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In August there’s an exodus from Italy’s cities as Italians flock to the coast leaving the heat of the cities behind. The weather in Puglia in August is hot and sunny with average temperatures hovering around 24°C sometimes soaring into the late 20s. It’s not the driest month – that award goes to June – but there are only about 30mm of rain on three of the 31 days.
In Rome it’s hot, dusty and oppressive. Temperatures can soar into the 30s. The sun beats down on the streets, the city is sticky and airless. Time to hit the beach.
The weather in Salento in August is perfect beach weather, hot and sunny with clear blue skies. And in Salento you have not one but two coasts to choose from. Puglia, a peninsula on the heel of Italy’s boot has the Adriatic on one side and the Ionian Sea on the other. From the roof terrace of luxury boutique hotel, Castello di Ugento you can glimpse the Ionian Sea just 4km away.
Many of the beaches are busy but you can still find wild stretches that have escaped the crowds. Porto Selvaggio or ‘wild harbour’ is to the west of the town of Nardo and reached via a 15 minute walk from the car park at Villa Tafuro through a shady pine forest. The pebbly beach is dominated by a rocky spur and shelves gently to a clear warm sea.
Melons and watermelons are at their best, and presented as fruit as well as ingredients for drinks, while the garden of Castello di Ugento produces cucumbers, figs and the tasty first Vittoria grapes.