The Primitivo di Manduria PDO is one of the main red wines of Apulia that combines the flavors of the Ionian Sea with those of the lands between Taranto and Brindisi.
It takes its name from Manduria, where the megalithic walls and the Imperiali-Filotico castle are the protagonists. Worth a visit is the Fonte Pliniano in a cave with a basin that collects water: almost certainly a place used for the worship of a Messapian deity.
The second stop on the Primitivo di Manduria PDO tour is Carosino, where the wine is the protagonist of a festival in which it replaces the water of the fountain in the main square overlooked by the Ducal Palace D’Ayala Valva, a family to which the Castle of Monteparan and the Castle of San Giorgio Jonico are also linked, the last with its mosaic-paved main square.
From Talsano, a district of Taranto, it is possible to immediately reach Leporano for a visit to the Muscettola Castle and the Renaissance aqueduct, while on the sea there is the Archaeological Park of Saturo with the Bronze and Iron Age villages, the Acropolis, the Roman Villa and the Saturo Tower, a lookout against the Saracen invasions.
Famous for its beaches, Pulsano boasts the Santa Maria la Nova Church, the De Falconibus Castle and the Museum of Rural life housed in a former tobacco factory.
In Roccaforzata there is one of the most beautiful castles in Apulia, famous for being considered an haunted castle. The medieval frescoes of the Madonna della Camera Sanctuary in the village of Mennano are splendid.
San Marzano di San Giuseppe is the largest Albanian linguistic enclave and Arbëreshe community in Italy: of Albanian origin is also the Borsci family that produces the liqueur Elisir San Marzano. Fragagnano and Faggiano, twinned with Bethlehem and famous for its Living Crib, are also part of the so-called Taranto Albania. Arbëreshe culture can be found in Lizzano in the tradition of the Tavole di San Giuseppe, St Joseph’s Table, laid with typical dishes shared with anyone who enters the house through the doors left open.
The route of the Primitivo di Manduria PDO turns towards Sava, which boasts the Baronial Palace and the Oil Museum in a semi-underground oil mill in its beautiful historic centre.
In Torricella, the five-towered castle dominates the historic centre while Torre Ovo emerges from the sea, with the Pleistocene petrified forest on the seabed. In Maruggio, visit the Commendatori Palace, built in 1368 by the Knights of Malta.
In the centre of Avetrana there is the Tower of the Norman Castle, the Baronial Palace, the Imperiali Palace and the Casamatta with the permanent archaeological exhibition, while outside the town there is the Mondurato Castle.
With Erchie you enter the province of Brindisi. The town is famous not only for its Primitivo wine but also for the prodigious spring of water at the Sanctuary of Santa Lucia. In Oria pay a visit to the Cathedral with the Crypt of the Mummies and the Montalbano Park to admire the cylindrical towers of the private Castle which cannot be visited.
Last stop, Torre Santa Susanna with its majestic castle and underground oil mills that testify to the link not only with the Primitivo di Manduria PDO wine, but also with olive oil.