Christmas: the most eagerly-awaited time of the year
When the most eagerly-awaited time of the year arrives, Christmas, often our thoughts turn to presents and we choose to give toys, jewellery, gadgets and lots of other material things.
Here in Salento the gifts we give – apart from sweets and wine (because we really can’t say no) – are all the feelings, memories and unique experiences that a holiday at Finibus Terrae offers. In the cold of winter our gift is the warmth of our giant fireplaces in our farmhouses, of December sunshine framed in a bright blue sky. The Salento landscape gives of herself year-round, when our fruit trees turn golden and a thousand hues of red, while our densely-leaved olive trees and other evergreens of the mediterranean macchia become host to coloured lights, shiny ribbons and bows, lighting up the dark nights. Salento’s gift is the scent of dew-laden grass on early December mornings, with the sea breeze flowing through our streets, bringing them back to life, like a gust of wind puts roses in your cheeks.
Rediscovering the natural landscape, taking time to enjoy it and take care of it is surely the best way to celebrate the festival of goodness and love.
For this reason we recommend using your Christmas break to explore the Otranto-Santa Maria di Leuca area of natural beauty. We’ve often mentioned the beauties of this area, but we’ll never tire of doing so, because a nature reserve is living and continually evolving. Set amid the splendid Salento winter landscape, this year the park is going to take-on the flavour of fairy tales. It was announced only very recently, even making the newspaper headlines, that wolves are returning to the safety of our reserve. Wolves are considered at risk of extinction in Italy, and are known to be able to live only in the cleanest and most unspoilt places. Three wolves have been seen so far, including a cub, spotted among the dense vegetation by the woodland patrols. Just imagine how lovely it would be so see this almost magic scene of wolves among the Salento olive trees, where they haven’t been seen for over a hundred years. They’ll be bringing back to life the tales of Salento’s grandparents, that were full of wolves, fairies and goblins.
But our natural landscape has lots of other gifts up its sleeve for you, too. Lots of different animals live in the wonderful habitats of the Park area, among meadows and rocky outcrops, woods and clearings – a joy for adults and children alike. There are white, woolly sheep on our meadows, worthy of any Christmas crib scene, and lost of rare birds living in our oaks trees, such as the falcon.
Nature speaks to us, filling us with feelings that seem to warm the soul. We feel refreshed as we walk along the nature trails and it’s not unusual to come across walkers who have stopped to paint or write poetry, inspired by the wonderful scenery around them.
So, this Christmas why not make a gift of a special nature experience. Choose a trip for yourself and your loved ones to the real unspoilt part of Salento, the Otranto-Santa Maria di Leuca Coast Regional Nature Park. The Montiró Hotel awaits you with every comfort and all our Salento hospitality for your best Christmas holiday, ever.