Porto Cesareo sits on a prestigious part of the Ionian coast, enjoying a long stretch of beach and sparkling clean seas. The popular seaside resort has an amazing 17 kilometers of golden beach facing an archipelago of low-lying islands that form a protected bay. The water is calm and clear. Porto Cesareo is also the home of a nature preserve that is a marine protected area rich in flora and fauna with very rare species. Underwater excursions allow for viewing of the unique coral formations, turtles, sea horses, and other marine life.
The town was established as part of Magna Grecia, as evidenced by the Greek statuary found in the area. It was taken over by the Romans and was an important seaport. During the Middle Ages it was abandoned due to pirate raids, flooding and malaria. Later, under the lingering feudal system it was passed around among various noble lords until the end of the 1800s. Travelers attracted by the beaches and turquoise waters brought a redevelopment to the town.
Now the marina hosts sailboats and motor craft. Colorful wooden fishing boats bob in the water of the bay. Low rocky bluffs offer coves and snorkeling holes. Porto Cesareo has a beach-town atmosphere with loads of restaurants, cafes and some discos. The main focus is on the water and the beach, and the townspeople maintain their active fishing fleet, along with agricultural endeavors on the fertile plains that stretch inland behind the town.
Every year Porto Cesareo puts on a Palio event that is unique - a water-based boating competition of skill that celebrates their fishing and seafaring traditions in a colorful splash of athletic skill.
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