North of Lecce : from Ostuni to Alberobello


Guide of Lecce and Salento Itineraries North of Lecce : from Ostuni to Alberobello, Italy









Lecce and Salento North Of Lecce : From Ostuni To Alberobello, Italy

This is an itinerary that mixes arte and nature, through the countryside to the north of Brindisi and immerging in the magical Valle d'Itria, in a panorama of olive groves, stone walls, rows of grape vines and fig plants, manor farms and woods, Romanesque castles and Baroque cities. A typically Mediterranean landscape where everywhere appear the most famous and curious rural houses of Italy: the cylindrical "trulli" homes.

Route: on leaving Lecce, take the convenient superhighway for Brindisi and Bari (S.S. 613) and continue for 70 km, to the exit of Ostuni. Here begins our fascinating itinerary.


Ostuni

The "white city" appears as a fortress dominion on the plain and on the coast below, only 8 km away.

The ancient village of Ostuni is presented with a ellipsoid floor plan, defended by a strong wall around its eight towers. The center is a fascinating up and down of stairs and steps, a succession of narrow passages, alleys and courtyards. All the houses are painted exclusively in white lime, so that one is dazzled approaching Ostuni from the plain.

Old Ostuni is enriched with the 15th century cathedral, a curious Gothic style of Venetian and Lombardian influence, with a large, highly decorated central rose window that represents the Cristo Sole (Christ the Sun). The inside with three naves, however, is of Baroque style.

Fans of archeology may visit the Museo di Civiltà Preclassiche della Murgia (Museum of pre-classical civilizations). Hosted in the ancient Convento delle Monacelle, this museum exhibits the skeleton of Delia, the most ancient mother in the world. She is a Paleolithic woman of 25 thousand years ago, with the remains of a fetus in her womb.


Cisternino

On a terrace overlooking the Adriatic, cultivated with grapes and olives, is this ancient village with an oriental appearance, founded in the 8th century by Basilian monks fleeing from the Orient.

Cisternino is certainly one of the most enchanting hamlets of Italy. It is extremely interesting because it represents a great example of "spontaneous architecture". You may lose yourself in this labyrinth of whitewashed houses, that is created only based on the guidelines dictated by human relations: the narrow alleys, blind courtyards and external stairways, arches and flowered balconies will leave an indelible memory.


Martina Franca

This small white town, on the highest peak between the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, is famous for its absolutely intact Baroque weaving. Filippo d'Angiò, prince of Taranto, began its beautification in the '1700’s. New buildings were constructed and those already existing were adorned with Baroque decorations, creating scenographic glimpses in the narrow medieval streets.

The Palazzo del Duca is the symbol of Martina Franca, the maximum expression of this fertile period: a fascinating mixture of Baroque and Renaissance elements interpreted according to an entirely local taste.


Locorotondo

A beautiful village of circular shape spread atop a hill. The historic center does not offer large opulent palazzos, but makes an impact with its overall grace and intimacy. The village is formed of concentric streets, and facing it are the typical "bialso" houses with peaked roofs, unique to Locorotondo.

Among the many churches of Locorotondo, you must not miss the Chiesa Madre church, dating back to the 17th century, and the splendid church of St. Maria della Greca, which holds a rich stone sculpture: the main altar and a group of sculptures of Saint George.


Alberobello

This city is the symbol of the cylindrical "trulli" homes, recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage of Humanity.

The historic center of Alberobello is incredible, entirely composed of cylindrical trulli homes. It is divided in two parts, the Rione Monti, now dedicated to tourism, and the rione Aia Piccola, where is still found the old original atmosphere of the village. Many of the trulli homes in the historic center can be visited, especially in the rione Monti. The highest trullo of the village, Trullo Sovrano, has two floors and hosts a museum.


Detour to Fasano

From Alberobello you may make an interesting detour to Fasano. Here is a large Zoosafari, which presents approximately 1,000 animals of 40 species in a protected environment.

In the vicinity of Fasano you may visit the Archeological Park of Egnazia, the ancient Messapian and then Roman Gnathia that arose along the via Traiana. The archeological area is open every day until sunset. The museum opens from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Castellana Caves

The final stage of our itinerary takes us from Noci to the "Grotte di Castellana" just before the village of Castellana, coming from Putignano.

The caves of Castellana are an extraordinary complex of cavities, (development: 3 kilometers) formed by the action of an ancient underground river. Erosion has produced over the millennia a concentration of karst formations unique in the world for their beauty. Among these are the Black Grotto, the large cavern of Monuments, the Chamber of the Owl, the Crèche Chamber, the Snake Corridor and the Grotta Bianca (white cave).

Visit the caves: you may choose between a short itinerary (1 km, 50 minutes) or the full tour (3 km, approximately 2 hours) that reaches the White Cave, that is defined as the brightest cave in the world.
Information and group reservations: Tel +39-080-4998213 - fax +39-080-4998219.

Author:Nozio



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