Salento and the "Barocco Leccese" from UNESCO World Heritage

The Salento peninsula in South-Eastern Puglia extends, between the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas, from the last hills of Murgia to the headland, Capo Santa Maria di Leuca, and its celebrated homonymous sanctuary, marking Finibus Terrae, which was probably built over the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Minerva. The Salento peninsula is prevalently calcareous, with a typically Karstic landscape, not rich in surface waters, featuring a profusion of underground craters, caves and grottoes.
In the course of the centuries, the landscape was moulded in turn by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans and Aragonese as this borderland acquired increasing strategic and commercial importance. (…)
However, the distinctive character of the Salento peninsula comes from a series of architectural achievements associated to an artistic phenomenon known as Barocco Leccese, which developed in Lecce, Salento’s historical and artistic centre, and in Terra d’Otranto between the second half of the 16th century and the end of the 17th century. In those years, thanks to a particular combination of ideas and circumstances, the culture and urban structure of both town and province were totally re-modelled with works composing an unmistakable urban fabric of extraordinary architectural and artistic value. The local stone, a compact-grained marbled limestone “honey coloured, that can be carved with a penknife” (Cesare Brandi), used as building material greatly enhanced the creativity of local artists. The stone is soft and easy to cut, and it used to be hardened and made resistant to rain and humidity with a very particular process: it was soaked in fluid containing whole milk and this reduced its porosity making the surface hard and compact. (…)

Nardò, at the heart of the Salento peninsula, was an important centre in Roman times and increased its cultural, political and economic relevance during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; in the 18th century, the works of the celebrated Neapolitan architect, Ferdinando Sanfelice, gave it its distinctly Baroque characteristics. This brilliant artist personally designed the church della Purità (1724) and the Cathedral’s new façade (1725) and gave impulse to the innovations, already in full swing, focussing on a re-definition of architectural volumes and of the urban structure; the outcome can be admired in the scenic street wings, in the variety of road tracings (a good example is the one connecting the churches Santa Teresa, Santa Croce, San Francesco di Paola, Santa Chiara and San Giuseppe) and in several picturesque villas in the suburban area. (…)

Justification for Outstanding Universal Value
Satements of authenticity and/or integrity
These cities have maintained what is known as ‘Barocco Leccese’ – the urban and architectural structures as well as and the decorations – so that this style’s building, technological and formal characteristics are easily identifiable. Restorations were performed following adequate methodologies by the competent Superintendent and further improved this property’s state of conservation.

Comparison with other similar properties
The architectural school known as ‘Barrocco Leccese’ may , in general terms, be compared to that in Western Sicily (Noto, Siracusa, Catania) which, however, was accomplished in one particular circumstance, in the 17th century, immediately after the terrible earthquake. On the contrary, the ‘Barrocco Leccese’ covers a much longer period so that a series of buildings, erected at different times, show an extraordinary continuity of style.

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The last patch of land of Puglia, Salento

Route The confluence with the immense sea in Salento

Torre Uluzzo Bay, Nardò, Lecce, Puglia, Italy – Luigi Spano photografer

Wet from two seas, Jonio and Adriatic, suspended between West and East, Salento, in Puglia, contrasting land with exquisite tastes, not only in gastronomy. The town is a magnificent collage of Baroque and Morocco styles; with high and steep side coasts and large and sandy extension. This geographic area thanks its glamour to sea mixing its vitality with the end of Italian boot, where resides actual in this double soul, unpredictable and charming. A vacation in Salento, will be an important change, it is as the sign of the simplicity: you should look over it without hustle, reaching the extreme boundary of Italy, to Santa Maria di Leuca and return, to enjoy the beauty of its places and immersing in the much cultures that here marked the history.

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Buying properties in Puglia: Golden Rule

If you are looking for a property investment in Italy and/or in Puglia, new upcoming area of the South, the “heel” of Italy, please deal with licensed estate agents only. The role of Italian real estate agents is quite different from that British one.
In the UK everybody can set up an estate agency without any qualification or experience. Viceversa in Italy they must be professionally qualified, hold a licence to practise and have indemnity insurance. The agents operating without license are illegals.
On internet there are many unlicensed mediators, dealing with foreign buyers, selling properties and renting holiday home. Do not trust them! They promise lots of useful services but the real extra service they provide is to charge a commission up to 100% more than a licensed Italian agent, or, raise the market price of the property. Moreover if you take their advice you will not be covered by the legislation and the code of ethics which the legal agents must adhere to. If you are dealing with an agent ask for their registration roll number to the chamber of commerce and which professional association they are registered to. Remember buying property in Italy, legally, is safe as buying property in the UK, all you need is just to know the differences and follow the rules! For further info on this topic read the buying guide and FAQ section on

Puglia, Salento: the "heel" of Italy

Have you always been attracted by new places? New traditions? New people?
But you haven’t done yet because of time? Or money?
Well, you don’t need to go far away or spend a fortune, what you need is just to look at THE HEEL. A land where history, traditions, miths, ancient civilizations, various cultures all melt into your arms, pleasing you with a priceless gift: a memory you will never forget.

Let your senses drive you to the right place this time! Open your eyes to miles of sandy & rocky beaches, marvellous Mediterranean landscapes, picturesque villages, elegant façades, Cathedrals & monuments in Baroque style, ancient castles, archaeological sites, charming farmhouses. Make your taste happy with our healthy Mediterranean cuisine, discover our local specialities, our fish just caught, our D.O.C wines, our extra vergine olive oil, our tempting desserts, liqueurs and more.

Add new sounds for your ears, too! Come and free yourself totally with our Pizzica, a therapeutic folk music, as the past suggests, or with a Opera performance in one of our several theatres or with numerous live music events. Finally, from our gastronomy to pinewoods forests, from sea breeze to aromatic herbs all around are delicious smells waiting for you.

Don’t let them down!
Come and visit us.
See You!