Limitone dei Greci, the boundary line between the Byzantines and the Longobards, is the name chosen to imagine the itinerary that includes, in a handful of kilometres, three municipalities of the Terra dei Messapi: Mesagne, San Donaci and San Pancrazio Salentino.
The itinerary, which crosses the imaginary boundary from which it takes its name, winds through vineyards, olive groves and stretches of wheat fields. The route starts from Mesagne, the Messapi town you can discover reading the “Cuore di Pietra” itinerary and heads south along a cycle route. At about one kilometre from the centre, take a small road on the right and at the next junction the road on the left. At the 4.9 kilometre junctionturn left again and, after about 500 meters you reach the SP 74 which joins Mesagne to San Pancrazio. Here, near the Masseria Muro Maurizio, evidence of a Messapi settlement has been found.
At San Donaci some farmhouses can still be seen: Masseria Monticello, Falco and Palazzo, some still in reasonable condition. When you enter San Donaci, allow yourselves to be guided by our sommeliers to discover the Controlled Origin (DOC) wines, appreciated all over the world such as the Salice Salentino, Squinzano and Brindisi, which colour the Mediterranean Diet with red. You will find many typical local restaurants …. we recommend some typical dishes “ciceri e tria”, a home-made pasta, half boiled and halffried, dressed with chickpeas. Try it and you won’t be sorry! Leaving the town, heading south, a dirt track leads to the
Li Paduli zone, an area reclaimed in 1922 rich from the ecological point of view, because it provides an ideal habitat for various species of birds during migration months. The route continues west towards the archaeological area of Li Castelli, at San Pancrazio Salentino which scholars indicate as a Messapi site, later colonised by the Romans and where it is possible to find another stopping point along the network of “Terra dei Messapi” itineraries.
Again to the west of the town of San Pancrazio, an isolated place of worship; the Grotta dell’Angelo; located within the Holiday/Teaching Farm of Torre Vecchia, where the visitor can find wine, oil, excellent goat’s cheeses, salamis, fruit preserves, meat and dairy products. At around 3.5 kilometres to the north-west of the town we come to the sanctuary of Sant’Antonio alla macchia, built over an ancient underground crypt.
Again near the Sanctuary, you will enjoy an uncontaminated natural landscape to be observed in relaxation at the stopping area belonging to the Network of Terra dei Messapi Itineraries.
- Chiesa Madre
- Chiesa di Sant’Antonio da Padova
- Palazzo Arcivescovile
- Frantoio Ipogeo di Sant’Antonio alla Macchia
- Grotta dell’Angelo