As attested by the discovery of a tomb in 1917, the territory of Crispiano has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Interesting finds found in the Triglio and Cacciagualani districts date back to the Greek period. During the Middle Ages Crispiano became a fief of the Abbey of San Vito del Pizzo and then of the Abbeys of Santa Maria. Starting from the 14th century, many people from Crispi abandoned the Casale to move to the newly formed Martina Franca. The farms arose, which would remain the only centers of life in the area for centuries. In 1794 the modern Crispiano was born. It seems that the town belonged to Rome and that, upon the division of the large estates, Crispiano was assigned to the great war master Crispius, from whom the name is thought to derive. Urban growth became whirlwind and the first brick house was built in the Difesa area, the second was built on the other side of the Valley, so that Crispiano slowly developed divided from the "Lezzitello" Valley. The Municipality has been autonomous since 14 November 1919 and it quickly organized and increased, going from a population of just over 5,000 to the current 13,000. From the fourteenth century, the economic organization of Crispiano finds its fulcrum in the farms. A characteristic feature is the rural chapel, example of popular religiosity. On agricultural land over one hundred ancient structures tell us about the lives of ordinary people that the wise have been able to revaluate and make Crispianesi common heritage. The farms visited are: Lupoli with the Museum of Rural Life, the Amastuola, Valencia, The Mesole, Monti del Duca, the Aude, The Nuns, Pinch, Casellone, Pilate, Russoli, Medical Links, Acchille, Belmonte, San Domenico Low and Carmine.
Crispiano boasts a very rich and ancient past events. The first settlement dates back to the fourth century. But is the year 1799 which dates the birth of modern Crispiano. Just under a century later, in 1873, was erected the oldest tower of the town: The Tower of Cacace. On the eastern embankment of the valley, in the area of the farm called "Li Castelli", was built monastery of Santa Maria di Crispiano. Inside are preserved frescoes of saints Greeks, such as Our Lady of Crispiano, St. Nicholas, St. Michael and Pantocrator Christ. The Old Church of Santa Maria has an almost square and an altar in a semi-bowl typical of Greek chapel. The Caves of Vallone arise as a rock dwellings for Byzantine monks who settled the territory of Crispiano (century XI) fleeing iconoclasts persecution. Later, with the development of farms, the caves were abandoned. Our Lady of the Snows Church (the Cathedral Church) was inaugurated on 11 November 1900 and gives its name to its square. Inside there are three naves, with a cupola and apse, the altar is made of white Carrara marble, and there are eight little altars, four on each side. The upper facade is built in Doric style, while the bottom is in Ionic style. The Church of San Francesco was built in 1894 by the will of citizens belonging to the Confraternity of the Immaculate. With an octagonal plan, it consists of an altar and six side altars. The Public Library houses an important Montale’s Research Institute. Finally, among the karst caves in the underground (very rich in the area), we remember the Stinge Cave, explored in 1984, also known as "Cave of the Pearl" to the soft colors and rounded forms of its concretions. Other rock settlements in the territory are: the Old Temple of Mullets, the aqueduct built by the founding of Rome and the Crypt called"Cubiculum Sancti Juliani (X - XI century).
The central day of the Patronal Feast is August 5th, solemnity of the Madonna della Neve. The date is that indicated in the Roman Missal as "the feast of the dedication of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore", whose Latin title is Sancta Maria ad nives. The ceiling of the mother church of Crispiano architecturally recalls, although in a more modest way, that of the famous Roman basilica. Pious tradition has it that it was the Virgin Mary herself who indicated and inspired the construction of a church dedicated to her on the Esquiline. Appearing in a dream at the same time as Pope Liberius (pope from 352 to 366) and the Roman patrician John, the Madonna asked for the construction of a temple in her honor, in a place that she herself miraculously indicated. And in fact, on the morning of 5 August 352 (or, according to other sources, 358) the Roman Esquiline hill appeared inexplicably covered in snow. The Pope traced the perimeter of the new church and the noble Giovanni saw to the construction of the building, considered the oldest Marian temple in the West and has always been one of the most important basilicas in Rome. The arrival in Crispiano of this title attributed to the parish is due to Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio de Fulgure, archbishop of Taranto from 1818 to 1833, who in 1826 established the first Crispiano parish, calling it "Santa Maria della neve", when Crispiano was still a village administratively dependent on Taranto (it would become an independent municipality in 1919). Since then the people of Crispiano, who already honored the Madonna with the simple title of "Santa Maria di Crispiano" at the so-called "Old Church" dating back to the century. XIV and located near the caves of the Vallone, it placed itself under the protection of Mary. Immediately after the Second World War, the Madonna of the Snow was proclaimed protector of Crispiano (5.8.1945). The statue of the Virgin was solemnly crowned during the Marian Year 1954 (5.8.1954). Every year the festival attracts a large number of Cripianesi who for various reasons live far from their town of origin.
The remoteness of Crispiano from the sea has pushed the population towards the use of the fruits of labor of the earth: wheat, grapes, olives, bread, vegetables, wine and pasta prepared strictly “by hand” as the "chiangarèdd" or "frucidd. Often, the table was enriched by the use of vegetables and fresh season fruit. Another product that was always on the table was the bread. The bread could be replaced by legumes such as beans, the popular food par excellence, used to prepare various dishes such as "ncapriata, accompanied by other vegetables boiled and sauteed in a stir fry of onions. Festivity dishes are richer as "tien, '" meat and potatoes and "fecha' scchet '": figs in the oven with toasted almonds and laurel. A typical gastronomic Crispiano’s specialties are the liver also called "gnummredde", made from the entrails of lamb (liver, heart and lungs) wrapped in a net and tied with guts strewn with salt.
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