What to see
The visit to Ceglie Messapica winds through the buildings that reveal its noble soul: from the eighteenth-century Palazzo Allegretti, overlooking Piazza Vecchia, to Palazzo Epifani, close to the castle, up to the ancient ashlar of Palazzo Vitale. In the center, on the top of the hill, stand the Ducal Castle and the Norman tower.
Il paese è rinomato per il delizioso Biscotto Cegliese preparato con pasta di mandorle tostate, a forma di cubetto irregolare, farcito con marmellata di ciliegie o uva e aromatizzato da lievi fragranze di agrumi. Uscendo dal paese, si può notare che Ceglie Messapica è circondata da un territorio ricco di trulli e muretti a secco, dove sorge il Country Resort Masseria Grieco.
When looking at them from a distance, you realise that the houses in Ostuni extend over several levels, almost overlapping, almost entangled among the labyrinths of the narrow streets that reach their full splendour when combined with the typical architectural styles of churches and monuments.
The first characteristic that hits you between the eyes consists of the peculiarity of all the walls being painted in white, due to a practice that arose from an ancient health requirement; today, the houses painted with quicklime have become the hallmark of the city of Ostuni.
During a walk in Ostuni you cannot miss a visit to Piazza della Libertà, where you can admire the imposing Cathedral, characterised by sinuous late Gothic lines and a marvellous façade embellished with stone embroideries.
There are some places where the “Slow Food” gourmet food and wine philosophy is extended to the practice of everyday life, and the village of Cisternino is precisely one of them. Here, the narrow streets are animated by people who are the protagonists of the slow succession of seasons.
A visit to Cisternino is made even more pleasant thanks to its food. If you are wondering what to eat in the city, do not miss a taste of grilled meat in the butcher shops, where you can choose your favourite cuts directly at the counter. The best thing to do in Cisternino is certainly wandering through the narrow streets of its historic centre to discover architectural treasures such as the Mother Church of San Nicola, which houses the remains of another smaller church built by Basilian monks who came from the East.
The traditions of Martina Franca are represented by cultural events, gourmet food and wine and numerous churches, especially the Basilica of San Martino, a pearl of the Baroque after which the town itself is named.
Taking the country roads, where you can admire the authentic trulli of the Itria Valley, you can easily reach the Masseria Grieco Country Resort. This is precisely the area where the Martina Franca DOC wine and the famous local sausage – obtained from pigs born and reared mainly in the Valle d’Itria territory – are born. We are referring to the renowned Capocollo di Martina Franca (a local pork cold cut speciality made from the muscle around the neck), well-known and much in demand as early as the 18th century throughout the Kingdom of Naples.
The name Locorotondo (namely Round Place) refers to the circular shape of the old town centre, a unique monument overlooking the Itria Valley that fascinates with its white little houses, paved alleys and flowered balconies.
About a thousand years ago, the local farmers built up the typical cummerse, houses with sloping roofs that are also found at Masseria Grieco. Locorotondo is part of the itinerary of the Wine Routes in Apulia that crosses the Itria Valley and is home to one of the most promising white wines of Apulia: Locorotondo DOC.
Since the time when the peasants of Alberobello used to build their houses using local stone without the addition of cement binder, about 400 years have now passed. Today, the trulli – built with dry stone with a view to be knocked down in case of King’s inspection (who had strictly prohibited the construction of dwellings in the area) are intended for housing as well as for tourism and commercial purposes.
The urban settlement of the trulli represents a unique scenery worldwide, and has therefore been included in the list of World Heritage Sites. Those who love discovering the authenticity of places will be fascinated by the alleys of the Aia Piccola, the district where time still passes slowly while tourists stroll through the narrow streets breathing the atmosphere of old days. The largest agglomeration of trulli, the Rione Monti, is populated by about a thousand cones that create a surreal landscape. Here, it is possible to enter typical houses, which now house souvenir shops, restaurants and places where to relive the daily life of our ancestors.