Ruggiano - Morciano - Barbarano

From sea to hinterland, walking around in the village


A few minutes (about 2 km) far from Salve, in the direction of the hinterland, you will find Ruggiano, a small fraction of about 500 inhabitants that, despite being very small and collected, will show you ancient buildings and particular places of worship in which religious traditions and popular traditions are intertwined. In fact, in Ruggiano, the cult of Santa Marina is very much felt, to which the unusual Church (XVII century) is dedicated, with a rare façade divided in half by a central column. In Santa Marina the pilgrims affected by jaundice were addressed, at the time considered a disease "linked" to the rainbow. As evidence of how Ruggiano was once a place of worship and pilgrimage, other votive chapels can be found on its territory. From the sacred to the profane, do not neglect the castle and look all around, at the splendid countryside where this ancient village is located.

→ Events in Ruggiano:            16th-17th July, Festa di Santa Marina



It is a small village, not far from Salve (about 2 km), characterized by a historic center full of churches and architectural elements of great importance.

Morciano also includes the fraction of Barbarano del Capo, known for its karstic vore and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Leuca del Belvedere, and the marina of Torre Vado, renowned Ionian seaside resort characterized by low cliffs and fresh water springs in the sea.

The main monument of Morciano is the "Castromediano Castle - Valentini", built on the will of Gualtieri VI of Brienne in the first half of the 14th century, to defend the area from continuous enemy attacks. It is a wonderful and impressive example of civil architecture, with high walls and a quadrangular plan, with four towers arranged at the corners.

Among the churches, the "Chiesa Madre", dedicated to the patron saint San Giovanni Elemosiniere (XVI century) and the "Chiesa del Carmine", also known as the Church of the Rosary to be the home deserve particular mention. of the homonymous Brotherhood.

Worthy of note is Cappella della Madonna di Costantinopoli, dating back to the second half of the sixteenth century. Very few people know about this small church, generally closed, between via Roma and via Castromediano, preserves a small treasure: an enormous monolith, an authentic local stone menhir, on whose flat front a stupendous Madonna with Child is frescoed probably dating back to the second half of the sixteenth century, built on previous traces of color, referable to the middle-Byzantine period. The menhir was found by chance following a conservative intervention on the church, carried out in the last years of the twentieth century.



→ Events in Morciano di Leuca:         23rd January and in the end of July too, Festa di San Giovanni Elemosiniere

                                                           13rd June, Festa di Sant’Antonio

                                                           13rd December, Festa di Santa Lucia

                                                           At the beginning of August, Sagra de li Diavulicchi



A large countryside and olive trees separates Morciano da Barbarano which, upon arrival, welcomes you with one of the most important religious monuments of the entire lower Salento. The Santuario di Santa Maria di Leuca del Belvedere, known as Leuca Piccola. An ancient refreshment point for beautifully preserved pilgrims, a glimpse of life, religion and the wisdom of the past. Its name is in fact due to the custom of staying there in the past by pilgrims headed to the Sanctuary of S. Maria di Leuca "De finibus terrae".

The complex was built between 1685 and 1709 by Don Annibale Capece - whose baronial coat of arms of the rampant lion appears above the entrance to the little church of S. Maria del Belvedere - on the road coming from Lecce in order to meet the needs of refreshment and refuge for travelers heading towards Leuca. The structure was equipped not only with religious environments, but also with areas for the rest of people and animals.

The jewel of the site is the Church of S. Maria di Leuca del Belvedere, restored in 1988, the exact reproduction of the Basilica of Leuca as it was in 1685. Precious frescoes enrich the walls and the vault, peculiar for the contemporary presence of saints belonging to the Latin and Greek areas.

In the courtyard there is the access to the basements, in whose walls bunks were separated from each other by rock partitions. In the same environments, three fresh-water wells have quenched their thirst for centuries for pilgrims from Italy and Europe. The destination of these restaurants is evidenced by the stone at the entrance, which reads as follows:

Don Annibale Capece or mi feconda
Se un tempo sviscerar fece il mio seno;
entra qui, dunque, e ti trattenga almeno
l’ombra, il fresco, la mensa, il vino e l’onda.

Finally, a curiosity handed down by the elders of the town confirming the past wisdom, which recalls the meaning of the Lecce stone slab affixed to the front of the room used as an inn with the engraved 10 P (the meaning is about " light chit-chat lead to punishment so first think than speak"):
parole poco pensate portano pena perciò prima pensare poi parlare

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