The Valle d’ Itria . Alberobello , Locorotondo and Martina Franca
Among the provinces of Bari , Brindisi and Taranto , the Itria Valley is best known for the typical trullo houses and the small and nice villages .
Tour : The tour begins with the visit of Alberobello , a city famous because of the trullo houses also named as Unesco World Heritage in 1996 , and its two districts : the District Aja Piccola and Rione Monti . It continues with a visit to the old center of Locorotondo and its approximately circular plan with its white houses. Last stop Martina Franca , another baroque town in Apulia , featured by rich mansions , churches and monumental spaces such as the Basilica of San Martino and Plebiscito Square.
Cities Area North Salento
Ostuni – The white city
The derivation of the name would seem Ostuni source messapica.Discenderebbe named Stornes that would indicate people from bondage. Another theory sees the etymology of the word formed from two Greek words: ASTY NEON. Ostuni, called the “White City” because of its quaint old town completely painted with white lime, is located in the southern Murgia and lies on three hills at a height of 218 meters above sea level As early as the Middle Paleolithic (50,000 to 40,000 years ago) the territory of Ostuni, characterized by numerous caves (excellent shelters for primitive communities), it was attended by Neanderthals
The Itria Valley is a karst depression post in the southern part of the Murgia and corresponds to an area straddling the provinces of Brindisi , Taranto and Bari , with the centers of Cisternino , Martina Franca and Locorotondo .
The name derives from Madonna dell’Odegitria , from greek : the one who shows the way , protettice wayfarers , a cult imported by Byzantine monks who settled in the area in the tenth century . Typical of the Valle d’ Itria is the thousands of homes cone , the trulli , in the hills covered by vineyards , the beautiful farms among the olive trees and the historical centers are characterized by narrow and irregular streets with whitewashed houses and flower-filled balconies
Art and culture
Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta – Ostuni
The Ostuni Cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, began to be built during the bishopric of Nicola Arpone (1437 – 70), shown at the foot of the Virgin in the lunette of the main entrance. Looking at the facade of the church, divided into three by pilasters, you may notice persistence Romanesque and Gothic influences. The eye is immediately caught by the large central rose window with the representation of Christ Salvator Mundi and cherubs. Lunettes on the side entrances you can see bas-reliefs representing, on the right, St. John the Baptist, on the left, San Biagio. The church has a Latin cross plan, divided into three naves. Numerous transformations took place over time, affecting the internal structures of the Cathedral: columns incorporated by pillars, ceiling paintings embedded, stucco that overload the round. The persistence rare medieval frescoes having regard to the subject invention of the Cross, St. Catherine of Alexandria and the Madonna della Salute.
St. Mary from Cerrate Abbey
Surronded by the Salentine countryside, the St. Mary from Cerrate Abbey is an incredible example of Normand religious architecture.
Although, most part of the annexed monastery is in decay, the visit is worth it for the astonishing church, the underground oil press and the Museum of the local people traditions, where you can see some frescos belonging to the ancient Abbey, the reproduction of some rooms of the old local farmhouses and tools regarding the life of local farmers during the XVIII and XIX century.
Duration 1.5 hrs
Church of Our Lady of Aurio – Surbo
The Romanesque church of Our Lady of Aurio , the twelfth century , was built in the medieval hamlet of Aurio , which was probably placed a layrion Basilian , hence the name of the house . Irregularities in the construction suggest the presence of an ancient Greek building . Here is celebrated the Madonna of Aurio , according to the rite greek the Tuesday after Easter , religious holiday which perhaps derives the feast of Lu Riu . Since 1837 the festival was moved to Surbo, but was made a jaunt to D’ Aurio