Friday, February 5, 2010

The end of the world

One of the most striking and wonderful features about Salento, if you ask me, is the light. The narrow taco of flat land surrounded by open seas multiply and reflect the rays of the sun, the moon and the stars endlessly, turning the sky into an orgy of sparkling luminance. Going south towards Santa Maria di Leuca around dusk or dawn, when the great circle of the sun sets or rises in the sea, all colours are tinted red, yellow and orange. Half an hour later, white building have a bluish purple glow as if are highlighted by strobes, and when night falls millions of stars appear on a velvety black sky, always reminding me (pretty much against my will) of the catchy Negroni commercial singing: 'Le stelle sono tante, milioni di milioni, la stella di Negroni'

Light and the solitude enforce the fine del mondo feeling, you get standing in front of the Basilica 'De Finibus Terrae' and looking at the lighthouse in
Santa Maria di Leuca at the southeastern corner of the Italian peninsula, where waters from the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas meet.

The lighthouse in Leuca measures 48.6 metres and it is placed 102 meters above sea level making it one of the most important lighthouses in Italy. It was built in 1866 and under favourable weather conditions it can be seen from a distance of up to 40 km.

Santa Maria di Leuca got its name from the Greek word
‘leukos’ meaning ‘white’ and from the holy virgin, who is said to have performed sailor saving miracles in Leuca on 13 April 365 AD. According to legend, Saint Peter entered Italy through Leuca on his way to Rome as part of the evangelization of Europe, and to commemorate this event a wooden cross can be seen among the pine trees on the path from the Basilica to the port.

Another monument was erected by the fascists in 1939 to mark the initiation of the
acquedotto pugliese. This aquaduct sometimes lets water out into the sea, creating a spectacular waterfall know as lu mare spunnatu.  A lucky sight to end travels to - if not the end of the world - then at least to the end of Italy.


Augusto said...

Thanks for you article, always nice to read nice words spent on my loved Puglia region.

This unspoiled region offers astonishing landscapes, delicious food and wines, deep culture and traditions, the traditional warmth of locals.

If you would like to share our lifestyle, to enjoy a unique travel experience...take a look of our website and get your own idea...

Italian Notes said...

How right absolutely you are;-D
And what a nice website - the photos are fabulous!


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