GUIDED TOURS GALATINA AND SOLETO – THE PIZZICA TRADITIONAL DANCE AND DELICIOUS DESSERTS!
TOUR DURATION: FULL DAY TOUR
GUIDED TOURS GALATINA DESCRIPTION
Around twenty kilometers south of the beautiful Lecce, between the Ionian and the Adriatic Sea, we find Galatina, a Byzantine city that in the Middle Ages was strongly influenced by the Greek presence, as it is evident from the name of the city and its coat of arms. In the 15th century, Galatina was developed and surrounded by defending walls of which today are still visible the relevant gates; later on it was the architecture of the several aristocratic buildings and churches of the 17th and 18th centuries making it even more rich and elegant. The main attraction of the city, however, is definitely the St. Catherine of Alexandria’s Basilica, built in the 14th century by the Orsini family: a beautiful example of late Romanesque construction where the complexity and splendor of the frescoes have been the subject of several studies and conferences. Going on with our walking tour we will arrive in Piazza Duomo, but right before we will stop to an important site: the small St. Paul’s Chapel, where the phenomenon of “tarantismo” and the traditional dance of the “pizzica”, have been perpetuated so far. This first part of the visit will end up with the knowledge of one of the most typical pastry cookie of the city and of the whole region: the famous ” pasticciotto leccese ” that even if it seems belonging to the baroque city, actually it was born here in Galatina; it is a shortbread cookie filled with a delicious custard and it is usually served warm; we will taste it in a famous bakery of Galatina which is a landmark for the production of this cookie, since it boasts a tradition starting from the 18th century! After lunch, our meeting point will be the town of Soleto and our visit will be in continuity with the historical and artistic logic followed in Galatina. Soleto is known and visited in particular for two authentic treasures: the 40 meters high Gothic bell tower commissioned by Raimondello Orsini del Balzo, erected beside the Cathedral and the Romanesque Saint Stephen’s church, a very interesting temple since it is decorated with a 14th century fresco cycle in a Giottesque style, once again recalling the one admired in Galatina’s Basilica.