Cities of Ionian Area
The center of Copertino was founded around the year one thousand by the inhabitants of several neighboring centers survived the destruction by the Saracens in 942. In the center of town stands the castle designed by the architect Evangelista Menga wishes of Alfonso Castriota and completed in 1540, incorporating a fortress kind in the Norman period and later enlarged by the Anjou. The Maiero has quadrangular with four massive corner bastions pointed lance. A Copertino you can admire the Mother Church of Our Lady of the Snows, whose original structure dates to 1088, but completely rebuilt in the eighteenth century. Interesting interior with valuable fresco of the Virgin of the Snows. In the main facade, recently, it has been inserted in a bronze door which is remembered the history of the Basilica. The bell tower, built in 1597 according to a project of Evangelista Menga, is 35 meters high. The tower has a square base and is divided into two levels: the first one is volumetric simplicity, the second by a high incidence of sculpture. Also interesting is the Shrine of St. Joseph of Cupertino and the Church of Santa Maria di Casole
Once the center ancient Civita Messapica today Nardo is a jewel of Baroque art . The historical fact retains many buildings, squares and churches that testify the undisputed religious value and artistic center of a town already in 1413 became the seat of the diocese . To see the refined Piazza Salandra with the beautiful Spire of the Immaculate Conception of the fifteenth century and the Palace of the University or City , from the late Baroque ; the Cathedral, Castle Acquaviva , the Church of San Domenico , the Church of St. Tryphon , the Church of St. Anthony and the monument dell’Osanna near Porta San Paolo . In Piazza Salandra it is also the seat dating from the fifteenth century and wanted by the family Acquaviva , that its facade has rococo statues of San Gregorio Armeno , the Archangel Michael and St. Anthony Abbot . Also interesting is the Communal Theatre built by Quentin Tarantino in the late nineteenth century
The center of Galatone was founded around the year one thousand, but assunze some importance since Norman times when the town was equipped with fortifications meet the military policy of the time. Those same fortifications today are witnessed from the tower beside the sixteenth orsiniana Marquis Palace. At the end of the twelfth century Galatone passes from the Normans to the Swabians with mixed success. Among imonumeti most important is the Marquis Palace, former seat of feudal lords since the sixteenth century, still preserves the facade with a rich portal and elegant windows decorated with floral motifs and masks. The adjacent tower orsiniana a square is more remote and it was built to perform tasks difesivi. Also to see the Church of Maria SS. Assumption, built in the late sixteenth century with a Latin cross plan, preserves suointerno valuable paintings among them being the “Crucifixion” by Donato Antonio d’Orlando. The adjacent three-story Campanile shaped prisms overlapping was probably made by Tarntino in the seventeenth century. Interesting the Sanctuary of the Crucifix made in full seventeenth century late baroque probably designed by Joseph Zimbalo
The resort of Santa Caterina is a small seaside resort part of the coast of Nardo . The center of great environmental value and natualistico presents a lush vegetation rich pine forests as well as natural caves and crystal clear sea . Two towers surround the center today and remind the whole defense system and coastal watch by Charles V to repel the attacks of the Turks : ” Tower of Saint Catherine ” that overlooks the modern town and ” Tower Dell’Alto ” which marks the bordering the nature reserve of Porto Selvaggio . Along the coast of St. Catherine there are numerous caves and natural caves , many of which have proven valuable because they allowed the discovery of fossils and prehistoric artifacts . Among these , we remember the Cave of Capelvenere , located at the foot of the cliff that closes the north country . During the summer , Santa Caterina is a place much frequented by tourists.
Santa Maria al Bagno
The village of Santa Maria al Bagno was founded in Messapian to make landing ships in times of storm. In the period Magna greek was used by the inhabitants of Nardo as commercial port, to testimoniananza of what has recently been discovered the wreck of a ship dating from the third century BC with a rich cargo of amphorae greek-Italic. In the medieval period he underwent numerous incursionie and looting; to remedy them in the sixteenth century Charles V launched a program of coastal defense through the construction of a long chain of watch towers. At that period dates back to the nearby Tower of River Galatena, so called because costuita near a small stream, which no longer exists, used by pirates to stock freshwater. In fact, the Tower of the river is much better known as the Four Pillars, because only the four corners are left standing, making the construction and particularly different from other coastal towers tuttle. In more recent centuries, given the beauty of the sea and coastline, the lords of Nardo began to build their summer residences, located a few hundred meters from the sea. Today, Santa Maria al Bagno is known as a seaside resort of high standard.
Founded , according to tradition , by the Spartan Leucippus , the city of Gallipoli derives its name from the greek Kale polis , the city beautiful . The modern city ( the Borgo ) , through a seventeenth-century bridge , connecting the old town , located on a small island and within the medieval walls on which stands the Castle . The urban , it structured through the tangle of narrow, winding streets , reminiscent of the Islamic ; it dates back to the period of the Saracens in 900 d . C.
Known for its traditional courtyard houses and for the long balconies ( meniani ) , the city gave its Renaissance and Baroque styles in the so-called Greek Fountain and the precious Cathedral dedicated to the martyr Sant’Agata Catania .
The small fishing village of Porto Cesareo is located on the Ionian coast between stretches of white sand . Recent archaeological discoveries have shown that the town was founded during the Bronze Age . Votive statues and many artefacts dating back to the Magna Grecia attest to the period when the Greek sailors were en route to the Salento for stanziarvisi . The name , however , derives from the Latin Portus Sasinae probably be linked to the inhabitants of Saseno : Albanian an island not far from Vlora . Sightseeing Tower Caesarea with the nearby Torre Lapillo , evidence of a past of raids and harassment by pirates who came from the sea to plunder all that the earth could offer. Also interesting is the Museum of Natural History Navy and Fisheries better known as the Museum of Marine Biology
Landscapes and Natural Areas
Fossils Park and Museum Malacologico and Clays – Cutrofiano
The Fossils Park is located in “Cava Lustrelle”. The area of the quarry, recovered at the end of the seventies as a result of a reforestation and restoration of a continuous path within, was already known to the national and international scientific circles. In 2008 she took on an even greater following the discovery of a new species: the clam Leptochiton Serenae. Adjacent to the park is a small building dating back to the seventeenth century used as a museum Malacologico and clays. The small exhibition structure is divided into two rooms: the first is a collection of fossil mollusks (gastropods, bivalves, scaphopods); The second room contains a large model of the entire Cava Lustrelle section and the reconstruction of a layer of blue clay. The entire structure is one of the few examples in Italy of environmental restoration of abandoned quarry, for scientific and educational purposes.
Art and culture
Church of Santa Maria di Casole – Copertino
The Church of Santa Maria di Casole in Copertino has risen for work of Basilian Monks in 1200 near the ancient agricultural village of Casole. The old convent of the Basilian remain some structures with frescoes in the Romanesque chapel with three naves, a part of the mosaic floor of the sacristy, a necropolis and traces of construction carved into the rock.
Sanctuary San Giuseppe da Copertino – Copertino
Made on the end of the Baroque period , the Shrine of St. Joseph of Cupertino still retains its elegant curved facade and the great dome . The structure is a single room around which wind through the altars , with the high altar placed in line with the entry . Opposite the church is the one that the popular tradition considers the house of the holy pilgrimage by devout . Every 18 September, during the festival in honor of the saint , there is the so-called Intorciata that is a long procession through the major streets of the town accompanied with chants . St. Joseph of Cupertino is known to be the ” Holy flying ” because according to tradition, had the ability to soar after a period of fasting and prayer ; why he is considered the protector of aviators .
Castle – Acquaviva – Nardò
Castello di Nardo was the home of the Dukes Acquaviva of Aragon . The building was built at the behest of Giovanni Antonio Acquaviva in the old Pittaglio Sant’Angelo and is dated between the sixteenth and seventeenth century and marked the transition from the Angevin to Aragonese . Probably the building was conceived as an extension of a previous building , and was characterized by a quadrangular walled and surrounded by a deep moat . Of particular interest are the mighty towers slant of which the best preserved it is the way to Estramurale . Completely remodeled and transformed into a noble residence by Luciano Personé , the castle is currently used as a Municipal seat . The nineteenth century facade still retains decoration rusticated . The structure has an affinity for the planimetric and decorative elements with the castles of Otranto and Corigliano , it made a few years before that of Nardo.
Cathedral – Nardò
Presumably founded between the seventh and the eleventh century by the Basilian monks, the Cathedral of Nardo actually looks in his capacity settecentesa. The original structure dedicated to Sancta Maria de Nerito suffered frequent alterations due to several earthquakes that hit the area between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. With the Norman conquest of the city, which took place in 1055, the Basilian monks were slowly replaced by the Benedictines, to whom was entrusted the monastery and church. It was in 1080 that Norman count Goffredo rebuilt on the ruins of the pre-existing Basilian church, a new church for decision Urban II was dedicated to SS. Assunta. The three inner aisles of the present building are marked by Gothic arches on one side and Romanesque arches on the other. Inside the cathedral are preserved some paintings of Sanfelice and other great masters of painting attributed to southern, including the Madonna del Carmine painted by Paolo De Matteis and an ancient cedar wood crucifix dating back to the thirteenth century.
Museum Civic Messapico – Alezio
Opened in 1982, the Museo Civico Messapico is housed in the beautiful Palazzo Tafuri rooms in Alezio. The museum contains numerous funerary objects found often in occasional basis in the town and the nearby town of Monte d’Elia. The objects that make up kits are especially ceramic achromatic or decorated with geometric motifs locally produced, dated between the IV and III century. C. Of particular interest are the epigraphic documentation and the showcase with beautiful gold jewelry of the first century BC In front of the Museum is the archaeological park open, where you can admire the different types of Messapian tombs, dating between the sixth and second century. C. In the museum there is a large model that reproduces the necropolis of Monte D’Elia, at the center of the octagonal room, surrounded by windows, and education panels
Civic Museum ” Emanuele Barba ” – Gallipoli
The Museum of Gallipoli was established in the nineteenth century and its current exhibition design still reflects the original, giving the structure importance not only for the collections housed but also for the interest museological thereof. The first core of the museum was the private collection of archaeological finds collected by Emanuele Barba (1819 – 1887) to which were added acquisitions and bequests over time. The museum, in fact, a collection of objects ranging from archeology to the natural sciences to the historical-artistic section with paintings by artists from Salento active between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Of particular interest is the section numismatics, collecting coins, medals and paper money from the Classical to the twentieth century. The structure is also the bottom of ancient books, including incunabula, sixteenth, manuscripts, documents and iconographic and topographic about history and local families, as well as deluxe editions of the Salento area and Naples.
Museum of Marine Biology – Porto Cesareo
The Museum of Marine Biology of Porto Cesareo (formerly the Museum of Natural History Navy and Fisheries) had as its main core collection of Peter Parenzan that has increased over the years by donations from Professor Kuiper Paris and Dr. Torchio Milan. The museum, which houses over 900 exhibits, was born to give the visitor information about the habitat and habits of life of organisms and fish that inhabit the depths of Salento. The collections of marine molluscs, from micromolluschi to those of economic interest, Anthozoan, crustaceans, echinoderms and an almost complete sample of fish of the Ionian Sea are the framework for collection of particular interest are samples of tropical seas with specimens coming from the Red Sea the Indian Ocean, to the Ionian abyssal fish collection, the collection of specimens monstrous. Great-looking room devoted to the Basking shark caught in 2003 in the waters of Porto Cesareo.
Town Museum of Ceramics – Cutrofiano
The Ceramic Museum collects all sorts of traditional pottery and ceramics from the collection made in Cutrofisno , rich center of ceramic production of ancient origin and still active . The Museum is located in the same building that houses the Library and the Historical Archives . The collections have been gradually enriched with many purchases and donations , collecting materials from all over Puglia and other Italian cities . The materials , collected in four main sections , are exposed following a chronological order . Among the exhibits there are jugs , dishes , water bowls, bowls , votive tiles , jars as well as everyday items , vintage photographs and ceramics produced at the turn of the seventeenth and the nineteenth century.