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The megalitic stones of Salento

21 February 9:30 - 15:30

The megalitic stones of Salento

The excursion takes place in the countryside of Giurdignano, the place in Puglia (and perhaps also in Italy) richest in prehistoric megalithic monuments and therefore called the megalithic garden of Salento. These are the Dolmens and Menhirs, which have survived time and destruction by man. We will walk in the wonderful countryside between Giurdignano and Giuggianello, where 7 dolmens and 14 menhirs are preserved. The dolmens are both sepulchral and sacred monuments, formed by a funerary cell, of various sizes, with the walls closed by monolithic or juxtaposed orthostats and one or more covering slabs. Some also preserve the dromos, the access corridor to the funeral cell. Some drains on the dolmens’ roofing slabs have suggested that they were sacred ares, therefore places where ceremonies took place. The menhirs, on the other hand, or pietrafitte, are monolithic megaliths of various sizes, with a square shape, even up to about five meters high. There is no certainty about their function either, but it has been hypothesized that they were simulacra dedicated to the cult of the Sun. They may also have a phallic symbolism, therefore lithic simulacra dedicated to the cult of Mother Earth, around which rituals for fertility took place.

Remaining within the megaliths, we will also visit I Massi della Vecchia, large stones concentrated on a vast plateau, with the most varied shapes that inspired their names, such as Furticiddhu te la Vecchia te lu nanni, Lu Lettu te la Vecchia and Il Piede of Hercules. Not far from this area we will visit the sacred cave of San Giovanni, a very mystical place like I Massi della Vecchia and also full of history. The Crypt has always been a destination for devotees of the Baptist especially on June 24, the feast of the Saint, when with rituals still steeped in paganism, St. John was celebrated and the arrival of summer was celebrated with propitiatory rites for harvesting the crops and with the inevitable presence of purifying bonfires. Another destination of the tour is the Crypt of San Salvatore, one of the greatest expressions of Byzantine architecture and rock art. The variegated decoration of the vaulted ceiling, with coffered, Greek cross, with four sail cruises and a reference to a staircase, symbolic representation of the climb towards spiritual salvation, is very attractive. Walking you will also pass by Masseria Quattro Macine, site of the ancient medieval farmhouse of the same name, and you will visit the underground oil millof the Duke of Giurdignano, which belonged to the ducal family Alfarano Capece, one of the most interesting examples of industrial archeology dedicated to oil, which has ceased to function in 1940. In a single excursion you will cross a broad cross-section of the history of Salento and of Puglia itself.

For all the informations and details please contact us.


21 February
9:30 - 15:30
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