||The Salentine peninsula presents a mainly rough
terrain, which has contributed to the maintenance of
the uniform character of this land over time.
Drenched on the east by the Adriatic Sea which acts as
a "border" with nearby Albania and Greece, and to the
west by the Ionian Sea, the Salento is an essentially
agricultural region, covered with stretches of florid
tobacco plantations and immersed in the green of olive
groves and vineyards.
Though rich in history, art, and antique traditions,
it has never known, in the past, strong touristic
development. In these last years, however, the number
of vacationers and visitors has grown considerably.
Some centers, during the summer season, are in fact
full of people while others, lesser known, retain a
warm, tranquil atmosphere and offer the visitor real
contact with nature and a peace almost forgotten.
beauty of the landscapes, the variety of panoramas, an
increase in accomodation infrastructures according to
qualitative standards, and greater professionalism in
the sector, have all expanded the number of visitors
in these years.
The Salento is, in any case, in all its parts, in the
tranquil and small towns, in the more industrial
cities, and in the seaside centers, a continuous
stream of suggestive angles, coasts, coves, grottoes
hollowed out by marine erosions, and enchanting spots.
Salento: land of sun, sea, and wind. Salento, thirsty
red land of sirocco. Salento: land of myth and
legend, of festivals religious and profane, of ancient
rites that are repeated giving a sense of profoundly
rooted tradition. Salento: land of strong workers and
patient artisans who transform their work into poetry,
reflecting the great soul of the Salentine people.
Salento: land of sunny vacations by her splendidly
clean and calm sea. Salento where the cuisine has
antique perfumes with Eastern and Spanish influences
which unite the delicate flavors of homemade sauces
that tickle and delight the palate.
That which strikes the most while traveling the roads
of the Salento is the variety of colors, the intensity
of the warm yellow, typical shade of the stone ably
and sensitively worked in the arabesque embroidery of
|THE BAROQUE: The itinerary that traverses the Baroque
zone of Puglia is centered in Lecce and the Salentine
peninsula. The extraordinary monuments, created at a
feverish pace between the XVII and XVIII centuries in
the far eastern part of the region, possessing an
originality so exuberant and vital as to render it
equal to the constructions situated in the other
Baroque capitals: Rome and Naples. Baroque Lecce is
the happy result of this case.
It derives from the
masterly ability with which artisanal locals work an
extremely precious material without which none of
these virtuous works would have been possible to
realize: the morbid and extremely malleable local
stone, which in the hands of these artisans gave life
to spectacular facades, tto hundreds of sacred
statues, to monumental portals and galleries. Using
this material first, it was possible to change the
face of entire cities and towns, creating spectacular
piazzas like those of the cathedrals of Lecce and
Nardo', to cite only two.
One should necessarily
begin at Lecce with its Church of S. Croce and the
adjacent Palace of the Celestines, the Church of the
Carmines, the Church of the Rosary, and that of Saints
Nicholas and Cataldo. It's also necessary to see the
Piazza Duomo and Piazza S. Oronzo with its Roman
amphitheatre around whose ruins the city developed.
From Lecce one can move on to other Salentine centers:
Galatina with its Church of Sts. Peter and Paul,
Gallipoli whose cathedral contains an art gallery,
Nardo' with the beautiful church of S. Domenico and
its Piazza Salandra, where the Sedile (the place where
people can exchange opinions), is located, and
Galatone with its Sanctuary of S. Crocifisso. There
is also Copertino with its castle, Maglie with its
churches, and still many more historically rich centers..