GROTTO-CHURCHES, MASSERIE AND OLD OLIVE TREES
In Monopoli countryside among centuries-old olive trees there are lots of fortified large farms (“Masserie”) and “rocky churches”, churches excavated inside the rock with paintings on the walls, manifestation of a civilization developed in Puglia between VI and XIII century. After the crash of the Roman Empire, in fact, it wasn’t safe living in the centre, so a lot of people preferred to go away from the city and live in the countryside in hidden places: natural caves situated along the banks of dry rivers called “lama”. Here they cut more the rock and lived in caves underground with animals, arranging villages with oil mills and churches with paintings on the walls made during the Middle Age in Byzantine style. These churches are known as “ God’s caves”.
The fortified farms (“Masserie”) are an evolution of the “rocky civilization”. They were built from the XVI century as the centre of the country life style. Most of them are built in stone covered with white plaster and, in order to defend themselves from enemies attacks they have defensive elements as fortified walls, drawbridges, and embrasures called “caditoie” and “feritoie”. The farm, surrounded by ancient olive trees, was like a village in the countryside composed of the farmer’s family house, rooms for workers and animals, oil mills and generally also a church.
Apulia – la finestra sul mare tours stop in authentic places, still working farms where like time has stood still, ending with a tasting of typical Apulian products in our shop with a wonderful window in front of the sea.
PERIOD: Throughout the year
DURATION: about 3 hours
PEOPLE: minimum 2
PRICE: 50 € each, 35€ Under 12 yo
The price includes transfer by car or minibus, the guide in Italian/English, tickets and a tasting of typical Apulian products.
Note: the guide can delete the tour or change the program in case of bad weather conditions.
It’s necessary to book the tours in advance.