Ionian Area

Cities of Ionian Area

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.