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Sternatia is situated in the heart of the province of Lecce, in the territory of Grecìa Salentina, a Greek-speaking area where the Griko language is spoken. The town is located in a wide valley sheltered by hills, the well-known Serre Salentine, specifically, the Serra of Martignano and Serra of Soleto. The agricultural and pastoral economy stands out in the verdant countryside which surrounds the town.

The area’s principal feature is the olive tree, orchards of which extend as far as the eye can see, all subdivided by dry stone walls, typical of these rural areas. The countryside of Sternatia is rich in Mediterranean fragrances and colours. This is a rural landscape that has witnessed the tenacity of southern people, women and men who, throughout the centuries, have shaped the land in order to extract its rich bounty of wheat and olives.

The history of an ancient agricultural society lives in the architectural style of the farmhouses, typical rural Salentinian constructions, which, still today, prove their importance as centres of agricultural production. Here, it is important to note the farmhouse Chicco Rizzo, a production centre dating back to the 18th century and an ancient rest stop for travellers on horseback. The farmhouses possessed strong defensive fortifications which helped guarantee the safety of the small self-sufficient agrarian community existing within the walls.

The pastoral heritage is evident in the landscape which extends between Sternatia and Soleto, in a depression known as “Laccu del Capraru”, used in the past for the watering of flocks. Moving towards the town, one finds other abundant green spaces within the built-up area. In fact, the territory has a wide urban park, located in the northeast section of the town equipped for the leisure time of children and families. The Leccese limestone unifies the natural landscape with the built-up area. Today, this stone is extracted from the quarries situated a few kilometres from Sternatia and, as in the past, it is used for decorative and building purposes. This characteristic limestone is visible along the streets of the ancient village, within the harmonious spaces which dominate the urban landscape, in the characteristic sights where the griko-salentinian culture is still alive.

città @perte in rete

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