Tag Archives: holiday houses

A tour among the castles of Salento: Gallipoli

22 Mag
Castle of Gallipoli, Salento

Almost completely surrounded by the sea, the Angevin Castle of Gallipoli stands with its imposing bulk at the eastern end of the island that houses the ancient village. Probably built as early as the 11th century on pre-existing Roman fortifications, it was rebuilt in the 13th century in the Byzantine era.

It was remodeled several times by the conquerors who followed one another over the centuries. Positioned to guard the city and the port, once a crossroads of thriving trade, the manor has a quadrangular plan with three circular towers and a polygonal tower.

Castle of Gallipoli, Salento

HISTORY – Built after 265 BC as a fortress for housing the legionaries and defense for the city, the Castle was destroyed or seriously damaged in the 5th century by the Vandals and the Goths. Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, under the dominions of the Angevins and the Aragonese, it was subject to substantial changes: it was isolated by a moat on all sides and, in 1522, the corner tower was built, called the Rivellino, in the past also outdoor summer cinema.

Designed by the Sienese architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, who worked on behalf of Alfonso II of Naples, it was built to defend the entrance way to the city and to prevent a fixed camp for any enemies who attacked from the ground. Currently, the recently restored spaces of the fortress vibrate like the whole Gallipoli village, hosting cultural events and large exhibitions.

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

A tour among the castles of Salento: Corigliano D’Otranto

15 Mag

One of the most beautiful examples of military architecture in the Renaissance period, the Castle of Corigliano d’Otranto marks the transition from medieval square towers to the typical round ones of the 16th century.

The facade is a Baroque triumph with decorative shelves and anthropomorphic figures. The statues, placed inside niches, represent virtues and personalities of the time, while the by now indecipherable mottos of Andrea Peschiulli triumph on the architraves.

HISTORY – In the 16th century, on a pre-existing 15th century building, Giovan Battista delli Monti made important changes aimed at the military fortification. At the end of the Delli Monti family, the castle passed to the Trani family who, in 1667, transformed it into a ducal palace thanks to the structural and decorative interventions of the architect Francesco Manuli.

The Castello de ’Monti in Corigliano d’Otranto, also known by the name of Castello Volante, thus reveals the transition from a medieval fortress to a ducal residence.

The manor, inside, nowaday houses a library, a tourist information point, a bookshop and a bar and it is home to cultural initiatives such as temporary exhibitions, musical reviews and live performances.

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

A tour among the castles of Salento: Acaya

8 Mag

The castle of Acaya is emblem of the small fortified citadel just 8 km from Lecce and a precious testimony of feudalism in Salento. Built in 1506 by the knight Alfonso d’Acaya, the manor is one of the best examples of Renaissance defensive architecture in Terra D’Otranto.

The fortress, with a trapezoidal plan, is accessible via a single bridge. The fortified walls are reinforced by two circular towers. A staircase leads to the upper floor and to the rooms, including the bastion room, which houses a painting depicting the coat of arms of the Spanish kings, and a room embellished with a Lecce stone frieze inspired by the classical style.

Of great beauty is the 14th century fresco of the Dormitio Virginis that can be admired in the courtyard and the Ennagonal Room inside. Today, the castle is home to exhibitions and events.

THE VILLAGE – Originally called Segine, the small village, embraced by walls and a large moat, is located near Vernole and owes its name to the famous Acaya family who built the entire complex giving it the appearance of a fortified village and placing him at the head of his possessions.

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

A tour among the castles of Salento: Otranto

1 Mag

An important crossroads between West and East, the castle of Otranto is closely related to the city walls with which it forms a single defensive system.

The Aragonese castle bears the name of the family that took care of the reconstruction after the attack by the Turks in 1480. It was, in fact, under the Duke Alfonso D’Aragona that in 1481 the castle was completely recovered. However, from the Aragonese phase only a tower and part of the walls remain.

The current appearance of the manor is due to the Spanish viceroys, who made it a real masterpiece of military architecture: extraordinary defense works were implemented in 1535 by Don Pedro of Toledo, of which the coat of arms on the entrance portal and on the outer curtain. The two polygonal bastions added in 1578 on the side facing the sea, incorporated the pre-existing Aragonese bastion.

Today the fort has a pentagonal plan, surrounded by a large moat and marked by four towers: three circular in carparo and one with the tip reaching towards the sea; on the fifth side, uncovered, the drawbridge opens up. Beautiful to visit, the castle is currently the site of temporary and permanent art exhibitions on local history and on the Grotta dei Cervi of great cultural importance.

CURIOSITY – The castle gave its name to the first Gothic novel in history, “The castle of Otranto”, written by Horace Walpole in 1764.

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

The Apulian Romanesque: discovering the Nordic testimonies in Salento

24 Apr

Traces of Nordic architecture can also be found unexpectedly in the deep South of Salento: it is the Apulian Romanesque, an artistic style that developed between the 11th century and the first half of the 13th century. Below, let’s take a short tour of the examples of excellence: the Cathedral of Otranto, the Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria in Galatina and the Abbey of Santa Maria in Cerrate.

The typical characters of Northern European art (France, Germany, Normandy) reworked with elements of Byzantine and Arab art give rise to an original and unprecedented result which is the so-called Apulian Romanesque. The Nordic, and in particular Norman, imprint in these areas is due to the frequentation of the Apulian ports by pilgrims headed to the Holy Land and which were also the starting point for many participants in the First Crusade in 1090.

The cathedral of Otranto

An important example of Apulian Romanesque is the cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata, built on the remains of a Roman domus, a Messapian village and an early Christian temple. It was founded in 1068 by the Norman bishop Guglielmo and consecrated to worship in 1088. Inside it preserves an important floor mosaic made between 1163 and 1166 by the Basilian monk Pantaleone.

In August 1480, the cathedral was the scene of a terrible carnage: the Turks stormed the city after a few days of siege and entered the church exterminating the clergy and civilians who had taken refuge there, whose remains are still preserved in the crypt. It was transformed into a mosque and all the frescoes dating back to the 13th century were destroyed.

The abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate

Located on the Squinzano-Casalabate provincial road, it is one of the most significant examples of Apulian Romanesque. According to legend, the abbey was founded at the end of the 12th century by Tancredi d’Altavilla, count of Lecce, when in this place, during a hunting trip, the Madonna appeared in Tancredi between the horns of a deer, hence the toponym Cerrate or Cervate.

The locality was an important religious and cultural center until the sixteenth century and subsequently transformed into a farm. In 1711 the abbey was sacked by Turkish pirates and fell into a state of neglect, which continued until the 1965 restoration by the Province of Lecce. The complex remained the property of the local authority until 2012, the year in which it passed to the Fondo Ambiente Italiano.

The Basilica of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria in Galatina

It is one of the most famous monuments of Apulian Romanesque and Gothic art and was built between 1369 and 1391, by the will of Raimondello Orsini del Balzo. The latter, in one of his numerous journeys, returning from the Crusades, went as far as the summit of Mount Sinai to pay homage to the body of Saint Catherine; according to legend, when she left, he kissed the hand of her Saint, tearing her finger with his teeth. Back in Italy he took the relic with him which, set in a silver reliquary, is still kept in the church treasury. The building, on Raimondello’s death in 1405, will be completed by his wife, Princess Maria d’Enghien, and then by his son, Giovanni Antonio Orsini Del Balzo.

The building was built on a pre-existing Byzantine church of the Greek rite dating back to the IX-X century whose traces are clearly visible in the outer wall of the right aisle in which the apse was incorporated, perhaps to save building material. The pictorial decoration is of great artistic importance: the interior, in fact, was completely frescoed towards the end of the fourteenth century by local workers, covering some parts of the oldest fragments.

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

The “underground” Salento: the crypt of the Cathedral in Lecce

17 Apr

Beyond the beaches and the sea that make Salento‘s panoramas an extraordinary paradise with an exotic charm, this land hides secret places that tell of precious artistic and architectural testimonies, as well. The “underground” Salento is a tour to discover the hidden places of Salento. Read here to find out more.

The crypt of the Cathedral in Lecce

Composed of three large naves, with a Greek cross plan and small cross vaults on the ceiling, the Crypt rests on 92 columns at the top of which finely decorated capitals can be admired. The crypt has typical features of the style of the original structure built by the Normans in the fourteenth century at the behest of Bishop Roberto Volturio.

Lecce

Salento capital, Lecce is above all the city of the Baroque where the architectural style permeates the entire old town with its palaces, churches and monuments. Do not miss the central square (Piazza Sant’Oronzo) with the column dedicated to the Patron Saint and the “Sedile”. The Basilica of Santa Croce and the Cathedral are enchanting. In addition to culture and art, the city is a beating heart thanks to the numerous events and nightlife.

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

The “underground” Salento: the crypt of the Cathedral of Otranto

10 Apr

Beyond the beaches and the sea that make Salento‘s panoramas an extraordinary paradise with an exotic charm, this land hides secret places that tell of precious artistic and architectural testimonies, as well. The “underground” Salento is a tour to discover the hidden places of Salento. Read here to find out more.

The crypt of the Cathedral

It winds in the underlying area of the apse, the presbytery and part of the hall, and it is a miniature of the famous Cistern of Theodosius or the Mosque of Córdoba. The crypt is built on 42 columns, different in style and quality, which give the environment a suggestive atmosphere. The year of origin dates back to the 11th century.

Otranto

It is a jewel overlooking the Adriatic coast, about 40km from Lecce. The maze of colored alleys that frames the old town houses the Aragonese castle and the Cathedral with the floor mosaic of medieval origin.

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

The “underground” Salento: crypt of Madonna del Gonfalone in Tricase

3 Apr

Beyond the beaches and the sea that make Salento‘s panoramas an extraordinary paradise with an exotic charm, this land hides secret places that tell of precious artistic and architectural testimonies, as well. The “underground” Salento is a tour to discover the hidden places of Salento. Read here to find out more.

Crypt of Madonna del Gonfalone

Excavated in the tuff and dating back to the IX-XI centuries, it was an Italo-Greek monastery and later a grange of the Abbey of S. Maria de Amito. The ceiling is supported by as many as 19 pillars and on the walls you can glimpse a Sleeping Virgin.

Tricase

Located about 40 km south of Lecce, the village includes the splendid seaside resorts of Tricase Porto and Marina Serra. The origin of the name is uncertain: it is hypothesized that it is due to the union of three different hamlets or that the name Tricase derives from “inter casas”, that is, a town formed in the midst of other hamlets.

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

The “underground” Salento: Santa Maria della Croce in Casarano 

27 Mar
tag

Beyond the beaches and the sea that make Salento‘s panoramas an extraordinary paradise with an exotic charm, this land hides secret places that tell of precious artistic and architectural testimonies, as well. The “underground” Salento is a tour to discover the hidden places of Salento. Read here to find out more.

Santa Maria della Croce

One of the oldest places of Christian worship, the church was built between the fifth and sixth centuries in Casaranello and has splendid early Christian mosaics, such as the starry vault with a cross of gold tiles on the dome and the colorful mosaic carpet with zoomorphic and phytomorphs motifs of the barrel vault. There are also wonderful Byzantine and Gothic frescoes.

Casarano

Municipality of almost 20 thousand inhabitants located in south-western Salento at about 50 km from Lecce, Casarano has its Roman origins in history and legend: around the first century BC, these lands were assigned to the Roman centurion Caesar for military merits, achieved during the civil wars.

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

The “underground” Salento: the crypt of Saints Stefani in Vaste

20 Mar

Beyond the beaches and the sea that make Salento‘s panoramas an extraordinary paradise with an exotic charm, this land hides secret places that tell of precious artistic and architectural testimonies, as well. The “underground” Salento is a tour to discover the hidden places of Salento. Read here to find out more.

Crypt of Saints Stefani and Crypt of S. Maria degli Angeli

In the Archaeological Park of Vaste, in the rock, with three naves, the crypt, which owes its name to a triple representation of Saint Stephen, preserves various representations of the first martyr of Christianity and frescoes dating back to between the 10th and 16th centuries, including the portraits of some apostles.

A Poggiardo worthy of note is the crypt of S. Maria degli Angeli, whose frescoes are in the Museum in Piazza Episcopo, including the Madonna between the two archangels. The crypt, made accessible in 1929, has a basilica shape, with three naves that end in as many curved apses. The vault is supported by four pillars but two of these have collapsed and the bases remain. The floor is in beaten earth.

Poggiardo and Vaste – Located in south-eastern Salento, Poggiardo is about 40 km from Lecce and includes the hamlet of Vaste, the ancient “Bastae”, a Messapian center which is only a few km from the famous Santa Cesarea Terme.

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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