Galatina, a charming town in the province of Lecce, is also referred to as the umbeliculus of Salento since it‘s equidistant from the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Inside the sixteenth century city walls, there are unexpected treasures of art and culture. The Franciscan Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria is an authentic masterpiece of Medieval art that survived the great Baroque movement. It was founded in 1835 by the Prince of Taranto, Raimondo Orsini of Balzo, and his wife, Maria D‘Enghien-Brienne. Inside, you can admire fifteenth century frescoes of the School of Giotto and Siena that make the church of Galatina the Assisi of the South. On the big St. Peter‘s square, at the entrance of the old town, stands the facade of the collegiata dei SS. Pietro e Paolo [the collegiate church of Saint Peter and Paul], the patron saints of the city, which was rebuilt in 1633 on a former Greek church. The stone on which - according to tradition - was placed by the apostle Peter on his journey from Palestine to Rome is still preserved inside. On the square, there‘s also the chapel of St. Paul and its adjacent well, of which half belongs to the tarantolati and the other to the tarantolate (populations from the province of the Land of Otranto) for more than three hundred years and who would come to Galatina for the patron‘s feast to ask grace to St. Paul and to drink water from the well, which was considered to be miraculous. In 1959, even Ernesto de Martino came here on his way to Salento to learn and study the phenomenon of tarantism, as written in the famous book la Terra del rimorso [The Land of Remorse]. Between art and tradition, culinary excellence is certainly not lacking in Galatina. In this city they created the pasticciotto, a sweet from Salento that is now known and appreciated internationally. It was invented in 1743, in the famous Ascalone bakery, which still operates in the historical family shop a few meters away from the church of St. Peter and Paul. When visiting Galatina, your senses will be on a journey of their own.

Salento d'Amare

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Tourist Office
tel. +39 0836 633111

Tourist Office
Via Vitt. Emanuele, 35
T. +39 0836 569984

Town Police
T. +39 0836 566514