“Cisternino, characterized by its white houses, is considered one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. It is a super tiny medieval village that looks onto the Itria Valley. We are in the Puglia region where you can find the world famous trulli and where the sun shines all year round. Cisternino is a representative of the typical villages of the area: white small houses in the centre, trulli and olive trees in the countryside around. All this at a short distance from the Adriatic sea.”
Thank you Mariella for advising me this enchanted place in Puglia!
About its history
Cisternino, in the Puglia region, is 50ks from Brindisi, 48ks from Taranto and 75ks from the town of Bari.
The territory of the commune was inhabited since medium-upper Paleolithic by human nuclei coming from the north or from the African-sicilian area, they left numerous traces of their life dedicated to hunting and picking of spontaneous fruit and tubers.
The current historical centre of the village saw a period of splendor thanks to the Basilian monks that in the Medieval era renamed it Cis-stornium, meaning this side of Sturnium (Ostuni).
In the historical centre it is possible to admire some beautiful buildings like: Palazzo del Governatore (perfect example of Baroque in Puglia), palazzo Vescovile, palazzo Amati, palazzo Lagravinese, palazzo de Vitofranceschi and palazzo Ricci-Capece with the homonym tower also known as Torre del vento. The Torre di Porta Grande of medieval era shows a statue of San Nicola 17 meters tall and it was once the main entrance of the village.
Traditions at Cisternino
Among the most awaited folkloristic festivals in Cisternino, the first in the list is definitely Easter Monday (Pasquetta). This festivity takes place in the sanctuary of the Madonna di Bernia where people go with their typical sweets (bag shaped with two hard-boiled eggs for baby boys and doll shaped with one egg for girls), these are known as “u churrüchele” and should bring prosperity and fecundity. It is no coincidence that Madonna di Bernia is the Madonna of life, fertility and abundance. The sanctuary is also an archeological site with roman and medieval ruins.
The most important celebration in Cisternino is the festivity of its Patrons: Quirico and Giulitta. The entire population takes part in the celebration which is a show of lights, religious commemorations, concerts and fireworks.
Festival Pietre che Cantano is the modern time version of a local festival.
Among the noteworthy country festivals: the festival of the orecchiette (special pasta) and the one of the rabbit in August, the grape festival in September. These festivals are not only a gathering of all the citizens but mostly a way to keep the folkloristic heritage alive, the same heritage that represents the identity of a town and the people who live in it.
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