la capitale della Messapia
This lovely town situated on a hill
about 11 kilometres south of Ostuni, takes its name from the
ancient Messapian settlement Caelia, which was of particular
importance in the IV and III centuries B.C. Protected by a
5 km perimeter of walls, the town's acropolis once dominated
the surrounding area, and on this base in medieval times the
contemporary town began to develop.
old town preserves up to the present day an Oriental appearance.
The most outstanding monument is the Castle of the Sanseverino
family (XV century), built around a primitive Norman tower.
Mother Church was originally built in 1521, but was restructured
at the end of the XVIII century. The surrounding area is dominated
by that unmistakable landscape made up of Trulli and specchie
(piles of stones frequently connected to funeral rites), which
bears witness to the ancient Messapian origins of the zone.
kilometres along the road for Franca-villa lies the crypt
of S. Michele, containing frescoes from a Byzantine school
which can be dated back to the XIV century.