Vincent Maria Brunetti – Vincent City

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

What I would like to tell you would seem like a fairy tale that begins with: “Once upon a time.” But, in reality, this fantastic place really exists and the protagonist is an artist who lives in Guagnano, 20km from Lecce. He can be seen in the distance, hidden among vineyards and olive trees, a “sacred” and peaceful place, where art comes to life: Vincent Maria Brunetti house, better known as VINCENT CITY. The hermitage is a cross between Gaudi’s architecture and the house of Hansel and Gretel: a place out of time, where art becomes balm for the soul. Here the beauty is rich in colours, shades, where each line gives face to the artist’s feelings, embroidering his ideas, his thoughts, set like colorful gems along the entrance walls. A place intended to tell the interior world of its imaginative creator: mosaics, icons, sculptures and paintings decorate the building.

Vincent Eremo
Vincent Eremo ©

Life of Vincent Maria Brunetti

Vincent Maria Brunetti
Vincent Maria Brunetti

Vincent Maria Brunetti, one of the most emblematic figures of the southern artistic panorama, also called the “dragonfly of the south“, is one of the few painters who has made his life a protest, who has managed to free himself from the “system” and the grip of gallery owners, critics and artistic and cultural associations, building his little kingdom.

Artist, painter, sculptor born in Guagnano (LE) on 3 December 1950, he was struck by polio at a young age and managed to recover his strength thanks to the treatment of Mariano Orrico, creator of “Lamina Bior”, according to whom any kind of disease can be defeated by the principle of static electricity. Precisely thanks to this method Brunetti was able to recover his joy of living, which today he manages to express through his propitiatory dance. Brunetti was a bohemian artist in Milan, where in 1970 he was awarded the Ambrogio d’oro. His art was appreciated and encouraged by Giacomo Manzù and Arnaldo Pomodoro who welcomed him as an apprentice in his workshop. He then went on a spiritual retreat during which he had an inspiration and, returning to Salento, in 1993 he built Vincent City.

The construction of the structure caused many difficulties from a bureaucratic point of view and the artist was arrested for illegal construction. However, the conviction did not stop him and his “house” is currently a constantly evolving construction site. Here the artist welcomes hundreds of enthusiasts and curious people on a monthly basis who, in addition to visiting the house-museum, purchase his works and often enjoy the spectacle that the master’s creativity and healthy madness provide. His smile involves and captures. He seems to release an intense energy, the energy that Vincent says he possessed after polio. Many define him as an eccentric and exuberant artist, some consider him a skilled entrepreneur, others do not approve of his abusive condition, but Brunetti certainly appears to be an over-the-top character around whose figure hovers an aura of charm which is the key to success of him.

Vincent Maria Brunetti
Vincent Maria Brunetti


Visiting the house museum and meeting Vincent, a crazy and extraordinary character, was a unique experience. A meeting with Vincent Maria Brunetti is not just a meeting with an eclectic and extravagant artist but it is a meeting with a soul. After living and working for more than 20 years in Milan, he decided to abandon the corrupt and commodified life of the metropolis, to return to his bright Salento, where today he leads a hermit’s life. “I felt the need to isolate myself to understand myself better, to know and thus to give the best of myself to others… in the form of art”.

Completely uninterested in the outside world, Vincent’s only goal is for the people who frequent his house to enjoy beauty. Every day is a day open to happiness, a daily adventure for a journey which, as he himself confided to me, will end in 2090 (when he will go away flying!).

1. Who is Vincent Maria Brunetti? How did this name come about?

“The name Vincent was born (it was attributed to me) by a gallery owner from Milan, Roberto Margara, who I had known since I was 23-24 years old, then I had an existential crisis following a car accident and from there, I moved away from Milan for a long time. Once this bad period passed, I returned and met this gallery owner again, who promised me that we would have an exhibition of paintings. He told me that another name would be needed for the exhibition: Vincent (most likely in memory of the great Vincent Van Gogh). The exhibition was no longer held, but that name remained in my heart. Since then all the people who lived near my house and family members started calling me that! It all started as a joke… and now I can no longer betray this reality!”

2. How did the need to build the hermitage, his house, arise?

“After I had the existential crisis, I lived 10 years of mystical, religious life. I faced negative realities, even with the church system. I dreamed of a colorful church, where there was no suffering, I had a glorious vision of faith; instead of seeing Jesus crucified, see Jesus risen. So in this resurrection I had the idea of creating for him, a new church full of colors, which contrasts with the old.

I am “son of the new” I cannot stand on the already made of another. On this plot of land I saw a “new world”, I imagined it and from there I saw the town with the church which however I consecrated to art. Pope Wojtyla gave me the idea when he said that one day the world will be guided by artists; that is, an artist king, a king who is close to his people, who is like humble people. Humility, therefore the ability to do something for others, to step outside of myself to broaden my soul towards humanity, therefore I have overcome all human things, earthly law. I even overcame poverty, because art made me a prince!

I am aware of who I am, I am aware of the breadth of my soul. I did everything illegally, when it could still be done, because the Lord God predestined me in all the stages of my life. And this is the most beautiful expression of freedom, that is, the artist is a free, unconditioned king. I built the house just for art, once upon a time artists worked for nobles, for popes, for kings in order to create. I did it alone with my own strength, so art for art’s sake! The paintings are like children for me, who go into the world to expand my need for beauty, to be touched by others too. The paintings are like sentinels, positive bombs that come in to immunize all the rottenness that is around.”

3. What does art represent for you? How did this passion arise?

“…I was 8 years old, my father was in France working, it was 1958. One evening my mother (she drew models because she was a seamstress) traced the profile of a human face with a pencil on a piece of paper. It was a shock for me. It was the first time I saw someone draw and from there I swore to myself that when I grew up I would be an artist. At 13 I was sent to boarding school and there were 4 subjects: mechanics, bookbinding, electronics and photography. I chose photography, but my professor Pompeo Melotti, also an artist, learned that I was passionate about drawing. From here I began to have a passion for art… he was born like this, because it had to happen!”

Then he continues: “Art represents everything! I gave my life for art. I continuously cultivated the cult of beauty, I had healthy, clean role models, thanks also to my educators who were Christians. I turned off materiality to raise the spirit. When I discovered the life of the spirit, of the soul, my life changed. And then I had a dream, to be happy! All my friends in Milan said that you can’t be happy, that happiness is a moment. I said no! If it is true that happiness exists, it means that it must exist, it’s just a matter of finding it! The key is in the Gospel, therefore, in the resurrection. Sacrifice is a moment, like childbirth which is momentarily painful, but which later becomes happiness with the birth of a new life.”

4. What do you want to express or inspire through his paintings?

Interest in art. We have a system in Italy where art is not contemplated, because it is thought that you can’t eat with art, that artists are crazy and that art is only for intellectuals. For me, painting means creating, arousing emotions and by doing so I involve people in the creative act, in fact it seems as if they were intoxicated, they enter into catalepsy. My aim is to make her relax, to make her fall in love with artistic beauty through chromotherapy, which is life-saving. So the purpose is therapeutic, it is medicine for the soul.”

5. How much influence has Salento, a land rich in history, art and culture, had on your creativity?

It was precisely the distance from his native land that encouraged Vincent Maria Brunetti to “inflame” his palette, full of the colors of his beloved land. “Of course! When I was in Milan, yes… the paintings were colorful because I brought Salento inside me, since Milan was very grey. The fact that God chose Salento to create my home is prophetic. Here, always in close contact with nature, the new will be born, that is me, and it is here that I will guide everyone towards freedom!”

Vincent Eremo
Vincent Eremo

The hermitage of Vincent Maria Brunetti

His intimate need for isolation arises from the desire to explore himself, understand himself, know himself and give to others the purest and truest essence of himself. He lives far from the chaotic and spasmodic, frenetic and depersonalized life and moreover his art is an antidote capable of alleviating all this. And it is right here, in the heart of Salento, in that peace that only nature can offer, that Vincent’s hermitage was born, an imaginary city, an indescribable, colourful, “strange” place, with a kitsch taste, as most would say, made with recycled materials and with the fruit of the extremely crazy genius of this artist who has fascinated Salento and beyond with his vicissitudes since ’93.

Vincent Eremo
Vincent Eremo

It is a happy island where the artist manages to find inspiration for his works. Creativity, lightness and beauty, are the messages that are reflected in these works. His house is a place open to all those who want to browse and admire his creations. It is an important point of reference for those who still love beauty and everything clean and honest that comes from the heart and hands of man, which allows for true psychic relaxation, a “collective catharsis” for numerous art lovers , who is defined as “a divinity who needs his prophets.”

The hermitage is an enchanted place, somewhere between fairy-tale and disturbing but it has a particular charm. Everything it contains seems to make no sense but is extremely bizarre and unusual. Furthermore, it is rich in works of art present outside and inside, almost acting as a guard, preventing modernity from entering and upsetting the much desired balance. Some might find them excessive and redundant, but unquestionably attractive and original! In the house museum you can find “everything juxtaposed with everything”. The sacred and the profane, as demonstrated by the reproductions of works of religious subjects, juxtaposed with those of pagan statues. There is, in fact, a double aspect of Vincent Maria Brunetti’s personality: a very strong faith and a strong propensity for freedom and independence.

In fact, one can find transpositions of the Statue of Liberty, the Christian Madonnas, the twin towers, Venus emerging from the waters, flowers, animals, as well as landscapes, poems, even soft toys, which are placed next to the faces of the greats of history, so to give a more “playful” touch. It’s impossible not to notice the many bright decorations and mysterious, often cryptic phrases printed on the walls. Every corner of the house is rich in meanings, poems and details that move away from rigid linear patterns, managing to surprise visitors. An extraordinary color and stylistic variety of tiles, used for flooring or for the composition of mosaics, which represent a puzzle capable of drawing you into a magical enchantment, together with paintings depicting oriental characters and still lifes. The mosaics that cover every surface of the space are, in reality, the work of Orodè Deoro.

The artist lived in the “Vincent City” for three years, dedicating himself to pictorial art and experimentation with ceramic mosaic. Deoro’s permanent works are many: The Triumph of Bacchus, Posters, Donna Ulivo and Mediterranean wave, Mondoperapocalistoria (unfinished work), the penultimate supper and many others. The permanent exhibition of Brunetti’s works is organized inside, together with the art gallery of his paintings for sale.

Vincent Eremo
Vincent Eremo ©

Peter Pan from Salento welcomes spectators, sitting on a stool intent on painting, running here and there, in a strong need for freedom.

That freedom that is hidden in the heart of every man and on his “flight” expresses the desire to free himself from the weight of matter carried by dance music that can also be heard from the stree .

Vincent Maria Brunetti’s studio is bright and sunny, with all the tools of the trade at hand.

Day after day, Vincent Maria Brunetti’s hermitage grows on itself, arousing amazement and perplexity. Guagnano, which wanted to demolish everything under the accusation of illegal building, must today admit that it is one of its greatest attractions. Vincent Maria Brunetti is not only the well-known and extravagant artist who created everything from nothing, but he is a singular combination of genius and (un)regulation! Vincent Maria Brunetti may not have been, of course, capable of changing the world, but he created a new one, an alternative one, where everything is recycled or is recycled, where he is the undisputed sovereign and his paintings and his art are the guardians of kingdom.

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Until you see it, you don’t believe such a place could exist. An enchanted, magical place, full of stories and mysteries, which revolve around what it once was, a private property largely unattended and left to rot, a chest broken into and abandoned to its fate, a heritage of humanity that of humanity it retains only the traces yellowed by time. Here, in the countryside of Veglie and at the crossroads between the four fiefdoms of Nardò, Avetrana, San Pancrazio Salentino and Salice Salentino, on the edge of a hill overlooking the sea of Torre Lapillo, in the heart of the Arneo, stands Monteruga, now reported only from rusty road signs, the ghost town in the heart of Salento uninhabited since the 1980s.


History of Monteruga

All the history, experience, peculiarities of Salento and its people seem to be represented by this place.

  • It was born in the fascist era, when farms and agricultural companies flourished throughout Salento which were supposed to lead to the autonomy of the town.
  • Hectares of uncultivated land which since the 1950s have been made available by farmers willing to move here with their family. The village has older origins, rising around what was a fortified farm, it took on its current appearance in the fascist era.
  • What was just a farm, under the management of the S.E.B.I. electricity company. (Società Elettrica per Bonifiche e Irrigazioni, which later became ENEL) became a real town, which permanently had 800 inhabitants, divided into 100/150 families; it experienced its splendor in the 1950s, with the cultivation of tobacco and the production of wine, becoming above all a destination for people, in particular farmers from the surrounding areas, who moved here in search of work and fortune.
  • A self-sufficient community was created, which in a short time due to economic problems that affected the company that owned the town, was sold to private individuals and from here its decline began: the farm was privatized, the village emptied and the inhabitants they moved to nearby cities.

Local products

In Monteruga tobacco, oil and wine were produced, and the ruins bear witness to this: a wine factory, on whose walls there was a fascist slogan, useful, it was said, to encourage workers to work: “He who drinks wine lives longer than a doctor who forbids it.” Walking through the streets of this abandoned town, you can see the church of Sant’Antonio Abate (patron saint of the place), the bowling green, the farmers’ houses, the barracks, the garages, the administrative offices, the school, the oil mill , the tobacco factory and the other agricultural products grown in the same land, by the farmers and settlers who reached this place from all the Salento areas, even from Capo di Leuca.


Traditions of the Monteruga town

But Monteruga wasn’t just work. A large family, where every moment of life was shared. In the summer, children from the summer camps also arrived to bring joy and happiness, there were large outdoor parties, we put on make-up and went for walks.

The saints were celebrated, as was appropriate. Sant’Antonio Abate was the patron saint of Monteruga, and every year, on January 17, a large procession passed through the village. In the memories of those who lived that place, the beauty of that day seems unforgettable, especially for those who were children at the time and received a leather ball or a doll as a gift for the occasion.

Also indelible are the memories linked to the annual procession in honor of Corpus Domini, when the women, as a sign of devotion, hung their trousseau on wires in the street, laboriously embroidered in the few hours of rest. They were beautiful moments, in which social and role differences were canceled out, and we were all together: settlers, farmers, administrators. Love was born in Monteruga, people got married, children were raised, but they didn’t die. Funerals were not celebrated here, as if only the triumph of life should prevail.

The town houses


Each family had its own house, all but one with a shared outdoor bathroom. The settlers’ houses, a bedroom and the kitchen, were arranged in a row and followed each other along the three sides of the large portico that surrounded the main square, following the rule “one door, one family“. Far from these homes, the primary school teacher’s house, built in that place to guarantee what at the time was defined as “moral hygiene”.

Monteruga today

Today, Monteruga is one of the most famous Ghost Towns in Italy. It is no longer that town full of life and populated by dynamic and industrious people, but presents itself as a deserted and abandoned place. Its buildings are still standing but they appear gloomy and full of nostalgia for what once was.

Despite the external signs that delimit private property, and the disturbing and desolate scenario that presents itself, many curious people still venture into this forgotten corner and piece of Salento in the land of Arneo, to explore this “glimpse of the past“, which continues to live, despite its sad history, and to show its most peculiar characteristics to all those who practice and love the so-called “abandonment tourism“, or the pleasure that can be felt by visiting all those ghost places that dot our territory.

The atmosphere of the abandoned square recalls the many films with apocalyptic scenarios. It seems that the town was abandoned from one moment to the next and that nature is taking over its spaces inexorably.

However, the beauty of the village has never ceased to enchant visitors and if Monteruga has had to deal with depopulation and the loss of the vitality offered by its inhabitants, today it appears permeated by a ghostly and nostalgic charm.

Salento is known throughout the world, not only for the beauty of its places and the richness of its monuments but also for the charm of its popular traditions. Salento folklore keeps its traditions alive, not only through the memory of the events that once took place in these places, and continues to feel alive and relevant. The Salento pizzica and the tarantate represent a cross-section of life of yesterday and today, they are the pride of the people who live in these places who manage, in a very natural and spontaneous way, to reconcile a globalized world with their own local identity.

The pizzica phenomenon starts from the rediscovery and valorization of Salento popular music, they take on great social and cultural importance, managing to bring together thousands of people in the squares dragged by the sound of the tambourine and hypnotized by the pressing rhythm of the ballads. Pizzica have become a reason for everyone to meet together, young people, the elderly and children, on the streets, in the squares or on the beaches, to rediscover the beauty of small things and simple gestures, to experience moments of union and to communicate with others instinctively, forgetting about everyday problems.

It takes the form of a relief valve, which, in the form of dances and songs, releases all the frustrations accumulated during one’s daily life from one’s body.

Salento Pizzica
Salento Pizzica ©

The meaning of the Salento pizzica

It is a popular dance and like all “popular arts” it is born and develops in the people and from their suffering. Its roots probably lie in the ancient Dionysian rites of our ancestors and, over the centuries, in the Middle Ages they merged into tarantism. Tarantism is a historical religious phenomenon that has since spread throughout the Salento peninsula until the 18th century and beyond.

It was on the hot and sultry days of June, that some women (mainly women) were stung by the tarantula during the harvest (the wheat harvest) and the resulting reaction was a state of malaise, agitation, and of restlessness, symptoms that were relieved only through the sound of the tambourine or violin. The word then spread and the musicians gathered in the house of the unfortunate woman and, at the incessant rhythm of their various instruments, tried to understand which rhythm reawakened the spirit of the taranta. The attarantata then could dance or simply agitate wildly, even for several days, until once calmed down she could be said to have recovered.

In 1700, the cult of Saint Paul spread in Galatina who, according to belief, healed those who had suffered: every year the appointment was in Galatina in the chapel of Saint Paul on 29 June. Here the attarantate from all over Salento came to be healed by drinking the blessed water from the well adjacent to the chapel, accompanied by musician-therapists. They danced the pizzica, letting themselves be carried away by the sound of the tambourine and violins, mimicking the movements of the tarantula, free from conditioning. Everything was represented to the point of excess, the state of depression and agitation, the hysteria, the state of torpor, the screams. But in the end the Saint performed the miracle.

Role of pizzica as a popular phenomenon

The period of the tarantate was naturally the summer one, but as the phenomenon and the music entered the Salento folklore, the pizzica began to be played, sung and danced all year round on every public or festive occasion. The “tarantate” were then replaced by girls in folk costumes, experts in this seductive dance. Born therefore from the pagan rite of the exorcism of the “tarantate“, the pizzica has progressively acquired autonomy as a rhythmic and musical form, and above all as a popular phenomenon.

Of the original pizzica only three forms remain alive today:

  • the pizzica taranta or pizzica-pizzica: it is danced in pairs, not necessarily made up of individuals of the same sex;
  • the pizzica de core: danced by a man and a woman together;
  • the pizzica scherma: danced only by men.

The last curiosity regarding the Salento pizzica is the handkerchief: it seems, in fact, that it does not belong to the dance tradition, but that it was added later, as an ornament. The dancers’ hands filled with the red of its fabric to add color to the choreography of an already overwhelming dance. Regardless of what its true story may be, the red of that handkerchief is certainly an emblematic symbol of a strong and instinctive feeling, like the love and passion of which it is the banner.

Salento pizzica today: the Notte della Taranta in Melpignano

It is difficult, in recent years, to identify a party or festival, especially in the summer period, that does not include the performance of groups of pizzica players and dancers in its variations. It is therefore even more difficult to list the important events that renew the charm of this rhythm and this dance: some of the most important events take place in Melpignano, Acaya Torrepaduli, Galatina, to which tourists and curious people flock from all over Italy to meet the experts musicians (tambourine players, violinists, guitarists, cupa cupa players…) and dancers from Salento.

On August 26th in Melpignano the spider pinches Salento with the “Notte della Taranta” which is the largest festival in Italy and one of the most significant manifestations of popular culture in Europe, over 100,000 spectators invade the town every year for a unique event of its kind.

The pizzica tells the story of a people, the simple way of life, the customs, the beliefs; we dance united by a ritual that transcends generations, to feel part of a community, to integrate, to communicate with gestures, for play or for love, to touch each other without even touching. The Salento pizzica is magic, it is liberation, it is madness, it is a game of glances and bodies that chase each other, it is cosmic dance and a riot of sounds and colours. If you want to understand a people, listen to their music… what is pizzica if not the beat of Salento?

Those born in Salento hardly forget it… It’s a sort of magical contagion, something that remains in your blood, even if life with its experiences takes you thousands of kilometers away. There are many testimonies of this magical land that is Salento, particularly in the music of many artists born here. Artists of the caliber of Alessandra Amoroso, Emma Marrone, Negramaro, Sud Sound System and many others who have become famous far from their homeland, who never miss an opportunity to reiterate how much they are still linked to Salento, describing with ecstasy the culinary delights that have characterized the their childhood and the wonderful places that were the setting for their youth.

Salento Pizzica
Salento Pizzica ©

Music of the soul: pizzica and taranta

  • There are melodies that are inextricably linked to the territories from which they come, a type of music that in recent years is making itself known to an ever-increasing number of people, fascinating everyone with its hypnotic rhythm, an ideal background for a landscape made up of expanses of olive trees, sun, fertile red earth and sea as far as the eye can see: the pizzica.
  • Salento is also a reminder and attraction for its sounds, its songs and its dances; homeland of the culture of “tarantismo“, i.e. the culture of the “taranta“. The taranta is a spider that inhabits the countryside of Salento and according to ancient and popular beliefs it bit, or rather pinched (from this the music and dance of the “pizzica” takes its name) the poor peasants who put their foot between the stones or the ‘grass.
    The only way to heal from this bite, which caused severe pain and irregular movements throughout the body, was to dance to the rhythm of the music, to the rhythm of pizzica. The pizzica was therefore born as a “healing” dance from the bite of the taranta.

The Notte della Taranta is the largest music festival dedicated to pizzica, traveling in Salento in August, with a final evening in Melpignano, where the Orchestra Popolare plays directed by concert masters of the caliber of Stewart Copeland, Ambrogio Sparagna, Ludovico Einaudi and Goran Bregovic and the great Pino Zimba to whose name the Salento pizzica is immediately attributed. Numerous groups promote pizzica around the world, such as Officina Zoè, the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, the Ghetonìa, the Tamburellisti of Torrepaduli.

History of Salento popular music

  • To know and understand the origins of these rhythms we must start from the 1960s, when emigration became a truly mass phenomenon. Thousands of Salento people went everywhere in search of work and better living conditions, moving away from their cultural context of origin.
  • In the meantime, two important abandonments occurred: the progressive abandonment of the lands and the abandonment of tarantism. In short, tarantism was condemned by the new generations, increasingly attentive to new cultural proposals and less and less interested in learning the stories, songs and sounds of tradition from their fathers. The latter, having acknowledged this, began a real phenomenon of retreat into private life, who tenaciously continued to sing, play, tell stories, produce musical instruments, but they were few and they did so mostly in private contexts. and for passion. Thanks to these people, the phenomenon of rediscovery began.
  • Some of these young people rediscovered the songs in a political key, given the 70s a period of movements, protests, ideologies that now pervaded the minds and hearts of many young people: communism and socialism.
    In short, from this multifaceted and heterogeneous cultural congeries, in the wake of the success of the Nuovo Canzoniere Italiano, the Salentino Folk Group was born first, then the Nuovo Canzoniere del Salento and finally the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino.
  • Between the 1980s and the early 2000s the first concerts of Salento popular music groups began, even outside the Apulian territory, due to the increasingly numerous requests for ethnic music, since popular music festivals began to flourish throughout Italy, such as the famous Folk Island of Bergamo, the popular music festival of Forlimpopoli or the Pisa Folk Festival.

Salento reggae

Salento has found itself at the center of tourist attention, for numerous reasons. First of all because the path of rediscovery of popular music and local traditions intrigued numerous scholars, who went to Salento to analyze a very peculiar phenomenon: festivals, parties and squares invaded by people eager to play, sing and revive old popular music. Therefore, until a few years ago, Salento tourism was predominantly “ethnic” and, in any case, aimed at learning about local traditions.

Another reason that brought fame to Salento is linked to reggae music. Salento reggae was born at the end of the 80s, this story coincides with the story of a group of boys (who later became Sud Sound System) and their unconditional love for Reggae music, in that land, Salento, so far away from the so-called “circuits” and at the same time so rich in culture and traditions.

But, as often happens, the history of Salento reggae is not geographically limited to the province of Lecce, it is in fact intertwined with that of the squats in Bologna, the city where most of the group’s members resided for study purposes. Here at the end of ’88 the young people of Salento gave life to mythical street apparitions under the porticoes of via Avasella 12 and in the occupied premises of the newly founded Isola Nel Cantiere.

Also in Bologna another parenthesis of Salento reggae opened: with Treble on guitar and vocals, Gopher on drums and Giorgio Pizzi on bass, the Rough Ryders were born in October ’89, a band that toured the universities they were under occupation in Bologna. Only one demo of theirs remains, which cannot be found today (One Blood).

Later, other reggae music groups in Salento would develop such as Boomdabash, Mama Marias, Ghetto Eden and many others.

Music profiles

Following the rediscovery of Salento folk songs, the traditional music of Salento has continued to tell stories and numerous revival groups have been formed over the years.

  • On a textual level, the example of the Aramirè group (Salento music company) is significant, as they have given wide prominence to current social issues.
  • An artist who grew up in peasant society and subsequently matured artistically and culturally, so much so that she has become a sort of synthesis between musical evolution and memory, is Anna Cinzia Villani.
  • On the musical profile, the project of the Mascarimirì group is interesting, which links pizzica-pizzica to other musicalities (gypsy, oriental, dub, etc.). Mascarimirì are also committed to the recovery of traditional sounds by combining sound research with the criticism of the banalization of popular music.
  • Also on the musical profile, emphasis should be given to the Officina Zoè group, which has been able to evolve Salento popular music by proposing traditional but at the same time new sounds.
  • On the musical and textual profile, the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, founded in 1975 by Rina Durante, deserves great attention. The proposed song is despicable not only for the text, but also because the video was shot in the ACAIT headquarters in Tricase.
  • Great attention deserves Mino De Santis, a Salento singer-songwriter originally from Tuglie, who was able to analyze pieces of life, habits and customs by skilfully mixing the use of dialect and Italian in his singing.
  • Finally, a mention deserves the showman Andrea Baccassino, from Nardò who chose to tell plausible stories, with funny lyrics and using famous songs as a basis, obviously in dialect.

Salento artists


Once again Salento, land of pizzica, but also of reggae, jazz and pop, proves to be a fertile land for the birth of musical innovations to be exported to the national territory and there are many people from Salento who have become famous in the musical field.

  • Negramaro, a Salento group that takes its name from wine and grape variety. Over the years, the successes for this Italian pop rock band have been countless: they have participated in national and international music festivals, they have seen their songs adopted as soundtracks for films, documentaries and television commercials; have recorded musical pieces in the United States. It was the first Italian band to hold a concert at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
  • Emma Marrone became famous between 2009 and 2010, after her victory on Amici. Emma is from Salento and lived for most of her life in Aradeo with her parents of Salento origins; she herself feels and defines herself as Leccese. Contributing to her success was her victory at the 62nd Sanremo Italian Song Festival, in 2012, with the song “Non è l’inferno”.
  • Dolcenera is the stage name adopted by Emanuela Trane. She was born in Galatina and lives in Scorrano in the province of Lecce together with her parents and younger brother. Her first success dates back to 2003 with the victory of the 53rd edition of the Sanremo Festival with the song Siamo tutti là fuori”.
  • Alessandra Amoroso, born in Galatina and lived in Lecce, achieved success in 2009 by participating in the talent show Amici di Maria De Filippi. Sandra’s abilities, as her friends call her, are immediately evident to artists of the caliber of Laura Pausini and Gianni Morandi who show their respect for her.

Salento is a peninsula full of numerous and evocative caves scattered here and there, which can be visited mainly by sea. They all deserve to be visited for the colors or the particular shape of the rocks, creating a beautiful journey inside them, rich in history and nature. Even those who are passionate about trips, excursions and diving, here, can enjoy beautiful glimpses of rock full of niches and cliffs.

Grotta della Poesia
“Grotta della Poesia” ©totajla via Canva

Where are the most beautiful caves in Salento located?

  • Starting from Porto Badisco, a few kilometers from Otranto, we find the Grotta dei Cervi, a natural cavity and ancient place of worship. In reality we are talking about a series of connected caves, full of Neolithic pictograms depicting hunters and prey.
  • We arrive at Santa Cesarea Terme, a place famous for the sulphurous waters of the caves which, mixing with those of the sea, have created caves with important therapeutic properties.
  • Leaving Santa Cesarea we reach Castro, where we find rocks overlooking the sea where you can swim right near the best-known cave in Salento. The Zinzulusa Cave, so called due to the presence of karst formations and stalactites (“zinzuli“, in dialect) which create a particular environment. A large opening opens in the middle of the rock, ready to welcome numerous visitors; it extends underground for 160 meters and also houses numerous prehistoric finds.
  • A little further on we find Grotta Romanelli, full of prehistoric finds, it preserves traces dating back to Neanderthal man together with many graffiti.
  • Going further south in the Leuca area, we find Grotta Porcinara, 15m high and 30m deep, which can be accessed by land. This cavity, half dug by man, is also a place of worship. Rich in Latin and Greek inscriptions, artefacts from the Bronze Age have been found there.
  • Not far away is the Devil’s Cave due to the noises due to the refraction of the wave motion inside it.
  • Grotta Tre Porte was so called due to the 3 large openings onto the sea. In this there is the Child’s Cave, a tunnel in which a bone fragment dating back to Neanderthal man was found, belonging to a child.
  • A few meters from the latter opens the Grotta dei Giganti. This cave has brought to light a 10th century burial and fragments of the Mousterian culture.
  • We then find scattered here and there, many other caves such as the Grotta del Presepe, the Grotta del Drago, the Grotta Cipollina, and finally the Grotta degli Innamorati, the Grotta della Stalla and the Grotta del Fiume.
  • On the other side, overlooking the Adriatic Sea, in the Roca Vecchia area, an important historical testimony is given by the Grotta della Poesia. It is said that a beautiful princess bathed here and was an inspiration to many poets who dedicated verses and poems to her. The walls of the cave have remained intact over the years, as have the historical inscriptions inside which, together with the crystal clear sea that surrounds it, make this place unique.
  • Another cave near San Foca is the Lovers’ Cave, so called because two lovers once found refuge there.

Salento is beautiful not only in summer; every period of the year tells us something about this land rich in ancient events and traditions, all to be discovered. If you are on holiday in Salento in January and you like traditional festivals, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in one of the most characteristic festivals in the world: the “Focara”. The Focara of Novoli is the most awaited annual event of the winter Salento, steeped in folklore, popular religiosity with an extraordinary setting of music, art, entertainment and food and wine.

Novoli Focara
Novoli Focara ©

Origins of the festival

The event has very ancient origins, as also demonstrated by the Novoli Fire Museum, inaugurated in 2015, which tells of the importance that fire had for the peasant community. On this date, in fact, in many centers in Salento, the founder of oriental monasticism, protector of animals and healer of herpes zoster, commonly called “St. Anthony’s fire“, is celebrated in a particular way. In honor of the saint, each district raises its own bonfire made of freshly pruned vine shoots which in Salento are called “franzuie” or also “sarmente“. At dusk of the festival, it soon becomes a place for abundant local barbecues.

Preparation of Novoli Focara

Novoli’s Focara is the most spectacular bonfire in the entire Mediterranean with a base of 20 meters in diameter and a height of 25, apparently made up of at least 80,000 bundles of vine shoots collected after pruning the vines. The magic of fire attracts everyone, around 200,000 are present waiting for the great event, numbers that give the dimension of how important the event is which is centered around a ritual that has its roots in popular peasant culture, supported by a particularly religious heard.

The festival, organized by the Puglia Region and the municipalities of Lecce and Novoli, with the collaboration of private individuals, is an asset of the intangible culture of Puglia. It participates in the ministerial cataloging for recognition by UNESCO as an intangible heritage asset of humanity.

The Focara di Novoli is prepared starting from the beginning of December, by transporting the vine shoots, the celebrations culminate on 16 and 17 January with the lighting of the Focara, but the festival officially begins at dawn on 7 January, when the farmers begin to stack the bundles of vines, and it ends on January 18th with the “festa te li paesani”.

What happens during the event?

During the morning of the eve of the event, the image of the Saint is hoisted to the top of the pyre with the ritual of “barding“. The parish priest, in the presence of the civil and military authorities, blesses the Focara, starting the celebrations.

The highlight of the show is the lighting of the Focara (16 January), through a fireworks display, with a wonderful series of fireworks. A very long fuse is carried from the entrance of the church to the top of Focara, until the last series of fires lights the pile of wood in the general jubilation.

Novoli Focara
Novoli Focara ©

Every year the builders of the Focara di Novoli undertake to vary its shape, sometimes leaving a central opening, called “the gallery“, which during the procession is crossed by the procession accompanying the statue of the saint.

Music, artistic performances, painting and photography exhibitions, food and wine events and exhibitions, book presentations, meetings and debates enliven the event and cloak it with a high cultural depth, capable of reinterpreting the ritual, a reason for pride for all of Salento.

In the name of music around the fire, the Focara Festival has consolidated over the years and has seen renowned artists parade on stage. An example are Vinicio Capossela, Eugenio Bennato, Caparezza and Enzo Avitabile

The celebration continues in the following days with other important rites including the blessing of the animals, the solemn mass in honor of the Saint, and the procession; the blessing of the animals is a very important moment since, being a people of peasant origin and Saint Anthony being of humble origins, he was considered the protector of animals.

The mass

Great turnout and participation are seen during the mass in honor of the Protector Saint during which the “sandwiches of St. Anthony” are distributed, which, according to tradition, have the power to bring physical and spiritual healing.

At the end of the mass, the procession of Saint Anthony begins with the statue of the Saint, carried on the shoulders of the devotees followed by the crowd of faithful.

The procession has undergone some changes over time. In fact, years ago, many people completed the entire procession route barefoot, probably as a sign of gratitude for a grace received. They also held large candles in their hands, forming the so-called ‘nturciata (twisted). During the procession there was the custom of lighting the so-called strascina, that is, a very long battery of fireworks.

The current procession ends with the return of the statue of the Saint to the pizza where it is welcomed by choreographed Bengalatas, at the end of which the statue returns to the church and is placed on a throne adorned with floral decorations.

Typical gastronomy during the Focara di Novoli

Around the Fòcara, between music and dance, the live area will be to be enjoyed with typical local products.

Tradition has it that during the celebrations of January 17th, the feast day of the Patron Saint, both meat and dairy products are banned from the table. We dine on fish, so much so that on the occasion of the event the town has an exceptional fish market. Characteristic is the cod soup with gnocchi and fish scapece, a delicious vinegar marinade seasoned with saffron and breadcrumbs.

To complete lunches and dinners, the tables are adorned with characteristic Salento dishes, such as pittule, purciddhruzzi and cartiddhrate. Everything is accompanied by local wine excellences, Moscato and Negroamaro. The people who gather around the bonfire warm up to the sound of pizzica or enjoy a sandwich with turcinieddrhi (meat).

The Focara di Novoli event is truly a unique, enchanting and magical event. All this is made possible thanks to the union of a primordial element such as fire and the popular Salento tradition.

If you have decided to organize a holiday in Salento in winter, my advice is therefore not to miss it!

In addition to the crystalline sea, the intact landscape, the characteristic views of the coastal towns and the delicious cuisine, Salento boasts an artisanal production that contains the knowledge of the “masters” of the past, of those who made their art a reason for living. Craftsmanship is a global phenomenon, a subject of study, an economic, cultural and social fact; he is capable of retracing the gestures of popular art, but he is also able to re-propose works belonging to historical periods of high artistic value. Salento craftsmanship has been able to keep its traditions alive despite the advent of modernity, managing to preserve its fundamental traits and mix with innovation.

In the contemporary South there is a desire to rediscover the ancient world, the crafts of our ancestors and the old productions made and sold in a small shop in the town square, the fruit of the fervent imagination and golden hands of some master who, assisted by his “disciple”, he creates an art form outside of stereotypes, offering high quality products of inestimable beauty and value, a mirror of popular art.

Papier-mâché processing in Lecce
Papier-mâché processing in Lecce

Papier-mâché: symbol of Salento craftsmanship

The symbol of Salento craftsmanship, particularly in Lecce, is papier-mâché, born as a religious commitment in an environment poised between the sacred and the profane. The first traces of this activity date back to the seventeenth century, but we will have to wait until the nineteenth century to see the full flowering of this art born in the back shops of some Lecce barbers, of those more modest people, who did their best to shape straw and rags by covering them with paper, thus creating the famous statues and sacred figures that we find in many churches in Salento. Despite everything, the “poor masters” had found many clients, in particular among:

  • the clergy, who during the Lutheran heresy needed to bring the faithful closer together through the proposal of Madonnas, Saints and Christs capable of touching the souls of the devotees
  • the nobility, who through these commissions had secured their place in Paradise.

Centuries have passed, but the techniques have remained unchanged. The works still retain the classic forms of sacred statuettes but even more frequent is the representation of nativity figures of various sizes such as, for example, those exhibited at the famous Santa Lucia fair in Lecce. The baroque city represents the center of Salento with the highest percentage of master paper mill makers.


Another typical production of Salento craftsmanship is the processing of terracotta, typical of those towns located in the areas where clay is extracted. The peoples who contributed to the spread of this tradition were the Daunians and the Messapians. Terracotta manufacturing was widespread throughout Salento: plates, bowls, pots and vases were produced from Nardò to Gallipoli, from Cutrofiano (the “Municipal Museum of Ceramics” was inaugurated in 1985) up to Lucugnano di Tricase in Lower Salento, the latter are still important production centers. San Pietro in Lama was famous for the production of “imbreci” (roof tiles).

The workmanship is not limited to the production of household objects, but also of ironic toys such as whistles, bells or the same puppets that continue to animate our nativity scenes. The process followed a mixture of water and clay which was worked on the wheel, then exposed to the sun and finally fired at around 900° C: the resulting yellowish or brick-red artefacts were created due to the presence of iron oxide.

Once “baked”, the masterpieces of the “cutimari” (this is what terracotta artists are called) take various forms including the products mentioned above.

Lecce stone

Lecce baroque
Lecce stone ©ilbusca via Canva

Lecce stone cannot be missing from this list, a yellowish limestone rock that preserves marine and terrestrial fossils within it. It is renowned for its malleability dictated by the presence of clay, which is why it is easily mouldable, soft when cut by the chisel.

Precisely this material, appreciated in the artistic field, has achieved international esteem thanks to the local craftsmanship which is the basis of Lecce Baroque. This precious stone, in fact, sprinkles the facades of the main monuments of the capital: the Palazzo dei Celestini and the adjacent Church of Santa Croce, the Church of Santa Chiara and the Duomo are some examples.

The strong presence in the area of quarries from which the raw material is extracted clarifies the choice to use this stone. In this regard, in Cursi, one of the main municipalities where Lecce stone is extracted, the Ecomuseum was inaugurated in 2000. For those who want to try their hand at this art or even just see with their own eyes what lies behind such splendor, the Agrintour Association organizes tourist-educational itineraries: from September to November and from March to May, the appointment is with the workshops focused on Salento craftsmanship and in particular on the processing of Lecce stone in order to present the territories and bring young people closer to an often forgotten world that could offer interesting satisfactions in starting future activities.

Other typical productions of Salento craftsmanship

  • Among the ancient crafts in Salento, we find the production of fabrics and embroidery, as well as excellently made lace. This, more than a craft, is an art handed down from mother to daughter since in ancient times these creations were conceived for domestic use only, as they were intended for preparing the trousseau of “marriageable daughters”.
  • In the Capo di Leuca area and precisely in Acquarica, marshy areas and reed thickets provide the raw material for the processing of rush or wicker which a few old craftsmen still weave to produce baskets and shopping bags.
  • In ancient times, copper was worked to make quatare and quatarotti (copper pots and cauldrons used in the kitchen), bracieri e scarfalietti (ancient containers with a long handle in which the embers were placed which allowed the beds to be warmed in winter) that could not be missing in every home. Today, certainly replaced by modern steel pans and more advanced heating methods, we find them reproduced for decorative purposes only in some shops in Capo di Leuca.
  • The art of wrought iron, however, has been known nationally since the 16th and 17th centuries for all the decorations of the portals of the palaces and churches of Salento. Even today the working tools are the same: the anvil, the forge that makes the iron soft and malleable, hammers of different shapes that inflict particular scratches on the iron, managing to shape it into the most varied lines. Thus, bed headboards, lamps, andirons, railings are created through the assembly of several pieces, then painted in iron black, which few today still carry out through nailing (replaced by the simpler and more hasty welding).

After having visited the Adriatic coast, and having arrived in Santa Maria di Leuca where “the Ionian Sea embraces the Adriatic one“, we now continue to discover the enchanting Ionian coast of Salento, between paradisiacal beaches of white sand and crystal clear sea, natural parks and pristine reserves, unlike the Adriatic one, mainly of rock formation. Over 100 km of sandy coast, with clear and crystalline waters, awaits us on this tour from Leuca to Punta Prosciutto.

Porto Cesareo
Porto Cesareo ©

The most beautiful beaches along the Ionian coast of Salento

Among the most beautiful beaches on the Ionian coast of Salento are undoubtedly those at Torre dell’Omomorto and Torre Marchiello (Castrignano del Capo), Torre Vado (Morciano di Leuca), Torre Pali (Salve), Torre Mozza and Torre San Giovanni (Ugento), Torre Suda (Racale).

  • Torre San Giovanni, a suggestive coastal tower, with its alternating black and white checkered colour, ideally delimits a long beach with emerald reflections, among the most loved by both tourists and local people, which also includes the stretch of coastline that embraces the marina of Torre Mozza. From here you can come across the so-called “Ugento shoals“, basins which represent another extraordinary natural reserve.

Almond trees, prickly pears and centuries-old olive trees accompany streets delimited by dry stone walls that dot the coast and lead up to Gallipoli also called the “pearl of the Ionian“, with the ancient part of the city perched on an island, which exudes the smell of the sea from every stone of which it is made and whose churches all overlook the sea, as if to monitor the fate of the fishermen.

Gallipoli ©Ladiras via Canva
  • Here we find the Mancaversa marina, a coastal stretch that runs for over four kilometers embracing the Li Foggi area up to Punta del Pizzo, including Punta della Suina in the meantime. A paradise for lovers of wild nature, to discover and enjoy especially in the low season. Divided by an islet into two small bays, Punta della Suina is truly a dream setting for perfect holidays.
  • Baia Verde is considered one of the paradises for swimmers, as well as being the beating heart of the intense Gallipoli nightlife. The beaches open onto a white sandy shore bordered by water with emerald reflections, which give the bay its name and flank the Punta Pizzo regional natural park.
  • There is still a stretch of coast that seems to change with the speed with which the wind changes. We are talking about the one that embraces places such as Rivabella, Padula Bianca and Lido Conchiglie. They are considered among the most beautiful beaches on the Ionian coast.
Santa Maria al Bagno
Santa Maria al Bagno ©diegofiore via Canva

In the Nardò area we mention Santa Maria al Bagno. Famous for its spa and Roman port, it is a marina with a vintage aftertaste, dominated by ancient villas from the late nineteenth century. This offers visitors a delightful little beach set in a predominantly rocky coast, accessible from the steps that open into the village square. The little beach is the undisputed kingdom of families with even small children, who can play in complete tranquility and without too much chaos.

There is another beach, mainly dominated by rock, Santa Caterina, where a small bathing establishment and a portion of free beach coexist. It is protected by the “Torre dell’Alto” which dominates it from the “cliff of the Damned” and the 17th century tower of the same name.

The Porto Selvaggio natural park is notable in this area.

The municipality of Nardò also offers a fine sandy beach, called Sant’Isidoro beach. Furthermore there is another bay near Torre Squillace, one of the many watchtowers that dot the Salento coast.

Among the favorite destinations for tourists, going up towards the northern part of the Ionian coast, there is Porto Cesareo. Is is considered on par in beauty with various Caribbean destinations, with its very long coastline equipped beaches overlooked by an archipelago of islets. The best known of them is the “Rabbit Island” (Isola dei Conigli).

The Ionian coast of Salento is among the most beautiful summer destinations for those who want a holiday dedicated to the sea, fun and good food.

The Adriatic coast, and in particular that of Salento, represents an authentic treasure chest of inestimable value; therefore a unique opportunity to be discovered, especially in summer when you travel by car, in the name of freedom and carefreeness.

Summer holidays on the Adriatic coast of Salento can fully satisfy tourists of all types, from couples to families with children, from young people looking for fun to those who simply want to relax.

Salento, as is known, overlooks both the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea, and it is precisely for this reason that this strip of Puglia is considered a truly unique territory. It is truly impossible to say which is the most beautiful coast of Salento, the Adriatic or the Ionian, since both boast so many breathtaking locations.

There is nothing left to do, therefore, but prepare for your car trip and discover which are the best itineraries in Salento!

Otranto ©EunikaSopotnicka via Canva

The seaside locations not to be missed along the Adriatic coast of Salento

Transparent waters, indescribable scents of Mediterranean scrub, sea caves and coastal towers are just some of the most evocative elements that you can find starting from the marinas of Lecce, such as Torre Rinalda (it is the northernmost marina which takes its name from the tower of the same name Spanish construction, today reduced to a ruin), Torre Chianca, Frigole (stands out for its sand dunes and the Acquatina basin) and San Cataldo (finally hosts a protected area, the Cesine Protected Reserve).

Moving south we find the marinas of Melendugno, San Foca, Torre dell’Orso and Sant’Andrea, each of them has a particularity.

From Otranto the most beautiful beaches of Salento are easily reachable, very close is Baia dei Turchi, so called for a tragic and bloody event, the landing of the Turks during the siege of Otranto and cause of the subsequent domination. The bay is a small beach of very fine sand where the sea is incredibly crystal clear, a wonderful natural landscape which the FAI in 2007 declared to be among the top 100 places to be protected in Italy. It has also been declared a site of community importance (SIC) and is part of the protected oasis of the Alimini lakes.

Torre dell'Orso
Torre San Giovanni ©diegofiore via Canva

The cultural locations along the Adriatic coast

  • Torre Sant’Andrea, a town characterized by a predominantly rocky coast, full of caves and small inlets, takes its name from the tower, where the lighthouse is located, which dominates the small port. Thanks also to the evocative show of lights and colors between sea and sky. It is much loved by tourists thanks to the presence of various clubs that make it one of the nightlife locations on the Adriatic coast.
  • Otranto is a small town located in the easternmost point of Italy, the ancient capital of the earth, which overlooks the Mediterranean with its oriental charm and its crystal clear sea; after passing the inhabited center you reach one of the most spectacular and uncontaminated scenarios of Salento, between the white spit of Punta Facì and the promontory of Capo d’Otranto (dominated by the lighthouse of Punta Palascia, the easternmost point of Italy) it extends the Baia delle Orte, with a series of small sandy coves protected by the pine forest. Nearby there are the “Russian lands”, old abandoned bauxite quarries that have been transformed into lakes of incredible colours.
Punta Balascia lighthouse
Punta Balascia lighthouse ©staraldo via Canva
  • A few kilometers south of Otranto, stands an ancient watchtower: the Torre del Serpe, one of many scattered throughout Salento, built to immediately spot the Saracen threat. Its name is linked to an ancient legend, which envelops the site in a veiled mystery and enveloping charm.
  • Continuing south, we recommend a dip in the small bay of Porto Badisco. Those who come here in summer can enjoy a unique landscape: the bay is covered by the yellow blanket of brooms that sprout on the rocks, reflecting in the green-blue, clear and crystalline sea. In Badisco you can also enjoy the priceless flavor of sea urchins, sold on stalls or in the typical trattorias of the small village.

The most beautiful caves along the Adriatic coast of Salento

  • San Foca is home to the famous Lovers’ Cave, according to legend so called because two young men took refuge there to shelter from the cold north wind. San Foca is a picturesque fishing center that offers a suggestive panorama: on the horizon, when the sky is clear, it is possible to see the outline of the mountains of Albania, about 72 miles away.
  • Torre Dell’Orso is a place loved by numerous visitors who choose it every year to spend their holidays. To the south of the cliff there is the cave of San Cristoforo and even further south, a short distance from the beach, there are two stacks, called “The Two Sisters“. According to legend, the name derives from two sisters who dived from a cliff into the stormy sea, losing their lives and the gods transformed them into stacks, so that they could admire their beauty forever.
  • Just 7 km away you enter the Castro area, in a suggestive setting between the green of the olive trees and an uncontaminated sea, with a jagged coast, with inlets and icy springs. Just before the town the famous Castro caves including the famous Romanelli cave inside which there are red graffiti, the oldest human representations in the field of figurative arts.
  • After a few kilometers Santa Cesarea Terme, a small town perched on the coast, famous for its spas and the beneficial qualities of its waters, and which in its countryside includes 16km of coastline rich in thick pine forests and deep, emerald waters, numerous stacks and coves (of which the most important is that of Porto Miggiano). The most famous cave here is certainly the “Zinzulusa Cave” whose name derives from the dialect “zinzuli” that is, rags, the particular limestone formations that ‘hang’ from the ceiling.

Santa Maria di Leuca: where the journey ends

Santa Maria di Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca ©boerescul via Canva

The journey ends in Santa Maria di Leuca, located precisely at the top of what is the “heel of Italy“, and therefore also called “de finibus terrae“, where it has always been believed that the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea meet. Pearl of the extreme edge of Italy, it lies on a stretch of coast alternating with cliffs and small sandy coves, with caves of great historical and naturalistic interest and the seabed which is a true paradise for underwater tourism.

A hinterland full of history and culture, splendid landscapes to admire, sumptuous and colorful nineteenth-century villas that slope towards the seafront. Leuca stands on a promontory on which the basilica and the lighthouse stand, and from which you can admire the wonderful coast from above and enjoy the spectacle of the sea. Here at the edge of the earth, you look towards the horizon, you are silent and you admire the infinite.

The entire Adriatic coast of Salento is a succession of splendid seaside resorts concentrated in less than 100 km. A car tour is the best solution to have full autonomy when traveling and not miss those places that otherwise cannot be reached by public transport.

Today I would like to take you to the silence of the Salento hinterland, to a quiet place in the greenery to enjoy this moment to the fullest. Immersed in the nature of the warm colors of the Salento countryside, stands the B&B Borgo Fiore Country House, surrounded by majestic and centuries-old olive groves alternating with vineyards and fruit trees; an oasis of peace and tranquility, a place protected from traffic and frenzy.
Located in a strategic area, a few kilometers from Lecce, the B&B allows its guests to reach the main artistic centers comfortably.

B&B Borgo Fiore Country House
B&B Borgo Fiore Country House

Borgo Fiore Country House: the structure

B&B Borgo Fiore Country House was born from the recovery and restoration of an ancient country house, of which the authentic materials and part of the original structure have been preserved characterized by warm and welcoming rooms, a large living room with fireplace, ceilings with exposed beams, walls and original stone floors that date back to the 1900s. The building thus transmits all the charm of tradition, preserving a rustic and ancient flavour, even if equipped with all modern comforts.

B&B Borgo Fiore Country House
B&B Borgo Fiore Country House

The structure is equipped with a large private and external car park, where you can leave your means of transport without problems. Once you arrive, you enter through a small door, and from there you will be enchanted by the variety of colors that paint this large garden, enriched by trees and ornamental plants, in which it will be possible to relax and sunbathe in the most absolute tranquility and privacy and enjoy a refreshing swim in the fabulous swimming pool, where children can play in complete safety. The large porch will welcome you in the large room used for breakfast, but also in the rooms structured in the various areas of the house.

The services offered

Country House Borgo Fiore B&B includes 13 rooms, double, twin, triple and a family room capable of accommodating 4/5 people. All rooms are bright and welcoming and have private bathrooms with shower, TV and free wi-fi, each furnished with a typically Salento taste.

B&B Borgo Fiore Country House room
B&B Borgo Fiore Country House room

The most important moment is breakfast, which uses local products directly homemade, with a unique and genuine flavour. Buffet is served in the large room of the rural house or outdoors, under the porch, where you can relax, enjoying a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside. The specialties? Various types of donuts, tarts, desserts and biscuits, the inevitable Salento pasticciotto, as well as excellent croissants and cappuccinos as well as coffee, fruit juices, jams, Nutella, honey, bread and rusks.

Furthermore, the village is equipped with a small cellar of its own production, with the possibility of sipping a good “house wine“; an inseparable relationship between quality products and wine, which pays homage to this wonderful land.

B&B Borgo Fiore Country House pool
B&B Borgo Fiore Country House pool

By choosing Borgo Fiore Country House you have the advantage of being in green and uncontaminated areas, free of the chaos and pollution present in most beaches or public swimming pools. Furthermore, there is an atmosphere of authentic hospitality and family welcome, suitable for ecological and sustainable holidays, for those who love healthy and traditional eating, for those with children and for those who want to relax!