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you are here: Home Apulia Lecce and Salento Corigliano d'Otranto


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Corigliano d'Otranto


Corigliano d'Otranto is a small town of the "Grecia Salentina" area, where the people speak a Hellenic dialect known as "griko"

Situated in the Southern area of the Salento, the town has approximate 5500 inhabitants and its local economy is based on agriculture.

Its origins are uncertain, some historians attribute its foundation to the Greek, others to the Messapi (an ancient Italic population of the area) or to the Romans. The square urban structure of the old center is for certain Roman, whilst traces evidence the presence of inhabitants in the area at earlier ages.

Its major importance of Corigliano was registered in the XI century with the presence of the Byzantine monks that took refuge here with the intent to practise the Greek Christian faith.

Between the '500 and '600, Corigliano became an important military base with important strongholds.

In 1480 the Turks invaded Otranto and sacked the whole Salento area, but due to its strategic features, they avoided to attack the town. This military influence can be explained with only one word of the local Greek dialect that in Italian means "work" and "fight" .

The nobles of the town were the famous de' Monti Family, of French origins and famous fighters of the Carlo D'Anjou army.

The "Castle de'Monti", which overlooks the town and is surrounded by a large moat, is one of the most important examples of the military architecture of the '500 in Salento.

Not to miss are the lords manors and mansions, which were all built in the XVIII century.


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