Wonderful winter’ Salento from living cribs to fire celebrations


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    Paper mache and living cribs, fire celebrations. Salento offers a thousand other reasons that makes a visit worth doing also during winter. The invitation was extended by a tourist and cultural Mediterraneo’ magazine Spiagge, directed by Carmen Mancarella (www.mediterraneantourism.it); by Regione Puglia; by the Arts and Entertainment Tourism and Mediterranean Department; by Pugliapromozione; by Gal- Gruppo di Azione Locale (a limited liability consortium) Terra d’Arneo and Capo di Santa Maria in Leuca; by the Communes of Supersano and Presicce and by the Unions of the Communes of North Salento and of Grecìa Salentina.

    They organized a package tour, which has already been tested and appreciated by national journalists, during 16th Educational, to promote the land of Salento also in winter. Not only sea and the crowded beaches during summer but more importantly traditions and culture. During Christmas holidays, in the historic centre of Lecce, it is possible to visit the workshops of the master craftsmen who manufacture paper mache statues. In the Nativity, the Three Wise Men, with their wet clothes moved by the wind, seem to have been let down in the landscape of Salento. The paper mache figures seem to come alive in the living cribs, they are arranged by thousands of volunteers coming from all over Salento. There are more than twenty living cribs and they can be usually visited on December 25th, 26th, and 30th or January 1st and 6th. Among the most original, we have to mention that organized in Sternatia, in the heart of Grecìa Salentina, where the characters speak “griko” a dialect -similar to modern Greek- that arrived to Salento with the first Greek settlers.
    However, the winter in Salento is enlivened by fire celebrations. They start at Presicce the last weekend of November with the “focareddha” in honour of Saint Andrew, patron of the fishermen. Besides illuminations and fireworks also a huge bonfire is made with dry branches of olive trees. Fire celebrations continue with the Focara of Novoli that, lit up on January 16th, is created using vine stocks. This year, the Focara of Novoli Foundation called the director of the National Cinema Museum of Turin, Ugo Nespolo, to perform the symbol of the rural art -represented by the Focara of Novoli- now become the winter version of the night of the Taranta.
    These fire celebrations are strictly linked to the rural culture in which is expressed the real soul of the people from Salento: people of the land and sea. The “focare” (huge bonfires) are, in fact, created using dry branches of olive trees or vine stocks depending on which trees you find in the cities. The meeting point between land and sea can easily be found in the local cuisine. Traditional dishes are served during traditional feasts: handmade maccheroni with mullet sauce are served on Saint Andrew’s day.
    You can taste them at the restaurant “Da Enzo” in Presicce.
    You can taste sea flavoured gnocculeddhi, on January 16th, to honour Saint Antony in Novoli. You can’t miss the dishes which are cooked in the inn “Mangia n’terra e stusciate subbra” in Novoli. You can stay in Presicce at the B&B Giardino degli Angeli, Monsellato, via del Campo and at the hotel Casina dei cari, Lido Marini, on the country road to Presicce; and at the hotel Corte dei Nonni, in the historic centre of Presicce. The elegance of this city with its noble buildings and its secret gardens and the small rural houses in the quarter of Padreterno will surprise you. Salento is a land to discover also during winter.


    By Carmen Mancarella
    Translated by English Centre

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    Where to sleep

    B&B Monsellato, via XX Aprile, 34 Presicce, tel 0833. 72 12 77- 349. 53 31 066 (Cesare); 349. 65 84 097;www.bebmonsellato.it; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    B&B Giardino degli Angeli, contrada Angeli, Presicce, tel. 329. 90 35 261;www.giardinodegliangeli.com ;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    B&B Via del Campo, via Angelo Ciullo medaglia d’argento, 9, Presicce, tel. 334 688 3343 (Romeo Corchia, titolare),www.bbviadelcampo.com ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    B&B Cavour , Via Cavour 20, Presicce, Tel. 347 47 49 962 (titolare Luigi Pepe); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Casina dei cari, strada provinciale Presicce Lido Marini, Presicce, tel. 0833. 71 12 84;393 97 07 941;www.casinadeicari.it ;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Hotel Corte dei Nonni, rione Padreterno 38, tel. 0833.73 02 23; 335. 121 43 44;www.cortedeinonni.com ;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Buongusto Hotel&restaurant, via Nociglia, 38, Supersano; tel. 0836. 63 24 43; 339. 69 43 480;www.hotelbuongusto.com ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Albaro Resort, strada provinciale Leverano – Porto Cesareo, Leverano, tel. 0832. 91 19 82; 393. 92 03 624;www.albaroresort.it ; '); document.write(addy28299); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " > This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Where to ear
    Ristorante arrosteria da Enzo, piazza Sandro Pertini, 8, Presicce, tel. 348 57 38 690
    Ristorante Anima e Cuore, corso Garibaldi, Galatina, tel 0836. 56. 43. 01; 329. 227. 32. 00 (Alessandro); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; www.animaecuore.it
    Casale Sombrino, strada provinciale 362 Supersano-Cutrofiano, 32, Supersano, Tel. 0833 63 12 73; cell. 347. 27 02 176 (Carmenita);www.sombrino.it ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Le Stanzie, strada provinciale 362 Supersano-Cutrofiano, Supersano, Tel. 0833. 63 24 38; 340. 10 88 978 (Donato);www.lestanzie.it 
    Trattoria: Mangia a nterra e stusciate subbra, via Lecce ang. Via Madaro sn – Novoli, tel. 328. 12 66 043; Gruppo Facebook Mangia a nterra e stusciate subbra; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Osteria Pizzeria La Vecchia Fontana, via Vittorio Emanuele 32, Supersano, tel. 331. 57 83 106; 340. 38 86 744; www.osterialavecchiafontana.it ;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Where you can buy tipical products
    Pasticceria Eros, piazza Santi Pietro e Paolo, Galatina;
    Ceramica Branca, via Tempio 32, 0833. 54 51 20
    Maestro cartapestaio, Claudio Riso , via Vittorio Emanuele, 27, tel. 0832. 24 34 10
    Azienda vitivinicola Castel Di Salve, piazza Castello 8, Depressa di Tricase, tel. 0833. 77 10 41; www.casteldisalve.com;
    Merica Vini, via Vittorio Alfieri, 254, Supersano, tel. 0833. 63 30 79;www.merica.it ;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Comind società agricola srl , SP 109, km 8+900, provinciale San Pancrazio – Torre Lapillo, 72 050 Villaggio Boncore, Nardò (Le);Tel. 346. 15 69 121; 346. 15 69 125;www.comind.info ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Civilla, strumenti musicali, via Giannuzzi 24, Maglie, tel. 339. 61 42 424  '); document.write(addy44554); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Istituto d’istruzione secondaria superiore, Enrico Giannelli, Liceo musicale con indirizzo musicale e coreutica, via Fiume 7, Parabita (Lecce) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Associazione coro polifonico Ars Nova di Melendugno, direttore Dolores Mancarella; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    Sternatia, living crib

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    Presicce, B&B  '); document.write(addy12467); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    Presicce, the big bonfire for the Saint’s Andrew’ event

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    Presicce, the Saint’Andrew Statue

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    Presicce, the fireworks around the big bonfire for Saint’s Andrew’ event

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    Presicce, the tipical recipe for the Saint’s Andrew’ event: macaroni with red mullets and fresh tomatoes 

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    Presicce, Da Enzo restaurant

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    Presicce, some faithfuls wear traditional dress. They are part of religious Brotherhoods.

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    Presicce, the Mother Church is full of people

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    Presicce,  the faithfuls with traditional dress.

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    Presicce, the fried fish’ feast during  the Saint Andrew’ event

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    Presicce, young people near the fire

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    Presicce, people dance in the square

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    Presicce, under the square there are three ancient oil-presses

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    Presicce, the mayor, mr Leonardo Lapuma opens a new square

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    Novoli, the procession for Saint’Antonio’event

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    Novoli, the celebrations for Sant’Antonio became last sunday. Novoli and Oria are linked now to promote their traditions. In Saint Antonio Sanctuary there are the Saint Barsanofio’ golden Icon. Saint Barsanofio is patron of Oria.

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    Novoli, the church is full of people

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    The Oria and Novoli mayors and public managers are togheter to promote thir big events: the feast of Sant’Antonio at Novoli, in winter, and the Torneo dei Rioni, in Oria, durino the summer.

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    The tipical recipe, that Novoli’ people eat during Saint’Antonio’ Feast. Locanda Mangia an terra e stusciate subbra, Novoli

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    This recipe, cooked by locanda Mangia An Terra e Stusciate Subbra, celebrates the meeting between sea and earth.

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    Mr Claudio Riso shows a paper mache crib. It’s a tipical artisan crib.

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    Sternatia, linving crib in the ancient houses of historical centre.

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    Sternatia, linving crib in the historical centre. They are frying the pittule, tipical fried breads of Salento.

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    Sternatia, linving crib. They are cooking the bread in an ancient stone oven.

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    Sternatia, linving crib. They are chatting in front of the fire…

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    Sternatia, living crib. Coro polifonico Ars Nova di Melendugno is singing a greek song. In this area of Salento, people speak an ancient greek language.

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    Sternatia, living crib. These girls wear traditional dresses

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    Au revoir in Salento!

    Thanks to Apulia Region, Pugliapromozione Agency, Comuni di Novoli, Presicce, Unione della Grecia Salentina e Unione dei Comuni del Nord Salento.