|Comune di Ceglie Messapica|
|• Mayor||Luigi Caroli (since April 11, 2010)|
|• Total||130 km2 (50 sq mi)|
|Elevation||302 m (991 ft)|
|Population (31 May 2012)|
|• Density||160/km2 (410/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Antony of Padua, St. Anne and St. Roch|
|Saint day||13 June, 26 July and 16 August|
The area of Ceglie Messapica is located between the Murge and the Upper Salento: its typical elements include trulli, farms, lamie (typical southern single room square dwellings), rupestrian churches, carsic caves, dolinas, specchie and paretoni (remains of city walls), dry-stone walls, olive groves, vineyards, maquis shrub, ancient oak trees, cattle pastures and arable land.
According to legend, it was founded by the Pelasgi, to whom belonged the megalithic structures known as specchie. After the arrival of Greek colonists around 700 BC, it received the name of 'Kailìa' (Καιλία). Nearby the village were extraurban sanctuaries dedicated to the God Apollo (near the modern church of San Rocco) and Venus (on the Montevicoli hill).
The city was the military capital of the Messapi (the civil capital being located in the nearby Oria), a fought against the Greek Taranto in the latter's attempt to gain a passage to the Adriatic Sea. The Messapic Ceglie had some 40,000 inhabitants. In Roman times it was already decaying, and in the Middle Ages was a small village known as Celie de Galdo, with a little castle. After several minor families, in 1584 its fief was given to the Sanseverino family, who enlarged the castle and founded two convents for the Capuchines (now disappeared) and for the Dominicans.
Numerous archaeological remains of the ancient Messapi civilization were found in Ceglie's area. It had four lines of walls, the inner one having a perimeter of 5 km. The external one had high fortifications known as specchie, which could be up to 20 m and 60 m in diameter.
- Ceglie Messapica -Salento high coast of the trulli (Italian)
- Ceglie Messapica - Town of the ancient world (Italian)