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Alezio

Description

ALEZIO is situated in the Southern area of the Salento at short distance from the famous city of Gallipoli. Tourism is one of the most important income for the local economy, even though the principle role is preserved by the traditional agriculture activities. Very good olive oil and great quality wines are produced here.

The origins are uncertain, as the tradition, tells that the city was founded by Lizio Idomeneo, mythic king of Crete. It was certainly a city of the Messapi (ancient Italic population) as evidenced by the ruins of a necropolis and some monolith tombs found near Mount d'Elia. As there are no traces of the huts it is not possible to quantify its real size.

Documents, recently traced, evidence that Alezio was an important centre in the VI century b.C. due to its location near to Taranto, an eternal enemy that over the times also became an important ally.

Due to the location near Via Traiana and the port of Gallipoli, during the Roman Empire, the city was highly populated. In year 1000 Alezio was completely destroyed by the Saracens and the city had to wait seven centuries to be repopulated.

In the city it is possible to visit the Civic Messapi Museum, where exhibits from the necropolis are on display. Not to miss: the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Lizza which was edified by the Normans in XII century on the ruins of a Byzantine building.

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