historical information

Palagianello, a town known for its historic farms, extends over an area that is almost entirely flat in the province of Taranto, with the exception of the Serra Pizzuta, Parco del Casale and Conche districts. Historical and archaeological sources place the beginning of its history in the early medieval period. To find its toponym, however, we waited until December 1463. In fact, the investiture document of the Casale di Palagiàno to Giacomo Protonobilissimo, donated by King Ferrante, dates back to that time. The town rock, with its churches and houses carved into the limestone, largely concentrated on the eastern rampart of the ravine, is the documentation of historical, archaeological and artistic of a nucleus with a predominantly agricultural economy very well organized since the early Middle Ages. The town in the caves has not suffered the decline and abandonment of rural rock settlements in the fourteenth century, but it is one of those villages which are inserted into the structures of spontaneous. Live in the cave is a model that will continue in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In particular, for the hamlet of Palagianello, we know that the inhabitants lived in caves dug into the tuff. With regard to places of worship are nine early medieval stone churches. Palagianello, enfeoffed to Domini Roberti before 1464, passed to the De Ribera in 1633, who were feudal lords until 1669, year of the death, without heirs, of Maria De Ribera. After a period in the possession of the Royal Treasury, passed to the Caracciolo who, since 1671, were vassals of Palagianello until, by the Law of 2 August 1806, the feudal system was abolished. In 1807, for demographic reasons Palagianello became a municipality and then aggregate fraction of Palagiano. In 1907 he returned to be an independent town.

tourist route

The city offers tourists a wide range of visit possibilities that range from relaxing walks in the city to interesting excursions in the ancient part up to the rock village and the ravine. We are welcomed by the contemporary parish church of the Madonna delle Grazie, but not far away the landscape changes unexpectedly and is transformed into an extraordinary postcard on which we can admire the spectacular former railway bridge with eight round arches in limestone with cut-out ashlars. Today the bridge is part of the pedestrian and cycle path that unites the two souls of the city. From here you can see, perfectly incorporated into the rock, the very particular Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie with an ancient rock church. Not far away, the outline of the Castle of Count Antonio Stella Caracciolo can be clearly seen. It is a building with solid and linear features, a symbol of feudal power with four massive towers surrounding the defense bulwark, built in the sixteenth century to control the vast and lush territory. Crossing the Arch of the Clock Tower, you reach Piazza De Gasperi, the heart of the historic center, where the 16th century church of San Pietro Apostolo stands on an ancient necropolis


The territory of Palagianello hosts the Equipped Natural Park: a protected area, rich in floral and faunal species in an environment characterized by the Gravina where the industriousness of man and respect for nature have created a unique scenario. A historical-artistic and naturalistic route leads to the rock church of Santa Lucia with its architraved door surmounted by a semicircular lunette, where inside it is still possible to see the traces of an engraved cross. To the left of the entrance door there is a tomb, a cistern and a small cave. The signs suggest we detour to visit the rock church of Jazzo Rivolta or continue towards the bottom of the ravine. Along the two paths we can admire the other side of the ravine, characterized by the medieval remains of Palasciano Vecchio, the rock settlement and the rock churches of San Gerolamo and Sant'Andrea. The path that continues towards the bottom of the ravine crosses a lush natural landscape. The route continues north, where it is possible to see the cave-houses and the terraced vegetable gardens, some of which are now uncultivated or occupied by olive trees and prickly pear plants.


Seventeen historic farms are documented in the Palagianello area, already present before 1810, among which we remember: La Torrata, a courtyard farmhouse with amalgamations of volumes; Titled, linear farmhouse with internal courtyards; Conocchiella, open farmhouse with linear volumes; Martellotta or De Bellis, farmhouse with amalgamation of volumes; Spinelli, open farmhouse with linear volumes; Serrapizzuta, farmhouse with courtyard and linear blocks; Santa Colomba, farmhouse with courtyard and linear blocks; Mangiaricotta, closed courtyard farmhouse; Coppola Chiatta, open farmhouse with amalgamation of volumes; Petrosa, courtyard farmhouse with linear blocks; Capone, courtyard farmhouse and linear blocks; Difesella, open farmhouse with linear volumes; Pozzo di Sarro, single-volume farmhouse; Lacato or Carano, single-volume farmhouse; Parco di Stalla, courtyard farmhouse with small church combined with multiple squares; Abissinia or Capo Varante, open farmhouse with linear volumes; Viscolo or Masella, open farmhouse with linear volumes.


The northern part of the Palagianello territory is characterized by ravines, which have always profoundly marked the landscape and human settlements since prehistoric times, as demonstrated by the Paleolithic site of Riparo Manisi. The first stretch, the one that goes from the municipal border with Mottola to the area of ​​the rock village, is certainly the most beautiful, because it is still uncontaminated. Birds of prey, such as the barn owl, the kestrel and the lesser kestrel, nest on the inaccessible walls of the ravine. The second stretch is the one in correspondence with the historic center, where medieval man excavated an interesting rock village and eight rock churches (Anonima, Jazzo Rivolta, San Gerolamo, San Nicola, Santa Lucia, Sant'Andrea, Santi Eremiti, Serrapizzuta ). The third stretch of the ravine goes from the railway bridge towards the south and becomes a blade. This entire area falls within the equipped Natural Park of Palagianello, and it is possible to travel through it thanks to a series of paths. On the plateaus overlooking the ravine, numerous species of orchids can be recognised, between March and May.


The cuisine includes simple, varied and tasty dishes, capable of enhancing the products that the countryside can offer and satisfying the most demanding palates. Typical first courses are: orecchiette and "fricidd" with sauce or with turnips, cavatelli with chickpeas or beans or with tomato sauce and cacioricotta, broad beans and leaves, "spuzzitata" broad beans, pezzente soup, baked cardoncelli and the "ncapriata ”. In the local cuisine, important second courses of meat also dominate, especially cooked on the stove; chops, "Capuzza" and "gnjumeriedde" (goat or lamb offal cut into strips, seasoned with parsley and garlic, gathered into small balls with intestines and cooked on the grill). There is no shortage of dishes and timbales that are carefully prepared at home for the Easter and Christmas holidays: "callarello" (boiled lamb and mixed country vegetables), "marro" (lamb offal roll), "p'ddich chien" (focaccia filled with onion, black olives and anchovy fillets). Typical local desserts are nougats, "scartagghiet" (fried shortcrust pastry canestrels with honey), "pett'l" (simply leavened dough balls, fried and soaked in cooked wine, "purcidd" (dough dumplings shortcrust pastry) and the delicious “nglppet” taralli (covered in sugar) of the Easter period.


The patron saint is the Madonna delle Grazie and occurs on May 31st. Palagianello celebrates its patron saint on Easter Monday, this is a tradition that dates back several decades ago. The celebration begins with the solemn procession of the Madonna that crosses the entire town and ends with fireworks. The devotion of the people of Palagianello towards their Patroness is immense and they do not neglect even what may appear to be details. This is the case of the conservation of the sacred image and all its accoutrements: dress, cloak, hair and sedan chair. In the past the celebrations took place on Saturday and the grandmothers prepared the "Klom d'Pasq", a round-shaped dessert with a chicken egg placed in the center. Among the typical dishes linked to tradition that are eaten on Easter Sunday, we remember "u sciuscill", (boiled lamb, fennel, eggs and cheese).


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rock churches

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