Salento, as well as being the southernmost part of Puglia, is – we like to remember – the easternmost part of Italy, with strong links to the East.
It is a peninsula immersed in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, which becomes the Ionian Sea on its western coast and the Adriatic Sea on the eastern coast. While being part of Puglia, Salento is also closely related, in terms of local language and customs, with Sicily and Calabria.
Salento covers the entire province of Lecce and part of the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto.
It was the land of the Messapi, before being Latinized by the Romans. Over the centuries, Salento was subject to many invasions: from the Lombards and Byzantines, to the Saracens and the dominion of the Normans, Angevins, Aragonese and Bourbons.
The signs of these conquests are concentrated in the numerous historical centers of Salento towns with their narrow streets full of courtyards and noble palaces, as well as low and compact houses covered with lime or Lecce stone. They are also obvious in the many castles and coastal towers scattered around the peninsula.