Santa Maria di Leuca

The only mixed (Jewish and non-Jewish) DP camp in Italy was located in the fishing and resort town of Santa Maria di Leuca. Even though the Joint estimated the capacity of the camp to be 1,800 DPs, the population regularly exceeded that figure. The camp residents included approximately 400 non-Jews, while the Jewish refugees themselves were split: half were unaffiliated DPs and half were members of the camp's kibbutzim, principally the separate community of Kibbutz Aviv. All the DPs lived in requisitioned villas that had been the summer homes of wealthy Italians. As in the nearby DP camp of Santa Maria di Bagni, di Leuca boasted an exceptional theater troupe and a children's school. Though vocational training was frequently criticized at di Leuca for lagging behind other Italian DP camps, the campís soccer squad attained a reputation as the most successful team in the southern Italian camps.