If you are passionate about the sea and its beauty, Salento offers endless possibilities for recreation and activities, between the Ionian and the Adriatic, with extraordinary landscapes of sandy beaches and cliffs. Throughout the year, but especially in summer, you can participate in countless festivals and folk festivals, with tastings of local specialties. And then craft events and traditional music and dance shows, such as the famous “pizzica”.
The elegant town, known for being the birthplace of Aldo Moro, boasts a solid tradition of craftsmanship in the art of wrought iron, wood inlay, but above all embroidery and lace, the famous “punto Maglie” . Rich in craft shops and shops, Maglie is also a lively commercial center. On the central Via Roma overlook noble palaces and churches that are affected by the baroque influence of the capital. A stop with coffee and pasticciotto is recommended in the many bars in the center.
To remember: Mercatino del Gusto (first days of August), patronal feast of St. Nicholas (May 9th), procession of Good Friday.
“Kalòsìrtate” is the inscription that welcomes those countries where until recently there was talk of: Calimera, Carpignano Salentino, Castrignano dei Greci, Corigliano d’Otranto, Cutrofiano, Martano, Martignano, Melpignano, Soleto, Sternatia and Zollino.
They are places rich in memories of the ancient past, suspended between the Middle Ages and the East. To see the churches – convent, like that of the Augustinians in Melpignano, the superb castles, like that of Corigliano d’Otranto, the bell towers, of which the Guglia Orsini in Soleto is a splendid example, and then the houses at court, an expression of the concept philosophical of chora, the pozzelle (public cisterns) and the many baronial palaces.
Lecce is the triumph of the Baroque, to be discovered with a walk in the center among churches, small squares and palaces that reveal its beauty. The Basilica of Santa Croce is an extraordinary example of the Lecce Baroque. Next to it is the imposing Palazzo dei Celestini, dating back to the mid-16th century, today the seat of the Province and of the Prefecture, while two steps away is Piazza S. Oronzo with the Column erected in the 1600s, the Amphitheater and the Seat.
The baroque churches are really many and all different: the spectacular Church of San Matteo with its convex façade at the bottom and concave at the top; the Church of Santa Chiara is octagonal in shape; that of Santa Irene has two Corinthian columns on the portal; the Church of the Rosary built on a design by Giuseppe Zimbalo.
To visit the Castle of Charles V, the historic Paisiello Theater, the three gates to the city and the splendid Piazza Duomo, a scenographic space overlooked by the Cathedral, the Bishopric, the Palazzo del Seminario and the Campanile.
The ancient village of Gallipoli is a charm, connected to the mainland by a seventeenth-century bridge. It is nice to walk around to discover the fortress palaces, the typical courtyard houses, the walls, the ramparts, the small squares and the many churches of the brotherhoods, such as those of the Crucifix, of the Immaculate, of Saint Francis and that of Purity, which gives the name to the small beach in front. Impressive is the Angevin Castle recently opened to the public, which hosts interesting exhibitions throughout the year; the baroque façade of the Sant’Agata cathedral-picture gallery is majestic, including the Diocesan Museum and the underground oil mill carved into the rock. Before crossing the bridge, it is worth stopping in front of the recently restored Greek Fountain, considered the oldest in Italy, built around the 3rd century BC. C, with the trough where the animals quenched their thirst in the past. The fish market at the port is worth a visit.
The easternmost city of Italy has a splendid ancient village: an intricate maze of streets, districts, squares and arches, enclosed by walls. Its monuments have almost a thousand years of history, starting from the Byzantine church of San Pietro . The Cathedral , in Romanesque-Pugliese style, contains a spectacular floor mosaic of 1163, which represents a huge tree of life; in the chapel of the Martyrs the relics of the martyrs of Otranto are beheaded beheaded by the Turks in 1480. The Aragonese Castle with a pentagonal plan with three cylindrical towers and a powerful bastion that goes towards the port appears imposing. To discover also the valleys around, like the one of the Memories or of the Idro that preserve testimonies of the rupestrian civilization, with crypts and hypogeums, like that of Torre Pinta. In a few minutes, going towards the north, you reach the beautiful beaches of the Alimini : a coast of fine sand blown by the wind and much appreciated by surfers, which owes its name to the lakes behind which a chain of them separates them sandy dunes and a thick pine forest. To the south the coast has a more wild and uncontaminated aspect up to Porto Badisco , a narrow and deep natural cove surrounded by prickly pears and myrtle patches.
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