Alimini Lakes

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

The Alimini lakes are about 5 miles from Otranto and one of the most precious natural features of Salento. Their name comes “limne”, the term used by the ancient Greeks to indicate a “lake” or a “pond”.

These lakes are formed by two basins called “Alimini Grande” and “Alimini Piccolo” which used to be connected by a small channel called “lu strittu”, about 1-mile long, eventually removed to prevent the waters of the smaller basin from becoming too salty.

“Alimini Grande”, featuring saltwater, was generated by sea erosion, and extends for about 1,5 miles; it is about 13-ft deep and is almost completely surrounded by a rocky strip; the northern section is called “Palude Traguano” and features several springs: the main one is the “Zudrea”, which feeds the lake along with the Adriatic Sea.
The seabed is rich in shellfish and a large part of is covered by beaked tasselweed (Ruppia maritima).

“Alimini Piccolo” is fed by several sources of freshwater, and is, in fact, also called “Fontanelle”; it extends for about 1.24 ft and does not exceed the depth of 4.9 ft. The shores of the lake are low and flat, while the water comes from the water table of the Rio Grande Canal.


Near the lakes, there’s a very rare vegetation consisting of marsh orchid (Anacamptis palustris), water chestnut (Trapa natans), and aquatic bladderwort (Utricularia australis).
Thanks to hunting restrictions, the lakes offer safe passage to many migratory species of birds.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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