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Visit Salento in Winter, Christmas holidays in Otranto

27 Nov

Saying goodbye to the old year in Salento has the flavor of a romantic story. Otranto, in fact, is the most eastern point in Italy and therefore the place where the first ray of sunshine of the New Year appears. So you can’t think of a better place to celebrate New Year’s Eve than in Otranto at the “Alba dei Popoli”, the concert which takes place every year in the square on New Year’s Eve.

“Alba dei Popoli” is a real festival that celebrates New Year’s Eve with concerts, fireworks and dancing in the square.

THE HISTORY – The event was founded in 1999 and it has gradually become more and more prestigious. Many internationally renowned guests have taken the stage: Goran Bregovic, Franco Battiato, Eugenio Bennato, Edoardo Bennato, Vinicio Capossela, Nicola Piovani, Lou Reed, Pino Daniele, Mario Biondi, Roy Paci, to name a few. 

NATIVITY SCENES – If you are in Salento during the Christmas holidays, you can take the opportunity to visit the many living nativity scenes staged in many local villages. One of the most impressive is that one in Caprarica di Lecce at the Archeodrome of Salento, Kalòs.

Inside the park, the route is full of extraordinary sets, specially reconstructed historical settings and illuminated decorations. You must visit the reconstructions of the artisan workshops reenacting ancient crafts (conzalimmure, cooper, blacksmith, basket maker, conzatraini, scarparu), of the Roman section with Herod’s court, of the sacred temple, with the vestals and centurions of the Legio X Fretensis. During the tour, it is also possible to taste typical dishes and buy local products such as pittule, piscialette (baked bread with tomato), sandwiches with horse bits, etc. All accompanied by the background of Christmas carols that give a magical and festive touch to Christmas evenings.

VILLAGES – Breathing in the Christmas atmosphere is one of the most enjoyable things to do on vacation. Don’t miss the illuminations and the charm of Baroque Lecce decorated for the holidays. The traditional illuminated tree in Piazza Sant’Oronzo, the city’s main square, and the nativity scene that fills the open space in Piazza del Duomo make the Salento capital a gem. Also you can’t miss the “Fiera di Santa Lucia”, an exhibition of handcrafted nativity scenes and characters that populate the nativity that takes place every year from Dec. 8 until Epiphany.

www.villainpuglia.it 

info@villesalento.it

(+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Visitare il Salento in inverno, Natale e Capodanno a Otranto

26 Nov

Salutare il vecchio anno nel Salento ha il sapore di una storia romantica. Otranto, infatti, è il punto più a Est d’Italia e quindi il luogo dove il primo raggio di sole del nuovo anno si affaccia. Quale luogo migliore quindi per festeggiare il Capodanno se non a Otranto al concerto dell’ “Alba dei popoli”, che ogni anno si svolge in piazza la notte di San Silvestro?

“Alba dei Popoli” è una vera e propria rassegna che celebra l’ultimo dell’anno con concerti, spettacoli pirotecnici e balli in piazza.

LA STORIA – La manifestazione nasce nel 1999 ed è diventata via via sempre più prestigiosa. Tanti gli ospiti di fama internazionale che si sono avvicendati sul palco: Goran Bregovic, Franco Battiato, Eugenio Bennato, Edoardo Bennato, Vinicio Capossela, Nicola Piovani, Lou Reed, Pino Daniele, Mario Biondi, Roy Paci, per citarne alcuni. 

PRESEPI VIVENTI – Se siete nel Tacco d’Italia durante le festività natalizie, potete approfittare per visitare i numerosi presepi viventi inscenati in molti borghi del posto. Uno fra i più suggestivi quello di Caprarica di Lecce all’Archeodromo del Salento, Kalòs.

All’interno del parco, il percorso è ricco di straordinarie scenografie, ambientazioni storiche ricostruite ad hoc e addobbi luminosi. Imperdibili le ricostruzioni delle botteghe artigiane che ripropongono antichi mestieri (conzalimmure, bottaio, fabbro, cestaio, conzatraini, scarparu), della sezione romana con la corte di Erode, del tempio sacro, con le vestali e i centurioni della Legio X Fretensis. Durante il percorso, inoltre, è possibile degustare piatti tipici e acquistare prodotti del territorio come pittule, piscialette (pane al forno con pomodoro), panini con pezzetti di cavallo, ecc. Il tutto accompagnato dal sottofondo di canti natalizi che danno un tocco magico e festoso alle serate di Natale.

BORGHI – Respirare l’atmosfera natalizia è una delle cose più piacevoli da fare in vacanza. Non perdete le luminarie e il fascino della Lecce Barocca addobbata per le feste. Il tradizionale albero illuminato in Piazza Sant’Oronzo, la piazza principale della città e il presepe che riempie lo spiazzo di piazza del Duomo fanno del capoluogo salentino una bomboniera. Imperdibile anche la “fiera di Santa Lucia”, la mostra di presepi artigianali e personaggi che popolano la natività che si svolge tutti gli anni dall’8 dicembre fino all’Epifania.

www.villainpuglia.it 

info@villesalento.it

(+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Visit Salento in Autumn, Fiera di Ognissanti in Carpignano Salentino

9 Nov

It is not Autumn in Salento until the day of the Fiera di Ognissanti, an annual appointment with the tradition held in Carpignano Salentino, in the heart of the Grecìa Salentina about 25 km from Lecce. Every 1st November, in fact, for 2-3 days the village dresses up with 450 exhibitors of any kind, not only food.

There are 4 km of roads affected by the event for a total of about 15,000 square meters of exhibition space. These numbers make the fair one of the largest productive and cultural events in Salento.

TRADITION – Starting from the evening of October 31 and throughout the day of November 1, we use to eat the traditional boiled meat and taste traditional dishes based on pork and “cicureddhre” and other delicacies of the typical Salento cuisine accompanied by excellent wines produced on site.

The Fiera di Ognissanti is the ideal opportunity to visit Salento in an unusual season, but still full of surprises: the still mild climate, the tranquility of the small towns and the rediscovery of the characteristic inland villages with their historical and culinary traditions.

THE HISTORY – The “Fiera di Ognissanti” dates back to the year 1000, initially it was linked to the cult of SS. Medici and took place near the church of San Cosimo, in the nearby farmhouse of Cabierno, near the Via Traiana, once a very busy place as the last point of post for the change of horses before reaching Otranto. The date of November 1st would derive from the oriental tradition that celebrated the “Santi Medici”. Over the years and with the changing needs, the fair was moved to today’s Carpignano, a square for exchanges of agricultural products, seeds, agricultural tools and large animals, over the years artifacts related to crafts have been added.

THE VILLAGE – Carpignano Salentino is one of the 9 municipalities of the Lecce hinterland which is part of the Grecìa Salentina. Together with Martano, Martignano, Calimera, Zollino, the village has preserved traces of the influence of ancient Greece, thanks to griko, which mixes local dialect with Greek. To find out more, read here!

www.villainpuglia.it 

info@villesalento.it

(+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

Discovering Grecìa Salentina: Calimera

10 Lug
Mother Church in Calimera

A small town in the Grecìa Salentina, Calimera is one of the municipalities where grìko, a local dialect of Greek derivation, is still spoken. The town, with about 6 thousand inhabitants, is 16 km far from Lecce.

Among the beauties to visit in Calimera, we point out the baroque Mother Church dedicated to San Brizio with an unusual painting of the Madonna della Misericordia in which the Virgin is depicted during pregnancy; a few steps away there is the House Museum of Peasant Civilization and Grika Culture. Outside the city, immersed in the woods, there is the Natural History Museum of Salento which is also a recovery center for wildlife and sea turtles.

S. Vito church in Calimera

Typical of the place is the ritual that is practiced on Easter Monday in the church of S. Vito with the passage in the “stone of fertility”, a monolith with a hole that is crossed as a sign of rebirth.

The debate on the origin of the name is controversial and according to an interpretation it derives from the Greek Καλημέρα (Kalimèra), which means good morning or, according to some scholars, beautiful district (καλλά μερέα, kallá meréa).

If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.

holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com

Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it

email -> info@villesalento.it

Mobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

Discovering Grecìa Salentina: Sternatìa

3 Lug
complesso dei Domenicani a Sternatìa

With just over 2,000 inhabitants, Sternatìa is part of the Hellenistic area of Grecìa Salentina where grìko is still preserved today as an idiom, evidence of the influence of ancient Greece. The village is about 16 km from Lecce.

Porta Filìa a Sternatìa

To discover the village of Sternatìa, you have to stop at the former Dominican Convent, now the seat of the Municipality, at the Mother Church dedicated to San Giorgio and the hypogeum oil mill from the 1500s, near Porta Filìa, with Calabrian-style millstone and presses. Do not miss the 600-year-old olive tree that you encounter along the way.

The origin of the name is probably Greek and derives from “sterna” that is cistern, as evidenced by the presence on site of four large cisterns.

If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.

holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com

Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it

email -> info@villesalento.it

Mobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

Discovering Grecìa Salentina: Martano

26 Giu
Piazza dei Caduti, Martano

Martano is the most populous town (more than 8 thousand inhabitants) and the capital of the Grecìa Salentina, an area of influence of ancient Greece, where the dialect of Grìko is still spoken.

Monastero dei Cistercensi, Martano

The town, inhabited since prehistoric times, preserves ancient testimonies thanks to the Menhir del Teofilo, the highest in the region. The historic center, very suggestive, is called Borgo Terra with alleys, squares and courtyard houses. The palaces from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century are beautiful, including the Baronial one, once the Aragonese Castle, the Maria SS. Assunta, the former Dominican Convent, seat of the Town Hall and the seventeenth-century Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria della Consolazione with the rich library, the picture gallery and the liqueur shop.

If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.

holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com

Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it

email -> info@villesalento.it

Mobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

Discovering Grecìa Salentina: Carpignano Salentino

19 Giu
Carpignano Salentino, palace

With more than 3600 inhabitants, Carpignano Salentino is part of the territory of Grecìa Salentina which still retains the ancient dialect known as grìko. About 25 km from Lecce, the town is about ten minutes from the Adriatic coast, whose nearest seaside resort is Sant’Andrea.

Inhabited since ancient times, Carpignano Salentino preserves the ancient testimonies thanks to the presence of some menhirs: the Grassi menhir and the Croce Grande or Staurotomèa menhir (in Greek Σταυροτομέα).

Carpignano Salentino, detail

From Piazza Duca d’Aosta you enter the alleys and discover the ancient Giudecca enclosed by medieval walls with hanging gardens, 15th century houses, sixteenth-century balconies, the Mother Church and the Ducal Palace. To visit is the underground oil mill and the crypt of S. Cristina from the IX-X century, a masterpiece with ancient frescoes and inscriptions in Greek.

The name of the town derives from that of the Roman centurion Carpinius, but the thesis of a Messapian derivation of the root karp (“stone”, “rock”), for which Carpignano would mean “place placed on a hill”, is equally credited.

If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.

holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com

Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it

email -> info@villesalento.it

Mobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

Discovering Grecìa Salentina: Castrignano Dei Greci

12 Giu
Castrignano Dei Greci

With about 4000 inhabitants, the town of Castrignano dei Greci is about 25 km from Lecce and just 18 km from Otranto. It is one of the municipalities of Grecìa Salentina, where the ancient language of griko is spoken.

To visit the Baronial Palace De ‘Gualtieris, originally a medieval fortress, which became a noble residence in the 16th century. The palace houses the small Museum of Hand Embroidery and Lace in the courtyard: two rooms full of lace and precious embroideries from the nineteenth century to the second postwar period, coal-fired irons, embroidery tools and antique looms.

Campanile, Castrignano Dei Greci

The toponym may derive from the Latin word “castrum”. In fact, with the Roman conquest of the Salento peninsula, which ended around 260 BC, the Romans established a military camp (Praesidium Castrinianum). Another hypothesis would derive the name from Castrinius, the Roman centurion to whom the territory was entrusted. The etymology could also lead to the Greek word Κάστρον (Kástron) which means castle.

If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.

holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com

Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it

email -> info@villesalento.it

Mobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

Discovering Grecìa Salentina: Melpignano

5 Giu
Augustinian Convent, Melpignano

Located about 26 km south of Lecce, Melpignano is a town of just over 2 thousand inhabitants and belongs to the historic region of Grecìa Salentina, a linguistic island of nine municipalities where griko is spoken, an ancient language of Greek origin.

A walk in the scenic Piazza San Giorgio, with the Mother Church and the arcades, will make you relive the atmosphere of the past when an important market was held there in the 1500s. The village is famous above all for the Concertone La Notte della Taranta, which takes place every year at the end of August in the square in front of the Augustinian Convent, a jewel of late 18th century Baroque architecture.

menhir, Melpignano

Few people know that the town is also rich in Virgilian mottos engraved on the ancient portals. To visit the Historical Museum of Tarantism, the first in the world inaugurated in 2020 inside the Marchesale Palace with historic garden: a hundred works, some very rare, including books, engravings and objects.

There are several hypotheses that lead back to the origin of the name: it could derive from the Latin personal name “Melpinius” with the addition of the suffix “anus” (praedium Melpinianus was the land of Melpinius) or from the name of the muse “Melpomene“. Some hypotheses risk the derivation from the word honey, whose production was in the past a significant profitable source.

If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.

holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com

Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it

email -> info@villesalento.it

Mobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

Discovering Grecìa Salentina: Corigliano D’Otranto

29 Mag
Corigliano d'Otranto

An elegant village about 20 km south of Lecce, Corigliano D’Otranto is famous for its historic center dotted with buildings adorned with precious embroidery, courtyards and gardens. The village is located in the heart of Salento, just 15 km from the Adriatic coast (Otranto).

Worthy of note is the Arco Lucchetti in vico Freddo, a lace with oriental decorations and religious symbolism, while the flagship is the majestic Castello De ‘Monti, also renamed Castello Volante, born in the 11th century, an important fortress in the 16th century, with a square plan with 4 powerful circular towers and a large moat. Its spaces, from the ancient stables to the terraces, are revived today thanks to the numerous exhibitions, reviews, concerts and shows.

Castello De' Monti, Corigliano d'Otranto

Wrongly made to derive from the word “heart”, the name of the village comes from Corelius, the centurion to whom the territory would have been assigned in Roman times.

The territory was inhabited by protohistoric civilizations, testified by the megalithic remains of dolmens and menhirs. The foundation of the town is uncertain and could date back to the period of Magna Graecia, the Roman period or even the pre-Roman period with the Messapi. The urban fabric of the historic center remains from the Roman period.

Corigliano d'Otranto

The Basilian monastery of San Giorgio, built in the 9th century and in which a school of Greek language and Byzantine culture was active, contributed to the development of the small town, which left numerous Greek codes, now kept in important libraries.

If you don’t know where to sleep in Salento, here you will find some useful advice.

holiday houses -> www.casesalento.com

Holiday luxury villas -> www.villesalento.it

email -> info@villesalento.it

Mobile Phones -> (+39) 366/2604050 – (+39) 392/0202233

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