Maruggio among the most beautiful villages in Italy

Maruggio is among the most beautiful villages in Italy

Elected among the most beautiful villages in Italy, with just over 5000 inhabitants and a breath from the sea, this village has had a certain importance in the various historical periods. According to historical sources, it was founded around the year 870 and was, over the years, the land of the Templars. Later they made room for the Knights of Malta who contributed to the great development of the country by putting the inhabitants in protection from attacks by Turkish pirates.

The tour can only start from Piazza del Popolo, the town center, recently redeveloped; it overlooks the Palazzo dei Commendatori, also known as the Castle of the Knights of Malta, built in 1368. The entrance to the building is from Via Umberto I, where you pass an arch and enter into a courtyard, where initially there was a votive chapel dedicated to the Madonna della Visitazione. The Castle has two floors and includes private rooms on the first floor and oil mills and warehouses on the ground floor. On the right side of the place stands the Clock Tower, built in 1855 with the idea of ​​being the city clock and, after the end of the wars, used as a war memorial. Along Via Umberto I you enter the historic center (also called “Terra murata”, because it’s enclosed in the medieval walls) which is the oldest area of ​​Maruggio. It includes a maze of narrow and winding streets overlooked by small whitewashed houses and ancient stately buildings with decorated balconies and loggias (redevelopment works have been underway in the historic center, since 2011, such as the restoration of the chianche flooring in some streets). Here you find the Chiesa Matrice, or Mother Church, dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and built around the 15th century. It has an interior with three naves with a dome on the presbytery and a crypt with an external entrance.

Reading time: 5 minuti
Principle image: Francesco Pulieri

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