“Via Francigena” route, the path from Brindisi to Leuca

Watching from the window the landscapes that slowly change from town to town is a romantic aspect of the trip. But what if we slowed down further? What would we observe and what experience would we have if we crossed lands and places with the pace of the traveler? If you love to discover unknown landscapes with the pilgrim’s eye, the itinerary of “Via Francigena” route is perfect for you.

The route, in its last southern offshoot, starts from Rome and reaches Santa Maria di Leuca, the ancient Finibus Terrae. Recognized by the Council of Europe, the cultural itinerary will allow you to “savor” the colors of our land, a crossroads between East and West.

HISTORY – A stretch of more than 900 km through 4 different regions (Lazio, Molise, Basilicata and Puglia) was the path traveled by pilgrims from all over Europe during the Middle Ages to reach the ports of embarkation for the Holy Land. In Salento, the stretch of the Via Traiana Calabra, which connects Brindisi to Otranto, passing through Lecce, leads to Leuca, the last stop, before landing in Jerusalem.

The route began to take on greater importance starting from the late ancient age, when, following the political upheavals following the end of the Roman Empire and the subsequent Byzantine control of the territory, the town of Otranto assumed greater importance.

THE ITINERARY – The path follows in the footsteps of the pilgrim from Bordeaux who walked it in reverse in 333 AD, passes by the remains of the ancient Valesium, reaches Torchiarolo (one of the first municipalities to have given hospitality to contemporary pilgrims) and, finally, ends in Lupiae, now Lecce, symbol of the Baroque, whose artistic expression finds prominence in the numerous monuments and churches that, like embroidery, enrich the old town.

The path continues through Carpignano Salentino, and then Otranto, ancient Hydruntum, with its unparalleled architectural beauties: the cathedral, with its the medieval mosaic, and the Aragonese castle.

The route ends in Leuca, passing through Marittima, Tricase and Castro. Once at their destination, the traveler will complete his itinerary with a visit to the Basilica of Santa Maria, where a column indicates that the journey to Jerusalem will continue across the sea.

THE FOOD – Frise”, rings of toasted bread baked and cut across the wire and then baked again and dried in their two parts, are one of the culinary symbols of Salento. Thought to be a long-lasting food, easy to store and to transport, frise have been the food for pilgrims and sailors.

Even today it is the main dish of Salento summers, whether you are on the beach or you want to enjoy a quick lunch or dinner, but no less tasty.

The only difficulty, so to speak, in the preparation process is the “sponzatura“, that is the time of immersion in water to soften the frisa: in a basin for a few seconds for those who taste it softer, only one quick moment under the water for those who love it more crunchy. The seasoning is according to taste. Do not miss the excellent local olive oil and fresh tomatoes. All the variants are welcomed: oregano, capers, olives or grilled vegetables, etc.

Here, some tips for your stay in Salento:

Holiday houses –> https://www.villainpuglia.it/EN/Home

Holiday villas –> https://www.villesalento.it/index.html#/

For further information:

e-mail –> info@villesalento.it

phones –> (+39) 392/0202233 – (+39) 328/4617633

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