SALENTO

Come and learn Italian at one of the most authentic place in Italy! If you want to live a truly Italian experience that combines Italy’s best food, a heady mix of traditions, culture and postcard like sceneries, you should definitely visit the South.

Sure, Tuscany has been promoted as the most authentic place in Italy for decades but SALENTO is the real deal-a micro region not facing yet the negative impact of mass tourism. You will also notice that the locals prefer to be called Salentini instead of Pugliesi, since they have an entirely different dialect, customs and traditions that differentiates them from the northern part of Puglia. The habitants of the area comprising the whole province of Lecce, almost all the population of Brindisi and part of the one of Taranto, distingue themselves by the glottological and cultural characteristics very different from the ones of the rest of Puglia.

Within the Salento territory there actually are peculiar ethnological-linguistic enclaves , in which it is spoken a neo-greek dialect known as grecanico or griko, that probably draws its roots from medieval migrations as Salento has always been a door to the Orient.

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Puglia is one of the richest in prehistoric finds regions of Italy. The Puglia history is very particular, because on this territory have alternate in the centuries and in the millenniums various denominations, from Magna Grecia to Impero Romano, from Impero Bizantino to Svevi, always occupying a primary position in the wheat and oil production. Puglia is a region that has also crossed dark and poor historical moments, that presently reflect on the humbleness and simplicity of the Puglia life. The Bourbon domination, that has brought a little peace on the region, was soon substituted by Regno d’Italia, which has divided the region in the current provinces.

The Puglian region is mainly characterized by its coastlines, reaching over 800 Km. Worth to be visited are the beaches of Alimini with its high dunes, the low coast of Gallipoli, the 12 km of beaches of Uggento, the rocky walls of Porto Selvaggio, the white beaches of Porto Cesareo, and for the most courageous, the high cliffs of Polignano a Mare. For those who have more time, we recommend the Tremiti isles at the North of Gargano and the other small islands. Don’t miss out the “Maledives del Salento” and Pescoluse beaches at the west of the peninsula. To find out more see http://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it/ter/PE11/en/Lecce-and-Salento

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The mountainous area are scarce and referable to the Dauno Appenino and to Gargano, while the Tavoliere, the Murge and the Salento represent the level and hilly areas. The underground hydrography is consistent: the numerous stratum, both along the coasts and towards the inland, more than being exploited for the irrigations, have generated a really unique tangle of caves and caverns. Some areas have no lakes and rivers, the rainwater seeps into the limestone, often forming caves and sinkholes. The best known and most popular caves nearby are Grotta Zinzulusa or Grotta Dei Cervi

Vineyards, the almond and olive tree are the characteristic plants that adorn the long field expanses but during the summer time, it is the blood red color of the ground that becomes protagonist with the green of the Mediterranean spot. The vegetation of this region is special in every season and worth being visited in all periods of the year.

Puglia is a region that has also crossed dark and poor historical moments, that presently reflect on the humbleness and simplicity of the Puglia life. The Bourbon domination, that has brought a little peace on the region, was soon substituted by Regno d’Italia, which has divided the region in the current provinces.

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The architectonical landscape of Puglia, but especial of Salento, recalls the Greece cities for the absolute prevalence of the white houses “a calce”, without roof, especially in the countryside and on the coast, while the historical centers are characterized by the leccese baroque and its famous sandstone called “pietra leccese”.

It’s about a Spanish inheritance of Plateresco, that comparing to the Baroque of the rest of Italy undresses itself of the pictorial excess of insides and transforms the outside façades of the churches and palaces in true sculptured tapestries.