Another series of beautiful towns in Salento that you cannot miss!
It is the town of wine and flowers, with a wonderful historic centre: the Norman Tower, the collegiate church and the church of Santa Maria (St. Mary) are definitely worth a visit.
“Veretum” was its ancient name. The sixteenth-century castle, the Romanesque church of San Giovanni (St. John) and the famous megalithic monument known as “Centopietre” (One hundred stones) are definitely worth a visit.
One of the most beautiful towns in Italy, full of palaces with ancient coats of arms, courtyard houses and Baroque churches, such as the church of S. Andrea (St. Andrew) and the church of Madonna del Carmine (Our Lady of Mount Carmel). The Ducal Palace has an eighteenth-century hanging garden and, inside, you can visit the museum of rural culture. Numerous olive mills are situated under Piazza del Popolo (The People’s Square), some of which can be visited: a veritable underground town.
Visit the downtown streets: a maze of tangled alleys, among courtyard houses with flowered balconies and noble palaces with coats of arms and decorations on the façade. The Risolo Castle, the Mother Church and the convent of the Black Franciscans are also interesting buildings to see. If you want to visit beautiful towns in Salento, Specchia is perfect and boasts many suggestive places: small courtyards and ancient houses turned into “alberghi diffusi” (a new concept of hotel born in Italy), underground olive mills and frescoed chapels, such as the chapel of S. Caterina Martire (St. Catherine the Martyr), whose crypt is dug in the rock. The surrounding countryside is full of pajare, masserie, peasant villages and other veritable gems, such as the Early Christian church of S. Eufemia (St. Euphemia), place of Greek worship.
Ugento (in the picture)
One of the numerous towns of Salento which have Messapian origins. It is possible to admire the beauty of several buildings: the cathedral and its façade in neoclassical style, the sixteenth-century episcopal palace, the fourteenth-century castle and its frescoed rooms, the new archaeological museum located in the former convent of the Franciscans of S. Maria della Pietà (St. Mary of Pity), in Largo S. Antonio. Here, you can see the objects found in some tombs dating back to the third and the fourth centuries B.C., memorial stones, collections of bronzes, medieval ceramics. With the same ticket you can also see the “Adolfo Colosso” collection – in via Messapica 28, with finds of the period between the sixth century B.C. and the high medieval period (ceramics, sculptures, epigraphs in Messapian and Latin) – and the Crypt of the Crucifix, outside Ugento, dating back to the twelfth century B.C., whose walls are covered with frescoes and inscriptions in Greek and Latin.
Admire the ceiling painted with stars, real and mythological animals, floral patterns and dozens of red-and-black crusader shields, perhaps as a reference to the Knights Templar or to the Teutonic Knights.
Ugento is no doubt one of the most beautiful towns in Salento!