A LAND TO DISCOVER
And if for some time the well-known artistic beauty at all, very often we tend to forget that our country can boast a natural heritage rich in rare and endemic species (ie plant species present only in a certain region).
And so, in the summer, as an alternative to the usual beach, it may be just a nice walk to discover little treasures.
Salento is also nature. The Park of Gesine and other protected areas of the coast are places of welcome for many animal species.
The Mediterranean is home to birds of rare beauty and variety of colorful insects.
A territory with so many treasures to be discovered, the mild climate, clean air, the green of vineyards and olive trees and the picturesque stone walls that make the background a picturesque natural scenery ranging from greenhouses to dramatic cliffs.
The herbaceous variety is the most widespread species erborea; is manifested in the spring and summer months, when the intense green of the wheat is covered by bright red poppies, yellow crocuses buttercups and daisies, the tree line instead, and mostly consists of expanses of olive trees, twisted trunks and large.
They grow well, also, the maritime pine along with ornamental palm tree that gives the landscape an oriental tone, the prickly pear (which grows spontaneously both inside and along the coast), pomegranates, quinces, the almond tree, the sweet figs .
During the summer, the blood color of the earth becomes the protagonist with the Mediterranean greenery. The polychrome berries then announce autumn and the following winter.
Land ownership is divided into small plots separated from the typical “dry stone walls.” Rare for ruthless hunt foxes and hares.
Many larks, magpies and swallows. Endangered owls and little owls.
bees also, a number of time were reduced.
As for the fauna of the Salento you may include numerous species of birds such as cranes, the gray heron and several species of reptiles, such as lizards and geckos, mammals, such as sea urchins and arthropods such as scorpions and tarante.
Salento offers a varied coastal landscape: the more numerous white sandy beaches on the Ionian side, give way, especially on the Adriatic, sometimes very high costs of great beauty. So the coast is carved from coastal niches, high cliffs that fall rapidly towards the bottom of the sea and prehistoric caves, the result of karst nature of the region.
It is true natural treasures, historical and unusual phenomena surveys around which bloom stories and legends.
The caves are home to many animal and plant species; the colorful damsels, spotted moray eels, schools of yellowtail and white bream. Along slopes and cliffs are colonies of sea urchins, sponges and date mussels, crabs that peek out of their holes and shrimp and octopus.
South Salento is rich in history and culture.
The hundreds of towers, coastal and inland, and fortified farms remain to witness the constant struggle in Salento our people engaged against the raids of invaders of all kinds and pirates who threatened her for centuries.
Almost all of the Salentine coastal towers were erected in 1500 by the Spanish. Each tower had to contain the minimum number of armed since they had no defensive duties, and this explains why most of them, a circular or square, are very small.
And it was precisely these men who, at the sight of a threat, had the task of starting inward to notify the distant centers that it was not possible to achieve with visual or audible alarm signals.
Among the most interesting we can highlight the Sabaean Tower, at Gallipoli, Torre Lapillo, Bear Tower, Torre del Fiume, Torre Vado, Torre Pali.
Other buildings very particular but without any defensive function, are scattered all over the Salento territory, surrounded by nature, do not go unnoticed, and have different names depending on the area where they are: they are “the Truddhi”, “furnieddhi them”, “trulli” them, “the spase”, “the littere” and their presence is due to the need to work and manipulate the products of the earth.
While farmers took care of the olive trees waiting for the fruits, alternately sowed wheat, barley and legumes. Important is the fig tree in summer for fresh fruit and winter thanks to the fruit dried and preserved with special techniques in “capase” (terra cotta containers). Even for this arose in the fields “furnieddhi” and the “trulli” (small houses that housed the family farmer), “the spase” and “littere” (which platforms were built to dry the figs and to work different products) .
Characteristic in our “Stone landscape” are the “Truddhi”: stone buildings unicellular, made by farmers with stones gathered on the ground. These singular dwellings, used by them as temporary or daily cover, we find them scattered, throughout the Salento territory.
RITES AND FOLK FESTIVALS
Between the communities of the South Salento, rites and traditions are imbued with meanings born from the superposition of different cultures
Salento is not only beaches, sun and sea. It is also rich in culture, art, events and entertainment.
Festivals and cultural events are concentrated in the summer to offer to those they are visiting or vacationing in our country the opportunity to spend pleasant evenings to match the baths of suns and sea of the day.
That the festival is a collective ritual that is grounded in the abundance of some of our products which, on the occasion of worldly and religious holidays, are offered at low prices.
Among the many festivals of the Salento province it should be mentioned: “te lu mieru” in Carpignano – the “Municeddha” Cannole – “te lu fish” in the port Cesario “- the” sausage “in Taurisano – the” frisella “Maglie -” taranta “in Salve etc ….
Common denominators of these festivals, in addition to food, is the wine and music and in fact it is on these occasions that you can watch the best groups of pinches of Salento. About the latter, it must-have for years been the appointments of “Notte della Taranta” between plucks and swirling dances, flow together thousands of people, attracted by the charm of the tarantula and its mysteries.
The rhythm of the tambourine bewitches and purifies the soul, in the air dance passion of the senses, the pinch is magic and power of the primordial vibration chase away evil that restless man. The music envelops the sensual movements of courtship and becomes rhythmic cadence of ancient disputes.
It is a therapeutic dance that originated in the ancient rite of healing tarantate, Exorcism could in any event also take place in private, in the home, with the help of drums, violins, harmonicas and other instruments music. The patient (tarantata) danced for hours in the grip of epilepsy caused by the poison, until exhausted, stramazzava to the ground unconscious, allowing them to rest temporarily; the torment of poison was not in fact finished on time and was felt to occur next summer.
TRADITIONS OF CRAFTSMEN
Salento boasts a glorious and centuries-old tradition in the field of ‘crafts.
Beautiful things homemade resisted all ‘advent of machines and technologies and today represent a real asset for the whole peninsula.
One of the oldest arts and notes is that of papier-mâché.
Production is typically Lecce and is obviously linked to the sacred representations.
Christs, angels, saints, Madonnas and cribs, plaster coated or wax and enriched with vibrant colors are true masterpieces.
Even today, in the Salento, it has vivid memories of the most celebrated of these masters of papier mache, Pietro dei Cristi, so named precisely because of its specialization.
Other typical processes are wicker, rattan and marsh plants: even today in countries some features of the housewives and farmers are completed with the ‘help of cane baskets, straw and marine rush that serve to transport and store products of the earth, to sift, to dry the pasta homemade.
In Salento it is also booming the ‘art of fabric, lace and embroidery. Surat, also in the province of Lecce, has an ancient tradition of Saracen origin, in weaving made of wool or raw cotton.
Galatina, however should be famous for its distinctive lace nicknamed “tatting”.
Ears and shells are the favorite figure.
Maglie is a center of some importance for the embroidery.
To understand the history and identity of a people is necessary to get closer to his kitchen.
The Salento cuisine is a simple and poor kitchen but at the same time, healthy and nutritious, its flavors are strong and often home-made, but genuine, have captured the attention of tourists.
Among the most characteristic food breaks down into “pieces”, a stew of horse meat in spicy sauce, and pitta potatoes (low pizza stuffed potato puree with onions, capers, black olives, tomatoes, and other ingredients) , ciceri and trya (a paste and chickpeas where part of the homemade pasta is fried and added to the end).
U purpu the piñata would be cooked stewed octopus and scapece (anchovies or sardines with breadcrumbs and marinade of vinegar with saffron), are examples of fish dishes, as well as the tajeḍḍa rice, potatoes and mussels.
Also typical bread with olives called puccia. As for the gastronomy “walking”, the country is made up of a thin sheet (baked) containing a mixture of mozzarella, tomato, white sauce and pepper.
Other typical food are the friseḍḍeo Lumber, of toasted bread donuts up to a consistency of great hardness, made with wheat flour or barley (recently also spelled) and cut in half cooking in a horizontal direction, which is softened by brief immersion in water and then seasoned with olive oil, salt and tomato.
A tourist attraction also act pittule, squared / spherical pancakes whose mixture can also be enriched with tomatoes and capers, anchovies, cauliflower, turnips.
Very popular is the pastry, more like that of Sicily to the Puglia, in which stand out the pasticciotto Lecce (pastry stuffed default form of custard), the fruttone (similar in shape to pasticciotto, with the difference that the top is covered in chocolate and inside there is a pastry made from almond paste with quince jam or above), the lady’s kisses, the almond (typical Easter pastry is the lamb of almond paste with the stuffing faldacchiera or perata), the spumone Salento, mustazzoli cupeta and more.