Ceglie Messapica - the gastronomic capital of Puglia
Ceglie Messapica is a well hidden mystery on the edge of the Valle d’Itria, underestimated and often considered the poor sister of Cisternino. But it is anything but poor in history, culture and the number of restaurants per capita.
Foodies delight as Ceglie Messapica is not only one of the restaurant capitals of Italy but is also host to a Cooking School and Ceglie Food Festival run in August every year.
Ceglie Messapica rarely gets a fleeting mention in tourist information as the town between the Valle d’Itria and Salento, which makes it all the more intriguing to tourists as it has a local feel, not over laden with tourists despite its Castello Ducale which can be seen from a long distance as you approach the town. It has a number of palaces, portals and emblems to be discovered and admired.
As the capital of gastronomy, Ceglie Messapica has a rich territory surrounding the town and the restaurant owners pride themselves in growing their own vegetables, producing their own special dishes direct from the rich earth just as fishermen on the coast supply the seafood restaurants, Ceglie’s restaurants are supplied from the soil.
Not to be missed:
- Castello Ducale – The norman castle is the symbol of Ceglie Messapica – a rare sight in the times of its construction with towers reaching 35 metres in height.
- Piazza Vechia – in the old town lined by palazzo owned by the gentry of Ceglie Messapica
- Chiesa Collegiata – believed to have been built in 1521
- Le Grotte de Montevicoli – a km south west of Ceglie, visits available.
|Country||Ceglie Messapica is a link between the deep south Salento and the Valle d'itria|
Brindisi is the closest - 30 minutes or use Bari with its major links to international hubs.
|Languages spoken||Italian but a lot of people are now using English on menus in restaurants. Many of the locals speak French or German too as they have had to re-located for work.|
|Area (km2)||130 square kms.|