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GALATINA PDO AND SERRE SALENTINE, BAROQUE ELEGANCE AND VINEYARDS

The PDO of Galatina wine is also an expression of a territory in which there is a consolidated tradition of olive cultivation and the ceramic handicraft stands out.

The PDO of Galatina wine is one of the most recent that Apulia has conquered. Its name is linked to one of the most beautiful towns in Salento, where the historic centre is lined with 18th century buildings with imposing portals and Baroque balconies, alternating with many churches. In the main square there is the Santi Pietro e Paolo Cathedral, but it is in the courtyard of an ancient palace that is hidden the miraculous well with the water that in past centuries freed women from the bite of the taranta, the spider that made them crazed. Galatina preserves the magnificent 14th century frescoes of the Santa Caterina d’Alessandria Basilica, built at the behest of Raimondello Orsini del Balzo who, according to legend, on his return from the Crusades brought back with him a finger of the saint torn off with his teeth. A visit to the patisserie Pasticceria Ascalone is a must to taste the pasticciotto, a short pastry cake filled with cream which seems to have been invented here in 1745.

Cutrofiano is famous for its clay artefacts whose production dates back to the Middle Ages and of which an interesting exhibition can be admired in the Museum of Ceramics.

In the itinerary of Galatina PDO wine there is Sogliano Cavour: the second name was added after the Unification of Italy as a tribute to Camillo Benso di Cavour to distinguish it from the other Sogliano in the province of Forlì.

Before arriving in Neviano, we recommend a visit to the Ecomuseum of the Landscape of the Serre Salentine, located in the village and aiming to enhance the last extensions of the Murge, offering walks or bike rides to discover the places.

According to the popular tradition the name Neviano derives from the presence of several “neviere”, a sort of ancient fridge where the snow was once kept, or from the legend linked to the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Nevi, that tells about two merchants from Gallipoli who took refuge in a cave and when they tried to take away the picture this remained stuck in the rock on which the temple was then built. There are also several theories about the etymology of Seclì. Some people think it is seculum, a Roman coin, others think it is a Hebrew word indicating a monetary unit. This theory could be confirmed by the presence of a small colony of Jews living in the village since the 12th century.

The Galatina PDO wine route through the Serre, the Salento hill range, continues to Aradeo, a village of very ancient origins that has undergone numerous dominations over time. In the old town there are many courtyard houses but the oldest monument is the column of San Giovanni that for a period of time had the power to grant the right of asylum and grace to criminals who managed to cling to it before being caught.

The history of the small municipality of Collepasso, which was totally depopulated between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, possibly due to the raids and assaults of the Turks, is a singular one. It owes its second life to Baroness Maria Aurora Leuzzi Contarini, who arrived from Naples in 1805 together with her husband, moved into the feudal palace that incorporates a building from 1576, in turn built around a Byzantine tower.