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The coast: Beaches and Precipices
The coastline is dented with narrow strips of sandy shore, once bordered
with sand hillocks covered by a glory of psammophyious (sand vegetation)
plants. Lying at the feet of precipitous cliffs are enchanting little
beaches that change shape according to the irregular and impulsive rhythm
of the waves beaten back by the cliffs. These cliffs are often lofty and
inaccessible, yet they teem with caves and gorges that form a jagged coastline.
Salento offers a varied coastline: narrow sandy shores
give way to precipitous cliffs with marine caves and intimate and inviting
Puglia Porta d'Oriente
Puglia, the daughter of history. How can we describe a region
that wherever we look she offers different sensations, new facets, rediscovered
treasures, unexplored habitats, old traditions? This question accompanied
us on our wanderings through this at-times solitary land. All its cities,
towns, villages and hamlets left us with the conviction that it could
never be possible to describe Puglia in full, as this strip of Italy with
its coastline looking east over the Mediterranean is not all that meets
the eye, or that you can touch and taste, but is represented more in the
way its people welcome you, inviting you to admire, discover and enjoy.
This is the sea of Ulysses! These are the cliffs of Aeneas!
As soon as this land appeared, there burst a loud cry from Acate's throat:
Italiam, Italiam! Driven by strong and favourable winds, Aeneas's ship
sails at full speed into the harbour, which is still recognizable, through
SALENTO: THE DOOR OF EAST
Otranto, a "crossroad of cultures," is a place where
the student can meet the past cultures: the Arabs, the Greeks, the Messapians,
the Spanish, the Normans, the Celts, and the Swabians. Students
can also find signs of primitive peoples (caves with primitive drawings,
dolmen and menhir can be found all over the countryside). Land of
transit, all ancient people travelling between East and West left their
Salento begins at Lecce and ends on the heel of Italy .
It moved to east as if a Greek God, to enjoy himself, had thrown the boot
towards him. "Land of Otranto" was called the Salento, land
of Normans. The town that gave the name to this land was a small Mediterranean
power leaned out on the East with its monasteries as San Nicola of Casole,
one of the most cultured and sophisticated places in Europe during the
XIII century. There precious manuscripts were copied, there people spoke
Greek and Latin, there people landed from Paris as from Bisanzio. The
monastery of Casole had from the XI to the XV century in the whole South
of Italy a cultural role which anticipated the Humanistic movement of
northern Italy. Here flourished an active center of studies that picked
up the ancient Greek-Latin codes. For the first time in Europe, in the
"scriptorium casolano" rose in 1160, the Students' House, the
second rose in London in 1183.
The School of Casole became the meeting-point of researchers
of Eastern and Western Europe, who exchanged codes, experiences, and knowledge.
In the Salento man breathes a particular atmosphere haunted
by indefinite presences. It is a land of dolmen and menhir, of prehistoric
caves of extraordinary importance, archaeological sites, and places that
seem like magic. It is celebrated by the most famous writers such as Virgilio
(Enea landed at the Salento to found Rome) or Horace Walpole, the English
writer of 1700 who wrote the novel "The Castle of Otranto";
land which is subject of historical and anthropological studies from foreign
researchers of international fame.
The chief town of the province is Lecce, "the Florence of Southern
Italy". It is a town where losing oneself is, more than an accident
on the way. It is a duty of the intellect. Lecce, home of the Baroque,
is more than an architectural style, a way to relive past. Time in Lecce
passes through its tortuous streets, through places that you would never
recognize, because the streets change perspective continuously. Lastly,
the Salento, finis terrae, is a winding land that lives through the nuances
of the imagination.
Click below to visit the photogallery of
The town of Lecce - The Grecìa Salentina - The South Coast
ACCOMMODATION IN OTRANTO
GUIDED TOURS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
ABOUT THE REGION AND THE TOWN
UTILITIES & SOCIAL
Maryse et Sylvianne from Belgium
Nous voici bien rentrées de vacances, un peu mélancoliques d'avoir dû abandonner l'Italie.
Nous avons été enchantées des cours que tu nous a donnés et entretenons notre italien en lisant dans la langue: nous ne voulons pas perdre les bénéfices obtenus…read more >>
Annie from France
...Nostro gruppo ha avuto un'insegnante particolarmente competente che ha tenuto un corso tanto interessanto e vivo. Con la tua contribuzione entusiastica e grazie alle visite, ho possuto discoprire una regione tanto bella e particolare che non conoscevo, e la cultura affascinante della Grecia Salentina…read more >>
Lorenza from Austria
...É stato molto bello da voi; colma di ricordi, che adesso vanno raccontati e saranno ben conservati.
Il vostro entusiasmo per la vostra terra, la possibilità di avvicinarsi e aprirsi di più a questa grazie alle vostre spiegazioni e gite, la cordialità della gente, la luce e il caldo - tutte esperienze bellissime…read more >>
Kitty from Singapore
...Vorrei ringraziarvi per tutto. Mi sono divertita ad Otranto.
Veramente, é un paese bellissimo. Non dimentico mai come ospitale la gente locale lì... Anche mi sono piaciute tantissimo l'escursione organizzate da voi.
Eravate così appassionati e le spiegazioni erano chiare e interessanti. Adesso, so un po' di piú dell'italia…read more >>
Cynthia from California
Dear Barbara: I am back in California and I enjoyed seeing the beautiful images on the CD you gave me. Thank you! The memories of those special places are etched onto my soul. Thanks again to you and Angelo for being so gracious and hospitable. I truly mean it when I say that we are friends…read more >>
Anna from Sweden
I have had a wonderful summer, I got to know a lot of new people and got a lot of new friends.
I was staying two more weeks in Italy before I went home to Sweden, I went to St Benedetto del Tronto, Verona and Venezia, but I must say that I liked Otranto and Salento much much better. Thank you Barbara for everything. It has been the best summer in my life!read more >>
Carla, David and family from Boston
...the experience unforgettable for people of all ages. Attending the Scuola Porta d'Oriente is the opportunity of a lifetime and the school has my highest recommendation on all counts. If you travel the world, you will not find a more enchanting place or…read more >>
Madeleine from Swiss
Mi é piaciuto molto il mio soggiorno a Otranto, il tipo di scuola mi conviene perfettamente. Per quanto riguarda la qualità dell'insegnamento, l'ho trovata excellente. E importante per me, ringraziare le mie professoresse. Le loro competenze pedagogiche, la loro pazienza e il loro entusiasmo mi hanno permesso d'imparare velocemente…read more >>
Sylke from Germany
...ora e esattamente un anno fa, che io ho fatto un corso d'Italiano nella Scuola Porta d'Oriente. Nella questa settimana ho imperato molto di nuovo sulla regione e in Italiano. E per le conversazione nelle lezioni ho potuto pratticare la conoscenza nuova. Nella nostra regione si deve cercare a lungo per queste lezioni…read more >>
Tina and Lionel fron London
Lionel and I loved the school because:
- They have a nice, professional, dynamic team and they are very flexible, they can adapt their lessons to your needs.
- They are located in Otranto, it's a beautiful, very interesting and incredibly rich in history part of Italy…read more >>