Galugnano, an administrative division of San Donato a the most southerly area in the whole Valle della Cupa, lies on the characteristic grounds of the Salento peninsula, surrounded by the beautiful rural land in which the local meloncelle fruits are historically grown.
Although its existence has been first recorded in the 12th century, the menhirs you can admire in this land tell about prehistoric history. You will be blown away by these long monolithic lying singly on the ground, and delighted by the legendary functions attributed to these mysterious monuments. According to some, they were used as astronomical observatories, while others thought that they were used for pagan and phallic rituals, until they were converted to Christianity through the addition or carving of crosses on top of them.
Other myths report how sprites, dwarves and other peaceful creatures used to gather around and jealously guard these standing stones.
If you wander through the town’s narrow alleys, you will be stunned by the local civilian architecture, such as that displayed by the Dellanos Palace, which shows how some ancient fortresses were then turned into elegant aristocratic manors, embellished with refined architectonic solutions. Here, you can admire the little balcony standing on volute corbels and the majestic entrance portal. Your walk through the town will get even better once you will notice the decorative abundance displayed in the facades from some seventeenth-century religious buildings, like that of the Church of the Annunziata. Rather outstanding are also the Church’s altars, which resemble the style of architect Giuseppe Zimbalo from Lecce. Finally, stop by the Mother Church of Maria SS. Immacolata to admire its seventeenth-century rose window on the outside, and its altars of the same period on its interior.