Galatina - midway between the Ionian and the Adriatic seas - is an ancient town with gorgeous Baroque palaces, courtyard houses and alleys made of paving stones.
The ideal tour starts from the majestic Mother Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, fully rebuilt in 1633. The frescoes of the vault and the altars made of coloured marble are of outstanding interest. Inside there is a limestone boulder where, according to tradition, Saint Peter sat down to rest before reaching the town. The legend tells that inside this church there was a well (currently walled up), whose water had the power to heal those who had been bitten by arachnids like tarantulas (called ‘Tarante’ in the local dialect). Hence the annual event of the ‘tarantate’: every 29 of June the ‘tarantate’ - namely the women who have been bitten by the tarantulas - meet here and they dance to the rhythm of the ‘pizzica’ (the local folk music), as long as the poison has run out.
Going on with the walk, you can admire ‘Palazzo del Sedile’ (the ancient seat of the town hall), from the XV century, and the Clock Tower that the town of Galatina dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II King of Italy. Other masterpieces of architecture (from the XVII and XVIII centuries) hide among the narrow streets and the curvy alleys: for instance, Palazzo Orsini, Palazzo Ducale (occupied by the nobility from Galatina for hundreds years), and the medieval church of Saint Catherine (national monument since 1886) in Pugliese Romanic style with some Gothic influences. The church was erected for Raimondello Del Balzo Orsini’s will, and it is considered to be second only to the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, for the richness of its interior frescoes.
Before leaving the town, we suggest stopping at the popular pastry shop ‘Ascalone’, where you can taste the best ‘pasticciotti’ (the traditional pastries filled with custard).
Do you wish to visit Galatina?