Equidistant from Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto, in the heart of the upper Salento, lies the small town of Manduria.
It is part of the province of Taranto and is known above all for the production of excellent wine. Manduria, in fact, is called "the city of Primitivo", precisely because it is the cradle of the famous wine that is now appreciated throughout the world. 31,000 inhabitants (about) and an economy that is based mainly on agriculture, Manduria is certainly an important stop for those who want to visit and learn about Puglia.
Manduria is also called "the city of the Messapi" because it was founded by them. It is a place with a rich history of which we find, to this day, traces in numerous writings and in the surprising archaeological remains.
Among the many places of interest there is just the Archaeological Park of the Messapian Walls that extends for about 15 hectares. It is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Italy and is a surprising testimony to the presence of Messapian civilization in the territory. Behind the walls there is the largest Messapian necropolis ever discovered: we are talking about 2,500 tombs, many of which also have traces of painting. Nearby you can also visit the small and picturesque church of St. Peter Mandurino and the Plinian Fountain. The latter is one of the symbols of Manduria: it is a natural cave inside which there is a spring from which fresh water flows from an underground aquifer.
Continue your walk to the central Piazza Garibaldi, where there is the majestic Palazzo Imperiali, built on the ruins of a medieval castle.
Qui potrete fermarvi a gustare un ottimo caffè o un buon gelato e fare shopping nei numerosi negozi della città.
Near the nearby municipal villa, we recommend a work that is certainly worthy of interest: it is the "Calvary". It is a monument created by the craftsman Giuseppe Renato Greco in the second half of the nineteenth century. Here the artist has retraced the stages of the passion of Jesus Christ giving life to an original and majestic sculptural work. The originality is given above all by the use of unusual materials such as, for example, pieces of glass and ceramics, old crockery, majolica and mosaic tiles. The colors, the different materials, the attention to detail make the Calvary a unique work.
As we mentioned, Manduria is above all the city of wine, so you can visit some of the major wineries where you can organize tastings and then visit the Museum of the Civilization of Primitive Wine, where you can really immerse yourself in the immense culture of wine and territory.
Together with the good wine you can enjoy the inviting traditional dishes. The list could be endless, because, in Puglia, the tradition of cooking is almost "sacred". Not to be missed are "orecchiette e pizzarieddi": homemade pasta made with dark wheat and seasoned mainly with meat sauces. You can also enjoy meatballs and chops and a wide variety of cheeses and vegetables at km0. Manduria is also located 10 km from the sea, so you can always find fresh fish and seafood. Excellent also the production of extra virgin olive oil, to be tasted on the "friselle" (typical local baked product).
Especially in summer you can enjoy the beautiful beaches of San Pietro in Bevagna (on the Ionian Sea) which is the seaside resort of Manduria. The coast is almost entirely sandy, the sea crystal clear and nature around rich and sometimes pristine.
Finally, some advice to choose where to stay during your holiday.
There are many solutions and you can choose between B&B immersed in the historic center, comfortable hotels or beautiful farms where you can really appreciate nature and healthy food.
All we can do is wish you a pleasant trip to the surprising land of wine.