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  • Discover Salento 3.0 by Repubblica Salentina ...it's a State of soul!

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  • Discover Salento 3.0 by Repubblica Salentina ...it's a State of soul!
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  • Discover Salento 3.0 by Repubblica Salentina ...it's a State of soul!
    vacanza etc ha le sue opzioni in alcune sono accettati solo animali di piccola taglia in altre gli animali possono circolare nelle aree comuni solo al guinzaglio piccoli accorgimenti che però permettono un amabile e divertente convivenza felice Poi vi sono strutture molto ben organizzate dove è possibile portarsi appresso persino il proprio cavallo The Handbook of reception and hospitality of Salento Ten absolutely original and unique rules ten extraordinary ways of behaviour that only Salento can give you We are speaking of the famous Handbook of reception and hospitality of Salento ever heard about Salento Therapy The Salento area offers to its visitors various and absolutely natural therapeutical and curative options What is beautiful is that such benefits are not artificial actions and situations created by man and set up in whatever laboratory rather it is nature itself that through a sensitive perception of colours and sounds smells and light produces stimuli and impulses which lead to physical and psychological wellness This is what the so called Salento Therapy is and there is only one way to discover if it really works and about the famous Salento Slow Life Salento Slow Life is not a new science on the

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  • Discover Salento 3.0 by Repubblica Salentina ...it's a State of soul!
    austere atmosphere as you feel in the Classical basilica style with its wooden ceiling and the smooth columns adorned by Corinthian capitals The altars in the side aisles are pure Baroque and some of them show beautiful paintings You cannot leave from Lecce without visiting the Castle and the Church of San Matteo The Castle 16th century built on a preexistent fortress of Gualtieri VI of Brienne was the work of Gian Giacomo dell Acaja You can visit the large rooms of the Castle if you go to exhibitions or take part to cultural events here even if the building is still being restored The Church of San Matteo is what the German historian Gregorovious defined the Pantheon of Lecce Baroque a superb building with curve surfaces and strong volumes You will notice the concave surface at the top and a convex one at the bottom Another beautiful square is Piazza Duomo with the Bell Tower the Cathedral the Bishop s palace and the old Seminary The square has a peculiarity it is a rare example of closed square in Italy In the past in fact at the entrance where there are two twin buildings there was a wooden gate this gate was closed every evening just to keep religious life apart from ordinary life The façade of the Cathedral was built in the second half of the 17th century for Bishop Pappacoda whose sepulchral monument is inside the church to enlarge the old church while the main entrance is on the side next to the Bishop s palace In fact the old façade is not so richly decorated and lacks of solemnity it is more composed and almost austere From Castro and Santa Cesarea to Otranto Castro is on the Adriatic sea coast The high part of the town stands above a high rock Its origins are very old and remains of Messapian walls have been found lately It was a Roman and Byzantyne town often an episcopal seat Here you can admire a romanesque Cathedral 1171 and the remains of a frescoed byzantyne Crypt Castro Marina is the port that was made out of the high rock The place is charming with a pretty little square where during summer evenings young people stay until late In some way it reminds Capri Santa Cesarea takes its name after the legend of a little girl whose name was Cesarea she found refuge in the caves to escape from her father s insane desires She was protected by the sea in fact though promising her father to meet him in her room really she climbed down through the courtyard window and run away towards Castro When her father discovered it he went to Castro to get her back but on the way a mysterious black cloud appeared and the evil man drowned in the waves Just in that place water started stinking and never stopped In fact here you can smell sulphur to remember the man s bad smell From then on Santa Cesarea has become a well known thermal spa from the four caves Fetida Gattula Solfatara and Solfurea the caves where Cesarea found shelter come out at a temperature of 30 degrees waters containing sulphur iodine lithium and salt useful to cure some diseases Walking on the promenade you will see Palazzo Sticchi with its Moorish architecture and its big orange dome Recently lots of elegant residences have been built behind the historical centre overlooking the sea What is worthy to see in Santa Cesarea is the natural swimming pool among dark and solid rocks the sea breaks against the rocks and fills up the pool Then you can go to the pineta pine wood from where you will enjoy a wonderful sight of the sea the buildings and the little houses on the coast The coast is rocky the main caves you meet are the Zinzulusa and the Romanelli The access to the sea is made easy by some establishments such as Archi and Caicco which allow you to swim in a very beautiful blue sea If you want to dream on the golden sand you have to go to Porto Miggiano Going inland you pass through places which are characterized by a calm and relaxed atmosphere houses which stand each close to the other where you smell the simplicity of people who meet together to make the tomato sauce and other things for cooking Before arriving to Minervino there is the dolmen Scusi with its eight pillars holding a heavy slab of stone The name comes from the dialect word that means hidden just because perhaps the dolmen had the function to hide someone or something But what emerges during the visit is that this is a land of hard work a land where everybody works by day but at night they sit together and tell stories and old legends Arriving at Giurdignano an old castle of Otranto you can admire the splendid frescoes in the Crypt of San Salvatore 11th century where monks from Italy and Greece went to pray or you can find out dolmens and menhirs in fact near Giurdignano there are most of the dolmens and menhirs present in Italy Most of them are incorporated in the houses built up to the erly 1900 s It is worthy to know that there is a megalithic garden with 25 megaliths sacred symbols engraved in the Christian era with a magic religious meaning An important event held here are the so called tavole di San Giuseppe the most devoted families of the town lay the traditional tables on the 18th March full of big loaves with religious shapes In the evening after the procession and benedition they open their houses to visitors offering them the typical loaves called pucce Other places of artistic importance in Giurdignano are the early Christian Abbazia delle 100 porte so called for the high number of windows which in the 7th century probably was a monastery and the castle of the 16th century Then you take the road to Otranto among olive trees and oaks All of a sudden you will see Otranto with its two colours the white houses and the blue sea In the fields there a small river the Idro that gives the name to the town You can start your visit of Otranto from the Lungomare degli Eroi Heroes Promenade which will lead you to the old town You enter through Porta Alfonsina built after Otranto was rescued from the Turks attacks thanks just to Alfonso of Aragona s fortification plan The historical centre is a series of narrow streets which follow one another like tortuous alleys full of little coloured shops where people sell a miscellaneous variety of objects whistles pots jewels clothes laces typical food and so on The Cathedral is situated in a little square it captures your sight with its Renaissance rose window in Gothic Arab style The building was ended in 1088 Here in 1480 found refuge women and children who were escaping from the Turkish siege but the Turkish soldiers came inside and murdered them spreading blood all over the floor on the famous Pantaleone Mosaic The Mosaic 16 metres long was made between 1163 and 1165 by a monk who lived in the near Abbey of San Nicola di Casole His name Pantaleone in fact is written on the floor when you enter the cathedral In it the monk wanted to portray the Tree of Life an enormous tree going from the entrance to the presbitery starting from the Creation It is full of pictures and religious symbols difficult to understand For example he portrayed the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden the Snake the Flood the building of Noah s ark and other symbols but at the same time he portrayed the characters of King Arthur and Alexander the Great In the Chapel of the Martyrs in the right nave in seven reliquiaries there are the bones of the 800 Martyrs who were murdered on 14th August 1480 by the Turks because they had not abjured their Christian faith They were beheaded on the Minerva Hill just in the place where now there is a chapel and on the top of the hill a Sanctuary was built Once out of the Cathedral a little street will lead you up to the Castle and the Ramparts In summer lots of tourists come here and buy souvenirs or take photos From the Ramparts you can overlook the sea and the port that especially in summer is full of lights and people who sing and talk till late at night Before arriving to the Castle in a little square there is the Byzantine Church of St Peter one of the few Byzantine examples in good condition in Italy In fact here you can still admire paintings from ancient times The Castle was restored during the 1980 s it was built for the Aragonese king between 1485 and 1489 It has a pentagonal shape with three cylindrical towers on the corners In the moat are still visible some of the granite balls shot by the Turks during their attack in 1480 Leaving Otranto and coming back towards St Cesarea there is the Torre del Serpe of the Roman age Many stories are told about it which are worthy to know A little farther there are the remains of Casole a Basilian convent destroyed by the Turks and a big lighthouse now the Sea Museum The coast from Oranto to St Cesarea is dominated by Torre St Emiliano and Porto Badisco with its wonderful Grotta dei Cervi Leuca and its surroundings When you reach the most extreme area of Italy you are in Santa Maria di Leuca where Italy ends at the foot of a lighthouse as though it were the final border of the land Santa Maria di Leuca from the Greek word leucos that means white white like the limestone rocks and the lighthouse 47 mt high that dominates from Punta Meliso 102 mt above sea level Just Punta Meliso separates the Jonian sea and the Adriatic sea and the lighthouse is always a good guide for sailors and for anyone who comes here by boat Once here you ought to visit the Sanctuary De Finibus Terrae with a sober façade that looks at a statue of the Virgin standing upon a high column of 1694 The croce petrina an iron cross formed by two crossed keys upon an octagonal column means that St Peter started his preachings from here when he was returning from the East Surely Leuca is the meeting point between the East and the West the sea and the land the human and the divine world Coming down you can stop at a bar in the port where at any hour fishermen talk with people young or old or Vips cheerfully and friendly They may take you to discover Leuca and its beautiful caves each with a story inside It is better to visit the caves on the East side in the morning and the ones on the West side in the afternoon because they show different shadows of light On the promenade there are lots of terraced villas all built in liberty style with Moorish decorations and Oriental glamour the summer houses of some local aristocratic families who still today come here in Summer dating back to the late 19th century and early 20th We recommend you Villa La Meridiana Villa Episcopo Villa Mellacqua Villa Daniele Romasi After Leuca you can go back up to Patù an ancient Messapian village This was the place of birth of Liborio Romano who was Minister of Home Affairs in 1860 in the Reign of Naples Not very far from the town there is Vereto the seat of an ancient Messapian town surrounded by high walls 4 Km long where you can see the Centopietre a singular medieval monument built with slabs from a Roman mausoleum Inside on the walls traces of paintings in Byzantine style are visible Then you go to Alessano where you can walk in the ancient part of the town and admire the Chiesa Matrice the seat of the Diocesi until 1818 and the Convent of the Capuchin friars with its beautiful altar carved in wood Everything in Alessano remembers Don Tonino Bello the priest to whom the main square is dedicated In the middle of the square you will see the Clock Towe of the late 19th century In Sangiovanni street there are wonderful villas of the early 1900 but in the narrow streets in the historical centre of the town there are the palaces of the 16th and 17th centuries the best of which is Palazzo Sangiovanni with its façade in ashlar style You can continue by visiting Presicce in the inland with its beautiful and rich historical centre Piazza del Popolo shows in the middle the elegant Column of St Andrea of the 18th century with a pretty balaustrade here the Cardinal Virtues are embodied in the four female figures who stand upon it The Church of St Andrea dates back to the late 18th century and has an elegant and Baroque façade with a Bell Tower in Renaissance style Inside you can admire paintings of Tiso and Catalano two of the most famous Salentine painters of that period There is a high altar and eight lateral altars all decorated with precious stuccos Opposite the church your sight is captured by the beautiful Palazzo Ducale and its hanging garden Here at present there is the Museum of the Folk Civilization This palace built in Norman style and many others embellish this little historical town and while walking through the narrow little streets you will see them rich in decorations and frescoes Other important monuments that you can visit are the Chiesa degli Angeli of the 16th century the Chiesa del Carmine of the 17th century built in pietra leccese with engraved columns rich in bas relieves and the Monastery of the Carmelitani of the 16th century The underground olive mills not far away from here are evidence that Presicce was an important agricultural centre for the production of olive oil They have been restored and can be regularly visited in Summer while at Christmas a suggestive crib is set inside Driving through a road flanked with olive trees you will arrive at Acquarica del Capo with the remains of an ancient Castle and the Masseria Gelsorizzo with its Norman tower In the countryside from Presicce to Acquarica you will see the typical pajare they are cone shaped and were used as shelters built without cement but with lime stones from fields They represent the real masterpieces of rural architecture Among them there is the Pajarone a very big one that dominates over the others When you arrive at Ugento you are among the Messapian people where in 1961 a woman found out a little statue of Zeus 6th century B C The people of Ugento called it lu pupu it means the child for the care the woman took in touching the statue before giving it to archaeologists In the Civic Museum is kept a copy of the Messapian God while the original is in Taranto Even though today you will see just some remains of the ancient Messapian walls at the end of the 17th century towers and architraves of Messapian times were well visible The Cathedral was rebuilt in 1700 after the Saracens destruction in 1537 The façade only was built some years later in 1855 The coast around Ugento is full of typical towers the best known of which is Torre San Giovanni built for emperor Charles V in the second half of the 16th century Then it became a lighthouse and signalled the presence of sandbanks off the coast Lots of tourists from Germany England America and Switzerland spend their summer holidays here on this coast on the white beaches with their characteristic thin sand From Gallipoli to Porto Selvaggio and Porto Cesareo Gallipoli takes its name from the Greek name Kallipolis The old part of the town is something different from the rest It is a circular island which you can visit walking along the ramparts In the past the walls were 2 metres high now they are much lower and from there your gaze can sweep over the blue sea as far as the horizon Among little alleys and tortuous streets lots of baroque façades wonderful buildings and houses will appear before you The water surrounding the island has a pristine clarity and to protect the fishing industry people take great care of the waters and the surrounding environments Every morning there are lively fish markets and numerous seafood restaurants can be found along the streets where yiu can taste some of the best seafood of Italy In the highest place of the old town there is the Cathedral of Sant Agata one of the best examples of Baroque in Salento after the Church of the Holy Cross in Lecce The façade was built by Giuseppe Zimbalo the same artist who built the Bell Tower in Lecce What is peculiar here is the use of carparo which is less soft and friable than the pietra leccese which gives its dark pink colour The church was built in the years between 1629 and 1696 and on the façade it shows the two patron saints of Gallipoli St Sebastiano and St Fausto Inside on the walls and on the ceiling there are paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries The city is a lively and bustling place with numumerous shops restaurants castles and churches to visit Going north on the Jonian coast between Torre dell Alto and Torre Uluzzo you will find Porto Selvaggio a very suggestive landscape with emerging rocks in a clear sea surrounded by a thick pinewood and Mediterranean bush This area has been protected since 1980 after violent quarrels with the

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  • Discover Salento 3.0 by Repubblica Salentina ...it's a State of soul!
    lamps in Calimera It is held on 21st June It goes back to the greek byzantine period and is on the same day as the Summer solstice the day of the maximum daylight People make lamps using coloured papers and reeds shaping them like stars ships aeroplanes or horses They generally use things that they find at home if they do not have enough things they ask the neighbours to give them some coins to buy the necessary objects At night the paper lamps are hung along the streets and lit up among a charming game of colours and shapes It goes on for two days during which people organize several gastronomic and cultural events After the festival they put together all the lamps and lit a purifying bonfire Other events in June The Premio Barocco in Lecce The San Giovanni fair in Zollino The San Pietro e Paolo feast in Galatina The San Sebastiano feast in Racale When are Santa Cristina s celebrations in Gallipoli This is one of the best and most spectacular feasts in Salento The celebrations last from 23rd to 25th July and remember when the Saint saved the town from cholera in 1867 To the Saint s honour who had suffered so many tortures in her life people built a little chapel where there is a statue of papier mâché portraying the Saint tied to a pole this remember when the Saint was tied to a pole and whipped by twelve men for many hours in the end they were exhausted while she survived During these three days there are several events bands play from morning to late evening in the old part of the town the statue of the Saint is carried through the streets but the most fabulous show is the traditional climbing the greasy pole in the sea at midnight on the third day you cannot miss the fireworks There is an odness about this feast in these days people who live in Gallipoli do not go to the beach This strange habit dates back to 1807 when a child 11 years old died in the sea just on the day dedicated to the Saint Other events in July The Santa Domenica feast in Scorrano The Sagra dell Insalata Grika in Martignano The Sagra de lu Ranu in Merine The Agorà in Martano The Madonna del Carmine feast in Tuglie When is the fishermen s festival in Castro This festival is held in Castro on 12th August in honour of the Madonna del Rosario Fishermen are devoted to the Virgin who according to the tradition in 1896 had saved them during a storm and had let them go back into the little port of Castro Since then every year a Mass has been offered then people take the Virgin on a procession on the boats to the Zinzulusa cave The fireworks display is the most beautiful moment because the lights reflect upon the green water creating a wonderful scenery After the religious procession people eat sea specialities such as fried fish and mussels When is the sword dance in honour of St Rocco in Torrepaduli It is a very suggestive event Torrepaduli is a little village near Ruffano here on the night from 15th to 16th August people dance the pizzica and the famous sword dance at the sound of tambourines The festival is in front of the church dedicated to St Rocco Torrepaduli has been visited by pilgrims for a long time they come here even on foot from towns nearby and sleep on the steps in front of the church waiting for the first Mass at dawn The origin of this spontaneous music and dance lies just in this long time that people pass here until dawn In fact when the church is closed after sunset on 15th you can hear the first sounds of tambourines and the longest summer night begins It is like a big meeting where lots of people arrange themselves in circles called ronde making room for dancers and musicians The so called sword dance takes its origin from gipsies dancers make this dance haughty and elegant and move their fingers like knives respecting precise rules while dancing going into the circle in the right moment and giving way to old people who preserve above all the originality of movements for example they never turn their back on each other and only two dancers at a time stay in the middle If you want to go to this fiesta you had better to arrive in the early afternoon to avoid the traffic of cars and people on the main road to the Sanctuary When is the Patron Saint festival in Otranto It is from 13th to 15th August and commemorates the death of 800 martyrs in 1480 when the town was attacked by the Turks Most of them were simple people fishermen artisans and farmers They refused to abjure their Christian faith before Achmet Pascia and were beheaded on the Minerva hill On 14th August a little part of their remains all of them are kept in the Cathedral symbolically are carried on procession through the streets Along the streets there are coloured street lights stalls selling a great variety of things and music but the most exciting moment are the fireworks shot up from the sea which create a wonderful mix of colours You can admire them standing on the ramparts When is the Notte della Taranta It has been held in Melpignano since 1998 always in the second half of August in the square before the Agostinian convent where thousands of people from all over Italy and even Europe come and see the big concert during which people sing play and dance pizzica this new dance that is the highest expression of Salentinità in all its ardour and passion Several rock stars have appreciated this music such as Stewart Copeland of the Police Noa Nabil Salameh Gianna Nannini Franco Battiato Francesco De Gregori and

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  • Discover Salento 3.0 by Repubblica Salentina ...it's a State of soul!
    was built in the late 17th century designed by the architect Achille Carducci The peculiarity of the façade are the columns one is smooth the other one has a spiral decoration As the church is in the core of the Movida leccese the parish priest has decided to keep it opened till late for evening church meetings His aim of course is to draw young people s attention to religious faith While walking through the historical centre you will see wonderful palaces the property of ancient aristocratic families which still keep the old splendour Most of them belong to the heirs of these families who still live here while others have been sold but inside they are always wonderful with beautiful gardens balconies and rooms The historical centre of Otranto You can start your visit of Otranto from the Lungomare degli Eroi Heroes Promenade which will lead you to the old town You enter through Porta Alfonsina built after Otranto was rescued from the Turks attacks thanks to Alfonso of Aragona s fortification plan The historical centre is a series of narrow streets following one another like tortuous alleys full of little coloured shops which sell a rich variety of objects whistles pots jewels clothes laces typical food and whatever else The Cathedral is in a little square it dominates the sight with its Renaissance rose window in Gothic Arab style It was built about from 1080 to 1088 and was dedicated to the Virgin Assunta The portal in Baroque style was restored in 1674 and shows the coat of arms of the archbishop who commissioned its building On the left side there is another entrance in Renaissance style The Cathedral has three large naves separated by 14 columns upon which there are romanesque ionian and corinthian capitals Inside here found refuge women and children who tried to escape from the Turkish siege but the soldiers came inside and murdered them spreading blood all over the floor on the famous Pantaleone Mosaic The Mosaic 16 metres long is very famous it was made between 1163 and 1165 by a monk who lived in the near Abbey of San Nicola di Casole His name Pantaleone in fact is written on the floor at the entrance In the mosaic the monk portrayed the Tree of Life an enormous tree from the entrance to the presbitery starting from the Creation It is held by two big elephants On its branches Pantaleone put other animals both real and imaginary lions griffons snakes centaurs and unicorns great men Alexander the Great King Arthur Noah s Ark Adam and Eve when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden scenes from the Old Testament the Zodiac they are 12 scenes each representing a country work as well as other images taken both from classical myths and medieval legends Many pictures and symbols cannot be understood In the Chapel of the Martyrs in the right nave in seven reliquiaries there are the bones of the 800 Martyrs people who were murdered on the 14th August 1480 by the Turks because they had not abjured their Christian faith They were beheaded on the Minerva Hill where now there is a chapel Along the staircase on the right aisle you can go down into the Crypt a very suggestive crypt with 42 marble columns each one of a different colour with capitals and cross vaults which divide the church into five little naves Once out of the Cathedral you take a little street that leads you to the Castle and the Ramparts In summer lots of tourists come here and buy souvenirs or take photos From the Ramparts you overlook the sea and the port that especially in summe is full of lights and people who sing and talk till late at night Before arriving to the Castle in a little square there is the byzantine Church of St Peter one of the few Byzantine examples in good condition in Italy In fact here you can still admire original paintings The Castle was restored during the 1980 s it was built for the Aragonese king between 1485 and 1489 It has a pentagonal shape with three cylindrical towers on the corners In the moat are still visible some of the granite balls shot by the Turks during their attack in 1480 The historical centre of Gallipoli The old part of the town is something different from the rest It is a circular island which you can visit walking along the ramparts In the past the walls were 2 metres high now they are much lower and from there your gaze can sweep over the blue sea as far as the horizon Among little alleys and tourtuous streets lots of baroque façades wonderful buildings and houses will appear before you Start your walk in an anticlockwise direction from the road that dominates the new trading centre and you will find the Church of San Francesco da Paola with its sober façade and a little niche with the statue of the Saint inside The Church of Santa Maria della Purità is the oldest church dating back to the second half of the 17th century in the sacristy there are the tombs of the Dead Christ and of Our Lady of Sorrows On Easter Saturday before the sun rises people bring these two statues on a procession one of the most suggestive religious rituals of Salento All the paintings inside belong to the 18th century Neapolitan school Even the floor made of majolica and the benches are beautiful works of art Walking ahead along the ramparts there are the Church of San Francesco full of several beautiful paintings the Church of the Immacolata the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli the Church of Rosario each with its own style In the highest place of the old town there is the Cathedral of Sant Agata one of the best examples of Baroque in Salento after the Church of the Holy Cross in Lecce The façade was built by Giuseppe Zimbalo the same artist who built the Bell Tower in Lecce What is peculiar here is the use of carparo which is less soft and friable than the pietra leccese which gives its dark pink colour The church was built in the years between 1629 and 1696 and on the façade it shows the two patron saints of Gallipoli St Sebastiano and St Fausto Inside on the walls and on the ceiling there are paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries On the main street there are Balsamo Palace now the seat of the Town Hall and Pirelli Palace with a nice Baroque loggia facing the Cathedral Next to it an ancient portal of the 16th century is today a chemist s which still keeps its original 19th century furniture and decorations It is really worthy to visit A little further stands a building which once was the Church of St Angelo but now there is the town library containing more than ten thousand volumes among which some books published in 1500 Latin incunabula and manuscripts Here there is also Tafuri Palace one of the most precious though restored in the façade the building is run wild but you can admire the oval windows with rococò friezes engraved on the carparo stone the wrought iron rounded balconies which remind us the Spanish art Spain in fact had trade relationships with Gallipoli On the main street there is an underground oil mill very well preserved where there are the millstones and other machines used to make oil In fact old documents report that in the past there were in Gallipoli 35 underground oil mills and people produced about eighty thousand kilos of oil every month There is a curiosity about Gallipoli the town brought light to Europe In fact before the advent of electricity the street lamps in London Berlin Paris Wien and Amsterdam were lit up with the oil from Gallipoli The Sigismondo Castromediano Museum in Lecce The Museum founded in 1868 from Sigismondo Castromediano duke of Cavallino is set in the old Jesuit Collegio Argento It contains a rich collection of archaeological finds from Rudiae and from other Messapian centres there are Messapian Roman and Greek objects and sculptures as well as prehistorical finds with inscriptions and paintings Here you can find too an accurate description of dolmens and menhirs which are in the countryside near Lecce The works are divided into five sections the first section is dedicated to the most important historical and artistic places of Salento the antiquarium section contains numerous glass shrines with vases from the 6th and 5th centuries and bronze treasures ancient coins and inscriptions in Messapian language the topographic section shows ancient maps of Salento the picture gallery shows paintings from 1400 to 1700 sculptures and ikons finally the exhibitions hall contains works of local artists of 19th and 20th centuries The Provincial Library Nicola Bernardini which is inside the museum is a precious source of culture and history of Lecce and Salento full of books and ancient manuscripts The Roman Theatre and Museum in Lecce It is in the heart of the town and contains remains of Roman civilization found during the restoration of the Roman theatre in 1929 The museum was opened in 1999 thanks to the contribution of Fondazione Memmo and now many cultural exhibitions are organized here Inside the museum you can admire frescoes of the Roman Domus Balnea representing animals fruits birds as well as female figures and satyres Then there are statues taken from the National Museum in Rome such as Dionysus and a series of nine masks coming from the ancient theatrical tradition taken from Villa Adriana in Tivoli There are marble sculptures too the statues of Athena Artemis Ares and Emperor Augustus The Chinese Missionary Museum and the Pinacoteca of Fulgenzio in Lecce The Chinese Missionary Museum and of Natural History of Frati Minori in Lecce dates back to 1963 when Father Egidio De Tommaso decided to keep and show the objects brought to Italy by Father Egidio Santoro a missionary to China for about 40 years At first the museum was set in the sixteenth century building of Fulgenzio Della Monica In 1981 it was moved on the second floor of the Convent of S Antonio There are two sections one concerning ancient and modern Chinese culture and the other one concerning Natural History The latter is subdivided into two subsections Sea Fauna and Terrestrial Fauna In elegant showcases are kept various amulets and little statues made of iron copper gilded wood ivory and jade There are also precious ancient and modern porcelains vases and dishes in bronze or copper In another room of the same Section there are objects of the Aboriginal TAYALS who were the forst inhabitants of the island of Formosa The section of Sea Fauna includes collections of Echinodermi Shells Madrepore Exotic Fishes Sea Birds and Shellfishes The most important is the collection of Shells with almost 2 000 examples of clams from all seas and all families showed in twenty elegant showcases each with its own card bearing its scientific name and place of origin In the section of Terrestrial Fauna you will see Butterflies Coleopters Exotic animals and birds There are almost four hundred samples of butterflies the exotic animals include animals coming from the extreme East and Formosa The collection of Birds counts about 250 specimens Go to the specific site In the rooms of the Art Gallery you will admire about 200 works dating back to the years from the end of the 16th century to the 20th century most of which remain anonymous The works come from various monasteries of the Franciscan Province of Salento Founded by Father Egidio De Tommaso the Art Gallery was opened on 7th November 1968 During the years thanks to donations of some benefactors the collection has enriched with pieces of ceramics plaster models attributed to Antonio Bortone lithographs papier mâché statues and paintings of contemporary art The Museum of Local Traditions outside of Lecce The Museum of Local Traditions next to the 12th century in the Abbey of St Maria of Cerrate north of Lecce exhibits all sorts of tools used in folk tradition It shows the kind of work people made in the fields in ancient times when flour was made in home windmills and oil in underground olive mills Here you can see the hand looms used to make beautiful carpets curtains or linens Moreover in some rooms there is even a kitchen and its tools the bedroom and the room where women wove There are also two underground olive mills and the basin for grinding olives in their original position The Museum of Natural History in Calimera The museum is considered a place of protection and study of environment fauna and flora of Salento In fact it is in touch with important universities and organizations both in Italy and in Europe For example it cooperates with the Zoological Centre Anton Dhorn in Naples concerned with saving and studying turtles Here you will see wonderful specimens of minerals insects shells reptiles stuffed animals and also a nice garden full of pheasants ducks peacocks a ferret and lots of other beautiful natural things The study of butterflies is very important in fact they have discovered and classified lots of unknown species Go to the specific site The Farming Traditions House Museum in Calimera It is a place where you can see remains of the Griko culture Opened in 2003 each room shows a different theme and some of the objects were just part of the house in ancient times such as the kitchen utensils the infant s clothes the work tools and the waving machine The house museum is not only a collection of traditional objects there is also a library with 3000 books and more than 10 000 articles published on local national and Greek newspapers A multimedial library keeps Videos Cds Cd roms Dvds While visiting the rooms you wil hear folk grika music The Museum of Ceramics in Cutrofiano Cutrofiano is the town of terracotta in fact the interest in ceramics has grown into a real art The museum was opened in 1985 as an exhibition of traditional terracotta produced by the local handicraftsmen During the years the collection has been enriched thanks to donations by aristocratic families now it shows all that can be done out of clay plates bowls small amphoprae pots and so on In fact in the 19th century there was a large production of earthernware in workshops where the craftsmen made shapes for sweets oil lamps soup tureens and jars the so called pignate which today we buy just to enjoy old times again There are four sections the archaeologial historical section with objects from the pre historical to the post medieval period the artistical historic section where there are glazed ceramics produced both in Cutrofiano and elsewhere in Southern Italy the anthropological section with objects from the 19th and early 20th centuries the technological section it contains tools and instruments uesd to produce terracotta taken from local workshops The Giulio Pagliano Museum in Martano It keeps the collections which the famous researcher Michele Paone left to the Cistercian monks after years of researches and journeys It contais a rich collection of coins of the Reign of Naples a collection of medals with sacred images old maps of Apulien and Salento views of towns and pictures of folk costumes Moreover there are statues made of papier mâché fans ceramics German and Austrian porcelains and Boemian crystals The monks have also set up the Giulio Pagliano Picture Gallery and the Placido Caputo Library in the old Monastery of Santa Maria della Consolazione Giulio Pagliano was a painter from Gallipoli and after his death his wife Donna Maria Consiglio gave Michele Paone most of her husband s paintings Besides Pagliano s works you will also see the works of other artists of Salento Apulien and Naples such as Gioacchino Toma Girolamo Lorenzini Vincenzo Ciardo Amerigo Buscicchio Emanuele Buscicchio Geremia Re Pino Donno Luigi Ammassari and others In the cloister there is also an exhibition of medicinal herbs The Grecìa Salentina Multimedial Museum in Corigliano d Otranto Inside the halls of the wonderful Castello de Monti you will see all that is worthy to see about the Grecìa Salentina through computerised recostructions of houses or videos or CDs in Griko language and music The multimedial museum gives you information about the traditions and the architecture of Grecia in Salento all this while passing from one room to another moreover you can listen to explanations or see images even in 3D There are also two reference points for information about history art traditions and habits of Griko as well as a multilingual glossary with words in Griko translated simultaneously in the most important European languages The Diocesan Museum of Religious Art in Otranto Opened in 1992 inside the 17th century Lopez Palace as museum of sacred art it keeps objects of high historical and artistical interest all coming from the Cathedral the remains of the first floor mosaic of the Cathedral dating back to the Roman age a christening font of the 15th century a work of the local sculptor Gabriele Riccardi mitres silver reliquiaries pastorals and lots of religious objects On the ground floor there is the lapidary and the sculpture section on the first floor you will see a wonderful collection of paintings and on the second one there is a section dedicated to the applied arts The Messapian Museum in Vaste The Archaeological Museum of Messapian Civilization is set inside the Palazzo Baronale 16th century There are remains from the Archaic and Hellenistic age up to the Middle ages It is worthy to see the Tesoretto di Vaste consisting of 150 silver coins called stateri of the 3rd century B C and 17 tesserae lusoriae made of ivory and used in games during the

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    and soft At night the smaller outdoor courtyard is lit by candles and wine comes in unlimited quantities at no extra cost Breakfast the next morning a meal that could feed a hundred although there are only ten guests consists of mounds of peaches pomegranates grapes and figs as well as sliced melon fresh squeezed juices yogurt cereal and fresh baked bread with honey marmalade and jam The foccacia from the local forno is topped with roasted tomatoes potatoes and leeks Lowly imitators of the breakfast buffet should be dragged here to see the real thing With no Web site and a British cell phone number Il Convento feels like an aristocratic speakeasy that has the trappings of an informal but luxurious house party It seems almost out of place among the fishing villages nearby But perhaps Il Convento s owners aren t really such an anomaly in Puglia In fact Athena McAlpine strikes me as no more out of place than a leopard carved on the facade of a cathedral just another example of the latest invasion It remains to be seen how this new wave of tourism will impact Puglia but I imagine that this resilient region will be able to absorb the changes while stubbornly retaining its own particular flavor of Italy Puglia s cuisine has two sources On the coast the table is dominated by Mediterranean seafood whitefish such as sea bass and swordfish shellfish including mussels and urchins and anchovies In the interior the menu changes and the prices plummet There are hearty pastas baked dishes such as eggplant parmigiana and zucchini with cheese in a terra cotta dish and plates of earthy snails Grilled rabbit beef and pork are also staples Burrata an extra creamy mozzarella that s particular to the region comes with figs and prosciutto Few places do traditional countryside dishes better than Il Frantoio one of a new breed of working farms that double as gastronomic B Bs It has become famous for its nine course meals served three times a week and hosted by Rosalba Ciannamea and her husband Armando Balestrazzi who pairs the dishes with his favorite local wines On the night I dined there Armando chose a rosé from Salento Puglia is one of the few Italian regions to produce a decent rosé to accompany the thin sheets of whole wheat pasta layered with peppers Just cut wild chicory fennel and chard with apple and olives from the adjoining orchard were served in a crispy pecorino basket and a medley of purple and white eggplant was topped with a sweet and sour scapece sauce Homemade noodles with zucchini flowers came in a saffron sauce a vegetarian version of spaghetti carbonara My favorite wine was the award winning 2002 Torre Testa from Salento which came with the light pork involtini and grassy but delicate polpette meatballs The wine is the product of an ancient grape susu maniello lost for two hundred years and rediscovered only recently in a nature reserve on the coast A delicious wild salad turned out to be made from weeds that grow beneath the olive trees This is cucina povera a cuisine whose dishes include anything that s available especially during the most fruitful months when even seasonal flowers and leaves are added often to great effect As Armando put it The suffering of the Pugliese was the mother of invention The best way to experience the region s cultural and architectural diversity is by car The roads are often confusing and the signs disorienting but don t fight it Throw away your maps and get lost in Puglia s charming well preserved towns May June and September are the region s most beautiful months in late July and all of August Italian tourists take over Sue Clayton writes on The Guardian Most of us know Puglia only because of its trulli houses and Bari port for the Greek island ferries Few venture further south yet Puglia s lower province Salento is pretty special full of southern Italian ebullience and a heady mix of traditions The remains of Greek and Roman temples and pre historic monuments are scattered all over the dry sierras popping up amid cactuses olive groves and tobacco farms The coast north of Gallipoli is heavily Arabic in architectural style In villages around Castrignano dei Greci the dialect is still effectively ancient Greek At Giurdignano a prehistoric menhir towers over an underground Byzantine crypt which is still used today for worship But go inland and there are some superb classical Italian towns Lecce known as the Florence of the South is replete with Zingarello s baroque carved churches And there s Gallipoli s old town on its island bridge Oria Manduria and Galatina Until the recent past Salento was quite poor and isolated but is now enjoying a cultural renaissance and celebrating its spicy mix of ancestors and influences Add to this some pretty nice beaches baking sun and a general desire to party to musical styles from pizzica to house and you can see why the Italians themselves love the place so much Festivals Every town and village has a yearly festa so in summer there s a choice of several to attend every night Check listings magazine QuiSalento online at quisalento it or the local bar or tourist office for dates Many involve old religious rites like the carrying of a Virgin Mary statue around Lecce August 24 6 or into the sea at Otranto September 6 Others like Novoli have bonfires and spectacular fireworks January 16 17 Almost all will include the pizzica a fast and compelling rhythmic dance done to the accompaniment of the tambourine accordion and violin The atmosphere is pulsing whether it s a modest village festa or the August event in Melpignano which has international guest stars and attracts audiences of 15 000 Thousands of lights and torches create a carnival atmosphere The pizzica band will start playing at 11pm and when the whole shebang gets going you d be pushed to match the spacey atmosphere at any nightclub This might be explained by pizzica s origins though once associated with dancing out the poison of a spider bite the pizzica actually arrived in Salento from ancient Greece its function being therapeutic Women living hard and restricted lives would dance themselves through the night into a cathartic trance The next day they would go to be blessed at the chapel of St Paul in Galatina a pizzica and special mass is still held there every June The festa is much more fun when you can pick up a tambourine and join in Towns Salento s capital Lecce is a must As well as the castle the marvellous churches of Santa Croce and Chiesa del Rosario and the Palazzo Vescovile there s a market on Mondays and Fridays around the central Piazza St Oronzo with local produce and ceramics and majolica from Grottaglie the original home of terracotta Go to the peaceful old town of Manduria huddled around the towering Gothic church of Santa Caterina d Alessandria In its shadow is the ancient chapel of St Paul another place of blessing for pizzica participators Gallipoli is an architectural gem The old town is on an island reached by an arched bridge which is flanked by a spectacular Graeco Roman fountain Reminiscent of Trieste Gallipoli s buildings pick up a subtle reflected light from the sea in the sunsets In the extreme south towns get smaller and less visited Check out Patù Ugento and Santa Maria di Leuca at the southern promontory believed by Julius Caesar to be the last town in the world and find your own back street bar and pleasant oblivion Coast The east coast of Salento is mainly rocky with many old fortifications while the west is flatter with sandy beaches The biggest resort is Otranto on the east coast a grand fortified town important in Roman times but now dedicated solely to seaside fun Otranto is much loved by Italians and in July and August it s seething with what must be the biggest and jolliest sea side passeggiata in Italy At night it s the site of the coolest clubbing venue in Salento with Ibiza mixes and guest DJs such as the sublime Claude Challe creator of the Buddha Bar lounge phenomenon Prepare to dance till dawn then crawl on to a beach lounger and watch the stars shine and the waves roll in Down the coast from Otranto is Santa Cesarea Terme a spa since Roman times The spa today open for treatments is a huge 19th century Moroccan style edifice right on the seafront painted in jaunty shades of blue raspberry pink and moss green South again are marvellous rocky caves and grottoes Romanelli Zinzulusa and Rontundella The sea is clear azure and the area is famous for deep sea diving By contrast the west side of Salento from the tip at Santa Maria di Leuca up to Gallipoli and beyond is a series of small and simple resorts like Torre Pali and Torre San Giovanni with clean white beaches These can be overcrowded in the Italian holidays but are pleasant out of season They are a safer bet for those with young children but the east coast has more drama and rocky splendour Rick Stein writes on The Times Whenever we are filming beach scenes for a television programme we have to find an area of sand where nobody has walked so that it looks as though the beach belongs to me and my dog Chalky I was thinking of that as I drove along the dusty lanes of the Salentine peninsula in southern Italy this summer with my girlfriend Sarah Puglia has the same feeling of being untrodden by tourists You sense that it is still a secret Of course there are other visitors but there is a pleasing lack of tourist friendly features The road signs for example are most perplexing I still don t know how to tell if the arrow directing you to say Otranto or Lecce is pointing down the road or to the right Either way I seemed to end up in a slightly forlorn housing project on the outskirts of town and had to negotiate an impossible number of one way streets to get back to another limestone hedged lane There is a scruffy feeling to the landscape Unkempt olive groves tumble down walls and cypress trees vineyards that drift across the flat landscapes for ever The fields look abandoned but for caper bushes dotted here and there and lots of prickly pear cacti Indeed there is a slight sense of disorientation about it Puglia is unlike anywhere else in Italy and it s certainly not the new Tuscany as some have called it You feel deliciously lost You will get lost anyway whether walking cycling or driving the signs will confuse you but you won t mind because it s all so relaxing The slightly dishevelled look of the countryside is misleading Puglia is actually very fertile the volcanic soil reliable sunshine and reasonable winter rain come together to produce abundant olive crops one tenth of all the wine drunk in Europe and some of the best fruit and vegetables you will ever taste The sweetness of the nectarines peaches plums lemons and apricots heaped in bowls and on platters in Alistair and Athena McAlpine s converted convent will remain with me for ever The convent which they opened to paying guests in 2003 is in the village of Marittima di Diso south of Lecce and the scent of those ripe richly coloured fruits was Puglia on a plate Alistair bought absurdly too many of them all so cheap at the market I almost worried about them spoiling almost but not quite not wanting to miss out on the joyous celebration of summer fruit that he was sharing with his guests That is what staying at Il Convento di Santa Maria di Constantinopoli which has only eight guest rooms is like there is an overwhelming feeling of generosity Everywhere you go you feel that Alistair Lord McAlpine a former deputy chairman of the Conservative party and Athena want to share their enthusiasms with their guests The gallery library has first editions of any book written in the past 50 years that you would like to read In the same area there is an assemblage of about 50 little statues from Africa local sculptors idea of white men stunted little figures with a haunting mixture of Caucasian and African features On the same floor is a gallery of northern Indian stringed instruments and everywhere there is a cornucopia of Australian Aboriginal art rugs drapes and carpets from the Middle East and Africa It s the sort of place you would believe existed only in a novel by Gabriel García Márquez where dreams and reality merge The building itself is the stuff of fantasy a cloistered courtyard in stone and deep red plaster lit by candlelight at night and open to the stars surrounded by cell like rooms with vaulted ceilings The kitchen and dining area are combined with a long thick oak table where you sit for breakfast amid an overwhelming selection of jams and honey and fruit croissants tarts baked fresh that morning and the most delicious sourdough bread with a great thick crust and chewy creamy interior Outside is a pool with a beautiful stainless steel sculpture at one end surrounded by cacti and dry limestone walls Jeremy Atijah writes on The Independent Puglia The Next Big Thing The new Chiantishire That s what I keep hearing The heel of Italy I learn has suddenly become fashionable Tourists are discovering that its olive oil wine landscape art and culture exist in proportions previously thought to exist only in Tuscany But unlike Tuscany with its British veneer Salento is being seen as more authentic Or so people want to believe Well all right Puglia didn t give us the Renaissance It didn t change the world It doesn t have Florence or Siena It doesn t have Dante Michelangelo Raphael the Medici family or the Borgias But it does have funny little rustic cottages with conical roofs called trulli And since the beginning of 2004 it also has three new direct air connections to the UK where previously there were none And I confess that this is bothering me Let me declare my interests I love Puglia and its gentle hills its Baroque towns and its funny rustic cottages I don t want to share it with the hordes of Brtis from Tuscany I pride myself on having found Puglia before Ryanair did I already feel nostalgic for the days when you had to fly to Rome and catch the overnight train to Lecce arriving shortly after dawn in a strange southern land dotted with olive trees and little white villages that looked as if they might be in Greece Back then you never met any British tourists during your holiday The trulli were allowed to crumble in peace The azure sea was the preserve of effortlessly brown and beautiful locals The only industry of the scuffed fishing ports was fishing The only sounds from the interior were those of peasants fermenting their wine and pressing their olives and killing their pigs But now what I m back having just arrived on the new Ryanair flight to Bari very convenient it was too What I want to know is how long will it take for Puglia s lovely old towns to fill to the brim with tourists When will the overflow from San Gimignano and Siena arrive How long will it take before those picturesque hillsides with their ruinous trulli resound to the sounds of stonemasons laughing their way to the bank How long until every bewildered Pugliese peasant has his very own English neighbour The omens are not promising Puglia s southern climate invites year round tourism and as a long thin peninsula it offers an inordinately large amount of coastline just waiting to be developed I ve already heard rumours that several golf courses and marinas are planned For my last couple of days I decide to get out into the countryside to sample another kind of accommodation unique to Puglia A masseria is the local version of a country house or chateau Traditionally these grand old buildings are flat roofed block shaped structures with floors and ceilings of native Leccese stone If you have half a million quid to spend on your Pugliese holiday home you buy one of these instead of a trullo Some of them in the meantime have been restored and converted into country hotels I try a couple One is the Masseria San Domenico which offers probably the most luxurious accommodation in the whole of Puglia with its private beach giant swimming pool and golf course The masseria itself is in beautiful white stone with little Baroque flourishes its rooms give out on to ancient olive groves full of flowers The atmosphere is expensive and classy though I am somewhat intimidated by the presence of security guards attending the VIP guests The other masseria I get to try is the Melograno which has the faint air of an Andalusian or Mexican hacienda about it Its courtyards are dotted with some of the most gnarled and ancient olive trees I have ever seen in my life With its pool and its shady gardens this will place will succeed I suspect in absorbing a few Ryanair customers But the general problem of staying in a masseria hotel becomes apparent at dinner time The attached restaurant will no doubt be classy Except the problem is this who wants to eat in a classy restaurant in Puglia Who wants to sit at a table next to a besuited Milanese banker and his wife in a region where the humblest cheapest trattoria is unfailingly excellent From the Melograno

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  • Discover Salento 3.0 by Repubblica Salentina ...it's a State of soul!
    and online booking By plane The two major airports in Apulia are Bari Palese and Brindisi Casale The Bari Palese Karol Wojtyla airport is an international airport featuring all the modern conveniences of air travel such as duty free shops baggage storage vehicle rental outlets Internet points and information services The Brindisi Papola Casale airport is the closest to Salento From Italy both Brindisi and Bari are very well connected to Rome and Milan the two international Italian hubs and to Venice Verona Bologna Turin Catania and Trapani Sicily Olbia Sardinia Genova with regular flights From Europe from Europe you will almost always find it cheaper to use a budget airline when flying to Apulia and Salento The companies sprung up in recent years offer good connections inside Europe with many flights serving regional airports see Ryan Air MyAir Sky Europe TUIfly Carpat Air BelleAir Volare Web However if you want to fly more comfortably or if the budget airline timetables don t suit you it is worth checking the website of the major airlines Alitalia British Airways Lufthansa who often have good offers By coach Regular connections from Rome Pisa Firenze to Lecce by Marozzi Visit the official site of Marozzi Viaggi e Turismo for information timetables and online booking From Milan Torino Verona Bologna to Lecce by Marino Visit the official site of Marino Autolinee for information timetables and online booking From Cosenza to Lecce by Inter Saj Visit the official site of SAJ for information timetables and online booking From Palermo Catania Messina to Lecce by Scoppio Visit this page for information and timetables By boat There are several ports and harbours in Salento If you need specific information you may click on the following links Brindisi Casalabate San Cataldo San Foca Otranto Porto Badisco Porto Miggiano

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