lega Navale at which it may be possible for a visiting yacht of up to 20 metres to berth if there is space. Depths at the pontoons are around 2.5 metres. Yachts are not permitted to berth elsewhere in the basin as the quays are reserved for the fishing fleet. Facilities: none.

Marinas & Yacht Club



Depending on wind directions, it is possible to anchor off in shelter either side of the pensinsula, clear of the access channels to the various basins. Care should be taken on the South side close to the breakwater and close to city wall for submerged cables.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Fuel, Water, & Electricity

on the pier of Porto Mercantile (0800 - 2000), but shallow water alongside (2.0 meters)
in Darsena Fontenelle (0900 - 1900)
in Porto Gaio
in Seno del Canneto (0800 - 1600)
See individual port entries for details
See individual port entries for details

Tourism and Things to do Ashore


The old town, with its narrow alleys and constant glimpses of the sea, is a delight to explore. Some remains of the original 14th century town walls can still be seen. At the eastern end of the old town is the impressive castle, originally Byzantine and later extended during Aragonese rule. Opposite the castle is the town’s bustling fish market. The 17th century Baroque cathedral of Sant’Agata is worth exploring and contains a colourful high altar. Just across the bridge into the new town is the Fontana Antica, a fountain originally thought to be Greek 3rd century BC, with interesting bas-reliefs of mythological figures.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • Good provisions shops in the town.
  • Fish and fruit and vegetable markets in the town.


  • Numerous good restaurants and pizzerias in the old town.




Two Laundries: one near Bleu Salento in the new town and the other just across the bridge in the old town

Motorbike & Car Rentals

  • Rental outlets in the town.

Garbage Disposal

Bins in all the basins.


Transportation (local and/or international)

  • Buses to Taranto and Brindisi.
  • Local and international flights from Brindisi (88 km) and Bari (200 km) airports.
  • Train station with connections to Lecce and beyond.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Gallipoli and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible) --Athene of Lymington 17:27, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
  • -RockoOne 4 September 2016

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington

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