The territory of Latiano, historically influenced by its neighbours Francavilla Fontana and Mesagne, exercises the role of a “transit” town.
The “At a slow pace through the olive groves” itinerary will allow us to discover this little town which surprises us for it architectural and naturalistic beauties.
We depart from the former Convent of the Dominicans, in Via Santa Margherita, now a museum centre containing collections of arts and traditions of Puglia, on wine, textiles and clothing, and which is home to one of the “Terra dei Messapi” Info Points; this is the heart of the network of itineraries, where it is possible to receive information about the territory.
Adjacent to the Convent, we find the Church of the S.S. Rosario, a chapel dating back to the XVI century; inside it, there is an ancient artistic painting.
Continuing along the road, we will note the Solise Tower and the house which was the birth place of the Blessed Bartolo Longo, founder of the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Rosario of Pompeii, beatified on 2nd October 1980 by John Paul II. A bit further on we come to the very central Piazza Umberto I, where we can admire the eighteenth century Palazzo Imperiali (or Castle), dating back to the XII sec. which over the years, from a fortress became an aristocratic palazzo. Still near-by, the museum on the history of the pharmacy and the Ribezzi– Petrosillo, house-museum, containing a collection of ancient books and some interesting Messapi finds coming from the archaeological park of “Muro Tenente”. Along the roads there are various artisan pastry shops, where we can buy the cakes and biscuits in Pasta Reale (a soft preparation of marzipan shaped in various forms). Heading North, we come to one of the nine teaching farmhouses of the Gal “Terra dei Messapi”, the Masseria Marangiosa, an important cheese-producing farm, where we can stop and rest.Still further north of Masseria Marangiosa we then come to the little Scaracci Wood, natural scrub and home to Mediterranean flora and fauna, Instead if we head south-west, we come to the Sanctuary of Maria S.S. di Cotrino, with its ancient little seventeenth century church containing a miraculous fresco of the Blessed Virgin Mary; while to the east we can visit the Messapi (and later Roman) site of “Muro Tenente”. Here there are finds from the Messapi necropolis and a section of a road on which we can still see the grooves made by the wheels of ancient Roman carts; in fact it is thought that a section of the ancient Via Appia passed through here.