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Morciano di Leuca


Morciano di Leuca is a picturesque town located on Salento's Ionic coast, in the province of Lecce. The place name probably derives from the Latin word "murex", referring to the rocky and hilly soil on which the town stands. The origins of Morciano di Leuca date back to the IX century when, after the destruction of the ancient city of Vereto by the Saracens, the population moved into the nearby countryside. In 1190 the feud was donated by Tancred de Hauteville to Sinibaldo Sambiasi, whose descendants held it until the end of the XIII century. After the Normans, there was the Swabian, Angevin and Aragonese domination.
- Castromediano-Valentini castle, built in the XIV century by Gualtiero IV from Brienne and re-built in the XVI century; it has square shape with a cylindrical tower;
- the Church of San Giovanni Elemosiniere, built in the XVI century on an earlier late-Medieval building; it has a Romanesque style façade with Baroque style elements. Inside there a nave and two side aisles.
- the Church of Carmine, built in 1486 and made up of a complex that extended up to the castle, including the Convent of the Carmelites, before its demolition;
- the Chapel of Madonna di Costantinopoli, built in the XVI centyry after the Battle of Lepanto. Inside it is possible to admire a monolith discovered in the XX century, during a conservative restoration;
- the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di leuca del Belvedere, built between the XVII and the XVIII century, along to road run through by pilgrims to reach the Sanctuary De Finibus Terrae in Santa Maria di Leuca. It is in Renaissance style with a beautiful porch on the façade; inside it is possible to admire valuable XVII-XVIII century frescoes.
- the Church of San Lorenzo, built in the XVI century after the destruction by the Turks of the existing Church of Santo Stefano;
- Vado Tower, part of the coastal defensive system, built in the XVI century by Charles V;
- Capece Tower, of late-Medieval origin, part of the Capece baronial palace, whose coat of arms is still visible on the portal;
- the Karst Abysses (Vora grande and Vora piccola), in the district of Barbarano del Capo. They are located just outside the town center and respectively deep 35 and 25 meters.


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