JANUARY
30-31
   
Leant on the first step of Murgia degrading towards the Mar Piccolo, 22 km from Taranto, there is Grottaglie. The town takes its name from the numerous grottoes, mainly concentrated in the ravines furrowing its territory and inhabited since very ancient periods. But it was above all in the Middle Ages that, in that hollows disseminated among the ravines, the populations escaping from the barbarian raids, found their refuge. With the passing of time the first human groups transferred their villages on isolated hills: hence the first hamlets were born, among which the Cryptalearum, primordial core of the present historical centre. Given in the 11th century to the Archbishop's Revenue of Taranto by the Normans, the feud towards the end of the 14th century endowed with walls, castle and main church. Several difficulties and political crisis led, from the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century, to a difficult cohabitation of two feudal jurisdictions: one espiscopal and the other laic, so that, up to the abolition of feudality, jurisdiction quarrels between the Archbishops of Taranto and the laic feudal lords and repeated popular insurrections, took place. In the 17th century there were years of indigence and difficulties under the badly tolerated Spanish domination. A climate of general political confusion and the rising phenomenon of banditry accompanied the first urban expansion “outside the walls”, up to the unitary period, from which the vicissitudes of Grottaglie were associated to those of many similar centres in Southern Italy. Among the attractions of Grottaglie, it is important to mention its ancient suburb, seat of the famous Quartiere delle Ceramiche (District of Ceramics) (placed along the Gravina di San Giorgio), that winds with its narrow streets around the Castello Episcopio, which is today the seat of the Museo della Ceramica (Museum of Ceramics). Moreover, it is worth also visiting the historical Istituto Statale d'Arte, established in 1887, which includes the Museo Didattico delle Maioliche.
   
 



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  Info
THE CITY
Tel. 099/5620201
www.comune.grottaglie.ta.it

UFFICIO IAT E MUSEO DELLA CERAMICA - TOURIST OFFICE
Largo Maria Immacolata c/o Castello Episcopio
Tel.099/5623866 - Numero Verde 800-545333

TOWN POLICE
Tel. 0995/620224