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Liceo Ginnasio Statale Aristosseno con indirizzi classico, linguistico, scientifico, internazionale tel.099/4539332 (presidenza)- 0994534895 (segreteria e fax) CF. 900149370730 Viale Virgilio, 15 74123 Taranto www.liceoaristosseno.it email:tapc070005@istruzione.it - email:tapc070005@pec.istruzione.it - email: tapc0002@liceoaristosseno.it

Project: “The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe” PREFACE All the members of our community are deeply committed to creating new settings of growth and development. Our project “The Jonian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe” aims at “telling the world” the best cultural, historical, natural and food and wine qualities of Taranto and the Jonian province. The project, written in a popular , well-documented and rich of captions and images language , is free on the net. Opening up our territory to national and international tourism is the main aim of the project which is rooted in the thousand-year-old Mediterranean history. The project “ The Jonian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe” was presented at Berlin International Tourism Trade Fair (ITB 5- 9 March 2014) byLiceoStatale “ Aristosseno” – Taranto, leader of a special training school-territory network formed by the Chamber of Commerce, , the Jonian Department of the University of Bari and the “Quality of Life” Committee. The project is available in its multimedia version in a variety of languages ( English, German, French, Russian and in the near future , in Mandarin Chinese) on the site of the High School: www.liceoaristosseno.it

Salvatore Marzo Liceo Statale Aristosseno Headmaster


The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe

I.T.B. BERLINO – 5/9 March 2014

Project: “The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe” by Salvatore Marzo

O= Nation: ITALY O = Region: APULIA

•=

Province: TARANTO


The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe

PREFACE ......................................................................................................................................................................... 1 REGION APULIA: THE RESOURCES OF ONE OF THE MOST PRODUCTIVE REGIONS IN SOUTHERN ITALY ............................................................................................................................................................................... 5 THE PAST ..................................................................................................................................................................... 5 THE PRESENT .............................................................................................................................................................. 5 THE FUTURE ................................................................................................................................................................ 7 THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO OR PROVINCE OF THE IONIAN ..................................................................... 8 THE SEA:..................................................................................................................................................................... 10 THE EASTERN OR IONIO-SALENTO COAST ........................................................................................................ 10 THE SEA: THE WESTERN COAST (OR IONIO-LUCANIA) .................................................................................. 21 THE TARANTINE MURGE UPLANDS:THE “RAVINES” AND THE “ITRIA VALLEY”. ................................... 25 THE RAVINES ......................................................................................................................................................... 26 THE ITRIA VALLEY ................................................................................................................................................ 36 THE CITY OF TARANTO ........................................................................................................................................... 44 THE TALASSOCRATIC AXIS: TARANTO CAPITAL OF THE MAGNA-GRECIA ............................................ 45 THE VIA APPIA AXIS: TARANTO IN THE ROMAN PERIOD ............................................................................... 50 THE VIA FRANCIGENA OF THE SOUTH AXIS IN THE MIDDLE AGES: ........................................................... 53 FROM ROME TO TARANTO TOWARDS THE AREA OF THE HOLY LAND. ................................................... 53 THE AXIS OF THE NORMAN, SWABIAN, ANGEVIN, AROGONESE CASTLES ............................................... 58 THE TRANSHUMANCE AXIS: THE MURGE AND TARANTINE TRATURELLI ............................................... 60 FOOD: KNOWLEDGE AND KNOWHOW ................................................................................................................ 63 FOOD AND WINE ORIGINS: THE BANQUET AND THE SYMPOSIUM IN TARANTO. .................................... 64 ROMAN TARANTO ................................................................................................................................................... 69 MONASTICISM AND ENOGASTRONOMY............................................................................................................ 71 SHEPHERDS' GASTRONOMY ................................................................................................................................. 72 IONIAN CUISINE, THE HEART OF THE EURO MEDITERRANEAN ............................................................... 74 PASTA ........................................................................................................................................................................... 74 RICE .............................................................................................................................................................................. 78 TARANTINE MUSSELS. ................................................................................................................................................... 79 SHEPHERD’S AND FARMHOUSE GASTRONOMY .............................................................................................................. 83 TYPICAL PRODUCTS OF THE IONIAN PROVINCE OBTAINED FROM MILK, MEAT AND FLOUR ............................................ 87 VEGETABLES, PLANTS AND TREES ................................................................................................................................. 92 OLIVE OIL PRESERVES ................................................................................................................................................... 96 OLIVE OIL ..................................................................................................................................................................... 98 THE WINES............................................................................................................................................................... 101 SWEETS .................................................................................................................................................................... 106 FOOD AND WINE ITINERARY OF THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO .............................................................. 108 HISTORICAL-ARTISTIC CELEBRATIONS IN THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO ......................................... 111 NATURAL PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO ........................................................ 116 AREAS OF ARTISTIC INTEREST OF THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO ......................................................... 117 MUSEUMS, ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES AND PARKS OF THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO ........................ 120 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LAY CONFRATERNITIES OF TARANTO AND ITS DIOCESIS IN THE HOLY WEEK ............................................................................................................................................................... 133 TO KNOW MORE ....................................................................................................................................................... 139


The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe

Italy, a founding Nation of the European Union, juts out into the Mediterranean – like an aircraft carrier- with almost 8.000 Km. of coastline. The Region of Apulia with the Province of Taranto and its main town Taranto, look onto the Ionian Sea, the centre of the Mediterranean. The Ionian Sea, Europe’s natural bridge on the Mediterranean, has not yet been given its full value: a horizontal East-West axis connecting Turkey and the countries of the Middle East with Spain, Portugal and France, intersecting with the North-South axis connecting Central and Northern Europe with the countries from North Africa that look onto “Our Sea”. Our project: “The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe” is intended to be a contribution to enrich the cultural and socio-economic scene of a Europe which is more and more tied to its Mediterranean routes and its heart: The Ionian Sea.

ITALY, THE APULIA REGION, THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO, THE IONIAN SEA: THE WAY TO MEDITERRANEAN EUROPE


The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe

REGION APULIA: THE RESOURCES OF ONE OF THE MOST PRODUCTIVE REGIONS IN SOUTHERN ITALY THE PAST Japigia -ancient Apulia- originally populated by both the Illyrians and the Greeks, in ancient times included the territories of Daunia (Northern Apulia , today the territory of the province of Foggia ) of Peucezia (Central Apulia , today the territory of the province of BAT and of the province of Bari) and of Messapia (old Salento, today the province of Lecce, Brindisi and part of Taranto). In 706 B.C., the Spartans –having landed on the heart of the Ionian coastfounded Taras (today’s Taranto), which became – between the V and the III cent. B.C.- the richest and most highly populated city of the ancient world, capital of the Magna Grecia (Mega Hellas).

The “gold of Taranto”, kept in the section dedicated to goldsmith’s art in the hellenistic age at the National Archeological Museum of Taranto, is important evidence of how work on precious metals, and in particular on gold, was one of the most developed activities in the Capital of the Magna Grecia between the V and the III cent. B.C.

THE PRESENT Apulia has succeeded in combining its own traditions and history with the productive vocations of its own territory: tourism and cultural heritage,


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agriculture, livestock breeding, fishing. These are the reasons that have made Apulia one of the most productive Regions of Southern Italy. Furthermore the region has a highly qualified and specialised human resource with over 103,000 university students and nearly 15,000 new graduates a year. Apulia has 6 provinces: Foggia, B.A.T (Barletta, Andria, Trani), Bari, Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto, a city which was a candidate to be the European Capital of Culture.

Ionian Sea The six provinces of the Apulia Region: Taranto is the main port of the Ionian Sea

The geographical position of Apulia has become strategic, thanks to the recent protagonism of the oriental economies and the Mediterranean, the discreet infrastructure and the solid cultural and commercial relations with the Mediterranean basin: this has contributed to making Apulia a region of high economic potentiality. As far as the ports and airports are concerned, connections by sea are excellent thanks to the presence of three important ports: Bari, Brindisi and Taranto, the latter being the third biggest port in Italy for its size and volume of traffic. The airport connections are just as functional: the “Karol Wojtyla” airport in Bari, the “Salento airport” in


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Brindisi, the “Gino Lisa” in Foggia and the “Marcello Arlotta” airport in Grottaglie-Taranto (the latter being a cargo airport, but with interesting development prospects for the interception of intercontinental flights from and to Eurasia, due to its runway which is the longest in Central-Southern Italy, second only to Rome-Fiumicino).

THE FUTURE The flow of tourism is in regular and progressive increase: the money spent in Apulia by foreign travellers is on the increase–in the last 10 years - by 43.4%. It is interesting for sector operators to consider the reasons for this tourist spending: in 47% of the cases the main reason for foreigners to come to Apulia is to have a holiday; in 27.2% of the cases it is linked to personal reasons; and for only 25.7% of the cases it is for business reasons.

Apulian olive trees thousands of years old: witnesses of the past, present and future of a land which was the cradle of civilisation


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THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO OR PROVINCE OF THE IONIAN

La Province of Taranto, also called the Ionian Province, has the main city of Taranto (200,000 inhab.) and is comprised of 29 municipalities (total inhab. about 580,000). It stretches over an area of 2,400 Km2: plains cover just over half of the land (55%), the remaining area is hilly (45%). In particular, the territory is made up of uplands (the Tarentine Murge), part of which consists in sculptured and uneven valleys which form real canyons (the ravines), which slowly decrease towards the sea (the coast).


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MAP OF THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO: THE MUNICIPALITIES AND SEA COAST

THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO IS FORMED BY 29 MUNICIPALITIES: Avetrana, Carosino, Castellaneta, Crispiano, Faggiano, Fragagnano, Ginosa, Grottaglie, Laterza, Leporano, Lizzano, Manduria, Martina Franca, Maruggio, Massafra, Monteiasi, Montemesola, Monteparano, Mottola, Palagianello, Palagiano, Pulsano, Roccaforzata, San Giorgio Jonico, San Marzano di San Giuseppe, Sava, Statte, Taranto, Torricella. The Province of Taranto stretches over a sea coast of about 140Km. The City of Taranto, with its Mar Piccolo (first and second inlet) and its Mar Grande (closed in by the Cheradi islands), divides the coast into the Eastern coast (or ionio-salento) and the Western coast (or ionio-lucania).


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The radius of Taranto : (from bottom to top) the first and second inlets of the Mar Piccolo (like the number eight, divided by the Punta Penna bridge), which flows into –passing under the swing bridge and the stone bridge (the two bridges which connect the Island of the Old City to the mainland)- the Mar Grande: the polysector pier can be just seen and, on the horizon , the island of St. Peter (the biggest )and the island of St. Paul (the smallest) –[photo taken from Dossier “Taranto Capitale Europea della Cultura 2019]

THE SEA: THE EASTERN OR IONIO-SALENTO COAST The Eastern coast, or Ionio-Salento, side of the port of Taranto, to the South, in S.Vito reaching as far as Torre Colimena (on the boarder of the Province: the municipalities of Manduria and Avetrana).


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The Marinas of Taranto: Capo S. Vito , which – with its lighthouse- separates the Mar Grande (in the background) from the Ionio-Salento coast, which begins here. The pinewoods of Capo S.Vito which diminish into a seaside resort are quite particular.

On the initial part of the Eastern or Ionio-Salento coast, after the Marinas of Taranto (S.Vito, Lama, Mon Reve, Torre Blandamura and ex battery Cattaneo) we find the Marinas of Leporano (Gandoli, Canneto, SaturoPorto Perone) and the Marinas of Pulsano (Le Canne, Montedarena and Lido Silvana). This first part of the coast is characterised by low cliffs and bathing beaches, artfully sculptured by the sea through thousands of years of patience, enclosing gentle coves and leaving ample stretches of fine white sandy beaches.


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The Marina of Pulsano: le Canne (the Canes). The name of the beach derives from the presence of cane plants feeding on spring water – particularly characteristic on this part of the coast.

In various places, this low cliff is enriched by stretches of Mediterranean maquis, by canes and spring water, with secular pinewoods that in several places directly face the sea (San Vito, Torre Blandamura, ex Battery Cattaneo, Gandoli and Lido Silvana).


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Marina of Leporano: Gandoli. The first stretch of the Ionio-Salento coast is characterized by a low cliff and bathing beach which is enriched by pinewoods stretching to the sea, Mediterranean maquis, spring-waters and canes.

On the stretch of the Ionio-Salento coast between the Marina of Lizzano: Bagnara, Le Conche, Ostone (municipality of Lizzano), Campomarino (municipality of Maruggio) and San Pietro in Bevagna (municipality of Manduria), the landscape changes.


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In fact, on these beaches you can see some of the best preserved sanddunes in Italy. The sand-dunes, of up to 12 metres in height, are covered with a luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation of juniper, thyme, helycrisium and on the land behind the dunes, it is possible to find limonium virgatum and marine fennel. .

The Dunes of Campomarino: this stretch of the coast presents a particular geophysical feature which makes it an unusual biological land: with full exposure to the South. This is the only stretch of Italian beach perfectly looking Southwards, making it a receptive land of unusual biotypes that cannot be reproduced.

Torre Colimena, a seaside resort of the municipality of Manduria, marks the end of the Oriental coast of the Ionian Land or Province of Taranto. Torre Colimena is a real jewel from the naturalistic and environmental point of view. It is surrounded by Protected Natural Areas such as “La salina dei monaci” - salt beds - (belonging to the “Riserva Naturale Regionale Orientata del Litorale Tarantino” – Tarantine Coastal Regional natural reserve).


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“La salina dei monaci” with examples of Italian Cavalier birds” . For many centuries, the people have come here to collect the salt they needed for their activities and food, fighting with the inhabitants of the neighbourhood for its control.

“La salina dei monaci”: It lies close to the stretch of coastal dunes, connected to the sea by a narrow channel carved into the rock of the cliff. Recently restored, it has returned to the sea its old beauty and clarity.


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The Ionio-Salento coast road is rich in historical evidence: the coast, is in fact, a focal point of the millennial history of the Mediterranean. It is possible to visit settlements: -from the Bronze Age dating back to XVI century B.C., like that of Torre Castelluccia, on the wooded headland which dominates the bay of Lido Silvana – the Marina of Pulsano. Torre Castelluccia, the Spanish watch tower built in the XVI century, gives its name to the findings of a Bronze Age village, close to the Tower. The village shows the foundations of the defensive walls built on the headland as well as the remains of rectangular rooms and stone pavements; -from the Magna Grecia Age (VI-III century B.C.) like the ancient Greek (later Roman) port of Torre dell'Ovo in the municipality of Torricella, that even today preserves a half-submerged stone path (perfectly walkable, especially during low tide) while offshore, at about ten metres of depth, in the seaside of Maruggio, there are the remains of a Greek vessel (V-IV century B.C.), explored in 1995, that preserved some Corinthian amphorae. In the site, a lot of remains of black painted pottery have been found, as well as evidence of a building of worship, with the presence of a metope with a Greek inscription. We like to point out that in the Torre dell’Ovo sea area, at a few metres in depth, it is possible to observe a unique phenomenon in the world: the “petrified (or fossil) forest” in an undersea environment. Scientific research has shown that it is the sediment of molluscs: hundreds of thousands of years ago - during the Pleistocene period- some big gastropods and ancient polychaetae (a sort of gigantic worm), built their dens on the seabeds, compressing the walls and cementing them with secretions. When the animals died, as time went by, the sea erosion has displaced the seabed uncovering these “towers” which are even up to two metres high.


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Marina of Maruggio: Contrade Capoccia and Scorcialupi (Piri-Piri), the area where the Greek ship was found.

Torre Ovo: the “Petrified (or fossil) forest” where the “trunks”, the only example in the world, stick out from the sea, at a depth of 4-6 metres. Scientific theory believes that –in reality- the phenomenon does not come from vegetable but animal origins, caused by the millennial activity of micro-organisms digging the clayey/sandy sediment. The photo shows the “oval stone bowl”, surrounded by “trunks” and “branches”


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- from the Greek-Roman Age, visible in the Archeological Park of Porto Perone-Saturo, in the Marinas of Leporano).This area rises up on a gorgeous coastal headland and gathers the remains of a sanctuary dedicated to Atena, as well as the remains of a Roman Villa dating back to the Imperial Age (situated on the sides of a coastal watch and defense tower of the Kingdom of Naples from the XVI century). It has different rooms, such as an entrance with an impluvium in the centre for water collection, a bath, a tepidarum, a dressing room and a banqueting hall. The thermal area was connected to the Villa through an arcade, the remains of which can still be seen today.

View from above of the Archeological Park of Porto Perone-Saturo, the Marinas of Leporano: the remains of the Roman Villa can be seen on the coastal headland (on the left) and the thermal area (on the right), with the fortified coastal tower of the Kingdom of Naples in the centre (built around:1568-1570)


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In Torre dell’Ovo, not far from the ancient Magno-Greek port, there is a Roman Villa, which still contains some stone mosaic paving and some walls. Finally, moving South, towards the crystal clear waters of the beaches of San Pietro in Bevagna (the municipality of Manduria), at a few metres in depth, it is possible to sea several sarcophaguses of various sizes which belonged to the cargo of a Roman ship which was sunk in III century A.D.

Marina of Manduria: S.Pietro in Bevagna. After the shipwreck of a Roman ship, dating back to 150-300 A.D., 23 sarcophaguses in precious white marble – from the Egeo and Asia Minor – lie on the sandy sea bed at the depth of 3/5 metres, not far from the beach. The area has become an underwater archeological park since 2009.

-from the Spanish domination in Italy (XVI-XVII century): fortified sea defense and watch towers were built by order of the Spanish Emperor Carlo V during the first half of the 16th century in order to protect the territory from the Kingdom of Naples and attacks from pirates, Turks and Saracens, An efficient system of coastal defense and communication was built along the oriental Ionio-Salento coastline. It included 14 armed towers which went from Torre San Vito (Taranto) – the tower that controlled access from the South as far as the tower at Torre Colimena.


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Torre Colimena: this coastal defense and watch tower, with its 16m. in height, is the highest of all on the Ionio-Salento coastline. The towers were placed at a short distance from each other, visibly connected and with inland fortifications (castles and fortified farmhouses).

Among the dunes, rocks, Mediterranean maquis, sand and remains of distant civilisations – which enable us to follow myths and legends – there are welcoming seaside and sports resorts, hotels and campsites, enriched by the traditional welcome and hospitality of the “people from the South”. Finally, we like to remember that the Oriental Ionio-Salento coast, due to the mildness of its climate, can offer its clear water for bathing from the month of May to the month of October.


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THE SEA: THE WESTERN COAST (OR IONIO-LUCANIA) The Ionio-Lucania coast is situated in the Western sector of the Gulf of Taranto: it starts from the port of Taranto, to the North, from Lido Azurro (Marina of Taranto), and finishes on the coast of the territory of Ginosa. The whole of the Western coastline, is quite similar: it is nearly all sandy, with a shallow sea, long stretches of dunes in which, for about 40 km, there is a vast pinewood of great naturalistic value.

Marina of Taranto: Lido Azzurro, the first beach from where the Western coast or Ionio-Lucania begins, in the Province of Taranto. In the background there is the the sandy coast which stretches for nearly 40 km., between the sea and the big pinewood of Pino d’Aleppo.

The Pinewood of the Ionio Arch, in fact, is one of the largest spontaneous formations of Pino d’Aleppo on dunes, present in Italy. The pinewood – perfumed by a resinous smell – is enriched by a luscious variety of plants in the underwood and of typical species of Mediterranean maquis: lentiscus, myrtle, phyllotaxy, rosemary, juniper and red cysto.


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The Western Ionian coast. An aerial view highlighting the homogenious territory which stretches for almost 40 km: the sandy beach divides the sea from the Mediterranean maquis and pinewood along the Ionian arch. In the background, the hilly countryside of the Murge can just be seen.

The dunes come between the pinewood and the sea creating an important defense for the inland areas against sea erosion. Behind the long sandy coastline, in the initial section between Taranto (the river Tara) and Palagiano (the river Petemisco and the river Lenne), numerous springs can be found – some with warm water – coming from the freatic water table.


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Western Ionian coast: Mediterranean maquis on the beach

The sandy coastline is characterised by various river estuaries and courses of water – of karstic origin – which contribute to enriching the flora and fauna of the environment. Many species of swamp birds can be seen: moor hens, coots, kingfishers which are quite often accompanied by storks, bee-eaters and herons. In this natural environment, where every season is typically mild with spectacular colours, it is possible to find – particularly if you enter the perfuse woods – foxes, badgers, ferrets, hedgehogs, thrushes, woodcocks and turtledoves. If you are lucky, it is possible to see otters and weasles near the courses of water.


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The Western Ionian coastline. The aerial view shows one of the river estuaries of karstic origin which enrich the flora and fauna of the territory

The fine soft sandy coastline, is given great value near some more famous seaside resorts, which are well equipped with functional and quality tourist and sports facilities: Chiatona (under the municipality of Massafra) and Pino di Lenne (under the municipality of Palagiano); Riva dei Tessali with its tourist village, resort and golf course and Castellaneta Marina which offers - in the New Yardinia tourist complex – the biggest centre of talassotherapy in the Mediterranean (both seaside resorts are under the municipality of Castellaneta). Marina di Ginosa (belonging to the municipality of Ginosa) is a seaside resort which has been awarded the Blue Flag for its clean bathing water on several occasions.


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The Western Ionian coastline: the sports and tourist facilities. Marina di Ginosa has been awarded the Blue Flag on several occasions, an International acknowledgement, set up in 1987 European Year for the Environment, assigned to the tourist seaside resorts that respect the criteria of sustainable management of the territory.

THE TARANTINE MURGE UPLANDS:THE “RAVINES” AND THE “ITRIA VALLEY”. Taranto and its coastline (both on the East, or Ionio-Salento, and on the West Ionio-Lucania) is surrounded by a hilly upland of karstic origin called “The Murge”, which crosses a large part of the central territory of the Apulia Region. The “Tarantine Murge” are the final part of this upland which decreases slowly towards the sea, towards Taranto and its coastline: Ionio – Lucania and Lucania. The name Murge derives from the Latin word “murex”, which means “rock”: in fact, rock and stone are a fundamental aspect of the Apulian territory. The “Tarantine Murge” offer a particular contribution to this characteristic with a naturally breathtaking scenery. In fact, a sort of natural amphitheatre, made up of 60 “canyons” distributed in two semi-circles of different heights (the first at 400-500 metres, the second at 100-300 metres) face onto the Gulf of Taranto: they are the “Ravines”.


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Next to the “Ravines”, a gentle hilly territory rises which even today is an example of extraordinary balance between man and nature: “The Itria Valley”, with its characteristic “Trulli”. THE RAVINES The ravines are characterised by karstic rock which has been sculptured by meteoric water and old courses of water. This sculpturing has created the “ravines”, made up of steep and rough walls of up to 200 metres high; the “lame”, which are shallower cuts in the ground, coinciding with the beginning and end of the ravines; the “gorge”, the “caves” and the “underground passages”. About 150 ravines have been plotted in the province of Taranto. It is a landscape similar to that of canyons, very rich in flora and fauna: ash and ilex woods, rock vegetation, birds of prey night and day, marsh birds, small mammals (foxes, badgers, porcupines, etc.) and wild boar, populate this territory which is crossed by streams and courses of water.

The Ravines of Laterza: twisting and turning, pinacles of rock, sudden drops on which rock plants vegetate, form extraordinary ecosystems which have survived up to the present day.


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Through centuries, from the Neolithic age (as shown by the Dolmen of the “Gravina Leucaspide” of Statte) up to halfway through 1900, man has always used these “cavities”.

The Taranto Murge, Municipality of Statte: the “Dolmen of S. Giovanni or of Leucaspide”, a megalithic monument of the Bronze Age.

The number of caves and underground passages and the nature of the limesandstone rock of the ravines –easily dug -have allowed man to create entire villages along and inside the rocky walls. They are the well-known settlements of the “rocky civilization” (developed over a long period from the Byzantine domination in the V-VI centuries up to the Aragonese age in the XV century). In fact, villages equipped with the essential infrastructures were built: paths, little stairs, terraces, systems for the collection and distribution of rain water and food provisions, stores and workshops, graveyards, besides the rupestrian churches and the monasteries built and/or dug and frescosdecorated thanks to the significant presence of monks and Byzantine hermits who escaped from the East in the period of iconoclastic persecutions.


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The Basilian Monks, obliged to emigrate to Southern Italy from the Byzantine Empire, apart from transferring their culture and figurative art techniques (frescos, icons and sculptures), also brought selected cultivations of plants and animals, methods of cultivation and breeding, as well as methods of conservation, preparation and uses of food.

Tarantine Murgia, territory of the ravines of the town of Mottola: the rupestrian church of St Nicolas. The church has a planimetric design with three apsidal naves, of which only some portions remain with the beautiful cycle of frescos created by the technique of tempera colours on dull plaster (XII-XIV century).

After the Neolithic period, the Ionian people returned to live in this territory in order to escape, like the Oriental religious fugitives, from danger: in this case from the terrible wars and invasions by the Byzantines, Goths, Longobards and Normans, together with the repeated attacks from the Saracens which made the towns and coastal urban areas unsafe. The rupestrian sites were most popolated between the X and the XI


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centuries: the experience of monasticisim (Basilian and Benedictine) were vital for the reorganisation of agricultural activities in the territory. The Basilians and Benedictines contributed to rebuilding the best living and working conditions of the peasant masses who were left as orphans after the Greek-Roman experience, based on the organisation of the municipalities. The influence of Christianity, which introduced a different relationship between men and women and nature, on a theo-philosophical basis, is evident in this reconstruction process.

The Ravines of Ginosa: the Rivolta village, comprised of 66 caves divided on 5 levels, is considered to be the most important Italian rupestrian village. A habitat of great historical-natural interest, where it is possible to discover how man adapted himself to the rocks, digging out everything he needed: houses, cisterns, ovens, mills, shelves, chimneys, stables, roads, cellars, churches, sepulchres‌. .

The artistic-cultural heritage of the ravines, has been further enriched by evidence of the “rural civilisation� of the following period: farmhouses, trulli, house-caves, dry stone walls, in harmony with the network of cultivated fields and natural environments, defining a unique scenery.


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The Ravine of Palagianello: the current urban centre of Palagianello rises up imediately behind the ravine with the same name, on the side of which a complex and articulated rupestrian village developed in the middle ages. The settlement has, for many centuries, been complementary to the “sub divo”historical centre, enriched by the 16th century construction of the Caracciolo Castle (in the top right of the photo).

Today, the municipalities of this territory are characterised above all by their historical centres on the edges of the ravines, providing a most suggestive scenery. A scenery which is in perfect balance with the natural landscape, from which it is possible to enjoy, from various “view-points” scattered along the roads and squares – enchanting panoramas of the valleys and the Gulf of Taranto.


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Castellaneta: Old Town Centre – a view of the ravine with its morphological scarps and fluviokarstic carvings.

In order to protect the naturalistic, landscape and cultural heritage, the Natural Regional Park "The Land of Ravines" has recently been founded (Regional Law no 18/2005). The park stretches to 13 villages in the Province of Taranto (Ginosa, Laterza, Castellaneta, Mottola, Massafra, Palagiano, Palagianello, Statte, Crispiano, Martina Franca, Montemesola, Grottaglie e S. Marzano). The visitor can discover the natural, historical, archaeological and architectonic sights of the Park "The Land of Ravines" thanks to special routes: this is a good chance to get to known Massafra's manmade ravines, which are directly linked to habitations.


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The Madonna della Scala Ravine, with its sanctuary (XVII Century), together with S. Marco and S. Caterina Ravine, is one of the three manmade ravines in the town of Massafra. .

In Grottaglie, the visitor can also see the Quarries (Pits) of Fantiano (today a natural open-air theatre) where the “Ceramics District� stands by St George's Ravine at the foot of Episcopio Medieval Castle. Evidence of the rock architecture of the Ceramics Quarter and its uniqueness is shown by the many workshops bored in the rock where Ceramics for domestic use have been produced since the Middle Ages.


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Grottaglie: "Ceramics District". The District is made of several Grottos which host several workshops, some of which still preserve ancient furnaces fallen into disuse. In every workshop you can see the different manufacturing stages and buy the finished product.

The ceramics of Grottaglie have competed for centuries against another famous ceramics tradition from the “Terra delle Gravine – Land of Ravines”: the majolica of Laterza, also born in the medieval furnace dug in the tufo rock. The majolica of Laterza can be recognised by its istoriato style, characterised by a monochromatic touch, with variable shades that go from light blue to blue on a white glaze, with the odd touches of yellow and green.


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Majolica of Laterza: monochrome blue istoriato majolica plate, dating back to the end of the XVII cent., with a womanly figure seated in the middle, surrounded by floral elements around the boarder.

The routes of the Land of the Ravines wind round Templar, Norman, Swabian, Angevin and Aragonese castles, convents, farmhouses, monasteries, and the "One hundred Farmhouses" of the town of Crispiano and the many other farmhouses scattered in the countryside of the "Taranto Murge". The Farmhouses were created to re-organize agriculture and livestock breeding, just like the mythical phoenix, on the remains of Roman country villas, ancient farmhouses, rupestrian settlements and deserted monasteries (XIII-XVII Centuries). The Farms document the agrarian and social history of the whole Ionian province as well as the Apulian one from the Middle Ages until the land reform of the years after the Second World War. The farmhouses were built following the scheme of the Mediterranean rural court: a fence with a tall reinforced wall and a wide central area (court or courtyard) that was used as a barnyard. On this


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courtyard there were the halls of the various buildings as well as several working areas; next to the courtyard there is "the jazzo", whose boundaries were marked by a high drywall . "The jazzo" was used as a shelter for the animals. Each farm has usually a large entrance door with a strong front gate which enabled carriages and wagons to enter .

Taranto S.Pietro Farm in Mutata - previously a Roman villa and monastery- dates back to 1400: a bird's-eye view reveals the wide central area (court or courtyard) overlooking the various buildings and workshops. In the background you can see Taranto’s Mar Piccolo.

The farmhouses are characterised by different typologies: closed court, fenced court, castle farm, farmhouses with trulli, village-farmhouse, each of them is an example of the different uses of a complex and functional economic and productive system for the use of both land and labour which has remained the same for centuries.


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THE ITRIA VALLEY The “Itria Valley� is an area located in Central Apulia between the Provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto: the nearest main town which is better connected to the Itria Valley is Taranto. The Itria Valley coincides with the Southern part of the Murgia uplands (Low Murgia). Typical constructions called "trulli" are the main feature of the valley: for this reason, the Itria valley is just a part of a wider land called "Trulli Valley" or "Trulli Murgia".

The Trulli Valley , Martina Franca: rural landscape with trulli and cultivations

Martina Franca is the highest and most populated town (about 50,000 inhabitants) in the Itria Valley: its Trulli are located outside the urban area, whereas in Alberobello, the Trulli are located in the town. Consequently, the main feature of Martina Franca as well as of the other municipalities in


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the Itria Valley is the countryside full of Trulli: a rural habitat with a strong and expert anthropisation.

The Itria Valley is characterised by a rural landscape similar to a mosaic full of sown grounds, woods and pastures. The relationship residence-direct agricultural production has an old historical and cultural tradition of which the “trullo” is the emblem.

Trulli (from late Greek τρούλος trúlos, ancient Greek τροῦλλος trûllos, “dome”) are old dry stone huts with a conical roof of proto-historic origins specific to Southern and Central Apulia and typical of the Itria Valley. Although prehistoric archeological finds as well as Bronze Age hut foundations have been found in the Trulli Valley, the Trulli are not very old. This is because, for economical reasons, the trulli were repaired or rebuilt using the same stone.

Trulli were born as seasonal places for agricultural and pastoral activity; the “cozzaro” (the man who tilled his landlord’s soil) was given the possibility to sleep with his family and keep the farm tools in the trullo. The straw mattresses were placed in niches made from the wall of the main trullo. Curtains served as doors and separated the main trullo from the cozzaro’s niches.


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The oldest Trulli date back to 15th Century; they flourished between 16th and 19th Centuries strengthening the manufacturing system of the farmhouses which produced and manufactured agricultural products as well as products from cattle, pig, poultry and mainly sheep breeding.

Crispiano, Amastuola Farmhouse: situated on a plateau which dominates the whole Taranto plain; its th origins date back to 16 Century. It has recently been part of an innovative reconversion project in which agriculture is carried out as an “agricultural - food - environmental - tourist - cultural” organized system.

The Trulli, like the farmhouses (there are 254 in the Martina Franca countryside) are not only places for agriculture and farming, but they are also venues for – nature, culture and land. Today, a growing number of trulli and farmhouses (the ones which are not used in agricultural or farming activities anymore) is being restored and equipped for tourism andfarm holidays that are trying to answer the needs of people who want toknow the land’s genius loci, together with its history, culture and traditions.


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Farm Holidays in the Itria Valley. The charm of Trulli: Renovation experiences which let us appreciate the ancient man-nature alliance.

Disused farmhouses are being restored and equipped both for tourisn and farm holidays with the objective of producing income preserving historical and cultural heritage.


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Martina Franca (and the other municipalities in the Itria Valley) is also famous for its old town centre, which is one of the most beautiful in Southern Italy; it is a wonderful expression of Baroque and Rococo styles which bring out every single detail, even the most hidden ones. Its palaces, arches, houses, churches and cathedrals are full of beautiful decorations. This refinement is also typical of the doors and windows in ordinary people’s houses scattered along the lanes.

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Martina Franca: the old town centre. Martina Franca has been one of the protagonist cities in 17 and th 18 centuries of the great period of Apulian Baroque. Walking through the Old Town Centre the baroque and th rococo decorations which enrich churches and 18 century buildings give the city an artistic feature, as the decorations are present in less refined architectures too.


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Martina Franca: St Martin’s Cathedral. A magnificent example of baroque architecture, characterised by the extreme height of the facade. The stretched height, which could be lost in a myriad of disconnected details, is instead, kept together by the central decoration which is sculptured in relief. The facade of the Cathedral is just a taste of the treasures hidden inside.

The Taranto ‘’MURGE’’ die down on the ancient “Messapic lands” of Manduria and Avetrana (respectively at 80 and 60m. above sea level) leading us almost hand in hand to visit the evidence of this ancient Messapian civilization which opposed the Greek Town of Taranto. The remains of the past are visible to the public today thanks to the foundation of the Messapic Walls Archeological Park. In the Archeological Park we can admire the majestic megalithic walls that protected Messapic Manduria from Magna Grecia Taranto: the walls are surrounded by an archaeological dig that has brought to light the


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largest Messapic necropolis ever discovered (over 1,200 tombs which date back to VI and II Century B.C., were excavated from 1955-1960).

Manduria, Messapic Walls Archeological Park: external wall and necropolis. In the Messapic period, Manduria was surrounded by a triple wall (dating back to VI and III century B.C.): an internal one, an external one, and one in the middle. Just outside the walls there is a vast necropolis with thousands of tombs.

Close to this majestic archeological structure we can find the “Plinian Fountain”, the large round cave which dates back to the Messapic Age – dug out from karstic underground soil. The cave has housed for thousands of years an underground source of meteoric water (that can be easily reached, going down the little steps carved in the rock) illuminated by light filtering through the hall and the squared crack in its vault.


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Manduria: the “Plinian Fountain”, symbol of the town. Inside the round cave there is the underground spring, surrounded by a round wall, (left in the picture), where the water that has been collected by the people for thousands of years, still flows today. The fountain (described by Plinius the Old, writer and Roman st scholar of 1 century A.C.) was used by the Messapian people as a cult place, probably dedicated to a god of the waters.

The Taranto “Murge” end around the Plinian Fountain: a location full of cultural meaning, and of invoked and hoped prodigious effects.


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THE CITY OF TARANTO

Taranto, the ancient Taras “Τάρας”, founded in 706 B.C. by the Spartan people of Falanto, guided by the prediction of the Delphi Oracle: “When you see a still sky rain, you’ll conquer territory and town’’.


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THE MILLENNIAL EXISTENCE OF TARANTO IS DEVELOPED AROUND FIVE ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL PRINCIPLES

THE TALASSOCRATIC AXIS: TARANTO CAPITAL OF THE MAGNA-GRECIA

The taleassocratic axis: the Mediterranean “CRADLE OF CIVILISATION”. The sea routes of the Mediterranean cities between 1600 B.C. and 200 A.C. (Talassocracy from the greek θαλασσα, sea and κρατοσ power: form of government based on the ruling of the sea).

Through the Mediterranean Sea, in particular between the Egeo Sea and the Italian peninsula (with particular reference to the Ionian Arch) between Egypt, Crete and the Minor Asian coasts (Anatolia, actual Turkey) copper and arsenic alloy metallurgy was spread. The maritime Commercial network was always busy and allowed the settling of a kind of cultural


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homogeneity between East and West. The Mediterranean Sea, which could be sailed in spring and in autumn, was the main factor fostering communication especially commercial ones. It ensured exchanges and swift transfers. The road conditions, in fact, did not allow the shipping of fragile goods by land, and did not grant the provision for big centres.

The common etno-anthropoligical roots of the Mediterranean peoples (Map taken from: “Atlante storico mondiale�, by G. Duby, Rizzoli, Larousse, 2004)

The Mediterranean, the cradle of very ancient civilizations, witnessed the birth and development of Taranto - the town founded by the Spartans -


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Capital of Magna Grecia. The Tarantines made their fortune by the intensive practice of sea cultivation in the Mar Piccolo (rich in citri: submarine springs of fresh water), structuring a real industrial system for the production of crimson, fine linen, oysters and mussels, that they were able to develop and trade. These were the reasons that made Taranto, between V and III century B.C., the richest and most populated town of the Mediterranean (with over 200,000 inhabitants), a city which knew a period of great splendour under the government of the Pitagoric Archita (IV century B.C.).

Taranto: the "Tomb of the Athletes". It is the most important example of Tarantine funeral architecture from the arcaic period (end of VI – beginning of V cent. B.C.), situated near the main communication routes of the city. The objects (exhibited in the National Archeological Museum of Taranto), as well as the tomb structure, highlight the most representative aspects of Tarantine aristocratic culture: athletes and banquets. An evident example of the high social level of the people buried, joined in life – as in death – by political, cultural and ideological affinity.


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The Mediterranean from VI to the II Centuries B.C. (Map taken from: “Atlante storico mondiale”, by G. Duby, Rizzoli, Larousse, 2004)

With the passing of centuries, some civilisations which confronted over Mediterranean supremacy appeared: many times the Wind of History (when there was no evil spirit of war) blew benign from East to West of the Mediterranean and vice-versa. For this reason, peoples have experienced a common anthropological-cultural development, with universal identities and values. The III – II centuries A. D. characterized the period of Roman conquests: Taranto fell in 272 A.D. – after a three year siege – Rome completed the conquest of the Magna Grecia and the whole of Southern Italy in little time.


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Taranto. The Temple of Poseidon (or Doric Tempio), is the oldest temple in the Magna Grecia and is the only place of Greek cult still visible in the Old Part of the city. The two Doric columns left as evidence of the ancient Magno-Greek temple (each 8,47 metres high, with a diametre of 2,05 metres), rise up next to the eighteenth century Monastery of San Michele, home to the “G.Piaisiello� music Institute.


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THE VIA APPIA AXIS: TARANTO IN THE ROMAN PERIOD

The great communication routes between Rome, Bysantia and the Mediterranean

The Via Appia, evidence of Roman engineering genius, responded both to the military needs and to the economical reasons for the extension of conquest towards the centre of the Mediterranean, and step by step reached the ports and urban settlements of Taranto, on the Ionio, and Brindisi on the Adriatic. Construction work for the Via Appia started in 312 B.C., when Rome was at the top of its expansion, aiming at its dominion over the Mediterranean. Since then, the Via Appia has taken on an important role and has been remembered, throughout the centuries, as “insignis”, “nobilissima”, “regina viarum”, for its being modern and safe and because it connected the wealthiest and most civilized regions of the


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ancient world, i. e. Campania, Sannio, Apulia and the Middle East. Via Appia, with the sections called Appia “regina viarum” (Roma-TarantoBrindisi) and Appia “Traiana” (Benevento-Troia-Ruvo-Canosa- BariBrindisi), was considered the main communication link within the Roman Empire. Via Appia kept its role of international major road for military, commercial and cultural communication even during the Byzantine Age, because it linked ancient Rome to “Nuova Roma” (first named “Bizantium”, then “Nuova Roma-Constantinople”, nowadays the modern metropolis of İstanbul).

The trade of the Roman Empire during the Augustan Age: the ancient Mediterranean Europe Area

Also in the period of great expansion of the Roman Empire, Taranto kept being one of the main centres and routes of trade in the Mediterranean. After being conquered in 272 B.C. Taranto, through the Via Appia, turned


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into the main terminal in the Mediterranean of the “Caput Mundi”, besides being one of the most favourite holiday resorts of the Roman aristocracy.

splendid marble head of “Augusto capite velato”, kept in the MARTA’, il Museo ARcheologico Nazionale di TArant – National Archeological Museum of Taranto, was registered –in 2013The

and acknowledged as “Patrimonio Messaggero di una Cultura di Pace-Messenger Heritage of Peace Culture” by the Unesco. Taranto, daughter city of Sparta, experienced under the Augustan principality a period of considerable artistic and economic flourishment, enriching itself with an important domus and public buildings. Taranto was the location -in 37 B.C.- of the peace treaty between Ottaviano and Antonio, mediated by the diplomatic action of Ottavia.

Taranto was considered “blessed by Gods” and was visited and admired by the greatest scholars of ancient times among whom we remember Plato, Horace, Virgil, Columella, Cicero, Pompeius, Marziale.


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THE VIA FRANCIGENA OF THE SOUTH AXIS IN THE MIDDLE AGES: FROM ROME TO TARANTO TOWARDS THE AREA OF THE HOLY LAND.

The axis of the via Francigena of the South. In the Middle Ages, this section of the old via Appia scattered with monasteries, convents and hospitals – which lead from Rome to Taranto, enabled the numerous pilgrims and crusaders to board ships in the Apulian ports and reach the area of the Holy Land.

Constant maintenance made the Via Appia efficient until the Middle Ages. A long section of the road was named Via Francigena, connecting Rome to the ports of Taranto, Brindisi and to the other Apulian ports on the Adriatic Sea, which were boarding points to the Holy Land for pilgrims and crusaders.


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The via Francigena artery connecting the Mediterranea Europe area

The Via Francigena (also called Via della Francia or Via Romea) linked the three main Christian religious destinations of the Middle ages: Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Rome and Jerusalem. In particular the Via Francigena started from Canterbury, cut across the French territory picking the pilgrims who moved to and from the Sanctuary of Saint James from Compostela, went on beyond Rome to Southern Italy as far as the important Apulian ports which were bound to – seaports for all the ships setting out for the Middle East. The journey, as a matter of fact, continued by sea to Constantinople (modern Instanbul) to end in Jerusalem. In all the territories touched by the itinerary it is still common to bump into the ancient “heritage” of that experience: churches, convents, mansions, hospices and Templar knight locations. The use of the Via Francigena as a


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route of intense passage and trade brought to the development of many towns, villages and settlements along the way.

Communication roads in Mediterranean Europe at the time of the crusades.

The Crusades were a long series of wars, fought by Christian European and Muslim armies, mainly in Asia Minor and in the Eastern Mediterranean between XI and XIII centuries. The Crusaders’ favourite route (although not the only one) was Via Francigena: notwithstanding, the different routes merged into a common road which joined Constantinople to Jerusalem, crossing the highland of Anatolia (today’s Turkey).


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These communication routes, used both by pilgrims and by the armies, were busy with intense trade and traffic.

The Byzantine Empire: the second founding of Taranto

Taranto and Apulia were part of the Byzantine Empire until the second half of XI century and were afterwards conquered by the Normans. Under the Byzantine Empire, Taranto –for a short period was under the dominion of the Saracens (840-880 A.D), who used the Tarantine port as a base for their raids. Reconquered by the Byzantines, Taranto was sacked and destroyed – in 927 – by the Saracens themselves. After 40 years (97), the city was rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Nucifero II Foca: like the mythical “phoenix”- it was reborn from its ashes to become “Kàstron”, or Byzantine “fortified city”.


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The old town of Taranto: Vico Ospizio The second founding of Taranto, after the Spartan one, was the work of the Byzantine Emperor: after the Saracen destruction, the city was rebuilt following oriental architecture, like with the narrow or postierle stairways.


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The Byzantine Emperor (considered to be the second founder of Taranto) ordered the building of today’s Old City Borgo with architectural features which are well visible and widely used even today: the filling in of part of the coast by the Mar Piccolo in order to ease the fishermen’s work; Via di Mezzo , Via Marina and Postierle, i. e. the narrow staircases in the Old City (linking the upper part and the lower part of the city), at the bottom of which some secondary doors opened in the defensive walls of the City; the construction of a bridge with seven arches (today’s St Egidio bridge) which connected the City to the via Appia; the reconstruction of the old Roman aqueduct on 203 arches (the Triglio aqueduct), which across the bridge, brought the waters to the City (today’s Piazza Fontana) from the nearby Murge. THE AXIS OF THE NORMAN, SWABIAN, ANGEVIN, AROGONESE CASTLES

Norman Territory in the XI century

From XI to XIV centuries, the Norman, Swabian and Angevin dominations triggered great social and political transformations mostly in the South (taking advantage of the enlivening experience of monasticism in the reorganization of agricultural activities); this provoked considerable repercussions on the change of the landscape itself. The internal areas, the urban settlements and the coastline fostered, thanks to intensive legislation (the introduction of the feudal system), a well-structured productive system. The coast towns, invested by the cultural and economic influences which interested the Mediterranean, distributed - on the large international market - the


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agricultural commodities from the internal areas located around castles, farms and hamlets. In this period, under the control of a centralized power, the territory of Taranto, like a large part of the South, was divided into counties, subdivided into feuds, administered by counts and barons.

The Church of San Domenico Maggiore (once San Pietro Imperiale): a Church dedicated to the cult of San Pietro Imperiale was built, in the Byzantine period, on the remains of a Greek temple from the V cent. B.C. The present day Church was built around 1302 by the noble Giovanni Taurisano, who was one of the followers of Carlo I D’Angiò: there is a magnificent gothic entrance and central rose in romantic style, harmoniously fused with the double baroque staircase. The interior follows the latin cross design; the main altar is in baroque style; the linear ceiling has been restored.

Taranto, following the Norman conquest, became capital of the Principality of Taranto: it remained so for 377 years (1088-1465). The City had its period of maximum splendour with Raimondo Orsini Del Balzo (1399): the dominions of


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the Principality were grouped together with that of The County of Lecce, the County of Soleto and some barons and lords in Terra di Lavoro e Terra di Bari. Subsequently, the Principality of Taranto became a powerful feudal dominion of the Kingdom of Naples. Alfonso IV of Aragon, the king of Naples, united the Kingdom of Naples with that of Sicily: reorganised administration, reorganised the network of “tratturi” (paths) and the regulations for their use. He also organised the Universitates, our current day municipalities, authorising them to adopt their own statutes.

The Aragonese Castle of Taranto The first part of the castle was built by the Byzantines in the X century A.D. and susequently fortified by the Normans, Swabians and Angevins. In 1492 the castle was consolidated by Ferdinando I of Aragon – in order to protect itself better from the raids by the Turks and Saracens – with five circular towers: today, there are four towers, because one was destroyed to make room for the Ponte Girevole - swing bridge. The castle is a real historical-archeological mine: artifacts belonging to the Bronze Age, the Magno-Greek period, the Roman and late Imperial periods have been found; thousands of years of evidence showing that the site was inhabited by different Mediterranean European populations.

THE TRANSHUMANCE AXIS: THE MURGE AND TARANTINE TRATURELLI The practice of transhumance (the term “transhume” comes from transport) in Southern Italy goes back for centuries. From the mountains of Abruzzo and Molise, herds were lead – across tratturi and tratturelli – to


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spend the winters in Apulia, on the rich grazing ground of the Gargano, the Tavoliere and the Murge, a practice that was already carried out at the time of the Roman Empire (transhumance was an economic factor that influenced earnings in Ancient Rome). The importance of this practice for the economy and society was calculated showing that during the peak period of transhumance (from the middle of the XV century to the XVII century), the tratturi were crossed annually by 3 million to 5 and a half million sheep and by 30 thousand to 50 thousand shepherds, along a communication network that stretched from L’Aquila to Taranto, covering over 3,000 km. A communication network of tratturi (layed out like meridians), traturelli and bracci (layed out like parallels) which dictated movement and settlement in the whole of the Eastern Mezzogiorno. Today, along the tratturelli, a growing number of farmhouses are renovated and set up for agricultural tourism, which is more and more on demand by customers who are keen to learn about the “genius loci” of the territory, with its history, culture and traditions.

Tratturi and tratturelli in the Lucania Appennines and the Taranto Bari Murge. In the Murge of Taranto, three main paths were used to transhume flocks: the” Tratturello Tarantino”, the “Tratturello Martinese” and the “Tratturo” of Orsaneo in Castellaneta (the continuous red line indicates the main tratturi, paths, the dotted one the “tratturelli”, the secondary paths) were important trade links between Central and Southern Italy. (Cartina tratta da: "Le lunghe vie erbose: tratturi e pastori del Sud", Italo Palasciano, Capone editore, Lecce, 1984).


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In the context analysed so far, the role of Taranto and its Province is highlighted - overlooking the Ionian sea- the focal point of EuroMediterranean history: at first a Greek Polis, then a vibrating centre of the Roman Municipality, a Byzantine port, a Saracen town, the Capital of the “Principato degli Orsini�, the Aragonese Universitates, an important path of transhumance.


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FOOD: KNOWLEDGE AND KNOWHOW The culinary traditions of the Ionian territory, the heart of Mediterranean Europe, with its cultural and ethnic elements, are a result of the history of the area, which dates back to a distant past. This explains why there are a lot of good reasons to go on a journey to the Province of Taranto, a journey to a unique heritage of experiences and knowledge, mirrored by its food.

"A picture of Dionisis. Vines, wine and cults in Magna Grecia". MArTA' – National Archeological Museum of Taranto, temporary exhibition from 18 March to 20 July 2010.

Crop cultivation and livestock breeding by the Tarantines and Ionian communities, their way of getting food, preparing, cooking and putting it on the table, food and socialising, have all been reached after a thousand year process which leads to the “table” (symposium, banquets, meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner), sitting around a “good table”, a metaphor for sharing, the place where wishes and desires are expressed, where cultures meet and new solutions for improving life and work are found.


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“Questa è Taranto” (This is Taranto): photo from the tourist promotion campaign for the Apulia Region 2013 – highlighting the ancestral significante of sitting around a “good table”.

FOOD AND WINE ORIGINS: THE BANQUET AND THE SYMPOSIUM IN TARANTO. The agricultural settlements in Taranto, the “chora” (the greek countryside which had the farm as a housing unit), is evidence of the Spartan colony’s skill in cultivating and breeding animals - at the end of the VIII century B.C. The Spartans, who settled in the fertile lands situated between the river Tara, the Mar Grande, the Mar Piccolo and the first slopes of the Murge uplands, had a strategic location, full of perennial springs, protected by the sea on three sides, served by a wide port.


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A strategic place which became optimal with the occupation of the promontory of Saturo, that allowed them to rule and control the part of “Chora” between the Ionian coast and the Eastern shore of the Salina Grande. Once having founded Taranto, the Spartans knew how to take full value of the sea and land resources - plants and animals - of the territory: the agroindustrial models of the homeland were combined with the experiences of the native populations and wisely placed in the rich and luxuriant, natural and environmental context. Since the birth of Taranto, the Mar Piccolo - a complicated ecosystem of karstic formation characterized by the presence of fresh water springs also called “Citri” - has been the subject of a slow and intelligent development. The Spartan colonies introduced in the Mar Piccolo the intensive practice of sea farming for the production of purpura, byssus, oysters, mussels, sources of work and wealth, which are still necessary to continue and protect today.

The kylix del “Pittore dei pesci-fish designs”: MARTA, Museo nazionale ARcheologico di Taranto – National Archeological Museum of Taranto. The bowls, in laconic pottery (the type produced in Laconia, a region of the Peloponneso where Sparta rose) black figures, dating back to the VI cent. B.C: all from one tomb, show the well preserved decorations of tuna fish and dolphins. It is known that Taranto is a city fonde by the Spartans: these importations show the Tarantine will to keep in contact with the home country.

With the Pythagorean Archita government - an innovator also for agriculture, who allowed the cultivation area to be enlarged and introduced


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some improvements in production techniques – the Tarantines developed an extraordinary culture for good food.

A typical plate of Spartan Taranto - mussels, calamari, peas and cuttlefish with aromatic plants, would have looked like this. Peas, originating from central Asia, were already well-known in Greek food and wine culture (Teofastro), and were later acquired by the Roman one too ( Plinio and Columella).

In the seas of Taranto, mussel farming and fish farming became more and more flourishing, while farms worked the soil with new intensive techniques of plantation, they treated agricultural products with new instruments (mills, presses, rotary mills) and cattle and sheep breeding increased. Taranto, became a big centre for commercial trade with the polis and the cities of the Mediterranean, a place well-known for its good food and lifestyle, where the “banquet” was practised, followed by the “symposium” (drinking all together).


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A banqueter laying on the Kline holding a bowl and a lyre. From the end of the VI century B.C. National Archeological Museum , Taranto

The banquet and symposium - for their ceremonial and social value – were not mere alimentation practices, but were occasions of conviviality, hospitality and presents: often the guests brought with them a wicker basket holding food carefully chosen.


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The nutcracker: in bronze and gold, from the endof the IV, beginning of the III centuries B.C. MARTA, Museo ARcheologico nazionale, TAranto - National Archeological Museum, Taranto.

So what did the population of Taranto eat? They usually ate foods that nowadays still represent the basis of the Mediterranean diet : oil and olives, bread and cereals, other leguminous plants and vegetables, wild and


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aromatic plants, cheeses, fish, oysters, mussels, molluscs, octopus, cuttlefish, sea urchins and calamari, shellfish and meat (in moderate quantities), all accompanied by a big variety of both fresh fruit ( apples, pears, grapes, pomegranates, figs and so on) and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts) all washed down with good wine from “the vines of Dionisis”, not forgetting sweets and honey.

The Mediterranean diet today like yesterday: a consumption of vegetables, fruit and nuts, accompanied by fish and meat (in moderate quantities), all washed down by wine or “Dionisis juice”

ROMAN TARANTO Under Roman dominion, Taranto was a luxurious countryside, the fruit of Magno-Greek inheritance, characterised by a well-organised community careful to respect the vital cycles of nature, able to collect; colours, perfumes, tastes, knowledge and the abundance of products both from land and sea with particular reference to the rich sea cultivations of the Mar Piccolo. With the distribution of Tarantine land to veteran legionaries, who arrived in numbers after the second Punic war, the Romans substituted the little Magno-Greek farm with the more articulated model of the rustic villa, characterised by a more complex agricultural production, organisation and management. In this way, cereal and tree monocultivation began, which was not only able to satisfy the needs of the urban


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centre, but also those of the Empire and its trade. The latifundium began in this way, with high commercial value production (oil, wine, fruit and honey in particular): it is not by chance that Plinio il Vecchio defined Manduria – the land in Apulia which today is represented for the production of its “Primitivo” – as “viticulosa”, or “piena di vigne – full of vines” .

MARTA-Museo ARcheologico nazionale, Taranto - National Archeological Museum, Taranto: the remains of the Roman Domus in Piazza Maria Immacolata, taken from excavations in 1898. A view of the great mosaic floor situated in the banqueting hall (sala triclinare) of the (II-III century after Christ).

The Romans ate food in three moments of the day. In the morning they ate a frugal breakfast made up of bread and cheese, preceded by a glass of water (ientaculum). At midday they ate a light lunch made up of bread, cold meat, fruit and wine, often whilst standing (prandium). The main meal, the true Roman meal, was the dinner (cena), which began between 15:00 and 16:00 and on the occasion of particular celebrations, could


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continue - in the triclinar hall (banquet hall) of the domus- until dawn the following day. MONASTICISM AND ENOGASTRONOMY The movement of eastern and western monasticism played a decisive role in the evolution of food culture. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 A.D.), while the Western World was being devastated by the barbarian invasions, Benedictine monasteries (from St. Benedict, b. 480? A.D.), gave rise to a new kind of society which was based on the Christian viewpoint of collective solidarity, rather than the Roman concept of private ownership. The Benedictines tilled the land around their monasteries or made the peasants tend it to protect it from neglect and degradation. This was the reason why centres of mutual trade, fairs and markets not infrequently appeared around the convents. Basilian monks, who were forced to migrate to Southern Italy when the Iconoclast controversy was sparked off by Byzantine Emperor Leo III (726 A.D.), not only were instrumental in spreading their culture and techniques of figurative art (frescos, icons and sculptures), but also introduced plant cultivations and selectively bred animals. Benedictine monasteries and granges, Basilian convents and other monastic cenobies ("cenoby", from ancient Greek "life together") were effective in selecting and diffusing new techniques for growing vegetables, animal breeding, as well as innovative processes for the preparation, use and preservation of food. Diet was rich in vegetables according to Basilian and Benedictine Rules, and meat and fish had to be eaten in moderation, and on stated days. In addition, Monasticism - which saw the birth of the Franciscan and Dominican Orders in the 13th century - saved viticulture from going into neglect by preserving, nurturing and organizing wine production. The importance of such a strategy was well grasped by Frederick II Hohenstaufen (b. 1194 - †1250) who had thousands of vines planted in Apulia despite being teetotal.


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Grottaglie: ex Franciscan convent. Monasticism had a fundermental role in preventing the land from going into neglect: convent were not only places of prayer, but also a reorganisation of the cultural, social and economic life of the community.

SHEPHERDS' GASTRONOMY Transhumance (15th-19th cent.) has bequeathed us the gastronomic civilization of shepherds. The latter moved their sheep from high mountain pastures of central Italy to the ones in the Southern plains to get to the Province of Taranto and vice versa. They followed particular pathways, the so-called "tratturi" ("sheep tracks") and "tratturelli" ("bypaths"), which also soldiers, pilgrims and merchants passed through in the course of time. In winter the paths allowed herdsmen and their flocks to go down out of the mountains and reach areas where grazing was easier. Whereas, in late spring, shepherds went back up the mountains where the grass was greener because the sun scorched and dried out everything on the Southern plains.


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In their tracking backwards and forwards shepherds gradually mastered local cultivations, fruit, vegetables, plants, wild herbs, assorted typologies of wild and farm animals, as well as the typical gastronomy of the places they went through during the different seasons.

Sheep,cows and farmhouses: a great wealth from the past that the Ionian province and many areas of Apulia have never forgotten

Transhumance helped invigorate the rural life of Tarantine territory and gave a further boost to the activities of the farmhouses. The very rocky civilization and farming culture were positively influenced by transhumance through the bartering and trading of products and handmade articles carried out by the shepherds. In the light of these facts, the richness of diversity and quality in flavour and knowledge handed down to us makes the enogastronomic offer of our territory absolutely unique. Among the products of such an extraordinary tradition every food lover should take account of the large production of local dairy products like


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cheese, butter, mozzarella cheese; not to mention the ritual preparation of assorted meats baked in a wood-fired brick oven, as well as sheep stew with dried wild herbs and aromatic plants. Heartily recommended, moreover, is the very tasty "fáve e ffògghie" (Tarantine vernacular expression literally meaning “broad beans and leaves"), a typical local dish consisting of a broad bean purée topped with sautéed wild chicory dressed with extra virgin olive oil. Such great foods, which should be washed down with white wines from the verdeca variety of vine and/or red wines from the primitivo variety of vine, are worth knowing and appreciated all over the world.

IONIAN CUISINE, THE HEART OF THE EURO MEDITERRANEAN History, traditions, ways and customs are the dishes we are served and taste when people lay the table in the Ionian territory of Apulia. Ionian cuisine is very rich and variegated, thanks to its intangible culture and historical heritage passed down to us through generations in the course of time. The attractive and competitive Ionic tourism invites anyone to taste its best foods, sure of offering an age-old culture of its sea and land tracing back to the birth and becoming of the Euro-Mediterranean region. For reasons of space we are forced to make an unpleasant selection from the numerous top class dishes exalting the Ionian gastronomic culture. Nevertheless, we are confident that all this will make you research into the matter to fill the void.

PASTA Pasta tops the list of the favourite foods in the Ionian area and all over Apulia. It is a characterizing factor of a habitat and its history. Traces of alimentary paste have already been found in the Greek, Roman and Arabian diets. However, the modern shapes of pasta only arrived in The Middle Ages.


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Ceramic from Laterza: “A man at the table with angels”. The work is best known as “Mangiamaccheroni” (“the maccheroni eater”), and it is a splendid tray dating back to the XVII century.

Orecchiette or chiancarelle. Orecchiette or chiancarelle (literally little ear-shaped pasta or "little ears") is the most famous kind of homemade fresh pasta cut in our territory, representing the gastronomic icon of Apulia. Even today the homemade fresh pasta tradition firmly resists, in spite of the competitive ready-made food manufacturing industry. Making fresh pasta at home by hand is still remarkably widespread. The shape of the Tarantine variant, whose dimension is 3/4" (three quarters of


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an inch), consists of a round concave disc, with a rough surface and thinner in the middle than on the rim. The particular shape and uneven surface of such orecchiette are dressed with delectable fresh pureed cherry tomatoes from Manduria and basil (the addition of half a spoonful of "ricotta forte"/"sharp ricotta cheese" per person is optional); or ragù, that is, tomato sauce cooked with stuffed meat rolls (beef olives) known as "brasciole" or "involtini". It goes without saying, however, that turnip tops with some chopped garlic, anchovy fillets and chili pepper have always been the ideal seasoning for orecchiette pasta. Orecchiette are officially registered as PAT – Traditional Apulian Agri-food Products, recognized by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, after the proposal of the Apulian Region.

“Orecchiette" or "chiancarelle" probably derive from ancient “lixulae”, a round-shaped kind of homemade pasta with a concave centre which was prepared in ancient Rome. We have had a first-hand account of it from the great historian Varrone.


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Tubettini pasta (small tube-shaped pasta) with mussels (Taranto style). It is a typical Tarantine dish, which owes its superlative reputation to the local mussel farming in Mar Piccolo dating back to Magna Grecia. Fresh mussels with their filtered water are cooked in sautĂŠed "Terre Tarantine" extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, cherry tomatoes from Manduria and chili pepper. Small ribbed (or smooth) tubes of pasta are cooked in this sort of broth. The brothy dish is served warm and the tangy but velvety aroma with the evocative scent of the lands of Apulia and the Ionian Sea match the royal savouring of such a local delicacy.

The mussels of Taranto are different from the farmed ones in other Italian regions because of their reduced size and their sweetness. The latter characteristic is due to the presence of submarine freshwater springs in Mar Piccolo, the so-called "citri", that make the Tarantine mussel production unique.


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RICE The Romans did not consider rice a cereal grain with regard to human nutrition, but rather a medicinal product to treat diseases, as it has been handed down to us by Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus). The Arabs were the first to introduce rice cultivation to the Mediterranean regions, but only in late Renaissance the starchy seeds were included in our eating habits. "Tajèdde" (Tarantine vernacular for "casserole", "round pan"," rectangular /round terracotta baking dish" or "skillet", as well as for the cooking method of food) of rise, potatoes, (zucchini) and mussels from Taranto. Once the Tarantine fresh mussels are cleaned, washed and opened, they are placed in a casserole dish together with vegetables, plants and aromatic wild herbs of our land: cherry tomatoes from Manduria, potato slices, onions, courgettes, parsley, garlic and chili pepper. Everything is masterly sautéed and finally baked in "Terre Tarantine" extra virgin olive oil, with the filtered water of mussels and rice. The dish is finally served with a sprinkling of grated mature pecorino cheese (i.e. from ewe's milk) from the Murge (Apulian plateau).The "Tiella" (from Latin “tegella”, that is "pot") of rice, potatoes and mussels, preferably served lukewarm, becomes an unmissable opportunity to please our palate with a unique combination of the flavours and scent of land and sea.

Tiella of rice, potatoes and Tarantine mussels (in a Grottaglie terracotta dish) a perfect combination of land and sea flavours and tastes from the Ionian coast.


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TARANTINE MUSSELS. Molluscs have been an available food source for man since the Paleolithic age. They have become the scapegoats of sea gastronomy for centuries, because of the fact that they are easier to catch than darting fish. Since the Magna Grecia time, the fortunes of Taranto have been connected with its capacity to carry out a flourishing sea farming in Mar Piccolo (rich in "citri", i.e. submarine freshwater springs). A few decades after the Saracens destroyed Taranto (927 A.D.), which rose again thanks to the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas. He rebuilt the town (whose ancient vestiges still exist nowadays) and granted a system of concessions for fishing and mussel farming. The tarantine mussel is listed in the 226 PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) of the Apulia Region.

“One day man ran into a mussel and ate it: he was from Taranto�. This is an old, popular saying showing how this seafood is identified with the territory.


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Tarantine peppered mussels (cozze alla “puppetègne”, Tarantine vernacular standing for "peasant-style mussels"). It was a quick peasant flavourful recipe from olive-oil mill workers in the area of Taranto. (Worthy of note is that "Puppetègne", comes from the name “puèppete”, which means "villagers/peasants" in Tarantine). Nowadays, like in the past, after removing the mussels from the rope on which they are cultivated (the rope is called “soca” in tarantine vernacular), they are placed in a sauce pan over a medium heat with chopped fresh parsley, "Terre Tarantine" extra virgin olive oil, garlic and a pinch of chili pepper. The mussels open in a few minutes, ready to be tasted. This is a clear example of an extraordinary result with a minimal effort.

Tarantine peppered mussels (cozze alla “puppetegne”): an easy-to-prepare Tarantine dish exalting the scents of the Ionian Sea.


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Mussels au Gratin ("còzze arracanáte" - from Latin "racana", i.e. "garment"). It is another very tasteful dish of Tarantine gastronomic tradition which will satisfy the most exigent palates. The Tarantine mussels are opened and stuffed with a mixture of bread crumbs, "Terre Tarantine" extra virgin olive oil, pepper, parsley and grated mature pecorino cheese from the Murge. After that, they are placed in a low-side sauté pan next to each other. Finally, the pan, which emanates delicate smells of land and sea, is baked. After about 10 minutes the intense flavour and awakening aroma from the cooked mussels will delight the gourmets' palates.

Mussels au Gratin ("còzze arracanáte"): the ancient flavours of the territory enclosed in mussels placed side by side.


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Tarantine fish soup The peculiarity of this soup is that it is made with the typical fish of the Gulf of Taranto: redfish, small eels, mormore, damsels, fish of Saint Peter, crustaceans, squid, cuttlefish, mullet, small octopus, Tarantine mussels, all cooked in Manduria cherry tomatoes, garlic, parsley, “Tarantine� extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of pepper and chilli pepper. The skill consists in knowing all the different cooking times of each fish, which are put into the pan starting with the one that needs most cooking time: the dish should be served with toasted bread from Laterza.

Tarantine fish soup: the perfume of fish from the Gulf accompanied by excellent crunchy bread from the land, all wisely amalgamated.


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SHEPHERD’S AND FARMHOUSE GASTRONOMY

Incapriata (or in Southern vernacular: “ ‘Ncapriata”). The name “Incapriata” or “ ‘Ncapriata” derives from the ancient Greek “Kapyridia”, which means “legume polenta”. It is the most famous dish which has been inherited from the shepherds. It consists in peeled broad beans (the result of the bartering that the shepherds did with the farmers: trading ricotta cheese and serum for broad beans and olive oil) cooked on the fire in a big “pignatta” (a terracotta casserole dish which is still produced in Grottaglie today). When the dish was nearly cooked, wild vegetables which the shepherds had picked while grazing the sheep the previous day, were added: some olive oil and laurel leaves were then added. It was then slowly stirred with a wooden spoon (in Tarantine vernacular: ‘a cucchiàrǝ) and after which the “ ’Ncapriata” was served in big plates ready to be eaten. “Broad beans and greens” (in Tarantine vernacular: "Fáve e fògghie"), which is how it is called today, one of the most loved traditional dishes of the Ionian people.

The magical “ ‘Ncapriata”: many gourmets believe this vegeterian dish to be one of the richest and tastiest. In the photo above you can see the original recipe (as described by us); in the bottom photo the dish is presented with a few variations, but still faithful to the vegetarian “ ‘Ncapriata”


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Mutton stew (in the Murge vernacular: ’O callaridd”) The “regal” dish of transhumance gastronomy is undoubtedly “‘o callaridd” (it takes its name - in the Murge vernacular – from the dish which is used to cook it), namely mutton or goat stew with mixed country greens, dressed with grated sheep’s cheese, which is still prepared today – in the trulli and farmhouses – by expert hands. The secret of this ancient dish lies in the “mescolanza”, in the mix of country greens and herbs which are used – all with different cooking times: eating this dish means enjoying the full, sweet and penetrating aroma of the Tarantine Murge.

“ ‘O callaridd”: an extraordinary culinary dish left to us by the shepherd’s gastronomy, a combination of aromas and tastes from the Tarantine Murge.


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Lamb and goat’s offal rolls (in Tarantine vernacular: “Lǝ gnummarìǝddǝ”) Another exquisite example of the shepherd and farmhouse gastronomy is a dish made up of pieces of lamb or goat offal wrapped in laurel leale with animal intestine. “Lǝ gnummarìǝddǝ” (namely the offal of lamb and goat) is threaded onto a spit and cooked over a grill, by the fire, a method which is still used in the butchers of the municipalities of the Park Land of the “Gravine” (ravines).

Oven ready: “lƽ gnummarìƽddƽ”, together with other meats, they are threaded on spits and cooked over a grill. An ancient transhumance dish from the farm houses of the Murge territory, recognised today as one of the PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) of the Apulia Region.


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TYPICAL PRODUCTS OF THE IONIAN PROVINCE OBTAINED FROM MILK, MEAT AND FLOUR Tarantine Caciocavallo The Tarantine Murge, once involved in transhumance, is still today a breeding area for the production of quality cheeses. The Tarantine caciocavallo owes its goodness to the milk, the aroma of which reflects the numerous aromatic herbs of the Ionian land on which the animals feed. It is one of the PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) of the Apulia Region.

Tarantine Caciocavallo: a tasty “hard” cheese, perfumed by aromatic herbs from the Tarantine Murge uplands

Cacioricotta Cacioricotta is a typical cheese from the far South of Italy, linked to the economy and culture of transhumance: it was the shepherd’s food supply. It is still produced today in the farm houses of the Tarantine land according to the traditional techniques which is a combination of that of traditional cheese and ricotta (from which the name comes), the ingredients of which are sheep/goat’s milk, salt, rennet and a branch of a wild fig tree. The final product contains casein, typical in all cheeses, but also albumin, only typical in ricotta.


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It is present in the PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) of the Apulia Region.

Cacioricotta is a seasoned cheese obtained through a hybrid technique, an in between of the techniques for cheese and ricotta.

Sharp Ricotta Cheese Sharp ricotta cheese is a soft, creamy and spreadable cheese: the taste is very spicy and full, the smell is pungent, penetrating but pleasant. Sharp ricotta cheese, still produced today in the farm houses along the Ionian shores, differently from fresh ricotta, remains edible for a long period of time: it is excellent on pasta, particularly on orecchiette (the “chiangarèddǝ") dressed with tomato or Bolognese sauce, or as a starter on slices of Laterza bread with filets of anchovies.

Sharp ricotta cheese (in Tarantine vernacular: “recòttƽ asquàndƽ”= spicy ricotta) it is obtained from sheep’s milk, and it is also used to fill fried folded pizza: it is classified among the PAT (Typical Agri-food Products) of the Apulia Region.


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Capocollo of Martina Franca. Known and appreciated since XVIII century in the whole Kingdom of Naples, it is the most typical salami sausage of the ancient “norcina” art of Martina Franca. It is a craftsman’s product obtained from selected pigs, bred free-range in a fresh and ventilated territory which is rich in oak, arbutus, olive and pear woods as well as the perfumed essence of the Mediterranean maquis.

The organoleptic qualities of the "Capocollo of Martina Franca" enclose the intense perfumes and delicate flavours of the territory of the Itria Valley: it is one of the PAT of the Apulia Region

Laterza bread and pizza These products are still made today by the Laterza bakers following their old recipes: durum wheat semolina, mixed with natural yeast (left to rise), cooked in a wood oven with the wood from the Tarantine Murge (oak and olive). Before the bread is baked and whilst waiting for the standard temperature of 400°C to be reached, the pizzas are cooked. The loaves (the so-called “panelle”) can be of various sizes: one, two and four kilos in weight depending on consumers’ needs.


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Laterza bread is included in the PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) of Apulia and it is protected by a Consortium of the same name

Friselle A typical bakery product of the Ionian lands, the friselle are “hard” bread biscuits, in the classical round shape with a hole in the middle, made from barley or durum wheat. The traditional cooking process takes place in two stages: in the first stage, the friselle breads – when half-cooked – are taken out of the oven, cut in half with a string and put back in the oven; after which the cooking is completed at a low heat. The friselle were traditionally threaded on a string like a necklace and stored hanging from the ceiling so that they were well aired. This was the bread of the “companies” of reapers, tobacco and olive pickers, millers who populated the Ionian countryside. The preparation of the frisella is simple: it is wetted, “drained” and dressed with Manduria cherry tomatoes, salt and “Tarantine” extra virgin olive oil. According to taste, the frisella can be filled and/or accompanied by herbs, greens and fresh and/or Ionian olive oil preserved vegetables: this way, the friselle are varied making them a tasty single dish, a true delight to the palate.


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Tasty barley or durum wheat friselle, a truly “gastronomic dish� from the Ionian Province. They are also among the PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) of the Apulia Region.


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VEGETABLES, PLANTS AND TREES The plains and hills of the Ionian Province have been – through thousands of years – the places where the people have planted, grafted, cultivated and harvested an extraordinary quantity of vegetables which have been inherited and transformed on our tables. Vegetable and legume cultivations Among the numerous vegetables and legumes which grow on the Ionian shores, we would like to recall some typical and exclusive products to this territory: the Taranto white artichoke, the Manduria cherry tomato, the carosello and the barattiere, the leek, the Mottola squashed red onion, the thistle, the lampascione and, among the wild cultivations, rocket (in latin: “ruca sativa”), excellent in salads. We would like to pay particular attention to the Manduria cherry tomato (the Apulia Region has put this product in the list of PAT – Traditional Agri-food Products): the fresh product can be cooked and eaten as a sauce, or eaten raw as a dressing for tasty friselle and salads. Summer is the ideal season for the production of “sauces”, the tomato preserves that are used as sauces (tomato or bolognaise) to dress pasta during the Winter months; some of the tomatoes – during the Summer months – are cut and sun-dried so that they can be preserved in olive oil and flavoured with garlic and/or mint and/or chilli pepper. We would also like to highlight the lampascioni (in latin: “muscari comosum”), a weedy plant with round bulbs, recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture, as one of the PAT of Apulia. The lampascioni have a very “passionate” taste, combining both strong and contrasting flavours: they are eaten after having been cooked in a pan or preserved in oil. They have an unmistakable aromatic smell which is accompanied by a decisive bitter note with a sweet, full and delicate after-taste.


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The carosello (round shaped) and the barattiere (long shaped) grow best in the “red soil” of the Ionian countryside: they can be eaten raw or in perfumed salads dressed with extra virgin “Tarantine” olive oil, salt and aromatic herbs. They are among the PAT products of the Apulia Region.

Cultivations of aromatic plants Many plants and herbs are used to give flavour to the food on the Ionian table: sage, oregano and thyme; basil (basil is the essential aromatic plant in coking: it gives flavour to salads, bolognaise sauces and stews); capers; Rosemary; wild fennel; spicy chilli pepper; garlic; mint; green aniseed; parsley and laurel.


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Dried garlic and chilli peppers (photo on the left) hanging and branches of rosemary (photo on the right) hanging over a dry stone wall: some of the essential plants and aromatic herbs in the typical Ionian cuisine.

Fruit tree cultivations Figs and Almonds (with an extraordinary variety in the Murge territory); Olives (the Leccino, Coratina, Ogliarola and Frantoio Olives – present by themselves or together – characterise the DOP brand “Tarantine extra virgin Olive Oil”); Walnut; Plum; Pear; Apricot; Peach; Vines (grapes for exportation and wine: the Manduria Primitivo vines and Lizzano Negroamaro, together with the white Verdeca vines of Martina Franca characterise the the production of the IGT, DOC e DOCG wines of the Ionian territory); Oranges; Mandarins (“Clementines from the Gulf of Taranto” have been given the IGP denomination) ; Lemons; the Common Medlars; Prickly pears; Pomegranates.


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“Clementines from the Gulf of Taranto� (IGP brand) they are a cross between a mandarin and an orange. The CAT (Taranto Agricultural Consortium) which gives value to the product is situated in Palagiano, the head municipality of the Consortium. The other municipalities which are dedicated to the production of this sweet, soft and perfumed fruit are: Massafra, Ginosa, Castellaneta, Palagianello, Statte. The Clementine was named after a monk called Clementine. He discovered this fruit in Algeria: another example of the important role played by monasticism in the diffusion of food culture.


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OLIVE OIL PRESERVES Various plants and vegetables from the Ionian Province – prepared and preserved in olive oil – contribute to enriching the table by accompanying starters or by exalting – as tasty side dishes – the various main courses. Also in this case, we have had to make a “painful” selection among the numerous products, all registered among the PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) of the Apulia Region, with some useful indications for their preparation. Lampascioni The lampascioni have always been appreciated by gourmets: the bulb, similar to that o fan onion, grows a few centimetres under the soil and it is very rich in mineral salts. The procedure to preserve them in oil is quite simple: all traces of soil and roots are removed, they are washed and half boiled in water, vinegar, laurel and salt. Once drained and cooled, the lampascioni are put in a jar and covered with Tarantine extra virgin olive oil aromatised by a little chilli pepper, chopped garlic and some mint leaves. They should be eaten at least once in a lifetime accompanied by a slice of Laterza bread.

“lampascioni in olive oil” are classified as PAT (Traditional Agri-food Products) of Apulia: a unique taste characterised by a slight bitter note balanced by a sweet and delicate after taste.


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Sun-dried tomatoes An Apulian delicacy, very popular in the Taranto area. In Summer the tomatoes, particularly the Manduria cherry tomatoes, are cut lengthways, laid on a cane surface (“lu cannizzu” in Mandurian-Salento vernacular) and spread with salt. After having been in the sun for 4 days, they are ready to be put in a bowl and covered with white vinegar for 30 minutes. The tomatoes are then drained and put in an air-tight jar (in the past they were put in a terracotta container, called the “capasèddǝ” in Tarantine vernacular, or little “capasa”), layered with mint leaves, garlic and a little chilli pepper (with the option of also adding capers) and covered with Tarantine extra virgin olive oil. These sun-dried tomatoes are again best accompanied by a slice of Laterza bread.

A Traditional Agri-food Apulian Product: sun-dried tomatoes in olive taken from a jar and put on a slice of bread. The old traditions of a territory become a unique and simple taste which cannot be copied.


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Aubergines (egg plant) . The aubergines need to be washed and peeled, cut into thin slices lengthways, covered with salt and layered between two boards with a weight on top: this stage is necessary to eliminate excess water by squeezing it out. After about 6 hours, the aubergines need to be drained and layered in a jar, dressed with garlic cloves and mint (in this case, chilli pepper is not advised). They should then be covered with the usual Tarantine extra virgin olive oil and the jar should be closed air-tight.

Aubergines in olive oil: a delicacy to be accompanied by a slice of Laterza bread, enclosing the taste and perfume of the Mediterranean Summer on the Ionian shore. These aubergines are among the PAT.

OLIVE OIL In ancient times, oil was considered to be the product of a sacred plant: the olive tree. For the Greeks, the olive tree was a cultural plant, the symbol of strength, faith and peace. So much so that whoever damaged or pulled up the plant, was punished with exile.


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Like the Greeks, the Romans also learnt to make wide use of this oil (and of the olives) not only as an excellent food, but also to use it in body care, as a detergent and as an ointment – enriched by perfumes from flowers and plants – or as a fuel, to light lamps and lanterns. In later years, underground and semi-underground mills in convents, old houses, farmhouses, trulli and in some structures inside historical centres, have been the places of the life and work of the century old art of oil production, which is the basis of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil, in fact, above all the superior quality “extra virgin olive oil”, is a product with organoleptic qualities, ideal for a correct and balanced diet, an excellent weapon against the degenerative process of ageing.

Extra virgin olive oil is the king of the Mediterranean diet and cuisine, declared by UNESCO as a “Cultural Patrimony of Mankind”.


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DOP “Terre Tarantine” extra virgin olive oil The Protected Origin Denomination «Terre Tarentine» is riserved for the extra virgin olive oil obtained from Leccino, Coratina, Ogliarola and Frantoio variety olives, when they are the only varieties present or when they are mixed but they have to be at least 80% of the product. The remaining 20% can be made up of other minor native varieties which are present in the same area of production. In particular, the production zone, where the olives destined to become DOP «Terre Tarentine» oil are transformed and bottled, includes twelve municipalities of the Province of Taranto, mostly situated in the Tarantine Murge uplands: Ginosa, Laterza, Castellaneta, Palagianello, Palagiano, Mottola, Massafra, Crispiano, Statte, Martina Franca, Monteiasi and Montemesola. An ideal territory which exalts the characteristics of the Olive plant, a very long living evergreen tree which prefers hilly, limestone and clay soil with an indirect marine climate. The plant also loves warm and sunny environments and hates humidity. The oil produced after the Ionian people’s thousands of years of agricultural experience, has a soft yellow-green colour: its flavour is fruity, accompanied by a light bitter sensation combined with a delicate spicy hint. The “Terre Tarantine” DOP extra virgin olive oil is without any doubt an excellent example of the gastronomy and very life that, through centuries, has characterised the heart of Mediterranean Europe.


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THE WINES The vine has dominated the shores of the Ionian for three thousand years. It is the precious inheritance of the Cretan and Mycenean cultures and subsequently, that of the Greek colonisation. The Romans, after having conquered Taranto – daughter of Sparta – immortalised, through Orazio’s poetry, the fertility and abundance of the “ubertosi campi che un dì furono di Falanto lo Spartano” (“fertile fields that were once the Spartan of Falanto”), praising “il liquor d’uva” (“the liquor of grapes”), namely the prestigious wines that were produced. The monks, then, had a fundamental role in the selection of vines, using the “scasso” (breaking) technique, which best fulfilled the biological needs of the vines. The land, in fact, was dug and cleared of stone for a depth of 70cm: the top soil was temporarily pulled to one side and the stones that were revealed were broken up into a gravel in order to form a sub-layer of rough stone, which served as a “beehive” to take up the excess rain water. Subsequently, the “beehive” was covered over with the fertile soil that had been temporarily put to one side and on this land the vines were planted to grow like mini trees. In the second half of the XIX century, with the Unity of Italy, the first National projects to support the cultivation of vines were begun. In the last few decades, the history of the three native Ionian Land minitree vines: Primitivo of Manduria, Negramaro of Lizzano (dark red grape) and Verdeca of Martina Franca (white grape) has undergone an interesting evolution, due to improvements in vinification processes. The red grape vines, that once produced “wine for cutting” (due to the wine’s colour and consistency), are now appreciated all over the world: the territory has been given more value through the creation of the enological denominations - IGT, DOC and DOCG - which have aroused great interest and the promise of development with the wines gaining an increasing share of the national and above all international markets.

The “Primitivo di Manduria” It is an intense red wine, acquiring garnet tinges with age. It is full-bodied and harmonious and is produced both in table wine and liquor variants. It also has a high alcohol content: it is suitable to accompany many dishes and it is appreciated for its versatility and its organoleptic properties.


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As excellences in Italian vine and wine production, the “Primitivo di Manduria” and the “Primitivo di Manduria” Riserva” are denominated as DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin): the primitivo grapes are never less than 85% of the product, completed by a maximum of 15% of non aromatised black grapes from Tarantine and Brindisi vines. The “Primitivo di Manduria Dolce e Naturale” (Sweet and Natural) have the DOCG denomination (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin): the primitivo grapes are 100% of the product, conferring a sweet and smooth taste that cannot be equalled. The Primitivo di Manduria is a strong and weather resistant vine. It is harvested before other varieties of grapes (which is where the name Primitivo derives, from the latin Primativus = early ripening). It is produced in a calcareous area (even with surface stones) and in the red soils of the Municipalities on the Eastern side of the Province of Taranto: Manduria, Carosino, Monteparano, Leporano, Pulsano, Faggiano, Roccaforzata, San Giorgio Jonico, San Marzano, Fragagnano, Lizzano, Sava, Torricella, Maruggio, Avetrana, and Taranto – Talsano area- as well as in the administrative islands of the Municipality of Taranto. In the production area, there are also three Municipalities from the Province of Brindisi (Erchie, Oria and Torre S. Susanna). The Primitivo di Manduria deserves to be tasted and admired: it is a precious experience which evokes the stories and legends of ancient gods and heroes who inhabited the Ionian, heart of Mediterranean Europe.


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The Primitivo di Manduria: typical tree type vines of black grapes cultivated, through the centuries, in the calcareous and clay soils of the Province of Taranto. The grapes are picked by hand when they reach the correct ripeness.

The Negramaro Another native vine – which the Province of Taranto shares with other areas of the Salento – is the Negramaro, an important grape for the production of quality wines, conferring a pleasant and distinct bitter vein which is rough to the palate with hints of liquorish and tobacco. The Negramaro – “nero e amaro” (black and bitter) – is an extremely versatile grape, also used in the vinification of excellent rosè wines. It is possible to find both pure and blended products: in fact, in the case of the Lizzano Negramaro DOC – according to regulations – a minimum of 85% is obtained from Negroamaro grapes together with a maximum of 15% from Malvasia Nero and/or Montepulciano and/or Sangiovese and/or Pinot Nero, which weaken the characteristic bitter hints typical of the Negroamaro. The production zone for Negramaro in the Ionian Province is the Municipality of Lizzano, the Municipality of Faggiano and some administrative islands of the city of Taranto, places where the rich, historical, artistic and religious evidence alternate with characteristic rural settlements.


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Negramaro di Lizzano: bunches of black grapes from a vine that produces DOC high quality wine cultivated in the territory of the Municipalities of Lizzano, Faggiano and in two administrative islands of the Municipality of Taranto

The Verdeca The white grape vine Verdeca – blended with the white grapes Bianco d’Alessano, Fiano, Bombino and Malvasia Bianca – make up the Ionian DOC denomination “Martina or Martina Franca”. The production zone of this mini-tree vine is part of the area of the “Murgia dei Trulli” included in the Provinces of Taranto (Martina Franca and Crispiano), Bari (Alberobello) and Brindisi (Ostuni, Cisternino and Ceglie Messapica). The cultivated areas of “Martina Franca” DOC, are at a height of 300 and 400 m., in an agricultural landscape characterised by residue woods of oaks and holm oaks mixed with spontaneous Mediterranean vegetation. These typical aspects give the “Martina Franca” DOC that straw yellow greenish colour (from where the name “Verdeca” comes): it is a wine with a distinct dry taste, a pleasant and delicate wine perfume, just like the “murgiano” territory which created it through time.


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The Verdeca vine requires the fresh and deep soil of the valley; the Bianco d’Alessano vine, which is more rustic, vegetates and produces well on the ridges exposed to the sun. One gives the wine its perfume and taste, the other its body. Together, they are the perfect formula for the splendid white DOC denominated wine called “Martina”.


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SWEETS Among the numerous PAT (Traditional Agri-food dishes), it is impossible to forget the sweets, which help us re-live – by sweetening the palate – ancient traditions, atmospheres, sensations and perfumes. Among the rich varieties of zeppole and small cakes, jams and dried figs, marzipan shapes and taralli, scarcelle and biscuits, pettole and “sannacchiudere” (“they must be sealed”: fried drops of dough, eggs and sugar, drowned in honey and dressed with a little grated lemon and coloured hundreds and thousands), we would like to mention the “cartellate” which have a particular historical-gastronomic importance. “Le cartellate” (in Tarantine vernacular: “lǝ cartǝddàtǝ”) There is a delicious traditional sweet – made from crunchy layers of fried frilly dough which are wrapped in the shape of a basket, coke in extra virgin olive oil and white wine, covered with honey or mulled wine with spices – which significantly represents the heart of the Mediterranean: the “cartellate” . They are probably of Greek origin, the “cartellate” obtain their name from κάρταλλος (kartallos), which in ancient Greek means “basket or bread basket”, later called “cartellus” (or “canestro, cartellata”) in later latin. Through the centuries, the cartellate have acquired – above all through monasticism – a growing gastronomic trend associated with religious symbolism. The most common association is that of the narrow strips of dough with the bands that wrapped Baby Jesus. Others see the divine halo in the frilly edges of the cartellata : it is not by chance that the cartellate are the typical traditional Christmas sweet of the Province of Taranto, of Apulia, Lucania and Calabria.


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The cartellate ( in Tarantine vernacular: “lƽ cartƽddàtƽ”): deliciuos crunchy fried layers, drowned in honey, or in mulled wine, dressed with spices. A gastronomic dish which exalts the ancient and intense sweetness of the Ionian, cradle of civilisation.


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FOOD AND WINE ITINERARY OF THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO Taranto July-August

La Città che vogliamo (The City we want) a trip through the lanes of the old town in the discovery of music and food and wine traditions. 1-10 September Festa della Stella Maris (The Stella Maris Festival) a sea procession of the statue of the Madonna, the patron of fishermen, followed by illuminated boats; the Sagra del Pesce e della cozza tarantina (the fish and Tarantine mussel sagra) is organised at the same time.

Carosino 21-31 July Sagra e mostra del mercato del vino (The Sagra and wine market show): wine pours out from the mountain in the main square and it is offered to the public.

Castellaneta August Festa dell’uva da tavola (Feast of the table grape) in Castellaneta Marina. SAGRA DA FAR'NEDD' in Castellaneta: considered to be the biggest in Italy with its 2km in the heart of the old town, it is possible to taste various specialities from the Apulian food and wine tradition such as friselle with oil, Pecorino Romano Dop cheese, deep pan pizzas, orecchiette with tomato and meat sauce, salamis, grilled sausages, mozzarella and cacioricotta, wine, fruit and sweets, in other words, the excellence of ancient dishes from the Ionian territory

Crispiano 9/11 July Carnevale del Fegatino (Carnival of liver), a carnival celebration together with the Sagra of Liver and the Sagra of Icecream.

Fragagnano 13 March Fiera di S.Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Fair), a business and craft fair with a display of products made by local craftsmen.

Ginosa July Sagra dell’Orecchietta (Sagra of the Orecchietta) , with a food competition. July/August Fiera Jonica (Ionian Fair) (food and craft fair) in Ginosa Marina. August


The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe Sagra del Pesce (Sagra of Fish) (In Ginosa Marina). September Festa dell’uva (The wine feast) , in Ginosa.

Laterza 10-20 August Sagra dell’Arrosto (Sagra of Roasted Meat) , a unique occasion to try the old art of “grilled” meat .

Lizzano 18/19 March Festa di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Feast), a display of “tavole di San Giuseppe – St. Joseph’s tables”, with typical local dishes which visitors can try together with renowned wines and sweets. This is the day after the “taùle” (tables) are blessed. 14 November Festa del Novello (The Feast of the New Wine), wine tasting (wine from Lizzano) with roasted chestnuts, cheese and toasted bread and tomatoes.

Manduria August Wine Show. Sagra ‘ti li pizzarieddi’ (hand made pasta – a combination of orecchiette and maccaroni shapes), accompanied with excellent Primitivo wines.

Martina Franca September Sagra dell’Uva (Grape Sagra). Sagra of “Gnumarijedd” (in the vernacular of Martina Franca) : lamb offal rolls and other roasted meat specialties, accompanied by various gastronomic dishes.

Maruggio The end of July Sagra dell’Anguria (Sagra of Water mellon), an opportunity to taste the most typical and tasty fruit of the sweet summer season near the shores of the Ionian. August Strada dei saperi e sapori (The road of taste and knowledge), an opportunity to taste local dishes and drink local wine.

Monteiasi 19 March La Focara: a feast with typical dishes, bonfire and fireworks in honour of St Joseph.


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Monteparano 19 March Festa di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s feast): tables layed with typical dishes in the square or in houses with devotional alters.

Mottola 19 March Gran Falò di San Giuseppe (A big bonfire for St. Joseph) with typical local dishes.

Palagianello 11 November Festa di San Martino con Sagra di pasta e ceci (St. Martin’s Feast with a pasta and chick pea Sagra), with typical traditional pasta and legume dishes.

Palagiano Second Sunday in October Festa della Madonna della Stella (Feast): from early morning, nine days before the feast, a music of tambùrr e fischètt (drums and whistles) is played in the roads of Palagiano and it wakes up the inhabitants, who will carry the 18th century statue of the Madonna alla cappella in a procession, three Km from the town. The so-called Sagra della Tagghiarina takes place in a country house: a home made pasta (ribbons), dressed in a very spicy tomato sauce, is given to the participants. November Sagra delle “Clementine del Golfo di Taranto” (Sagra of clementines from the Gulf of Taranto) a show and sale of this sweet fruit which is the base of many gastronomic products.

San Giorgio Jonico 19 March Festa di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s feast) with the traditional Fucazzi (bonfires) and the opportunity to taste roasted sausages; dancing around the fire whilst singing“Valla valla ti San Giseppu” (from “valia”, an ancient Albanian dance), exchanging “lu cuccu”, an old jug from which wine is drunk.

San Marzano di San Giuseppe 19 March Festa di patronale di San Giuseppe (Feast of the patron Saint Joseph): there is a suggestive procession of wood through the streets of the town and then a huge devotional bonfire is built. The“mattre” ( tables) are layed in the main street. Typical dishes are offered to outsiders in the main square, in the past, the food was given to the poor.


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Sava November Dal mosto al vino- Festa del Vino (From Must to Wine-Wine Feast), with wine tasting of excellent wines coming from the Primitivo di Manduria vines and other vines from the territory.

Statte September Sagra della frisella e della salsicciata “ Poco fumo e molto arrosto” (Sagra of friselle and sausages): with traditional sausage and friselle dishes.

HISTORICAL-ARTISTIC CELEBRATIONS IN THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO

Taranto March/April:

8/10 May:

Riti della Settimana Santa (Holy Week Rituals): processions night and day which have for centuries, during the Easter period, been the heart of the City, accompanied by music from bands. An extraordinary example of the spirituality of the people of Taranto, who are able to arouse great emotion in the participants. Festa patronale di San Cataldo (Feast of the Patron Saint Cataldo) with a sea procession, fireworks and traditional food (taralli, cartellate and copete (nougart)

May-June: Palio di Taranto - A rowing boat race, on Mar Grande, connected with the 10 quarters of the city October:

International Study Seminar about Magna Grecia: A high level scientific conference about the history and civilisation of the Magna Grecia which is followed by scholars and archeologists from all over the world.

Castellaneta July: International music competition “La Crisalide” August: “Castellaneta Film Festival” . Short film cinema: 15 minutes of history for art, talent, tourism and Apulia.

July/August : International Folklore Festival Terra delle Gravine ( theatre, dance, music, painting and photographic exhibition), in collaboration with the municipalities of the: Mottola, Palagiano, Laterza and Palagianello


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Crispiano February : Carnival with a procession of allegorical floats April : Live Representation of the Passion of Christ July/August: Crispiano Summer, rich in musical events 4-5 August: Patron Feast of Madonna della Neve 19 December / 5 January: Nativity Scene, with 110 life size characters in the Vallone caves 24 December / 6 January: Nativity Scene and the arrival of the Three Kings in the Vallone caves

Ginosa March/April: The Passion of Christ ,in the splendid ravines of Ginosa 1/10 July: Ginosa Craft show August: Summer version of the Passion of Christ, in the splendid ravines of Ginosa 1st Sunday in October : Fair and Patron Feast of SS. Medici and of the Madonna del Rosario December: Nativity Scene in the ravine

Grottaglie August: Musica Mundi: International Summer Mediterranean music and dance festival – ethnic and popular. The festival takes place in the great tufo Cave of Fantiano, a natural open air theatre with 2,000 seats. 31 January : Patron Feast of di S. Ciro (a procession of hundreds of bare footed participants with four devoted people carrying a statue of the Saint on their backs. At the end, the “la focra”, bonfire burns, an enormous mass of “stroma” – tree cuttings – on which the Saint’s body is placed in order to remember the martyr) 23/31 December: Nativity Scene Exhibition in the “Quartiere delle ceramiche” (Ceramics Quarter)

Laterza July/August :

International Folklore Festival Terra delle Gravine ( theatre, dance, music, painting and photographic exhibition), in collaboration with the municipalities of the: Mottola, Palagiano, Castellaneta e Palagianello.


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Leporano July/August : Leporano Summer at the Castello di Muscettola: drama, recitals, exhibitions, fashion July/August :

Literary Award Saturo d'Argento, National cultural competition for poetry and narrative with prizes for poetry, narratives, essays and history as well as special prizes for artistic and cultural merit.

Lizzano 6 January :

Feast of Epiphany, with the characteristic arrival of the Three Kings, acted out following the style of late 17th century Spanish theatre.

Manduria 8-14 March: Fiera Pessima –a big regional food, craft, business, free time and service industry fair. A precious opportunity to get to know the local products.

Martina Franca July/August:

Festival of Valle d’Itria (Itria Valley), an international festival of classical music and opera held in the cloisters of Palazzo Ducale.

October/November:

July/August:

Award “Premio Umanesimo della Pietra” , given - by a jury of 500 members from the public – to a scholar who has considerably contributed to divulging Apulian history through his/her research and studies.

La Ghironda, a show with music, art, poetry and entertainment performed by various artists in the streets of the old town.

Maruggio 15 August : Feast of the Madonna dell’Altomare ( with a sea procession of the statue)

Massafra February/March: Massafra Carnival, with a procession of allegorical floats and groups in masks.


The Ionian, Heart of Mediterranean Europe 1st Sunday in May: Feast of the patron Madonna della Scala, with a procession starting at the “Madonna della Scala” Sanctuary and finishing in the streets of the town. September: Palio della Mezzaluna: a historical re-enactment of the fight against the Saracens. The five “quarters” of the town meet up in the Medieval Castle and there is a feast with flag throwers.

Montemesola August: Gran festival dei Baffi – The great moustache festival ( the oldest celebration in the Province)

Monteparano The Thursday after Easter: A procession to the “Madonna della Camera” Sanctuary

Mottola July: International Guitar Festival July/August: “Terra delle Gravine” International Festival – theatre, dance, music, painting exhibition, in collaboration with the municipalities of Laterza, Castellaneta, Palagiano and Palagianello 27/30 December : Feast in honour of the Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Thomas Becket, patron of the town. Travelling theatre in the streets of the town with actors re-living the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the cathedral and knights serving King Henry of England.

Palagianello July/August: “Terra delle Gravine” Festival - theatre, dance, music, painting exhibition, in collaboration with the municipalities of Laterza, Castellaneta, Palagiano and Mottola.

Palagiano July/August: Festival : International Folklore Festival “Terra delle Gravine” theatre, dance, music, painting exhibition, in collaboration with the municipalities of Mottola, Laterza, Palagiano, Castellaneta and Palagianello. 15/16 August: Patron Feast of St. Rocco: a procession of angels, princes, warrior kings defending Christ on horseback. The feast includes fireworks and music concerts.


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Pulsano August: Historical re-enactment of Polso Sano ( a procession in costume through the streets of the area and the tournament of Polso Sano among the flag holders of the eight “quarters” of the town).

Roccaforzata The Thursday after Easter: Feast of “Madonna della Camera”

San Giorgio Jonico Easter period : Live representation of the Passion of Christ “ Tagghjiate”, in an area of abandoned tuffo caves rich in Mediterranean vegetation.

Sava June: Sava June( sports competitions, recreationa, cultural and folkloreactivities).

Statte 25/26 December and 6 January : Live Nativity Scene, held in the wonderful surroundings of the Zuccate (tufo caves); the evangelical episodes leading to the birth of Jesus are acted live with extreme realism intensely involving the public.


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NATURAL PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO Gravina di (ravine of) Castellaneta; Gravina di (ravine of) Laterza; LIPU Oasis of Gravina di (ravine of) Laterza (Lega Italiana Protezione UccelliItalian League for the Protection of Birds); Gravina di (ravine of) Ginosa; Gravina di (ravine of) Palagianello; Gravina di (ravine of) Massafra; Gravine di (ravine of) Crispiano; Regional Natural Park “Terra delle Gravine” (13 Municipaliteis of the Province of Taranto); Regional Natural Reserve "Dunes of Campomarino and Torrente Borraco" (Manduria and Maruggio); River Galeso (Taranto); Cheradi Islands: Island of St.Pietro (Taranto); Biogenetic Natural Reserve “Stornara” (Castellaneta, Ginosa, Massafra and Palagiano) ; Tarantine East Coast Regional Natural Reserve (natural areas "Foce del Chidro"(mouth of the river Chidro), "Salina e dune di Torre Colimena" (Torre Colimena salt beds and dunes): (Manduria); Site of Community Interest (SIC) “Mar Piccolo” (Taranto); Regional Reserve “Palude La Vela” (swamp land) (Taranto); Regional Reserve “Murge Orientali” (Eastern Murge) (Martina Franca) ; Regional Natural Reserve “Bosco delle Pianelle” (woods) (Martina Franca); "Le Tagghijate": complex of ancient natural and tufo caves (S.Giorgio Jonico); Foresta fossile sottomarina (under water fossil forest) (Torricella)

Taranto, Mar Piccolo (SIC- Site of Community Interest): a splendid flock of pink flamingos resting in the waters of Mar Piccolo, near the Oasis “Palude la Vela”. In the background: “Punta Penna” bridge in Taranto (with its 1.909 m,. one of the longest bridges in Europe) it joins Punta Penna with Punta Pizzone, where there is a natural narrowing between the two inlets of Mar Piccolo


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AREAS OF ARTISTIC INTEREST OF THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO

The magnificent “Ponte Girevole” (Swing Bridge) is the symbol of Taranto: it connects the Island of the Old Town with the “Umbertino” area. The swing bridge is opened periodically (closing to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic for short periods of time) by revolving both halves to one side, in oreder to allow big Navy ships to pass through the canal.

Cathedral or Duomo of San Cataldo (Taranto); San Domenico Maggiore (Taranto); Concattedrale Gran Madre di Dio (Taranto); Palazzo De Beaumont-Bonelli (Taranto); Palazzo Pantaleo (Taranto); Palazzo d'Ayala Valva (Taranto); Monastery of S. Michele (Taranto); Palazzo Galeota (Taranto); Convent S.Francesco (today home to the University and to the prestigious International Study Convention on the Magna Grecia: Taranto); Palazzo d’Aquino (today home to the University: (Taranto); Monastery S.Chiara (Taranto); Palazzo Carducci (Taranto); Torre dell’Orologio-clock tower (Taranto); Cheradi Islands: Island of S.Paolo, home to a Napoleonic fort “Choderlos de Laclos” (Taranto);Chiesa Madre-Mother Church or Collegiata (Manduria); Palazzo Imperiali-Filotico (Manduria); Chiesa Madre-Mother Church


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(Avetrana); Norman Castle (Avetrana); Aragonese Castle (Torricella); Castello-Castle de Falconibus (Pulsano); Feudal Castle Muscettola (Leporano) ; Chiesa Madre-Mother Church (Maruggio); ex Convent of Frati Minori Osservanti (Maruggio); Palazzo dei Commendatori or Castle of the Knights of the Order of Malta (Maruggio); Torre dell'orologioclock tower (Lizzano); Convent San Pasquale Baylon (Lizzano); Church and bizantine crypt of Annunziata (Lizzano); Palazzo Marchesale (Lizzano); Chiesa Madre-Mother Church (Sava); Church of San Francesco (Sava); Palazzo Baronale, with underground oil mill (Sava); Church of San Domenico (Castellaneta); Chiesa Madre-Mother Church in Grottaglie (Grottaglie); Episcopal Castle (Grottaglie); NormanAngevin Castle (Massafra); Chiesa Madre-Mother Church (Mottola); Chiesa Madre-Mother Church (Fragagnano); Chiesa Madre-Mother Church (San Giorgio Jonico); Feudal Castle d'Ayala (San Giorgio Jonico); Santuary Madonna delle Grazie (San Marzano di San Giuseppe); Feudale Castle d'Ayala (Monteparano) Norman Castle (Ginosa); Feudal Castle d'Ayala (Carosino); Feudal Castle Caracciolo (Palagianello); Basilica of San Martino (Martina Franca); Palazzo Ducale (home to the important Valle d’Itria Music Festival: Martina Franca); Rocky settlement and church of Santa Marina, San Marco, Crypt of Candelora, Madonna della Buona Nuova and the mystical Sanctuary of Madonna della Scala (Massafra); Rocky village and Church of Ecce Homo (Ginosa); Rocky village and Sanctuary of Madonna delle Grazie (Palagianello); Rocky settlement and Church of S. Stefano (Castellaneta); Rocky village of Casalrotto and Petruscio and rocky Church of San Nicola, Sant’Angelo, San Gregorio and Santa Margherita (Mottola); Rocky settlements and churches of “Cantina spagnola”, San Vito, Cristo Giudice, San Giacomo, Sant'Eligio, Santa Caterina, San Leucio (Laterza)


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Rocky settlements and churches of Trulli della Valle d'Itria (Martina Franca) ; the coastal defense and watch towers of XV-XVI cent. (along the coasts of Ginosa, Castellaneta, Taranto, Leporano, Pulsano, Lizzano, Manduria, Maruggio).

Taranto. Cathedral of San Cataldo: the “Cappellone”. The oldest Cathedral in Apulia was built by the Byzantines in the second half of the X century, during the reconstruction of Taranto by emperor Niceforo II Foca. The Byzantine structure was remodeled by the Normans in the XI century. The Chapel of S. Cataldo –called the “Cappellone”- built in pure baroque style, guards –among its splendid coloured marble, mother of pearl and lapislazzuli- the silver statue and relics of the Saint.


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MUSEUMS, ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES AND PARKS OF THE PROVINCE OF TARANTO The term Museum originates from the Greek word "museion" (in latin "museum") , indicating a sacred place for promoting culture and men of science. Museums and/or sites and/or archeological parks (or “open air” museums) are –therefore- places of beauty and remembrance, necessary experiences for improving knowledge of the “genius loci” of the Ionian Land. CASTELLANETA Museum "Rodolfo Valentino" Inaugurated in 1995, it is situated in a wing of the ex convent San Domenico; inside the Museum it is possible to see a rich bibliography of the most famous actor from silent movies. There is a rare chromolithograph of the cigarette advert "Valentino" from 1927, and a rare Hollywood biography from 1926. Finally, there is a collection of postcards and posters entirely dedicated to the actor. CRISPIANO Museum of rural civilisation "MASSERIA LUPOLI" The "Lupoli" farm house is situated in the heart of the Tarantine Murgia. The nine rooms in the Museum contain rural objects and equipment. It is possible to see a reconstruction of a kitchen and a master bedroom. There i salso: an etnography room, a room with agricultural machinery and a room with the company maps. Open on appointment. GINOSA Museum of rural civilisation The Museum exhibits objects and artifacts from the ancient rural civilisation donated by private owners. In 2006 another important section dedicated to the "Historical Museum of barbers and hairdressers” was added, named after Vittorio Brunone the most famous barber from Ginosa. The section contains instruments and equipment of the trade dating back to 800 and later. Open on appointment.


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GROTTAGLIE Didactic Museum of Majolica In the academic year 1937-38 the Didactic Museum of Majolica was established, situated in the State Art Institute of Grottaglie on the edge of the "Quartiere delle Ceramiche-Ceramics District", with the objective of not losing the local traditions. The Museum, made up of numerous artifacts regarding the artistic and didactic production from 1887 up to the present day, is organized in a thematic and chronological order. The first section includes the ceramics of Grottaglie from XVI to the XVII century; the second section contains the rare ceramics of the Institute from the first part of the 20th century. The last section exhibits work created for national and international competitions.

Grottaglie – Didactic Museum of Majolica. Grottaglie has been a centre for the production of artistic and popular majolica made and decorated by master craftsmen of Grottaglie for five centuries: an artistic-cultural phenomenon which th continues even today. The above photo: 18 century plate finely decorated with arcadic designs.


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GROTTAGLIE Museum of Ceramics and Nativity Scenes Established in 1999, the museum is housed in the south-east wing of the Episcopal Castle. The exhibition of 300 artifacts, from public and private collections, is contained in three different sized rooms. The collection of objects, together with archeological finds, tell the story of both domestic and ornamental decorative artifacts. The Museum has a complete area dedicated to Nativity Scenes, where it is possible to admire all the winning works of the Nativity Scene Exhibition which is held in the town every year. LATERZA Museum of the Fathers of Majolica Inaugurated in 2003, it is situated in the Institute of Art. It has two sections: Archeological and Majolica. The Archeological section concentrates on two important prehistoric findings: the neolithic settlement of Fragenaro and the necropolis of Candile. The second section, instead, offers a vast example of local majolica production. LEPORANO Archeological Park of Saturo-Porto Perone In the Leporano territory, between the beaches of Saturo and Gandoli, there is a promontory where important historical-archeological evidence has been found. Consistent traces of prehistoric life; a Magno-Greek cult area from IV cent. B.C., part of which is surrounded by a big roman villa, from the late imperial period with a big thermal complex; a 16th century Spanish watch and defense tower. LIZZANO Civic Museum of Paleonthology and Man Inaugurated in 2002, the Museum is housed in the rooms on the ground floor of the 19th century Palazzo ex Maiorano and it includes a section on Paleonthology, which has a collection of fossils fromvarious geological periods; a section on Archeology, which has various findings from the bronze age, to the Magna Grecia period, from the roman and medieval period; an Etnographic section on local cultures (with particular reference


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to rural civilisation); a section on African Culture; a section on Oceania Culture and a section on contemporary Art.

MANDURIA Museum "ANTIQUARIUM" A small but significant collection of artifacts from the nearby Messapican necropolis is stored in part of the Town Library: lanterns, inscriptions in the Messapic and archaic latin languages, findings from the medieval and renaisance periods.

MANDURIA The Messapic Walls Archeological Park The Megalithic Walls built between the V and III centuries B.C., the “Messapic Walls Archeological Park”, are evidence of the size of the ancient Messapic Manduria. Within the walls there is a necropolis of hundreds of tombs from various periods (VI-II century B.C.); traces of medieval period life have been found around the crypt of the underground church of San Pietro Mandurino (XI-XII cent.) and around the “Fonte Pliniano”, which was made famous by Plinio il Vecchio (Old Plinio). The “Fonte Pliniano” is a big natural underground cave – an ancient cultural place – inside which Kastic water, famous for its thaumaturgic properties, still runs today. MANDURIA Museum of Primitivo Wine Housed in the cellars of the “Consorzio Produttori Vini di Manduria” (Manduria Wine Producers Consortium), the Museum contains important documentation about rural civilisation and the cultural evolution in vine and wine production. In particular, together with the rich gallery of findings and artifacts, all from between the XVIII cent. and the beginning of the 20th century, there is an exhibition of different manuscripts, documents and original pictures concerning the way people lived at the time. Among these, there is an edict by Ferdinando I of Borbone from


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1823. The tasting of typical food and wine products is an occasion not to be missed.

Manduria: Museum of Primitivo wine housed in the 19th century star vaults and old deposits of the big wine cellar of Manduria.

MARTINA FRANCA Naturalistic Museum of Parco Pianelle Housed in the 18th century rooms of Palazzo Ducale, built on the remains of the ancient castle of Raimondello del Balzo Orsini in 1338. The Museum houses, since 1999, evidence of the rich and precious environmental patrimony of the Natural Pianelle Park, with its unique eco system, characterised by a typical Mediterranean flora, situated in the Tarantine Murge between Massafra, Crispiano and Martina Franca. The museum has an exhibition of calcaretta rock samples typical of the karstic area of the Murge, several ethnographic findings and an in scale reproduction of the Pianelle park. MASSAFRA Historical and Archeological Museum of Oil and Wine The Museum develops, through text captions in several languages, photos, drawings, audiovisual and multimedia aids, significant aspects of the history and life of the territory: the development of olive and vine growing in the Mediterranean basin and its productive settlements; the Mediterranean routes in the trade of wine and oil; wine and oil producing Apulia; old documents concerning vine and olive growing in the Taranto area.


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MONTEMESOLA Museum of ancient musical instruments "COLLEZIONE SPADA" Francesco Spada, a haematologist, fond of antiques and music, going around antique markets and shops, started to buy old musical instruments. In around 15 years, the doctor has collected 450 instruments, studying, photographing, cataloguing and restoring them. The Spada collection also includes a rich library which can be consulted in person or through e-mail and it also includes a small archive of musical works. PULSANO Museum of Rural Civilisation "PAPALE" The Museum is housed in the 19th century building where tobacco was once produced, in contrada Crocifisso. About 600 objects are exhibited in the Museum and they offer the opportunity to re-live the history and life of rural civilisation: objects for production, conservation and the trade of wine, oil and wheat; artifacts from domestic fireplaces; collections of old rural clothes and various findings from everyday life. ROCCAFORZATA Archeological Parco "PHROURION" of Monte S.Elia The recording of the historical past of Roccaforzata has been left to the Archeological Park of Monte S. Elia through a project which gives value to the environment, launched by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Landscape, concluded in 2001. The area has restored an Iron Age settlement, Hellenistic and Imperial Roman structures, Attic and Apulian ceramics, a vast necropolis from the IV and III centuries B.C. Another necropolis was found in 1994, excavated and documented, dating back to the second half of the IV and the beginning of the III century B.C. TARANTO Ethnographic Museum "A. MAJORANO" Alfredo Majorano was strong supporter of Taranto, a scholar of the whole Ionian territory, who wanted to offer the city of Taranto the big ethnographic patrimony, collected in a lifetime together with his wife Elena Spinelli. The “Alfredo Majorano� Museum, which gives value to the Tarantine ethnographic tradition, is situated inside the 18th century


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Palazzo Pantaleo: the exhibition develops into different themes on the second floor, and then goes down to the lower floors of the building and concludes in the old kitchen and stables. The Ethnographic “A. Majorano” Museum is a truly scientific area of communication between historical memory and the community, making it a precious “place of Exchange” between the past, present and future of the Taranto people. Guided visits on appointment.

TARANTO National Archeological Museum “MARTA” The National Acheological Museum of Taranto–MARTA- established in 1887 by the archeologist Luigi Viola, is situated in the 18th century ex convento f the S. Pasquale of Baylon Church: it is the most important museum of Southern Italy. The exhibits are arranged according to the big chronological periods: from the Prehistoric and Protostoric period, to the Greek period (with the exhibition of exceptional findings from the necropolis of IV and III cent. B.C.), to the Roman (rich in sculpture, statue decorations, mosaic floors of domus and public buildings, objects, gold numismatics and art), finishing with the Late ancient, High Medieval and Byzantine periods. Taranto is at the centre of the entire exhibition, through its history, evolution, culture, shown by territorial findings, many of which were discovered in various excavations in the city. Among the exhibits, there is the collection of the “Ori di Taranto” (Taranto gold), which constitutes the most important and most famous evidence of gold work in the hellenistic age, perhaps one of the most developed activities in the Magno-Greca city between the IV and the I century B.C. The collection of the “Ori di Taranto” has been exhibited – with great success – in Milan, Paris, Hamburg, Tokyo and Shanghai. The museum also houses the collection of paintings which belonged to bishop Giuseppe Ricciardi: they are mostly oil on canvas paintings – of religious subjects – dating back to between the XVII and XVIII century from the Neopolitan school.


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In December 2013, after a period in which it was closed for restoration work, MARTA re-opened its halls to the public with an enriched show of artifacts of rare beauty from Taranto in the Roman period, all new exhibits.

Taranto MARTA - Museo ARcheologico nazionale di Taranto (National Archeological Museum of Taranto): pictures of exhibits www.museotaranto.it

TARANTO Museum of Natural History "BIOS TARAS" The Museum of Natural History “Bios Taras” – established at the end of the 1960’s – apart from being a destination for scholars and students, it has increased its activity by providing in Italy and abroad scientific preparations for study and collecting. In the Museum – which has a specialized library – there are more than 4000 scientific findings coming from all continents such as shells, minerals, biological preparations of


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various types and in particular butterflies and insects both from the area and of exotic origin.


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TARANTO Aragonese Castle In the area of the Aragonese Castle it is possible to see 3,000 years of history. Inside the building, in fact, many archeological remains have been found: fragments from the Bronze Age; Japigian geometrical pottery from the VIII cent. B.C. (notched designs, swastikas, diamonds); Corinthian pottery, laconicals and Ionian cups from VI cent. B.C.; grey pottery from the II and I cent. B.C.; evidence dating back to the Roman and Late Imperial periods; medieval food vases; majolica from the period between the XV and the XIX century. Some of the most significant remains found are a collection of coins covering a vast historical period from Roman domination to the XX century. The first part of the castle dates back to 916, when the Byzantines started building the “rock” as a protection from attacks by the Saracens and the Venetian Republic. Subsequently, it became a Norman – Swabian – Angevin fort, until Ferdinando of Aragon, the king of Naples, made it into an important defensive castle. In the following centuries, the castle was used as a barracks, a prison and central military base. Today, it is a prestigious base for the Navy and after Castel del Monte, it is the most visited tourist site in Apulia, also with evening and night visits.

TARANTO Ex convent Cloister of San Domenico In the heart of the Old City of Taranto the ex convent of San Domenico Maggiore can be found, built in the XIV century A.D., today it is the Headquarters of the Superintendence for Archeological Heritage of Apulia. Inside the convent cloister there is a wide archeological area, which has been inhabited since the prehistoric period. It is possible to see the foundations of a Magno Greek temple dating back to the VI century B.C. and the remains of the cell of the templar building. Two fragments of written architraves show that Romans once used the site.


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TARANTO Belvedere Archeological Area. On the Belvedere hill in the Tamburi district, at the entrance to Taranto, in spring 2013 – following construction work on a car park – an important area of archeological findings emerged: the remains of a necropolis belonging to the Greek period of the V/IV cent. B.C. with a typical shrine annex to the necropolis; evidence of an area colonised in the Roman period: an apse structure making up a small thermal plant and a few metres away, the peristyle exterior of a domestic area; a most interesting fountaintank, perhaps the thermal part of a Roman acqueduct; a medieval furnace; pottery dating from the IV cent. B.C. to the XVIII cent. Certainly an area of great interest, inhabited by man discontinuously from the Greek period to the end of the 18th century and now becoming an Archeological Park.

Taranto, Belvedere archeological area: the monumental fountain which emerged during the 2013 excavation campaign.


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TARANTO Archeological Sites The necropolis The study of the necropolis discovered in the city has provided archeologists with a large amount of information about the society, culture, art and work of the ancient peoples from the Greek-Roman period. The necropolis, excavated and documented in Taranto, are characterised by two types of tomb: 1) From the "tombe a camera-room tombs" and from the "tombe a semicamera-semiroom tombs", adopted by the aristocratic families. 2) From the "tombe a fossa-ditch tombs", adopted by the plebeian families, dug in the rock and closed by a mass. The sepulchres found in the various excavation campaigns are distributed in the following archeological sites: the necropolis of via Marche; the room tombs of via Umbria 162, of via Sardegna and of via Pio XII; the semi-room tomb of via Alto Adige; the underground “Genoviva” of via Polibio 75; the "Tomba degli atleti-Tomb of the athletes" of via Francesco Crispi; the room-tomb of via Polibio 55; the room-tomb of via Acton. Romana Period Sites The remains of a domus romana from the republican age (II-Icent.B.C.), with mosaic floors can be seen at n. 31 in via Nitti. A Roman shrine, a small cultural building from the late-republican period (II-I cent. B. C.), discovered in 1901, can be visited –on request- in the area of the Military Hospital: the probable place of a local female divinity, in strict relation with the afterlife: Dèmetra/Kore or Artemide/Hekàte. Roman Acqueduct “Aqua Nymphalis” Along the road division of corso Italia the remains of a long acqueduct can be seen – built according to epigraphical evidence – after the year 8 B.C.. The water supplì plant, known by the name Aqua Nymphalis, was linked to public use and the management of thermal plants.


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Underground Palazzo Delli Ponti An important archeological site is the 16th century Palazzo Delli Ponti: its underground encloses a fragment of Greek wall from the Tarantine Acropolis of the V cent. B.C. and a sepulchre from the paleochristian period, where objects and artifacts have been gathered. The Redeemer’s Crypt The crypt is an underground rocky Church situated in via Terni: originally it was an ancient Roman room-tomb from the Imperial period connected with an ancient well of spring water. The crypt is circular in shape, with a diameter of about eight metres, with walls decorated with affrescos of great artistic value dating back to the beginning of the XII century, among which "Cristo Pantocratore tra San Giovanni e la Vergine-Christ the Pantocrator between St John and the Virgin-Christ" in the apse; the side walls are decorated with figures of saints: "San Basilio", "Sant'Euplo" and "San Biagio" .


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THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LAY CONFRATERNITIES OF TARANTO AND ITS DIOCESIS IN THE HOLY WEEK by Antonio Fornaro

For over 500 years in Taranto and its Diocesis lay Confraternities operate as an expression of the local Church. The Confraternities began straight after the Crusades and were called above all to give assistance to the poor and the ill and in the burial of the dead. Today, in the Province of Taranto, there are 59 Confraternities: 22 in Taranto, 9 in Martina Franca, 5 in Grottaglie and 22 in the rest of the Diocesis. There are two historical Confraternities known in Europe and in a large part of the world because they give life to the Tarantine Holy Rites Week: the Archiconfraternity of Maria Santissima del Carmine and the Confraternity of the Addolorata and of S. Domenico. The Archiconfraternity of Maria Santissima del Carmine, fonde in 1675, began the penitential rites of the Holy Week with a pilgrimage – in the afternoon of Holy Thursday – of the bare footed and hooded confratelli to the Sepulchres (or the alters of Repose) set up in the Churches of the Old and Umbertine Since then, the suggestive rites are repeated annually arousing an incredible attraction: still today, at 15:00 every Holy Thursday, the “Poste” or pairs of bare footed and hooded Perdoni (in Tarantine dialect called “le Perdúne”) come out of the doors of the Carmine Church and go to the Churches of the city to visit the Sepulchres – moving in a particular slow swaying way (called in Tarantine dialect“nazzecate”). The pilgrimage concludes at midnight, starting again on Good Friday at 7:00 in the morning and concluding before midday.


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Taranto, the Holy Week Rites, Holy Thursday, 15:00: a “Posta” (pair of “Perdoni” bare footed and hooded) leale the Carmine Church on a pilgrimage – moving in a slow swaying way – which concludes at midday on Good Friday.

On the same day, Holy Thursday, at precisely midnight, the ancient re production of the Virgin Addolorata, leaves the 14th century Tempio di San Domenico Maggiore in procession on a pilgrimage in the “search of her son Jesus”. The procession-pilgrimage, organised by the Confraternity of San Domenico and of the Addolorata, follows a secular and rigorous protocol: composed of the portatore della troccola - carrier of the troccola (or crepitacolo: an ancient rythmical musical instrument), the carrier of the Croce dei Misteri, of two children or so-called “pesare” because thay carry two fake weights around their necks, of 15 poste di Confratelli intervalled by 3 Cross carriers which represent the 3 falls that Jesus made.


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Before the simulacro of the Virgin, there is the “throne” made up by the first “posta” and the “portatore del bastoncino-stick carrier”, the symbol of the Confraternity’s power. The characteristic of this procession is that the simulacro of the Virgin never stops, but it is “swayed” rhythmically to the sound of the funeral march played by two bands. The procession stops briefly at the Institute of Maria Immacolata at around 10:00 on Good Friday, and it concludes – on the same day – at 15:00 in the San Domenico church. There are a number of men and women that follow the procession bare footed carrying big lighted candles in order to thank God for his help.

Taranto, Holy Week Rites, Holy Thursday, at 24,00 : thousands of people wait for the statue of the Addolorata Virgin to come down the steep stairway of the 14th century Church of San Domenico Maggiore and start the procession-pilgrimage.

At 17.00 on Good Friday the “Processione dei Sacri Misteri-Holy Procession”leaves the Carmine Church and follows a rigid protocol: it is made up of the troccolante, the portatore della Croce dei Misteri-Cross


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carrier, the portatore del Gonfalone-Gonfalone carrier, which is the flag of the Confraternity carried in mourning, the 8 statues which represent the Misteri and at the end of the procession there is the statue of Cristo MortoDead Christ followed by the one of the Addolorata-Mother in mourning. The “poste dei confratelli-confraternity members” close the long procession – which only goes through the Borgo Umbertino – accompanied by 4 bands for the whole duration of the procession. The Sacri Misteri procession reaches the San Francesco and San Paolo Church at midnight and after a stop, it continues its slow march, concluding at 8:00 with the rite of the “tre toccate del bordone- three knocks on the door” of the Carmine Church by the troccolante. On the way home there is strong emotional atmosphere, with even crying, above all among the confraternity members and the “Cavalieri del Santo Sepolcro - the knights of Holy Sepulchre” who have carried the supporting poles of the coffin of “Gesù Morto - Dead Jesus”.

Taranto, Holy Week Rites: on Good Friday, the Procession of the Sacri Misteri comes out of the door of the Carmine Church at 17:00, to return – without stopping – at 8:00 the following day.


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The Sacri Misteri Procession, like the Addolorata one on Holy Thursday, is followed closely by the mazzieri who have the task of making sure the two processions proceed in an orderly way, both day and night, with thousands of people from Taranto, Italy and abroad who – with their presence – share a precious moment in the search of existential, spiritual and religious experience.


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THIS IS TARANTO DAUGHTER OF SPARTA CAPITAL OF THE MAGNA GRECIA

ROMAN MUNICIPALITY

SARACEN PORT

BYZANTINE FORTIFIED CITY

NORMAN CITY

CAPITAL OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF TARANTO

ARAGONESE SETTLEMENT

THE ROAD OF TRANSHUMANCE

THE CITY OF THE HOLY WEEK RITES

HEART OF MEDITERRANEAN EUROPE

MarzoS. fecit2013


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TO KNOW MORE - N.CAPUTO ,“Destinazione Dio: storia delle tradizioni popolari e delle feste religiose a Taranto”Mandese Editore, Taranto, 1984 - M. PIGNATELLI- FERRANTE,: “La cucina delle Murge: curiosità e tradizioni”, - Franco Muzzio Editore, Padova, 1991 - A. MAIORANO, “Tradizioni e canti popolari a Taranto e nei paesi di area tarantina”, . Lacaita Editore, Manduria, 1986 - C. D’ANGELA, “Taranto Medievale”- Cressati Editore, Taranto 2002. - N. GIGANTE, “Dizionario critico etimologico del dialetto tarantino” – Lacaita Editore, Manduria, 1986 - G. PELUSO, “Storia di Taranto” - Scorpione Editrice, Taranto, 1991 - C. DAQUINO, “ I Messapi. Il Salento prima di Roma” – Capone Editore – Lecce, 1999 - G. MASTROCINQUE, “Taranto. Il paesaggio urbano di età romana tra persistenza e innovazione”. – Quaderni del centro studi Magna Grecia, - NAUS Editore , Pozzuoli, 2010. - E. M. DE JULIIS, “Magna Grecia. -L’Italia Meridionale dalle origini leggendarie alla conquista Romana”. – Collana ”Guide. Temi e luoghi del mondo antico” - Edipuglia Bari 1996 - NOVELUNE SOC. COOP, IPS “F.S. CABRINI”, “ Le strade del Parco. Itinerari, luoghi ed attività nel Parco delle Gravine”, - www.novelune.cv/documents/le strade del parco.pdf , Taranto 2011 - LICEO GINNASIO STATALE “ARISTOSSENO”, NOVELUNE SOC. COOP, “Il Territorio: luogo di identità e di scambio”,- Novelune Soc.Coop, - www.liceoaristosseno.it, - Taranto, 2013 - R. CAPRARA “Società ed Economia nei Villaggi Rupestri. -La vita quotidiana nelle gravine dell’Arco Jonico Tarentino”, - Schena Editore, - Fasano (BR) 2001 - G. DUBY: “Atlante Storico Mondiale”,- Rizzoli –Larousse, Milano, 2004. -

AA.VV., (a cura di S. MARZO), “Sulle Orme del Grand Tour. La catena de: “I Giardini etnobotanici del vecchio di Corico” per la valorizzazione dei beni storico-culturali, paesaggisticoambientali ed enogastronomici del Distretto Turistico dell’Arco Jonico di Puglia, Basilicata e Calabria”, Taranto, being published

- I. PALASCIANO: “ Le lunghe vie erbose: tratturi e pastori del Sud”, Capone Editore, Lecce, 1999 - AA.VV.: “ La vigna di Dioniso. Vite, vino e culti in Magna Grecia” -, Scorpione Editrice, Taranto, 2010 - AA.VV., “Greci e Messapi in Terra di Taranto, tra Musei e parchi Archeologici”.- Tavolo per il turismo Taranto – Stampa Sud Mottola, 2003 - C. COLELLA, R. COLELLA, “ La cucina della Valle dei Trulli”, Schena Editore, Fasano (BR), 2008


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- F. MONTELEONE, “Il pellegrinaggio nel Mezzogiorno Medievale”, Schena Editore, Fasano (BR), 2012 - F. CARRINO, P. MASSAFRA, “ Il centro storico di Taranto. Il Borgo”, Scorpione editrice, Taranto, 2004 -

V. POLLAZZON, “Dieci percorsi subaquei da non perdere nei mari di Taranto”, Scorpione editrice, Taranto, 2012

- P. DE LUCA, “Il centro storico di Taranto. L'isola”, Scorpione editrice, Taranto 2001 - E.LIPPOLIS, “Fra Taranto e Roma. Società e cultura urbana in Puglia tra Annibale e l’Età Imperiale”, Scorpione editrice, Taranto, 2008. - A. FORNARO, “Viaggio attraverso la fede e la pietà popolare a Taranto: processioni e tradizioni di ieri e di oggi”, Scorpione editrice, Taranto, 2009 - AA.VV., “Il Museo di Taranto. Cento anni di archeologia”, Mandese Editore, Taranto, 1988 - A. DELL’AGLIO, A. ZINGARIELLO, “MARTA. Il Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Taranto”, Scorpione editrice, Taranto, 2010 - G. CARDUCCI, “I confini del territorio di Taranto tra basso Medioevo ed età moderna”, Mandese Editore, Taranto, 1988 - AA.VV. ( a cura di F.RICCI, C., D’ANGELA) , “Dal Kastron bizantino al Castello aragonese”, Scorpione editrice, Taranto, 2004 - AA.VV. “Alle origini della Magna Grecia. Mobilità migrazioni fondazioni”, Atti del 50° Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia, Edizioni ISAMG - Istituto per la Storia e l’Archeologia della Magna Grecia- Taranto, 2010 - FLY FREE IMAGINE “Tarantocitta- La storia di Taranto a Fumetti -www.tarantocitta.it/storiafumetti.htm “

- PORTALE VITIGNI: LE CANTINE DELLA PROVINCIA DI TARANTO, www.quattrocalici.it/provincia/Taranto - BIBLIOTECA E CENTRO DI DOCUMENTAZIONE SUBFOR CAMERA DI COMMERCIO TARANTO, www.camcomtaranto.gov.it/Pagine/Centro_documentazione/intro.shtml - MUNICIPALITY OF TARANTO OFFICIAL WEB SITE, www.comune.taranto.it - PROVINCE OF TARANTO OFFICIAL WEB SITE, , www.provincia.taranto.it - TARANTO NATIONAL ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM “MARTA” OFFICIAL WEB SITE: www.museotaranto.it

ACCOMODATION: http://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it/gp/DOVDOR/en/Hotels


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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS “…Always have you to keep Itaca in your mind, to reach there be your constant thought Above all, don’t make your journey fast, make it last long, for many years, so that as an old man You can land on the island, rich of the treasures heaped up on the way, With no hopes for the treasures of Itaca Itaca gave you the beautiful journey, without her you would have never started it” (free translation from “Itaca” di Kostantinos Kavakis)

Our grateful thanks go to the students, the staff and the parents who “made the deeds” to run the educational network among the LiceoAristosseno and Local Boards and Ionian Institutions and lead it to the 2014 BIT (Berlin International Tourism) with a project named “The Ionian Sea: the heart of the Euro-Mediterranean”. In particular, I want to say thank you to: -our Administration General Manager, Mrs. Maria GraziaCammalleri, for her competent, passionate accounting on the project; -our vice-Headmaster, Mrs Tonia Torcello, for her patient and precious coordinative activity; -our language teachers and native-speaker teachers for the excellent work of translation of the project in the relative foreign languages: Fabienne Ambrosio, Anne Marie D’Elia, Hélène Francès, Maria Galeone, Ingrid Lailler, Maria Mazzarracchio, Sergio Mulas, Annalisa Palmieri, Adele Parente, Maria Parente, Martine Majchrzack, Sabine Scheck, Giovanna Schiavone, Anna Maria Scuro, Aurore Spezia, Esther Uguen for the French version; Daniela Saracino and Caterina Polidoro for the German version; Adriana Maria Cattell, ElisabettaNucifora, Francesca Di Ponzio, Vincenzina Messina, Rosanna De Rosa, Mimma Dragone and Enrico Vetrò for the English version; -the Schoolwebsite Webmaster, Mr Giacomo De Florio; -the members of the School Committee and its President, Mr Giuliano Farina; -the administrative assistant Mrs Luisa Allegretti, the technical assistants Emanuele Zaccaria and Antonio D’Errico and the laboratory Assistant Isabella Rizzi;


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-the students Rosangela Mita and Giampiero Maiorano and the teachers Mrs Daniela Saracino and Mrs Adriana Maria Cattell who have been personally involved in organizing and running the exposition stand in the Bit days; -Prof. Bruno Notarnicola, Ionian Department Director at “Judiciary and Economical Systems in the Mediterranean: society, environment and cultures”- Ionian University Pole of the University of Bari for his interest and concern for the initiative; -Mr Carmine Carlucci and Mr Antonio Fornaro, respectively as president and manager of the Cultural Association “Comitato per la Qualità della Vita” of Taranto, for their contribution to the project and the running of the stand; -The Mayor of the town and the Town Councillor for Trade and Commerce with all the members of the Municipality of Laterza for their support and tutoring of the project; -Mr. Antonio Prota and Mr Luca Lazzaro, respectively the GAL CollineIoniche President and Board Member, who have personally supported the project with their presence at the Berlin BIT; -Mr.Tamburrano, Mayor of the town of Massafra for his convinced sharing of the whole project in its creative phases and for its perspective results on the area; -Banca di CreditoCooperativo of Massafra (BBC) General Board who have considered the project as a further input to their committment for local welfare. At last, we want to praise Mrs Francesca Sanesi; Mr. Francesco De Giorgio and Mr.LuigiSportelli, respectively the Genral Manager, the General Secretary and the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Taranto and Mr Nicola Spaguolo, the President of the Subfor, a local agency of the Chamber of Commerce, which have strongly wanted to support this project; without their contribution, it would have been impossible to make the Berlin project true. Other sharings and supports to the project are expected from local Boards, Agencies and Cultural Institutions: it will be the best evidence that this project “The Ionian Sea as the Heart of the Euro-Mediterranean” will still collect its best fruit after the Berlin BIT 2014 The School HeadMaster Salvatore Marzo

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