FROM SALENTO TO SASSI DI MATERA
An enchanting itinerary discovering the treasures of Salento, with a short escape among the Sassi of Matera. Through this route you can dip into the enchanting seascape and the hinterland, and live the magic released by the culture wrapped in a small world of sounds and colours.
Category: Culture, Nature
Length: 484 km on toll-free street
Means of transport: car
Best on: Spring/Summer
Information The heal of the Italian boot hosts a region rich in culture, traditions and natural wonders: Apulia. You will be dazzled by the white Romanesque and Gothic churches and by the luxurious baroque style. Typical buildings called Trulli and Masserie will make your stay unique.
Local Cuisine: Orecchiette, Pane di Altamura, Municeddhi, Cime di rapa, Giuncata.
Wines: Alezio, Squinzano, Copertino, Leverano.
Known also as the White City for its historical centre completely painted with white lime, Ostuni is one of the pearls of Salento. It is rich in monuments such as:
• the Tobacco Tanning of the 1920s
• the Aragonese walls
• the Cathedral
Moreover, there are numerous “masserie”, a sort of fortified farmhouses, precious for their history and architecture, base of the social and production structures of the area.
Called this way because of its circular city-plan, the historic centre of Locorotondo gathers a multitude of small white houses set on concentric rings. This small centre preserves, along with the typical "cummerse" (a gable roofing with dry stones of the local houses), the Marziolla Trullo, the most ancient Trullo in Apulia. Don't miss a taste of the Locorotondo white wine.
Dip in a lush landscape of almond trees and olive groves, Alberobello is known for its typical houses called “Trulli”. World Heritage since 1996, these ancient cone shaped dry stone buildings create an amazing centre, unique in the world, characterized also by its narrow streets and alleys.
• Twin Trulli
• the Trullo church of Sant'Antonio.
Known also as “Città dei Sassi” (city of Stone), the ancient part of Matera is built on one slope of the ravine called Gravina and the territory is divided in two parts by the rock called Civita. The “Sassi” are houses dug into the rock along with enchanting monuments such as
• the Cathedral and the Castle Tramontano
• the Parco della Murgia materana
• rupestrian churches and “masserie” (typical farm houses), many of which are fortified.
Stretched out on Ionio sea, Gallipoli is divided into two parts: the village, more recent, is built on a peninsula, while the historic centre rises on a chalky island, connected to the mainland thanks to an arched bridge. The narrow streets hide architectural masterpieces, testimony of the richness of an ancient harbour. Along the walls, numerous churches overlooking the sea represent the tight bond between faith and the nautical vocation of the city.
Set on the Adriatic coast of Salento, Otranto is the most Eastern area of Italy; through the centuries centre of the Latin, Bizantine and Aragonesi civilization. It hosts an enchanting cathedral, ancient crypts and rupestrian churches; among the military architecture stands out the castle and the walls.
Along the coast there is a multitude of defensive towers built in XVI century to protect the territory from Saracenic attacks.
LECCE Lecce is famous for the monuments that adorn the city, many of which are in typical baroque style of the area. Really interesting are the decorations on palaces and churches (more than 40 in the whole city); the historical centre is enclosed in XVI century walls, today most of them are destroyed. Originally, the city had 4 gates, 3 of which still visible:
• Triumphal Arch (Gate Napoli)
• Gate Rudiae
• Gate San Biagio.