Galatina with its approx. 30000 inhabitants is one of the most populated centres of Southern Salento area.
It is located at 20 km South of Lecce on a hillside at 78 metres above sea level. Its territory features a rich red soil, where olive trees and vineyards grow. Thanks to the use of artesian wells a lot of vegetables are produced too...
The first historical notes in which the is a mention of the farm house of Sancti Petri in Galatina is a notary deed of 1178. The name Galatina was adopted only after the Italian Unification.
Galatina was part of the county of Soleto, but due to increase of the population between '400 and '500, it was proclaimed Dukedom and was assigned by the King of Naples, Ferrante of Aragon to Giovanni, the son of Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg. With the Castriota, Galatina became an important cultural and trading centre. Through the centuries the city was dominated and ruled by important families such as the Sanseverino from Naples and the Spinola of Genoa.
Worth a visit is the Basilica entitled to Santa Caterina, declared a National monument. One of the few examples of Gothic architectonic style and preserves inside a series of frescos of the artist Francesco d'Arezzo.
The Mother Church has been rebuilt in 1633 in Baroque style on the ruins of a sacred Greek Byzantine building.
Galatina, in June, holds an important commercial, industrial and handicraft trade show.