Cities Greek Salento
Castrignano dei Greci
Castrignano of the Greeks is one of those countries ellenofoni of Salentine Greece, where until a few years ago still was talk griko. The name itself identifies the one hand the defensive, strategic, the other the origin of the population. Of very ancient origins, probably about a military garrison of Roman times, the town became a Byzantine fortified farmhouse equipped with a castle. The center kept the Byzantine rite until 1614. With the arrival of the Normans the house became part of the Earl of Lecce passing over time to various feudal families.
To see in the city the Mother Church, the Castle and the important Crypt of St. Onofrio.
Also interesting is the area of pozzelle (in griko fréata ta), small reservoirs to collect water, carved into the soft rock in a natural depression in the ground. The presence of pozzelle and therefore the possibility of a continuous supply of water, is definitely the origin of the choice of site for the foundation of Castrignano same.
Also visit the Museum of hand embroidery and lace in the Baron’s Palace.
The territory of Calimera was definitely inhabited in ancient times , as evidenced by the features of the Dolmen Placa and the Specchia dei Mori , but uncertain are the origins of the city , linked to the development of the area in relation to the passage of the Via Traiana Calabria . The medieval farmhouse , arranged on three roads , they added new routes that eventually gave the city its current appearance , with its winding streets and typical houses with courtyards.
The country remained ellenofono until the nineteenth century , then the griko began to be abandoned and with the birth of the first schools , but especially after World War II for the needs of national integration .
Carpignano Salentino falls in that area of Salento , called Salentine Greece , which is still spoken griko . The country’s history is tied to ancient origins when the territory was populated by prehistoric peoples who left their mark in the construction of dolmens and menhirs scattered throughout the territory . Surely it was a center of Roman times along the route of the Via Traiana Calabria . Byzantine center , as evidenced by the presence of the Crypt of Santa Cristina , became feud in Norman and ran to several feudal families such as the Del Balzo between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries .
The most important monuments to visit are definitely , besides the Mother Church , dedicated to the Assumption , the Crypt of Santa Cristina , Palazzo Ducale Ghezzi , which now houses the Living Museum of the landscape , the Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Cave . In the countryside the Dolmen Chianca attendance testifies to the antiquity of the territory .
Corigliano d’Otranto is one of the municipalities of Salentine Greece , which speaks griko . The city , known for the beautiful castle , has ancient origins , as evidenced by the testimony megalithic scattered in the territory , but there are no reliable data about the first job stable settlement . Us back to Roman traces of the urban ; surely it developed in the Middle Ages thanks to the Basilian monastery of St. George , where there was an active school of Greek and Byzantine culture . With the Normans it became part of the County of Lecce and was given time to various feudal families , including , by the end of the fifteenth century , the de ‘ Monti , responsible for the reconstruction of the sixteenth-century castle .
Among the most important landmarks in Corigliano d’Otranto , in addition to the Castello de ‘ Monti , the Mother Church , dedicated to St. Nicholas Bishop and the Arco Lucchetti .
Cutrofiano was added only in 2007 the Union of Municipalities of the Greek Salento, as already a century and a half no longer speak griko. The origin of the city of Cutrofiano dates back to Roman times, became Byzantine rule. Its survival, among many abandoned medieval hamlets of the area, is due to the presence of swamp and clay, which gave birth to a famous ceramic production still active today, as can be seen in the shops, but also in the Local Museum of Ceramics.
From 1088 to 1463 Cutrofiano was part of the County of Soleto and, from these years, the Principality of Taranto. Was long family feud Filomarino.
The most important historical building is the Palazzo Ducale, or Filomarini, built in the mid-1600s on the site of the old castle. See, also, the Mother Church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows and the Church of the Immaculate, just outside the walls. Outside the city deserves attention is the crypt of St. John the Baptist and Fossils Park and Malacologico of Clays.
But not part of the countries of the Union of Municipalities of the Greek Salento, because for centuries the Latin rite has supplanted here worship greek, the municipality of Galatina falls in the same geographical area.
Famous for the Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria and the adjoining Treasury, the city has many interesting sights and tourist.
At the level of documentary origins date back to Norman times when Galatina is cited as Sancti Petri in Galatina. According to tradition, in fact, the apostle Peter stopped here on his journey from Antioch to Rome. It is assumed, however, that a center of Greek were to arise for some time already in the territory. In 1200, though he already celebrated with the Latin rite, the city was still an important center of culture, language and rite greek.
It was part of the County of Soleto during the rule of the Del Balzo, and it is in this family, in particular to Raimondello, which devela growth of the city and the construction of the beautiful basilica which still constitutes one of the major points of artistic interest of Salento whose fresco decoration is also due to the contribution of the wife of Raimondello, note Maria d’Enghien.
In addition to the Basilica and the adjacent convent, are to visit in Galatina, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, patrons and the city, and the small Chapel of San Paolo, a place linked to the local tradition where they went on set days, 28 and June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the “tarantate” to heal from this disease by drinking water from the well was considered miraculous. Other interesting stops are the Civic Museum “Pietro Cavoti” and laCasa Museum Tarantismo.
Outside the city, reflecting the Greek presence in the territory, the Crypt of San’Anna and the Crypt of Santa Maria della Grotta.
Greek Salento corresponds to the inner area of Salento, including the municipalities of Sternatia, Martignano, Castrignano dei Greci, Corigliano d’Otranto, Zollino, Soleto, Melpignano, Martano, Calimera, Carpignano Salentino and Cutrofiano. The last two, not ellenofoni, became part of the Consortium of Municipalities of Greek Salento, born in the nineties, only in 2007. The community is recognized by the Italian Parliament as a linguistic minority and as a distinct ethnic group.
In 1998 all the municipalities of the Salento Greece have created, together with the Istituto Diego Carpitella, the Festival of the Night of Taranta. The Festival, which affects one evening after another all municipalities, offers several concerts during which you can listen to local folk music, combined with other musical traditions, thus creating a different mode of contemporary musical composition. The Festival, which takes place in August, starts in Corigliano d’Otranto and ends with the final concert by now internationally known, in Melpignano.
These countries are characterized by the common tradition and culture of Hellenic matrix and for the use of a dialect, or griko grecanico, characterized by Latin characters and influences from both the modern Greek that the local dialect of Salento.
Greek penetration in this territory, which is still faint traces remain, goes back to ancient times (both classical and Byzantine Greek), but suffered with time the influence of the many rulers of the Salento, Normans, Swabians, Aragonese and finally the Spanish.
Martano is part of the territory of Salento, called Salentine Greece, where until the nineteenth century was still speaking griko.
Some megalithic monuments found in the territory martanese demonstrate its ancient attendance: the mirrors of the Moors and the Menhir of Teofilo, the highest in the region. In Roman times it was certainly a strategic location on the crossroads between the Via Traiana Calabria and the axis-Otranto-Martano Galatina Gallipoli.
From the fifth century A.D. It came under the rule of Byzantium, starting that process Graecised would last until recent times by influencing the uses, customs and the local language.
By Norman came under the rule of feudal lords many that shaped the city’s appearance.
Many civil and religious architecture of the historic center: to visit the Mother Church, the Church and the former Dominican Convent, the Church and the Monastery of Our Lady of Consolation, which still houses the Cistercian monks known for the production of distillates Herbal very high alcohol content. In addition to buildings, including deserves note the Baron’s Palace, the city is characterized by the urban system, typical of Salento, born of the mingling of streets, alleys and courtyard houses.
From the archaeological point of view, in addition to megalithic monuments, a few kilometers from the city are to visit the remains of the medieval hamlet of Apigliano.
Sternatia is one of the countries ellenofoni of Greek Salento. The lack of documentation makes nebula the origin of the ancient city though attendance area is indicated by the presence in the territory, of megalithic monuments. Some archaeological finds of Roman and Late Antiquity (III-V cent. AD) attest to the presence in this period, but it is from the Byzantine period that we have more documentation, when it was equipped with walls, the castle and defensive towers. Sternatia also contributed to the development of the presence of an important cultural center run by Basilian monks, the Abbey of San Zaccaria.
With the Normans the city passed under the rule of various families of French origin, including Brienne and then Del Balzo. Until the death of Giovanni Antonio Orsini del Balzo was the County of Soleto with Zollino, Sogliano, Galatina and Cutrofiano. In 1270 many residents fled because of a crisis in the city, which was repopulated in the fourteenth and fifteenth century by settlers Greeks and Albanians. Occupied by the Turks, he became Aragonese outpost for the liberation of Otranto. The city and its territory came under the domination of various feudal family until the abolition of feudalism in the nineteenth century.
One of the features of the country is the presence, in the underground, in tunnels, galleries and underground rooms used as mills that demonstrate the vocation of this land to olive growing and oil production. To visit the Mother Church, dedicated to St. Mary. Assumption, the Dominican Convent and the Chapel of St. Rocco. As for the civil and military architecture, Palazzo Granafei and Porta Filia, the only survivor of the sixteenth century city wall.
Outside the city and witness to the Byzantine presence, the Crypt of St. Sebastian and the Crypt of St. Peter.
Like other countries of the Greek Salento , Martignano originated in the period of Byzantine domination of Salento , although it is possible a preexisting Roman times linked to its strategic location at the intersection of Via Traiana Calabria and the road connecting with Roca Nardo. The oldest document dates back to the thirteenth century , however , when the city is still called ” house ” . The territory passed to various feudal families including Brienne and then Enghien and Del Balzo , but eventually suffered a sharp population decline that led him to be assimilated to the municipality of Sternatia the early nineteenth century .
To visit the Church of St. Mary of the Martyrs , in the town center , Palazzo Palmieri , seat of the Tourist Park Palmieri , the Chapel of St. John the Baptist and the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace . There should also be a visit to the area of Pozzelle Pantaleo , ancient wells used to collect rainwater .
Zollino is a small town in the heart of Greek Salento , where the cultural heritage greek lingered for a long time , so that the religious rite greek died intent at the end of 1600. The rest are very little news with which to reconstruct the history of the city, some say comes from the nearly medieval village of Apigliano . In antiquity its location made it a strategic point of passage for traffic crossing the Salento the Ionian and Adriatic coasts. With the Normans joined the County of Lecce and then, Maria d’ Enghien , the Principality of Taranto .
In the heart of Greek Salento, Soleto is best known for the small Church of St. Stephen, a jewel of medieval painting in Salento and for the Spire Raimondello Orsini del Balzo.
The territory of Soleto was frequented since Neolithic Age, as the numerous archaeological finds. Important Messapian settlement, in the middle of the road linking the Adriatic port of Roca with that of Santa Maria to the bathroom on the Ionian. There are numerous findings realtivi village of Messapian age, over the double wall that surrounded the city, have been brought to light homes and sepolture.U ne of the most interesting findings is the cd “Soleto map”, a fragment of an Attic vase of black enamel which bears the coastline of the Salento peninsula along with two Greek names and eleven indigenous place names.
Like other towns in the area, Soleto passed from Byzantine rule, which has greatly influenced the culture, life and folklore, to the west, Norman, Swabian, Angevin and Aragonese, with several families that followed in the domain of the city and the territory. With the Normans become, along with Lecce and Nardò, capital of the County, including the territory of Galatina, Zollino, Aradeo, Cutrofiano, Sternatia, Collepasso, Castrignano of the Greeks and Sogliano Cavour. Angevin in the district went to the families of the Del Balzo Orsini. With Raimondello Orsini del Balzo and his wife Maria d’Enghien was built the beautiful spire that you can still admire. Later the city and the territory were entrusted to various families until the early nineteenth century.
To visit in the city, the Church of Maria Santissima Assunta with the spire of Raimondello, the Church of Santo Stefano, the palaces and, the only remnant of the ancient walls, Porta San Vito.
Melpignano is one of the most famous of Greek Salento thanks to the now famous final concert of the Festival ” Night of Taranta ” .
The city appears to have ancient origins , as demonstrated by the findings relating to the Bronze Age . After the Romans came , like the rest of the territory , the Byzantine rule that radically influenced the habits, customs and the local language . From Upper Middle Ages the city and the territory entrusted to various families faudatarie until, with the abolition of feudalism , was joined in Castrignano of the Greeks until 1837.
To visit the Cathedral Church of St. George , the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin , and especially the Church and the Augustinian Monastery . One of the big appeals of the country is the square of San Giorgio , in the heart of the city , characterized by a series of Renaissance porticos , made for commercial purposes to accommodate the large weekly market is held on Saturdays.
The Natural History Museum of Calimera , born in 1984 and reopened to the public following a restructuring in 2002 , deals with the study and protection of the environment through recovery actions and monitaraggio wildlife . The museum is divided into five structures : the Natural History Museum ; Insectarium ; Welcome Centre exotic wildlife abandoned ; Provincial Wildlife Observatory ; Wildlife Studies Centre .
The museum displays artifacts related to six sections : Astronomy , Botany , Embryology and Teratology , Geology , Malacology and Marine Biology , Mineralogy .
As ” eco-museum ” the structure must represent ” tangible and intangible assets of the surrounding area .” For this reason, the exhibition space is organized so as to tell the story of Carpignano Salentino and the surrounding area from the age preistoica , which are reported in the important evidence . The museum is organized into different sections : Virtual Reception Centre , exhibition of artifacts , Ecomuseum widespread , Library and Media Library , Educational workshops and multimedia , Laboratory of Memory and Documentation Centre.
Traditionally it refers to the establishment of the treasury of the Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria to its founder Raimondello Orisini Dodge that led to Galatina prezione works and relics from the East following a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he visited the Shrine of Saint Catherine ‘ Alexandria on Mount Sinai . The treasure was then donated to the Franciscan community during the construction of the basilica . Among the most valuable treasure we find a marble relief of the Madonna and child of the thirteenth century ; the reliquary in gold with the finger of St. Catherine of Alexandria ( XIV – XV century ) ; icon -made micro mosaic depicting Christ Pantocrator.
The museum , in the historic center of Galatina , is named after Peter Cavoti , writer and painter who dedicated his life to the study and preservation of the Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria . The museum was set up to his death by Cosimo De Giorgi . The museum was embellished with donations of books by Raffaele Torricelli , grandson of Cavoti , who also donated the illustruazioni uncle on the Church of St. Catherine , and thanks to Francesco Bardoscia , which not only gives a miscellany of objects and works of art , supporting the restoration and the construction of the museum on the ground floor of the Palazzo Orsini .
The Park of the fossils is located in a disused clay quarry out Cutrofiano, in which you can find various geological strata of marine origin, rich in fossils. The Museum of Clays is instead set in a house adjoining the quarry, consisting of two rooms, the first exhibition with showcases housing the fossils of gastropods, bivalves, escafopodi; the second about teaching with a meeting center, a point projections and a model of the hollow section.
The ceramics museum was established in 1985 by the Municipality of Cutrofiano in order to enhance an activity typical of the country since ancient times . The initial collection of pottery craft has gradually enriched through donations and new purchases .
Today the museum is divided into four sections : a historical and archaeological ; an art history ; an anthropological ; a technology . Inside the structure was also set up a space that reconstructs the old shops ; a photo gallery illustrating the steps of firing ceramics and reconstruction of a home environment .
The Museum of Rural Life and Culture Griko is located in a typical old courtyard house of Calimera , and is prepared and edited by the Cultural Ghetonia . The museum is organized on various environments within which are placed objects and tools typical of the life and history of local life . The museum is divided into several rooms , each of which presents a particular theme : the kitchen ; the House; the countryside; crafts and traditions ; history , archeology , architecture .
The Museum of the Hand Embroidery and Lace, within the Baron’s Palace of Castrignano of the Greeks there is an exhibition of products made by women needle Salento nineteenth century to the present day , the testimony of a typically feminine today living in Salento .
The Multimedia Museum of Greek Salento was set up inside the Castle of Corigliano d’Otranto to tell the story of the territory . Through multimedia stations you can listen to traditional folk songs , see period films and learn about digital archives , virtual reconstructions of ancient structures etc.
The House Museum Tarantismo is located in the center of Galashiels. The idea of the museum , connected to the ” Centre for Studies on tarantismo ” which is based on the structure , born from the ancient tradition of the city for which the galatinesi were immune from evil identified as the ” bite of the tarantula .” This particularity meant that in Galatina , and in particular in the small chapel of St. Paul , were marked by all the territory the ” tarantate ” to heal miraculously , from this obscure disease . The museum contains a beautiful photo , video and audio that tells , in years not too far away , just these pilgrimages to the church .
Art and culture
The cave church of Santa Marina and Cristina in Carpignano Salentino is the structure of this oldest of Salento, built in IX-XI century AD The crypt, dug in the bedrock, has an irregular shape that is accessed via two wide staircases. The structure is divided into two sections. The eastern, largest, is related to Santa Cristina, while the smallest in the west to Santa Marina. In the first section there are four pillars of which one original file, while on the northeast wall two apses.
The original dedication is related to Santa Cristina, but the presence of the cult of the second holy meant that in the tradition of the church was known by both names. In the section dedicated to Santa Marina, on the left, we find a wall-pillars that form a secluded corner where devotees, according to tradition, went to urinate to prevent and treat jaundice who was tied as the Holy healer.
Scholars speculate that the structure in the Byzantine period was a chapel with two aisles two apses. In the second half of the fifteenth century chapel it is dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie after the discovery of an image of the Virgin. Some interventions were made at the end of the eighteenth century as a result of some miracles.
Of particular importance are the frescoes that decorate the interior walls of the church, important examples of Byzantine painting in Puglia, like the famous depiction of Christ blessing in throne flanked Annuziata the Virgin and the Archangel Gabriel. The fresco is inscribed in greek with the name of the buyer, the priest Leo, and his wife Crisolea, the name of the painter, Theophylact, and the date, 959 AD At this stage of decoration follows a second, commissioned by a character named and dated April 1020 (enthroned Christ blessing, the Virgin Kyriotissa, Santa Cristina, which appears several times in the decoration). At the bottom left is the tomb arcosolium frescoed, with metrical inscription in greek, the young Stratigoulès, whose soul was entrusted by his father in Santa Cristina, San Nicholas and the Virgin Kyriotissa.
On the outskirts of the town of Castrignano of the Greeks there is the small crypt of St Onofrio, dated between the sixth the XI century.
The church takes its name from a monaco hermit came all the way from Thebes, ancient province of Upper Egypt. The church was demolished in 1800 and the crypt was buried. She came to light in the sixties to an intervention of the City.
The structure consists of two rooms dug into the limestone accessible via two flights of stairs they place in the larger slot. The latter, of rectangular shape, is divided into two parts, one reserved for the celebrant and the other faithful. The vaulted ceiling is supported by 18 columns made of local stone; presents a lithic altar and frescoes on the walls, of which only faint traces. He recognizes a Virgin and Child with traces of the halo of a saint dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth century.
The second compartment is accessed via two open passages in the wall behind the altar. On the ceiling, a hole in the vault may have served in the past as access Hypogeum.
Note the holy water, with inscription in greek the date, 1275.
The Mother Church of Galatina is dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul , patron saints and protectors of the city . It is not certain the date of the founding of the church , around the middle of the fourteenth century , when in Galatina , as in other centers of Salento , is still officiating in greek rite.
The cave church of Our Lady of the Grotto, on the outskirts of Galatina, is also called the Crutta, or the Assumption of Grotti. The structure, carved into the rock, has a plant trapeizoidale four aisles with apses separated by quadrangular columns. The numerous interventions suffered from the crypt over the centuries, with the construction of partition walls, changed the original appearance of the structure.
Around 1300 the cave church is built a church with a single hall with beamed ceiling and frescoes, placed on most orders, on the walls. From the church to the crypt via a wide staircase.
The interior of the crypt is decorated with frescoes on two different stages: one on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to which refers the fresco of the Virgin and Child in an oval altar of the seventeenth century; a Virgin and Child at the entrance to the ambulatory; Virgin between two archangels armed with spears, at the end of the ambulatory. The seventeenth century are a Saint Lucia now very visible and, in the three niches in back of the church, the Annunciation, dated 1679, a Crucifixion and Santa Marina; between the right niche and the central one still a Virgin and Child
The crypt of St. Anne, located on the outskirts of Galatina, is formed by a projection posthumously masonry with a pediment decorated with a stone cross. The interior layout with three naves does suggest a date around the XII-XIV century. Following the construction of the nearby farm, the church was transformed and enriched by a masonry facade. From this, through an opening arched accessing the dromos that leads directly to the central hall. To the right an opening leading to a lower second environment that continues in a tunnel now closed.
The whole church is whitewashed and small painted panels are of recent invoice and very touched: the altar a Virgin and Child, a Crucifixion, an Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Dominic. On the walls were once painted a picture of St. Anne.
The Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Galatina is considered one of the most important monuments of medieval Puglia . The church was expanded on an existing , from Raimondello Orsini del Balzo.
A few kilometers from Martano have been brought to light the remains of the medieval village of Apigliano, known only from a few documents, the oldest of which dated to 1354. The recent archaeological campaigns carried out by the University of Salento have highlighted a village, founded in the Byzantine period, between the ninth and tenth centuries AD on the site of a small rural settlement of Late Antiquity. The village seems to have a period of neglect in the XI-XII century before returning to live in the XIII-XIV as the house of Apigliano and be finally abandoned in the XVI. The excavations have brought to light some structures from the Byzantine period, including a furnace for iron working, and substantial traces of the house including a small church with adjoining cemetery Angevin. Not far away is the church of San Nicola, rebuilt in the archaeological park using ancient techniques. A second church, dedicated to San Lorenzo, was built when the house had already been abandoned.
The small church of Santo Stefano in Soleto, built in the mid-fourteenth century, is of particular importance in the context of Salento as it combines elements of Byzantine Eastern influence with Romanesque and late Gothic typical of Puglia. Until the sixteenth century the church was a religious center Italo-greek of considerable importance
The small church of San Pietro in Sternatia , dug into the rock , has a floor plan with a single hall separated from the presbytery iconostasis . The construction period , between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries , dating back to small traces of fresco still visible . For a second phase of wall decorations on the XVIIII century , belongs instead the image of St. Peter that gives its name to the structure .
Today the church is attached to Masseria Caraffa .
Ancient crypt of San Sebastian, in the territory of Sternatia , you can see the remains of the entrance stairs that led inside the dug in the rock . The main entrance to the west , was closed due to the recent construction of buildings and has been replaced by an alternative access to the South . The building has a square floor plan with a large central pillar in rock that divides the area into two aisles and four bays . The floor is dirt . Along the walls and the base of the pillar runs the seat. Inside there are three altars , two oriented east and one in the north , among which there is a niche with a small border . The walls of the crypt are decorated with frescoes that date , according to the inscriptions , between the beginning of the twelfth and the end of the sixteenth century .
The small Church of St. Paul , in the center of Galatina , a few meters from the Church of Saints Peter and Paul , is linked from the Middle Ages to the present day , to the phenomenon of tarantism .
The chapel was rebuilt in the early eighteenth century , and is built inside Palazzo Tondi . Presents a classroom only vaulted to Lecce . Inside you can admire an altar of the eighteenth century with the painting of St. Paul with a sword in hand .
The Mother Church of Castrignano of the Greeks, dedicated to the worship of the Annunciation, was rebuilt in 1878 on an existing building of the sixteenth century. The old church was demolished to build a wider, more spacious for the increased population that made it too narrow the previous structure.
Castle Castrignano of the Greeks, of medieval origin, today presents the appearance that he gave him, in the sixteenth century, the family Gualtieri, remembered in the epigraph on the portal of entry. The structure has a rectangular base with slope and consists of facade of two orders divided by a bull string course. Other changes suffered in the nineteenth century, aimed at ingentilirne the prospectus and the inner courtyard.
Excellent means of defense, as well remembered even in the days of Charles I of Anjou, the structure until the nineteenth century was surrounded by a moat. Interesting decoration are the gargoyles and the two heads facing south.
Entering from the portal entrance leads to a courtyard around which there were some service areas: the stables, the oven and the oil mill and warehouses. In an environment it is a kind of hidden passage / walled from which, according to tradition, is reached through a tunnel, with the abbey cave church of Sant ‘Onofrio. Through a portal decorated with floral motifs, angels and gargoyles, it leads to the main floor.
The Mother Church of Calimera, located in the central square, is dedicated to the patron San Brizio. On an original structure with two aisles, was built, starting from 1689, the present church a Latin cross and a single nave, with a linear table divided into two tiers characterized, the lower, the baroque portal and the upper by a large window central.
The Church of San Vito, built in the late fifteenth – early sixteenth century, is located in the countryside east of the cemetery, at one of the entrances of the ancient Forest of Calimera. The small church has a single aisle in the middle of the floor a large limestone boulder with a central hole, and on top of the remains of a fresco depicting San Vito Martire, called the Sacred Rock of San Vito. It is traditional to go to church on Easter Monday to purify or to propitiate fertility, welfare etc. passing through the hole, the diameter of only 30 cm, the megalite. This ritual of ancient origin, is linked to magical-religious beliefs probably linked to pre-Christian rite of the Great Mother and the cult of fertility. The passage of the hole, which recalls the female genital organ, recalls the concept of birth, or rather, of rebirth. Christianity absorbed the cult, building around the monolith church and connecting it to the cult of San Vito.
In the open countryside , on the road linking Calimera Melendugno , there is the small church of San Biagio , a semi underground eleventh century , due to a wider Basilian settlement . The chapel was in fact probably the religious reference of an abandoned farmhouse . Inside are two eighteenth century frescoes depicting St. Blaise and Saint Eligius , relative to the stage where the chapel was restored and the upper floor was built accommodation for the monks . The building was abandoned , the consecration stone removed , and was transformed into a barn , until recently when it was restored .