Il Giro dei Venti
Il Giro dei Venti


Between land and sea

Leuca-Otranto: the coast of marvels

The first stage of IL GIRO DEI VENTI takes us from Santa Maria di Leuca to Otranto, and back.

We start from the southernmost point of Puglia, the tip of Italy’s heel, where one of its most enchanting villages is situated: Santa Maria di Leuca. Nestled between Punta Meliso and Punta Ristola, the two rocky headlands that hug the promenade boast an ancient history full of myths and legends. Right off the coast, the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet. And yet, because of their different salinities, they never mix, creating a play of colors of remarkable beauty.

After about 50 km of cycling along the spectacular Adriatic coast, you arrive in Otranto, the first city to see the sunrise in Italy, hence its nickname: “Gate of the East”. Olive groves, stone walls, fortresses and pastel-colored houses characterize the village, one of the prettiest in Italy, and are the turning point for your return to Leuca.

Corfu: island of royalty and artists

Our cyclotourism itinerary in Greece is set amidst the scenery of Corfu, the “capital” of the Ionian Sea.

Seaside villages and tree-lined avenues, monasteries and castles, hidden coves and breathtaking bays. The same views that have bewitched writers and aristocrats for centuries – such as the Empress of Austria, Sissi, who loved spending her holidays here, and the English poet, Lord Byron – will accompany us along the way.

Leuca-Gallipoli: towards the pearl of the Ionian Sea

The second Italian stage brings us from Santa Maria di Leuca to Gallipoli.

Pedaling for about 113,8 km through Salento, between cities, hilltop hamlets and nature, you arrive at Gallipoli, the “Beautiful City” (from Greek, Kale Polis). Situated on the Ionian coast about forty kilometers from Lecce, the ancient village is perched on a limestone island and connects to the new city by an arched bridge dating back to 1600. The walls, ramparts and towers, which once protected the city from invaders, today shelter it from storm surges and exude historic charm.


Between two seas

The crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas will be the theatre for the three inshore sailings, each lasting (around) 3-4 hours. The wind – an essential element for every sailor – will define the routes. Depending on the conditions, Roberto Ferrarese, multiple times World Champion and Head of Sailing section IL GIRO DEI VENTI, will evaluate day by day which sea to sail, whether the Adriatic Sea, in the Leuca-Otranto route, or the Ionian Sea, in the Leuca-Gallipoli route. It will sail (as well) between the coasts of Corfù. The destination will be reached by each crew in an overnight sailing (with motor).


8 days of discovery

May 27th – Kissed by Fortune

Meeting in Santa Maria di Leuca (LE) and check-in by 4 p.m.

8 p.m. Meeting at the Leuca Lega Navale and welcome drink, event overview and drawing of teams  – composed of a pair of cyclists and a pair of sailing – plus handout of the racing packages.

Overnight on boat.

May 28th – The Adventure Begins

Cyclists: wake-up at 5 a.m., breakfast and meeting at the start line for the first ciclotouristic stage from Leuca-Otranto, and back.

Sailors: wake-up, breakfast, briefing with Roberto Ferrarese.

Lunch in Leuca.

In the late afternoon, the first sail along the coast with sailors and cyclists.

Transfer to the stretch of coastline enclosed between Porto Badisco to the south and Torre Sant’Emiliano to the north, to discover the “Otranto-Santa Maria di Leuca” nature park, which stretches about 57 kilometers along the eastern coast of Salento. Itinerant activities will allow visitors to get in touch with local businesses to savor the most authentic Salento tradition.

Dinner: at the table with local producers, among tastings and stories. Common thread of the meeting: good food and sustainability.

Overnight stay in glamping.


May 29th – Glances of Salento

Wake up to admire the sunrise surrounded by nature, muscle toning and breakfast.

  • 9:00 am – Blue Therapy Appointment with Umberto Pelizzari for an apnea dive, towards the truest beauty of the sea.
  • 11:00 am – The Way Excursions in Salento caves and tracking towards Torre Sant’Emiliano.
  • 13:00 – Lunch A table surrounded by nature.
  • 15:00 pm – Planting Transfer towards Martano for the planting of olive trees.
  • 19:00 – Waiting for the Sunset

Return to Leuca.

Dinner on the boat.

During the night each crew will sail with their own boat towards the island of Corfu (Greece). All participants were invited on board with bicycles loaded onto boats.

[For those who will use the boat rental, the presence of a skipper on board for the entire experience is expected (the skipper will not be able to participate in the sailing along the coast)].

Overnight on the boat.

May 30th – Mysterious Corfù

Wake up and breakfast at the Gouvia port. Departure for a guided tour of Corfù. Relax at Marina and possibility of excursions around the island of Corfù, ancient crossroads of traditions and civilizations.


In the afternoon, briefing with Roberto Ferrarese, followed by the second sail along the coast.


Overnight on boat.

May 31st – Wind on your face

Cyclists: Early wake-up, breakfast at the Gouvia port and meeting at the start line for a cycling tour of Corfù.

Sailors: Wake-up and breakfast.

Transfer by private boat from Gouvia to Kerkyra (Corfù). 

Lunch at the garden of the Corfù Picture Gallery in the palace of St. Michael and St. George.

Excursion by gulet among the most beautiful coves.

Return to Gouvia by private transfer. At night, each crew will sail their boat to Leuca. All participants must be on board with bicycles loaded.

June 1st – Towards the finish

Wake up and brunch.

Meet at the port for bus transfer to the town of Castrì to discover the Frantoio Ipogeo dating back to the 17th-18th centuries, and taste products from local companies.

Transfer to Lecce. Guided tour through the Baroque city and aperitif.

Return to Leuca.

Overnight stay by boat.

June 2nd – And the winner is…

Cyclists: early wake-up and final ride from Leuca-Gallipoli and back.

Sailors: wake-up and breakfast and briefing with Roberto Ferrarese.


Subcoastal sailing.

Afternoon transfer by private bus to the city of Spongano for the closing party: a large party dedicated to all the participants with an awards ceremony for the first three qualifying teams held at the Workness headquarters, an eighteenth-century Filograna building in Spongano.

Return to Leuca by private bus and overnight on boat.

June 3rd – See you soon!

Wake-up, breakfast and regards.

*This program is subject to change and modification to ensure the safety of all participants and the successful outcome of the event.


The victories to be won

Il Giro dei Venti


The winning crew will be awarded a 7-day holiday (from May 25 to June 1, 2024) at Palazzo Maresgallo, a historic five-star resort immersed in the heart of Salento (or another equivalent structure). The prize is valid for each of the 4 crew members, plus one companion each.

Il Giro dei Venti


The silver medal crew will be awarded a 7-day holiday (from May 25 to June 1, 2024) at Naturalis Bio-Resort, an elegant five-star resort surrounded by over 18 hectares of nature (or another equivalent structure) in Martano (LE). The prize is valid for each of the 4 crew members, plus one companion each.

Il Giro dei Venti


The third-place crew will be awarded a 7-day holiday (from May 25 to June 1, 2024) at Tenuta Centoporte, a four-star resort (or another equivalent structure) in Otranto on the Salento coast. The prize is valid for each of the 4 crew members, plus one companion each.


Step into the adventure

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