As we are located in the southern part of Puglia, the peninsula is narrow and there are many interesting places within an easy drive from all the villas. Manduria, in the province of Taranto and on the western side of the peninsula, is one just one of those.
Manduria has its roots far back in history. Originally inhabited by Messapians, who have left impressive remains, Manduria was their stronghold against Tarentum (Taranto). The original town was destroyed by the Saracens in the 10th century, inhabitants then resettled on the site of the present town naming it Casalnuovo, but the orginal name of Manduria was reverted back to in the 1700s.
Pliny the Elder mentions Manduria and it’s uncanny well :
“In the Salentine, near the city of Manduria, there is a well full to the brim, whose water is never reduced by any quantity withdrawn nor ever increased by any added.”
The well, Fonte Pliniano, with an almond tree growing in it can be found in inside a grotto within the walls of the old city. Other sights to look out for are
- Archo di Sant’Angelo, the gateway to the centro storico (historic centre), on Via XX September
- Palazzo Imperiale, the Castle
- The Medieval Jewish Ghetto
- six churches with different architectural styles and other points of interestParco Archeologico
Manduria is well known for its excellent Primitivo wine, and our visit to Manduria included a trip to one of the Cantinas which doubles as a Wine History Museum.
And of course no day out is complete without taking time out for lunch in one of the many restaurants.