sabato 14 dicembre 2013

The Salento, Apulia

Salento is a strip of land between two seas , the Ionian Sea to the west and south Adriatic coast with the high cliffs , beautiful fjords , hidden coves , reefs teeming with fish and low , long and endless beaches and a limpid and transparent.

The so-called Terra d'Otranto is an ancient land, are testimony to the graffiti and paintings made ​​with bat guano and with ocher , symbols of initiation into a mystery religion tied to the dark, hidden caves in the area. Discoveries have been made in the caves of Zinzulusa , Romanelli , Horse , Santa Cesarea Terme and Porto Badisco . In particular, the Deer Cave , karstic , had been the refuge of prehistoric man in Salento during the Neolithic period .

The extreme south of the peninsula of Puglia, is a kind of peninsula on the peninsula. The land of Salento is like a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea , not homogeneous from the point of view of anthropology, linguistically a little ' Greek and a little ' Latin . Dotted with small towns underdeveloped orbiting relatively large number of towns like Nardo, Otranto , Gallipoli and Galashiels. In the past, the coast was always threatened by the landing of Arabs and pirates, the purpose of which was to loot and destroy ; until our days in which landings of illegal immigrants from North Africa and eastern Europe are of a different nature but humanly just as serious . Heart and aristocratic button is Lecce , a reality created by the educated ruling class became rich with the earth.

The history of Salento has always been strongly linked to the East , the Salento area is the eastern most of Italy , the beacon of Palacia , Otranto is more to the east than it is in Warsaw, Poland. Legend has it that the Cretans were found in Lecce.

The territory of the province of Lecce is littered with Dolmen and Menhir Menanthol , these megalithic constructions of Indo-European origin during the Bronze Age the Salento peninsula was in fact inhabited by Indo-European peoples have come down to south through the Alps and continuing along the Adriatic coast. The fifth century BC dates back to the arrival of Messapians that probably came from the Dalmatian coast , they had a very high degree of civilization , and integrated themselves with the people of Greek origin assimilating part of their culture , while remaining independent in their city-state ready to federate against common enemies . Messapians was that of a people devoted to agriculture , horse breeding and craft of ceramics. They gave an impetus to the construction of the city with imposing city walls . Previously the Greeks in the seventh century . BC, had founded the city fortresses such as Otranto , Taranto and Gallipoli.

With regard to the presence of the Greeks in Salento must count the presence , today, of a linguistic island known as Salento Greece . Ellenofona This area is located in the province of Lecce , in the heart of Salento, south east of the Salento peninsula , is one of the recognized minorities which consists of our nation. Has very ancient origins , some places the origins of the grica in the Byzantine period , but those who anticipates the birth period Magna Graecia . The ethnic and linguistic minority of Greek Salento now includes nine municipalities : Calimera , Castrignano dei Greci , Corigliano d' Otranto, Martano Martignano Melpignano , Soleto , Sternatia and Zollino .

After the war, Taranto, Salento became a Roman province from the administrative point of view , but not cultural . For the Salento the period prior to the Roman conquest had been very prosperous and rich with a civilization superior to any other Italic people of that time. The Romans themselves , conquering Salento , discovered the taste of art that manifested itself through poetry (one of the greatest writers and poets of Rome was born in Quinto Ennio Messapica Rudiae , on the outskirts of the city of Lecce which remain today the archaeological remains Virgil instead lived and died at Brindisi ) , sculpture , painting : the ' barbarians ' Romans had already conquered a land so rich in culture, art and history.
After the fall of the Roman Empire , the Salento subjected to the domination of the Byzantines and Normans

, Frederick II , brought the region to be again the center of the world.

With the Swabians began a long period of decline that continued with the Angevins, the Aragonese and the Spanish viceregal government that brought new sacrifices in this land border. The peninsula was punctuated by a long series of looting and destruction coming mostly from the sea as evidenced by the dreadful martyrdom in the city of Otranto at the hands of Achmet Pasha. The sack of Otranto is one of his most serious in the history of Salento. Citizenship Otrantian tried to resist the Turks and agreed to renounce in favor of Islam, why the Turkish leader beheaded eight hundred martyrs whose remains are still visible in the Cathedral of the coastal town .

It was from that moment on, it was 1500, Charles V and the Spaniards erected a system of watchtowers along the coast. During the same period Lecce became one of the most beautiful and important of the period , the heart of cultural and artistic activities , began to attract nobles and scholars , had a pulse current artistic baroque architecture of which still can be seen in Lecce and the rest of Salento . After the sad events of World War II economic recovery begins slowly thanks to the fortitude of the people who in recent years have even given hospitality to the Balkan peoples fleeing proving worthy , as some have proposed , the Nobel Prize for Peace .

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